Rabu, 07 Januari 2009

Wanting To Start An Online Business? 6 Important Steps To Get You Started

Due to the need to have a better work-life balance and work from home; or to earn extra cash, a lot of people are now searching for ways to make money online. Today, online businesses are very trendy. Although it is a very appealing concept, a lot of people just do not know where to start.

If you are considering setting up your own business, then this article is for you.

What steps do you need to take to start your own online home based business?

· Identify your reasons and goals. This is an important step which will guide you as you start and develop your online home based business. Why do you want to start an online business? Do you want the business to eventually replace your job's salary, do you just want to earn some extra cash, or you want to buy a new home or car? Write down all the reasons and objects that you want to achieve with your online home based business. It is important that you focus on these goals all the time - they will keep you motivated and focused. Depending on what you enjoy, decide on the online home based business model that suits you. There are so many options, and that is a different topic that warrants an article to cover just that.

· Choose and set up a domain name. Having an online home based business means that you will need to create some presence on the Internet. To do this, you will need a website. Choose an appropriate domain name and get it registered. It is essential for you to note that your domain must reflect your online home based business. This will help you in the long term with your visibility on search words. Ideally, your domain must have your online home based business' key words.

· Select the web host. This is very important - you must choose a web host that has high capacity which will make it easy for your site to be found quickly. The web host must be very reliable; you do not want a server that is down at any time as this would cost you money. Two critical things to look for while assessing the web hosting company to work
with are high reliability and good
customer support.

· Get your website built or build your own website. Your website's design, layout and content will have a strong influence on the success of your online home based business. Your website must be professional, easy to navigate and user friendly. A catchy and interesting headline is a must-have. Your content must be related to what you are offering in your online home based business. Do not put dancing and singing graphics of your website - they can be irritating and confusing to your visitors, they make your website slow to load, and they do not help you with search engines. You will need to constantly improve your website as you develop your online home based business, but these factors outlined above will help you create a good website that will boost your profits.

· Automate your website! This is a very important aspect of your online home based business. If you want to be successful with your online home based business, you must put it on auto-pilot. You will need to use various tools that can help you put your online home based business on autopilot. Use an auto responder and offer an e-zone or e-course from your website. Your visitors will be able to subscribe to your e-zine and you will keep in constant contact with them with your auto responder. You need to build a list of your leads or prospects, and over time, these will become your customers. Also create an automated ordering process so that your visitors can easily buy from your website.

· Plan and implement your marketing strategy! Yes, you now have a great website and great product or service to offer, but without visitors - your online home based business will not succeed. You will need a lot of visitors! The first step is to establish your monthly marketing budget. With that budget, what advertising strategies can you afford? Your options are solo ads in ezines, articles writing and distributing, participating in relevant forums, list building, and free ads or paid advertising, among others. Decide on the selected advertising strategies that you are going to use, perfect them and start promoting your online home based business!

These 6 steps will get you going in your online home based business. To your success!

The Incredible Four: 4 Underestimated But Effective Ways To Really Grow Your Online Business

Have you noticed how some internet marketers seem to easily achieve more success than others in their online businesses? Regardless of how long they have been in business and the type of online business they start, they just become effortlessly successful. These internet marketers simply manage to redefine success in whatever they do!

What is the secret for these successful internet marketers? What unusual strategies and tactics do they use which helps them become very successful?

1) Offering some knowledge or service. Regardless of what your online business is, you will need to find an angle of that business which you can use to offer your knowledge or any other service. Success in internet marketing seems to come to those who offer something - be it expertise knowledge or some service. You become viewed as an expert, you build a lot of trust and good relationship, and you establish your online presence rapidly. The more involved you become in whatever you will be offering, the quicker you build your online presence and business. Think about a way you can offer something - it may be stating a forum, a directory or 'training centre' relating to your online business. Be creative and find out what service you can offer that is related to your business!

2) Really CARE about the customers. This goes a very long way in helping you grow your online business. Although your prospects can bring you some money through checks, be very honest about them with whatever you are selling. Be honest with the customers/prospects - if they told you their situation and needs, and ask you if a product you are offering would suit what they need - tell them truth. Do not just focus on making a sale - focus on actually helping the person. On the other hand, if the prospect is very interest in what you are offering and ask you for more information, take the time to answer any
question they may have as quickly as possible. Once you start to show your customers
that you care, your online business will start growing as more prospects and customers trust you and buy from you.

3) ALWAYS over-deliver! This is a very important factor if you want to succeed with your online business. Offer quality products and services, and your online business will simply grow tremendously. Offer some good quality gifts to your customers when they order. Also, your products must bring your customers a lot more benefit than the price you sell them for. Customers like getting a good deal - this may be in terms of a low price for the product or some valuable bonuses or gifts after purchase.

4) Maintain a lot of real customer contact on a regular basis. With auto responders and other tools that automate online businesses, it is very easy to treat your prospects just like a list and not as individual people you care about it. Your list is your best asset - show it that you care by keeping in touch and also making some good free offers to them. It pays to send some regular 'non-selling' emails that can also be offering some free tips and ideas. By doing this you build trust - and the prospects will soon be your long term customers for your online business. Your existing customers will bring you repeat business. Setting up and offering a free brainstorming or networking call is also very effective. Again, you create the confidence - your prospects and customers will know there is a person behind the name or the website. Make these calls very helpful by discussing some important topics and answering questions.

In conclusion, if you want to achieve a lot of success with your online business; offer some special expertise or service, care about your customers, always delivery high quality products and services and keep in touch with your customers. These techniques are the reason why successful internet markets have that 'edge' over the rest.

These tools can help you grow your online business with minimal effort. The more you create a good reputation and become viewed as an expert, the more your online business grows.

Think You Know What Makes Customers Happy?

"Think You Know What Makes You Happy?" This headline shouts at you from a new book called "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. It's a very thought-provoking look at how we think about happiness. To be happy, there is something we all want. If you're thinking it's money, you're wrong. It's CONTROL! We all want to control what happens to us and go to great lengths to feel "in control."

For online marketers, this brings up the eternal question, "Who is in control, you or the customer?" With the advent of Web 2.0, I think the answer is the customer. Corporate attorneys aside, the customer needs to feel in control of the buying process from start to finish. New technology allows the customer to weigh-in on every aspect of process.

Web 2.0 technology now gives the customer the ability to comment on products and services in a way that was previously impossible. Bloggers impacted the last election and have caused at least one bicycle lock manufacturer millions of dollars. Someone posted a demonstration of a way to break the lock and the manufacturer had to replace them.

Take a look at your website from this "customer control" perspective. Here are five
things I recommend you think about
to get yourself started in the right direction.

1. Marketing message: Is the message clear? Do you use strong benefit copy? In order to feel in control at the beginning of the buying process, customers need to immediately identify how this product will give them something they want.

2. Product/Service information: Do you provide enough visual information, specs, audio and video about the product? Try to make the customer feel like he has the product in his hand and you are explaining its benefits. Don't skimp on this. Whatever makes your product unique and desirable should be detailed.

3. Price: Have you made your case for the price? Understand that if you have positioned your product at a higher price, you need to communicate the quality and customer service that comes along with it.

4. Buying process: Is your shopping cart easy to use? Recruit some non-employees to go through the buying process as your team watches. That's always an eye-opener. You'll see where the 'loss of control' kicks-in.

5. Ongoing communication: After purchasing, a buyer wants to feel in control and glad she made the purchase. "Buyer's remorse" is just a symptom of not feeling 'in control.' Make sure to follow-up with the customer and reinforce her purchase.