By: Phillip Johnson
on Monday, March 08, 2010
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, chances are you are aware of the popularity of the Internet. Since the advent of the World Wide Web, our world has never been the same. Businesses in particular continue to realize the benefits of having online presence. It allows them to reach a broader range of consumers while cutting down costs and increasing productivity. If you own a business and are looking for news ways to expand, keep reading to discover how you can take your new business on the Internet.
The Perfect Time to Start
The current economic status of our country isn’t exactly motivating anyone to jump into a new venture or spend money towards expanding an existing business. So why consider going online now? Well for starters, lower start-up costs! It’s no secret that our economy is in a major slump, making it difficult and even risky to secure business loans or finance the costs necessary for a storefront location.
Fortunately, the Internet provides a low-cost alternative for new small business start-ups or established entities wanting to expand customer reach. It’s also the perfect time for starting a business online due to the potential for reaching new markets. Prospective customers from many previously untapped markets are browsing the Internet every day.
Take it to the Next Level
A basic overview of getting a small business on the Internet includes five simple steps:
1. Creating a business plan
3. Small business website
4. Rules & Regulations
5. Small business marketing
Some of the items to include in your business plan are the target market you plan to reach, what type of product/service you intend to sell, how you plan to navigate through the selling process, information in regard to financing your venture, and a clear mission statement that describes your company’s goal or vision.
The next step involves licensing requirements you may need to satisfy in order to proceed. Business licensing requirements tend to vary from state to state, however your local business license office should be able to tell you what you will need in order to sell your goods or services over the Internet. Selling on established sites, such as eBay does not generally require any special license, however if you plan to sell goods or services on your own small business website, remember that most states require you to be fully licensed.
Operating via your own small business website will require registering a domain name and small business hosting capabilities. You can either take care of these tasks on your own or hire someone to maintain your site. You will also need to invest some time and money into making your website attractive and aesthetically pleasing.
When you are starting a business online, it’s very important to be aware of any specific rules or regulations that may apply. For example, certain laws require you to protect the privacy of your online customers by keeping their data secure (personal information, bank account information etc.) These types of details must be properly encrypted and stored to safeguard against online predators or hackers. Additionally, you should know how much sales tax to charge and learn about copyright laws to prevent infringement.
If you want your online business to truly succeed, small business marketing tools and techniques are very essential to employ. This includes small business email marketing campaigns, SEO techniques to optimize your website for search engines and the use of social media sites to reach a broader range of customers, while promoting your business.
As technology continues to advance, the benefits of having online presence for businesses continues to increase as well. If you want a “piece of the pie,” take it to the next level by getting your business on the Internet!