Right now is a great time to launch your own online business, as this ever-expanding and constantly evolving new frontier has made it easier than ever to get your products and services noticed by an enormous prospective client pool. Having the correct information before setting out to start your internet business is essential, as it will help you to abide by your local business laws, target the correct niche market and make a great first impression on prospective customers. Great information sites can help you to avoid some of the common pitfalls involved with starting your own online business and put you on the path toward a successful business venture.
Why Start Now
o Lower Start-Up Costs – Our current economic slump has made it difficult and risky to secure the business loans, real estate and equipment necessary to start your business at a storefront location. The internet provides a low-cost alternative to the traditional business start up, allowing you to cut most of the overhead costs from your small business launch and focus your funds on more important aspects of your new business endeavor.
o More Job Security – Many professionals are finding themselves and their co-workers laid off from positions they have held for years. In this instable job market, starting your own online business can provide you with a source of income that is not dependent on a changing traditional job market.
o New Markets – Prospective customers from many formerly untapped markets are browsing the internet every single day. This means that new internet business launches have the potential to reach a wide range of customers from day one. There is much money to be made from internet sales and right now is the perfect time to jump into the online market with both feet.
A few key ingredients are essential when it comes to starting your own online business. If you fail to consider any of these core elements, you may very well come to regret it in a very short period.
o Business Plan
o Business License
o Relevant Regulations/Restrictions
The bible says that without vision, the people perish. This is certainly true as it relates to starting your own online business. One of the first things you will need to do when getting your internet business off the ground is sit down and write out a thorough business plan.
Things You Need to Include in Your Business Plan:
1. Which niche market you plan on targeting.
2. What you intend to sell.
3. How you intend to go about selling it.
4. How you intend to finance your venture.
5. A clear mission statement (company goal/vision in a nutshell).
Once you have a clear plan for your business, you may want to look into whether or not you will need a business license to proceed. The business licensing requirements vary from state to state, so be sure that you check out your local business license office to make sure that you need one to sell your goods or services. If you are selling items on established sites such as eBay, you will not typically need to acquire a business license. However, if you are selling goods or services via your own website, many states require that you be fully licensed to do so.
If you decide to sell on your own business website, you will need to invest time and money into making it attractive enough to draw and hook prospective clients. In addition to making it aesthetically pleasing, you will need to optimize your website for internet search engines, using Search Engine Optimization techniques, such as:
o Key Word Saturation
o Bold and Italic text
When you are building your company website, you can spend the time researching and implementing various SEO techniques or you can hire a specialized SEO company to handle the job for you. Be aware that not all SEO companies are equal; make sure to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other watchdog organizations to make sure that your prospective SEO company will provide you with an honest and effective service for a fair price.
Make sure to check into any specific rules or regulations that may apply to your new internet business via helpful information sites. For instance, the law requires that you protect the privacy of your online clients by keeping the data they share with you (i.e. bank account information) by properly encrypting and storing it against online predators. In addition, you will need to know how much sales tax to add to each sale and you should learn how to copyright your company information so that it is not stolen or copied elsewhere on the web.
Local Internet Business Perks
When you launch a new business online, your marketing potential is quite literally limitless. You can reach individuals all around the globe with your company message, goods and services. However, there are also some local advantages to launching your business online.
One such advantage comes to online business owners in the form of a Google maps business directory. Google Maps has a feature on their maps/directions application that allows web browsers to find local businesses near any address or landmark entered into the search field. This means that when you list your business using Google Maps, you have the potential of being found by a huge number of locals.
Being found by locals equals:
o More prospective customers
o Higher customer loyalty potential
o Grassroots (sustainable) growth
Many other major search engines (i.e. Yahoo) host local business directories and you would be wise to list with as many local directories as possible in order to boost your number of prospective clients by a significant sum.
With the traditional job market reeling and the internet frontier expanding daily, many discerning men and women are looking for ways to launch their own internet business. Taking time to thoroughly research and plan your course of action via information sources can spare you the negative consequences of falling into one of the many pitfalls that new internet business owners are prone to fall into during the course of their journey to having an established and prosperous online business.
Ralph Smith is the owner of New Internet Business Incubator. His com