Everyone new to starting an online business venture has questions about the initial procedure. Below I have compiled a short checklist to make the process easier.
- Domain Name: The first thing you need to do to get started with an online venture is to purchase a domain name at a registrar. I suggest using Godaddy.com, as I have done business with them since 2005 and very happy with their services and support. Godaddy also runs specials all the time for the first year on new registrations. A domain name must be renewed every year just like vehicle registrations. Your domain name is a blank canvas that you will build your business website on.
- Website Hosting: The second thing (After you secure your domain name) is to purchase a hosting plan so that you can build your website and share it with the world on the internet. Again, I suggest Godaddy.com, you can get a monthly hosting plan anywhere from $6 to $12 per month. Hosting can be paid monthly or yearly, up to you.
- Logo/Brand design: The third thing you need to do is build your logo/brand. this will represent your company and should invoke trust / authority / and simplicity in your viewers and target market. It’s the first thing people look at when they visit a website. A bad logo can cause visitors not to trust purchasing anything on the site and you’ll lose a % of potential customers.
- Website Design: Once you have the logo/brand done, you’ll build your website business around it, using the same colors and theme. By theme, I refer to any elements used in the brand, also being used in the website design so that everything matches perfectly. You can more than likely use a popular free opensource script that does what you need.
- Website SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimization / Search Engine Marketing): You find lots of free tutorials on doing seo/sem yourself if you have the free time. Alternately, you could hire an SEO/SEM consultant to do all the optimizing for you on your website. SEO/SEM is a very important aspect to your online business since it deals with optimizing your site to show up in search engines for targeted keywords and key phrases. Everyone wants to be on page one of search engines for a key phrase because we all know that each visitor that finds our site easily on the first page has the potential to turn into a customer. A website is not doing your business any good if nobody can find it.
- Website management: This is something that either you can do yourself, following some online tutorials on how to work in the backend of the site to add products, set prices, edit content, etc. Or you can pay someone a flat monthly fee to handle it all for you as the site Administrator/Webmaster.
- Website Advertising and Marketing: Make sure you put a budget aside for getting your brand out in front of people. There are a lot of things you can do yourself if you have the time for free exposure if you follow some tutorials online. You could also pay an advertising/marketing consultant to handle all your campaigns. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of social media and be sure to share your business venture on any social networks you are part of.