The growth of the internet has had a huge impact on the business world and has dramatically changed the way that many businesses are run. One aspect of this change has been the amount of businesses that are now run online. A successful businessman such as Tunde Folawiyo will tell you that setting up any type of business requires planning and preparation but there are several specific issues to consider if you are setting up an online business.
Finding a niche market is vital when you are setting up an online business. If your product or service is already being offered online by companies who have established themselves as market leaders then it will be difficult for your new company to gain its own share of the market. One option is to look for a product or service which serves a smaller niche and which may complement services or products which are already being provided by an existing online company.
The website is the shop front for an online company and will be responsible for giving potential customers the vital first impression of your company. Businessmen like Tunde Folawiyo know that the first impression given can be the deciding factor in whether you make a sale so it is vital that your website makes an excellent first impression. If you are able to design the website yourself then this will considerably reduce your start-up costs as a complex and detailed website design may cost in the region of 20 thousand pounds. Don’t fall into the trap of overcomplicating your website. Customers will prefer a site which gives full information about the product or service but which is also simple and easy to use.
It is also vital to ensure that the payment process on your website is completely secure. Customers will only return to a website that they can trust. The payment process must also be quick and easy to use.
Starting an online business creates specific problems regarding marketing. It is important to plan carefully how you intend to direct customers towards your website before you actually start trading. Advertising on pay per click websites can help generate traffic towards your website. This can be an attractive option if you are trying to keep start-up costs to a minimum as you will only have to pay if someone clicks on your advertisement to go to your website. Another low cost option can be posting in chat rooms or forums that relate to your product or service. The aim should be to let as many people as possible know about your company. It is also possible to pay a company to carry out search engine optimisation for your company. This will help to raise your company higher in search engine results so that more people should see it.
An internet business can be difficult to start and build up. You should plan for slow development and not expect overnight expansion. Your business plan should reflect this and have sufficient periods of time built into it for each planned stage of development.