These are essential tips that most people are either too stupid to listen to or they are too eager to get their business online. Most people start off with their business and soon fail–only to start trawling the Internet for SEO or business advice. Instead of taking the path of the loser, take a look at these tips and do every single one of them. If you are not prepared to spend months planning and implementing your online business and business plan, then you are going to fail just like the other 99.98% of online business startups.
Come up with your idea but do not start with it
This just means coming up with a business idea that you think will make money online. You can come up with a few and interlink them if you like, but don’t start the business yet.
Develop your idea into a profit making idea
Any idea you have had is not a profit making idea until you have decided how the profit is to be made and then thought of ways that you could make it happen online.
Who else is doing it? How many are doing it?
Looking at who else is doing your idea is very eye opening. You may see right away that your competition are able to charge far less, or that the Internet is loaded with competitors.
Why are others not doing it?
The chances of you having an idea and being the first is very unlikely, so if you find few or no competitors online, ask yourself why that may be.
Are the people doing it offline as well as online?
This is important because if they have an offline department/section then you will need one too, at which point your online business becomes a legitimate and mainstream business (which is a much bigger Endeavour).
Is there room to expand the business in the future?
This is what a lot of people do not consider. It is why people start on eBay and Amazon with big ideas and then swiftly fail after a year or two. If you can’t expand then you can’t succeed.
What are you going to offer that your competitors are not?
If you cannot offer anything different that your competitors do not then you are going to have to go head-to-head with established competitors on their ground (i.e. you will lose).
Ask yourself if you can really justify starting this business?
Are you just doing it to get out of your day job? Or, because you feel you are wasting your life? Or, because you saw a success story on TV?
Create a business plan
After asking yourself the pressing questions above and getting your real-life answers, you need to create a very comprehensive, researched and well thought out business plan.
Research your business plan pointers to be sure they will work
Your plan should have points in it that stand as the basis of your business, operation, brand, marketing, customer support, delivery, quality control, accountancy and business goals. They all need to work in harmony, so research to be sure they do.
Do market research to see how receptive your consumer base is
You can offer sand to the Arabs, but there is no saying they will buy it. Find out whom (if anyone) will buy your service/product.
Do market research in order to hone your online targeting
Market research is going to tell you all about your potential consumer, and you need to know about them so that you can target them online.
You cannot rely on search engine ranking, so how are you going to target people?
There are numerous methods for getting people to buy from you or to visit you website online. Search engine marketing can be part of your online plan, but it cannot be the only traffic driving force.
Can you process your business through a single website?
Some businesses need ten or twenty websites in order to draw in enough profit from each to stay in business. Is that going to be you too?
Find a host that suits your websites function
You may need a host that offers lots of cheap deals for multiple domains, or a host that can handle lots of traffic. You need to find the right one for your business.
Put usability and user experience first when designing your website
If you are selling online then your user experience and website usability is as important as clean stock, friendly faces and a welcoming environment are in an offline store.
Repeatedly market test your website versions until you find a workable one
Do not assume that your first website design is the best and most perfect one. Even the big websites change and develop their websites over time. Start with the notion that your website is imperfect and keep testing it until you come up with the perfect design.
Put your business plan to the test by starting up
Start your business after doing all of the groundwork (and more) stated above this point. Start small if you are able, and then work towards getting bigger. Starting bigger or starting unprepared simply means you are going to fail harder. Seeds do not start out in the same way that IKEA cabinets do, they start off small and unassuming and grow over time.
Evolve your online business plan once per fortnight
The online world is a very fast moving mechanism, where your competitors can gain a massive heading over you in a matter of days, all by doing something as simple as releasing a successful viral image. You need to be on top of this and need to be able to keep up with your competition. You can do this by reexamining and evolving your business plan every two weeks.