Hello, I’m Paul Sarwana.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start an internet business or a business owner who seeks a way to get your small business online you’re in the right place.
Let’s ditch the dull business building work in favor of the fun value creation activities with a website.
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More about me? I studied mechanical engineering and business administration, I’m self-employed after for more than 20 years working with the print media industry, I live in Jakarta, and my passion is entrepreneurship.
Okay, ready to learn how to start an internet business or get a small business online? Let’s start…
6 Surefire Steps to Start an Internet Business
The beauty of running an online business is the low start-up capital. However, there is no guarantee that it will be easier than setting up a “brick and mortar” one. For this reason, a proven step-by-step guide is necessary for guiding your overall efforts.
Here is the summary of each step:
- Pick a strategy. No matter what goals you have use the customer centric strategy as a way of doing business right from the start.
- Brainstorm business ideas.If you’re starting a business get an idea that is natural to your career path. But if you want to take your offline business online think about whether to go with your existing product lines or create new ones.
- Build a business website. Creating a business website that meets your audience needs is the next step. Just make sure you’ve got unique solutions they are looking for.
- Drive traffic to your website. You will want to find where your prospects go online and then create ads that let them know your webpages and your offerings.
- Build relationships with your visitors. Trust is the foundation for nurturing and keeping lifetime customers. For that reason, always look for creative ways to build professional friendships with your visitors and win their trust.
- Optimize your website conversions. Once you get significant visitors track their behaviors with web analytics. Use the observations to learn about what visitors are doing on your website and to experiment with different elements for improving conversions.
Those are 6 steps guide on how to start an internet business or get a business online, with the detail steps you can find below.
Now let’s start with the First Step…
Do you have a strategy? Without a strategy you will only focus on urgent issues. With a clear strategy you can bridge goals and daily actions, direct your company and keep up communications with your team. A strategy lets you check if you have achieved your goals.
For that reason, if you haven’t written a business plan, it’s time create a simple one. This will include what company you want to have in 5 years, with measurable goals and a plan of actions for achieving the goals.
If you have already owned a plan for your offline business make sure to revise it to include how your online presence contribute to the overall performance.
Internet Business Model – This section talks about how your business makes money or generate revenue. It includes all types of revenue sources that you can tap to make your business sustainable.
Small Business Branding – Small business owners are not familiar with branding. They believe that branding is for major corporations. But is that true? Get tips on how to brand your online venture.
If you plan to start an internet business take a look at the industry you’re entering. A natural path to this approach is to go with the industry you’re now in and start the business from home. This is the easiest way to spot problems or opportunities for developing business ideas.
Let’s say you are in a retail business and you are familiar with the commerce aspect of your employer. Starting an e-commerce website that sells physical goods is a good idea.
Your first option is to manage all the operations. It will start from selling and marketing to shipping the goods to customers. Alternatively, you only manage sales activities and let a drop-shipping partner handles fulfillment and shipping.
What about home internet business? If you own home business ideas make sure to check it first because you don’t want to go with anything like work from home jobs or other job related to making money online.
Whether you want to start an internet business or creating an online channel for your existing business you will need a website. The website will need to meet your target market needs and your customers can easily find it online.
One of the ways prospective customers find your website is through search engines. For that reason, you will want to know what they are looking for.
Because they type in keywords on the search engines you will want to know the keywords. You will give answers to their questions with your website. And your site works only if the webpages show up on search results and your prospects find them.
Take a look at resources for building a customer centric business website below:
Small Business Website Hosting – No matter whether you start an internet business or get your small business online you will need a fully functional website. A web host is a necessary service that makes it happen for you. Just make sure you pick a good host and the right plan.
Small Business Website Design – Your website is your online sales tool or your storefront. A great web design helps your visitors feel at the right place and are comfortable to connect with you. A customer centric website design can help you reach that goal.
Website Content Writing Tips – A great-looking website is useless if it doesn’t attract potential customers. Those visitors will only come to your website if you have various great content that answer their concerns and entertaining as well. If you give that chances are they will want to connect with you.
e-Commerce Website Building – Your website is both a storefront and a place where visitors learn about your products and your company. But it’s useless if it doesn’t bring in any businesses. Learn how to build an e-commerce site that drives targeted visitors and converts them into buyers.
This is the fourth step of the tutorial on how to start an internet business. You have learned about creating a website. To make it visible to your prospects you will want to give good reasons for search engines to place your webpages on their first pages.
Publishing great, unique content for your audience is a good start. There is no better way than providing good content using a unique angle catering your prospects’ needs. With a careful research you can write articles or make videos that solve their problem.
Earning links from reputable sites related to your market or industry is another way to send signals to search engines. Once the search engines pay attentions to your web pages it will show them to your target audience.
Use the resources below to learn how to drive traffic to your business website:
Targeted Website Traffic – Targeted website traffic is visitors that want in what you have to offer. Learn many ways to attract online visitors and increase your web traffic.
Website Link Building – You may already know that links coming to your website can mean a lot for its rankings. But, is link building still good for search engine optimization? Learn how to find the right inbound links and how to earn them.
Internet Viral Marketing – This campaign is one of the best ways to get targeted traffic to your website. Have a look at online viral marketing examples for creating your own campaign.
Internet Business Advertising – Internet advertising is the heart of all your marketing campaigns. You can learn about reaching qualified visitors and then converting them into customers on a budget.
Relationship building is another critical step for you to start an internet business. It’s your key to qualifying business prospects. It lessens the impacts of impersonal situation because you can’t meet them in person.
Newsletter is a good tool for building relationships with your audience. If you have a lot of great content chances are they want to subscribe to your newsletter. In fact, subscribers who stay subscribing after receiving several emails are qualified business prospects.
Social media is another place for reaching prospects. Connecting with prospects using Facebook and Google Plus business pages is a good idea. You can also interact with your audience using your Twitter account by following relevant businesses and getting followers.
Here some resources you can use for building business relationships:
Relationship Marketing – Building customer relationships are the key activities of a customer-centric company. Find out why you want to focus on relationship marketing and types of activities that are right for small business.
Small Business CRM – Small business CRM is an automation tool for improving customer retention. If you have reached the stage where you have a large number of customers learn how to use this indispensable business app.
Social Network Marketing – Social networking or social media sites are a good place for reaching your audience. Although over social networks people are not ready for business the places are still useful for branding and awareness.
Email Newsletter Marketing – Email newsletter is probably the best one-to-many communication tool. Because your readers give you the permission to send them emails they are naturally more receptive to your email campaigns.
Optimizing website conversion is another key to online success. By increasing conversion rate you can boost your revenue and invest the extra funds for getting more web traffic. If you’re doing it right the extra visitors will convert to new customers, allowing you to get more repeat business.
Managing conversions start with setting goals for your site. A product purchase, an email newsletter sign-up and other transactions are some of the goals. You will then decide what conversion to check and the relevant conversion rate measurement for the goal.
Once you set your website goals find out the average conversion rate for your industry. A 4.20 conversion rate for first time visitors — a benchmark index from Fireclick — is a good figure to start with. Although that may vary across industries it’s a good starting point.
Learn more about conversion rate optimization below:
Website Conversion Marketing – This is about all campaigns for converting visitors into buyers. Do you find only a small percentage of visitors buy your products? Find out why they aren’t converting and look for opportunities to fix it.