Starting an Internet Business from Scratch
When considering starting your own small business, whether it be on the net or in the "real world", old practices, that have been done many times before and by many others, are usually the ones to follow. If you have a good idea for a business, find out who else is doing what you're planning and find out as much as you can how they conduct their business. Don't reinvent the wheel - take what is already out there and improve on that.
Run a search on one of the big engines such as Google.com and research how and what others are doing with their business websites.
Planning is crucial to any internet business startup. If you have an idea for a business, laying it out on paper will give you the neccessary steps needed to get your idea into reality. If you don't have a plan, you can waste valuable time going from one place to another and achieving little.
Putting it down on paper will normally achieve more than you think. It will give you a clear picture of where you want to be heading, create exitement toward your project and come up with new ideas as you spell it out. You'll find that your initial idea is just the starting point and will blossum forth, leading you down the path to success.
The first steps toward an Internet business are:
Purchasing Domain Name
Purchasing Hosting Space
Defining Products or services to sell
How you will receive payment
The first 4 should all be organised before putting together the last.
Coaching by those who have "been there and done that" before you is a great way to avoid the pitfalls along the way. Behind every successful person is a mentor or advisor who enjoys giving free advice. Seek out someone who knows more than you and ask questions about what you are trying to acheive. You can avoid frustrating mistakes along the way by truly listening to others advice.
There are many message boards and forums on the net that will give expert advice.
Know your competition. Research your field of interest. Dig deep and find how many others are running businesses similar to your own idea. Remember that no field of endeavour is ever saturated. There is always room for another to make a success if the newcomer is prepared to take the extra step. If you give people more value than your competitors then you will win the race. Just have a quick look at the way the people at Hypergurl do business. We answer every email and give free tutition, not only to existing clients, to anyone who asks for help.
This doesn't necessarily mean you have to cut prices and this should not be an option. In fact you should set your pricing at the planning stage and never waver. Sometimes just great customer service will be enough to mark you as the leader. Look closely at your competitors and see what you can improve and then try to improve on that even more.
Remember the golden rule ..... you usually get what you pay for.
Be a market leader and give more than your competitors.
Know your target market. Genuinely care about your prospective customers and antipipate, then meet, their needs. Research who buys what? What do they do? What goods and services do they look for? How old are they? Target your campaign based on what you know about your prospects.
Remember that repeat business is much easier and more profitable to attract than new business. How can you incorporate that basic truism into your marketing plan, customer service policies, and other interactions with existing customers?
Almost as good as repeat business are enthusiastic referrals from happy customers. What can you do to encourage and deserve that kind of referral?
And again never forget ... don't ever compete on price!
Written by John Hodgkin.
John is a qualified behavioural counsellor, motivational speaker, writer
and co-owner of Hypergurl.com
You can contact John by emailing E Mail
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