How to Run an Online Business
Have you ever wondered how to run an online business? There are endless options. Regardless of the niche you choose, there are a few things you must consider before launching your business.
A. What is the quality of the product/service? Can you supply good quality service or a product to your customers? You should research your company's product before you sell and see how it has performed in the past. Does it actually work? In the time frame the company advertises?
B.Are you offering a genuine product that is in demand on the internet? How can you know if people are searching for this product? Go to Google & search for Google Keyword Research Tool and enter your keywords there. This chart shows you how many searches are performed monthly, thus giving you an idea of online demand.
C.Is the company sound and honest? This is perhaps a hard question to answer, but you can look up your prospective company on the Better Business Bureau's website. Do a little research online; what does the average consumer think? Of course, every company should have a company page on their website you can check out.
Getting Started: How to Run an Online Business
Once you have selected your online business, now you want to know how to run an online business. How do you promote your business online?
1. Know your company's policies regarding the internet and follow their guidelines as you run an online business. This is especially important if you're in affiliate marketing or work independently for another company--they will want you to follow their rules for conducting your business.
2. Buy a domain name from Name Cheap or 3Essentials and your web hosting for the site from Host Gator. When choosing your domain name, include either your business name or the company's product. If your domain name contains keywords that apply to your company and products, this will make marketing your site easier and more likely to be clicked on.
3. Build a professional looking, yet easy to navigate website. If this is your first website, I would suggest using WordPress or hiring a web designer. Depending on the type of company you have, you may want your website to include a form to join a newsletter, videos embedded into your site and perhaps a pop-up offer. When writing the content (product/company descriptions) for your website, make sure you have a keyword density of 2-5%. So, if you are writing the info for product ABC, make sure you use the product name in the description 2-5 times per 100 words. Do NOT overuse the keyword or it'll look amateur.
4. Although your business will be online, you will need an office of some sort, even if it's just a corner at home. Besides a computer, you'll need a toll free number (800) for clients to call. This is extremely important; without an 800 number, people won't call you & you'll loose lots of business. I would use TTI or Kall8. Kall8's plans start at about $10/month. This is basically the full extent of your office, unless you want a system for filing phone/mail orders. Some clients will want you to mail them a hard copy of information on your products or services, so keep supplies handy and mail them promptly.
5. Customer service is very uncommon these days. So, I would suggest you work very hard giving outstanding service. Ultimately, this could get your business and give you a cut above your competitors. Just listen to your customers concerns and questions and answer them knowledgeably (or offer to find out, if you don't know), be patient and don't sound rushed at all, be prompt with shipping, returning phone calls, mailing information, answering email, etc. As you run your business online, you'll find customer service is a bigger part than you'd imagine.
6. Marketing is a whole article of its own, so just suffice to say that you'll want to include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising. Which could include article marketing, blog posts, blog commenting, forum commenting, link building, social bookmarking, etc.