neSince the new year, we are seeing many new entrepreneurs looking to start their new online businesses.  Currently, over 69 percent of entrepreneurs begin new businesses in their own home. With the internet available to help promote their goods and services, the business can be started with very little investment.  There are a few basic facts which will help the new business owner start the process.

Developing a business plan:

We suggest that you begin with a formal “written” business plan.  It will allow you to think about your short term and long term goals.  You will discover if your business idea is sustainable and exactly how much revenue will be needed to get started.  Whatever your situation, funding is crucial to start a new business.  Some business owners use their personal savings to get started.  Others ask for a bank loan.  Another great option to consider is to research and find a potential business partner looking for a great investment opportunity.  Finding these folks could provide you with a safety net while your new business gains a foothold into the industry.

How to manage your inventory:

Learning to manage your inventory is a large part of a successful online business.  If you are selling a product, you will have to find a supplier who can ship the product for you.  Otherwise, you will have to have products in stock in quantities needed for shipment.  Many companies overlook this in the beginning.  They feel they can get the product prepared and shipped as it is requested.  Unfortunately, this is not possible when you begin to receive multiple orders.  It is never a good idea to sell a product you don’t have.  If someone asks you for a product (in bulk) and you do not have the inventory you’ll have to let the customer know you will have to backorder the product.  This is never a great way to do business.  You must keep plenty of stock on hand to keep your brand’s reputation a good one.

Getting started:  Buying a URL:

Make plans to purchase a domain name (URL) which is simply a web address.  It references its location online.  Choose a name which is relevant to your unique niche (as it relates to what you are selling online).    After purchasing this domain name, the next step is to choose a hosting company.  The hosting company you choose will allow your site to run smoothly and load quickly every day.  Choose a hosting company who has an easy to operate control panel so you can manage the hosting account on your own.  Make sure they offer an SSL Certificate (secure server platform) and also that they have great customer service options.

After getting the hosting account you can then begin to develop your website.  You will pay for the domain name and for the monthly hosting account. The only other expense is to purchase a website platform and start developing the new online business. You can either do this yourself at Wodpress.com or hire an outside web designer to do this for you.  Either way, it is important that once the site has been published, you should start adding new content right away.

Blogging (adding organic content to the site):

You will be adding organic and informative articles, reciprocal links, and news regularly.  As you begin blogging and adding this new content we find that your blog articles should be between 400 and 1,200 words.  This is my idea of a great blog post.  Two to three times per month is what we suggest but this may not be enough to drive traffic to your site.  Most SEO professionals are now saying you should do this as often as possible (several times per week is preferred for best results).

Advertise your blog articles on all of your social media sites and add links back to your posts.  Be personable and offer information which is worth reading.  From time to time we also suggest that you offer free gifts to visitors and ask your visitors to sign up to receive your newsletters.  Newsletters should be sent out regularly and every holiday should be included when you are considering when to send these out.  But don’t overdo and don’t bombard your visitors with too much material.  Make it count and you are bound to receive requests for your product or service.

Using social media and youtube:

Social media has become a great place to do business.  Whether you are advertising using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram you can increase your brand using this medium.  Further, you can do this with little or no investment at all, so cost-effectively it makes sense to set up these social media accounts and use them as a large part of your marketing strategy.

Conclusion:

If all of this is too busy for you then we are suggesting you might consider hiring an outside marketing representative with SEO knowledge.  These suggestions are not complicated but adding constant new material to your website can be daunting if you are a busy business owner. Contact our team for more information on website development.

Staff Writer.