The world is a crazy place right now and the economy is causing people to make major strategic shifts or even changes in their overall life plan. The recent layoffs have actually spawned a new era of entreprenuers seeking to start their own ventures and follow dreams they have been pondering for a long time. What do yo have to lose right?! If you never try, you will never know what could have been.
Here are some basic but important tips for getting your start-up online business off the ground:
Have definable business goals: Make sure you have completely defined your business goals and revenue streams with a clear plan on how to monetize them. Usually this starts with some kind of business plan. Even if you are not raising money and plan to boot strap for the first few years, writing a full business plan is a great exercise to help define the marketplace, competition, revenue model, break even analysis, etc.
Know your competition: This would be defined of course during the business plan process but it is now more important than ever to understand what the competitors are doing. The good ones are not operating the same way they were six months ago. They will have created new revenue opportunities, found ways to cut expenses, and created a strategic plan for the next 12 months. Many things might change between the time you start writing your plan for your online business and when you actually launch. Follow the competition and makes adjustments accordingly.
Stop talking about it and do it: You won’t grow a new business by only sitting around and planning. You will have to eventually execute your plans. Don’t be afriad to make mistakes…you will make them, and you will learn from them. A proper amount of planning is very important but successful business owners execute their plans and keep things moving forward.
Build a great website: You do not have to break the bank, but these days the first thing potential customers will do is research you online and look at your website. People care about how things look and associate your website quality with your business…especially if you are running an online business! Your site also needs to be set up to effectively support your business goals (i.e. foster conversions and new business).
Have an Internet marketing strategy: Hiring an Internet marketing company that can help you build the most realistic strategy is important. Trying to do it yourself if you do not have experience can lead to wasteful spending. A good Internet marketing firm will help you define your goals, set benchmarks, and use analytics to continually refine the campaign to generate the best ROI.