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Steps And Procedures To Start An Online Business

Feb 7, 2008
In today's society everything from grocery shopping to ordering pizza can be done online? Lets face it, everyone wants convenience. Today's society is fast paced. It is no surprise that most business owners have taken their products and services and placed it online. In the present day and age it is almost impossible to have a successful business unassociated with the Internet.

The Internet opens new opportunities for any sort of business. Such as: low overheads, convenience for customers and clients, and presents various methods to display important and relevant information about your business to your clients and so that they remain up to date and well informed.

As a new business owner, starting an online business may be your first alternative. The question that arises is how to go about starting an online business? You may have heard of many who have tried and failed or may have succeeded but are not as successful. This may be due to lack of tools and research.

Research is very vital to the success of any business. Once you have decided what type of online business you would like to develop, then research the topic. The first step is to research your competitors. Research the products or services they offer. Find out as much information as you can. What makes their business successful? Who are their target audience? Where do they advertise? What products or services sell most?

Now that you have educated yourself and you feel comfortable with the knowledge you have gained it is time to research and develop your business plan and expense report. It is always recommended to prepare these documents especially, if you are planning to apply for a business loan or working with investors. Once these steps are taken care of it is time to focus on other key objectives.

The main focus of an online business is the website. Your website will act as the middle-man when it comes to selling and buying. The domain name you select is very important and should be chosen wisely. You may have already chosen your business name; but is it catchy enough to be used for your domain name? Your domain name should be catchy, easy to remember and unique.
After deciding an appropriate domain name, it is required to select a good web hosting company. When searching for a web hosting company there are some basic points you need to consider:

1. Reliability:
It is very important to find a web hosting company that is reliable and have a low percentage of downtime. As a new online business owner, your business needs to be up and operating at all times. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Research the web hosting company of your choice and it may be a good idea to find a web hosting company that offers a money back guarantee.

2. Server Hard Drive Space:
Keep in mind that most web pages average 10-50 kilobytes in size. It is important to cover all of your web pages. It is recommended that you select a package which offers web space more than your requirements to be on the safe side.

3. Customer Care or Technical Support:
We have all been in a situation as a customer where you order something online and have question but there are no answers. In most cases, technical support is offered in the Web Hosting package. However, double check before purchasing. See how quickly the technical support center responds to your questions.

4. Secure Server:
Ordering products or service from an online business can have its consequences. Especially identify any theft and possible security issues. It is important to your customers that their information is protected and safe. Most online businesses offer this protection by having secure servers. It may be an additional cost; but it is one that is worth it.

5. POP Accounts:
Allows you access to emails sent through your website. Each account is password protected. In most cases, you will receive 5, 10, 100 or more POP Accounts. You can assign an account to all your employees.

6. Other Tools Such as FTP and Website Wizards:
If you are like most online business owners, you do not have the skill to create a website from scratch nor do you have the money to pay some expensive web site designer. In this case, a web host company that offers a web site design wizard and other tools will be of great convenience.

7. Price:
It is not impossible to find a web hosting company that offers you quality and quantity at a great price. Make sure to bargain with the company you are purchasing from as most hosting companies are willing to offer further discounts to acquire new customers.

Now it is time to create your website. Here are a few tips:

The content on your web site should be informative, interesting and well written. It should catch the attention of the reader and keep them interested. Each page should sell your product or service. Include a mailing list and maybe a referral program. Newsletters are great as well.

Building a web site is usually fun and inventive. However, marketing your website will prove to be a little more difficult. Nevertheless, some web hosting companies offer great information and additional marketing tools for an added fee.

This information should assist you in starting an online business and help you towards developing a new website for your company.
About the Author
William King is the director of UK Wholesale Suppliers Directory, Wholesale Trade Supplies, Wholesale Dropshippers Directory and Buy & Sell Pakistan Property. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.
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