When starting a web business, the first step is generating a business plan. Once completed, it is time to move on to the particulars of your site.
Are people actually buying your widgets from other sites? To find out, you could check stock of stores and Web sites, ask for friends’ opinions and find more data online, in media and at the library. If it turns out people are not buying very many widgets these days, now may be a good time to change you business plan. Also research what your competitors are doing and if there is any way to improve upon their business models.
After you have a business plan and done some research, it is time to begin building your business. Though it is not essential for a web entrepreneur to have a web site, for our purposes we will assume one will be required. Other methods of making money on the web are quite possible, such as by creating an opt-in mailing list or selling products though services such as eBay.
Host and Domain
In order to have a web site one must have a host and a domain name. Think of the host as the home of your web site and the domain, such as www.widgets.com, as its address. Domain names can often be registered for less than $10 per year. Free hosting is even available, but a user of such services is required to have the host’s banners on their site, which is not particularly desirable.
A host should have reliable customer service, have very high uptime, meaning your site is accessible on the web as close to 100% of the time as possible, and give your business room to grow. You don’t want your host to crash if you get ten thousand visitors in one day. If you need programming or ecommerce, you will want to make sure your host will support your needs. Server stats are also very handy.
After you have a home and address for your web site, you will need to build it. There are two roads you can walk down. Many web entrepreneurs choose to build their own sites and learn as they go. This is often desirable if you are interested in HTML and programming, have time to spare and don’t require a professional polish. Many sites that make money promoting affiliate programs attract an audience that expect a rough, non- professional site to lead them to a polished sponsor site where they will spend their money.
The other road is to have a professional design your site for you. This is the best solution for many. Like a construction worker who knows the best way to build houses and can do it better and faster than the average layman, so it is with web design. If you are planning on selling a product or service directly, it is essential to have a sharp image by which your potential clients will judge you. With so much information and so many web pages available, surfers often move on after only a few seconds. A professional design will ensure you will be making the most of each visitor that views your site.
Now you have a plan, a product or service and a web site to sell it with. This is all very nice and all, but without people viewing your web site, you can’t make any sales. You need a solid marketing plan to get the visitors to you site, by which you can make sales.
And thats the subject of our next article.