Here’s a trend worth noting: increasing numbers of individuals looking to start a business are opting for an online business startup that is low-cost and easy enough to operate, so that they can do it all themselves.
Of course, starting a business of any kind - online or otherwise - requires a heavy dose of time and effort. It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, with many pieces that need to fit together for it to work. Even with an an online startup business, you still need a legal structure of some type (corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.), some financial and budgeting skills, marketing plans and materials, bank and merchant (credit card) accounts and much more.
Still, starting an online business is easier than many people think - and getting less expensive all the time. For entrepreneurs who are willing to start small, grow gradually and put it all together one step at a time, operating an online business offers one of today’s best routes to independent business ownership.
Don’t let fancy techno lingo stop you. Choosing an e-commerce platform, finding a hosting service or hiring a web designer all seem daunting. But site providers such as Interland, Affinity, Yahoo! Small Business, BigStep, 1&1 and others offer simplified do-it-yourself packages that make the process straightforward, if not outright simple. Even with little tech know-how, you can get a basic site registered, designed and online quickly for less than $20 per month.
Keys to online business startup success
- Make sure your website is listed in search engines and get more out of your listings. A great resource to dive deeper into search engine issues is Search Engine Watch.
- Targeted ads attached to keyword search results are a great way to promote your wares. Their simplicity, low cost and popularity among small businesses have made them the main method for connecting buyers and merchants online. Business owners also like the concept because you pay only when someone clicks your ad and visits your site.
- Establish cyberspace partnerships and link up with other sites via their affiliate marketing programs - you may be able to find complementary sites that will be happy to work with you to cross-sell products and services. Or use some of the established affiliate programs from major retailers.
- Make your website easy to use. Customers will remember your website if they can easily accomplish their goals (for example: purchasing a product, finding information, watching a video). Stick with clear names for your navigation. Stay away from needless animation and graphics that do not convey essential information or help your customers navigate your site. If you stick with time-tested web techniques, your website will be more effective and will stand out amongst the competition.
- At every opportunity, try to leverage the strengths that a an online business startup affords, including flexibility (offer short turnaround); low overhead (keep costs lower than the competition) and personalized service (from you, the owner).
Our Bottom Line:
Want to start a business fast and frugally? Go the online business startup route. It’s easier and less expensive than ever.
© 2005 BizBest Media Corp.