The good news is; online businesses have the same chances of succeeding or failing as a business with a physical location. The difference is that the initial startup cost for an online business, in most cases, is a fraction of what it costs to launch a physical brick and mortar business.
Due to the initial cost being much lower, more people are venturing online to create businesses. This inflates the numbers making it seem that online businesses are doomed for failure when in reality it is a small percentage of the overall market.
One major difference between a physical and online businesses are the client markets they target, most clients that go to a physical location are local compared to online businesses which have the ability to reach clients nationwide if not even worldwide. Before we get ahead of ourselves there are a few things to consider before starting up your online business.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Having a plan in place makes it very easy to see your business come together and plan for the future. A homebuilder does not start building a house until an architect has designed the plans for the construction. Building a business is similar, setting up an outline and blue prints for what you want your business to be and do, help you understand the order that you need to do things, from the first to the last step. If you don’t have the expertise to create a business plan, contact a local SBA (Small Business Association) office. There they can help you put your business plan together and even assist in the next steps of your business venture. Your business plan, once you start down that path, should include everything listed below and more.
Are you unique?
For an online business to be successful it is extremely important to have a unique idea or at least a unique concept that can improve an existing idea. If you are just going to create an online business that is already popular and successful why would people come to your site? That site is already there and available to them, not to mention you are then fighting over a diminished share of the market. If you want to create an online business with an existing idea, find out the weaknesses of the existing business and build your online businesses by fixing those weaknesses. This will not only make your business better than your competitor but it will help you by allowing you to recognize what makes you unique and tailoring your marketing plan around that.
At Integrated Webworks our unique edge is being able to consult with and understand our clients business or idea and providing feedback that will help them create a better, successful online business model. We decided on this model because a lot of our competitors are of the “one and done” variety and we wanted to have long lasting relationships with our clients.
Know your audience, you must.
Knowing whom your online business is going to market to is an important aspect of a successful online business. Before you start the design process knowing your audience will help the web design firm develop a site for the right demographics. Different types of people act and are attracted to different things. This information can make or break your business by not only attracting the right customer, but retaining them as well. When a visitor comes to your site they should feel comfortable with the design, layout and functionality of your site resulting in a positive outcome on your website.
It’s not for you. It’s for them.
The website developed for your online business is not meant for you. It is very important to design the website for your customer and not for yourself. The web design company you pick to develop your online business should be able to tell you or discover the best functionality and design elements to target your audience. Most new business owners put to much of their personality and tastes into their new website, and while that idea will appeal to few out there, it most likely won’t appeal to the audience you need. Always make sure to work with your business model in mind and not your personality.
The best way to assure your website is designed with your users in mind is to pick a web design firm that the experience to give you the right advice regarding the design and development of your site. You do not want a web design company that’s just a “yes” man. You are paying them for their expertise so it’s best to let them earn their paycheck by providing you with the information you need to succeed, otherwise you’re just paying for someone to run a program for you. With over 9 years of experience and thousands of sites, Integrated Webworks has the experience and expertise to advise you throughout your entire project.
It’s all about the Benjamin’s.
A unique idea is a great thing to have, but not having enough capital to implement that idea is the number one reason why most online businesses fail. An online business takes more work than just building a website. Making room in your budget for marketing, the cost of day to day operations, and additional development in the future is a must.
Most web development companies will be happy to build you a website and will try to get you to spend your entire budget building you the best website your money can buy. At integrated Webworks we understand that a successful online business is much more than your website, so we offer an in-house financing option that lets you pay for your website over a 6 or 12 month period while you get your website off the ground so you can utilize the capital you have on marketing and operations costs.
If you build it they won’t come.
The concept “build and they will come” does not work for online businesses. Your online business will only be successful if your prospective clients know your site exists. Most new business owners get caught up in the development process and do not plan for marketing. Without marketing your brand new professional online business will be a graveyard as you will not get the visitors you need to succeed.
At Integrated Webworks we want our client’s to have all the tools they need to make their company successful online. With that goal in mind, we purchased an online marketing company called SearchXcel in late 2011 to meet our client’s needs. SearchXcel can handle every aspect related to online marketing from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Sponsored Search Marketing, to Social Media Marketing and beyond.
Do you want it fast or do you want it right?
Just like a famous phrase, “Rome was not built in a day” your online business cannot be successful if you rush through each part of the process. Starting a new venture is an exciting thing to experience and the wait to see it complete is definitely hard thing to be patient through, but pushing your web developer to launch the site will result in an inferior website, and neither you or your audience will be happy with the outcome.
With our years of experience, Integrated Webworks has perfected a method in which we handle every web development project. We have seen client’s that after working with us and using our process, experience great things with their ideas. It is important to understand the process that your company will use before starting your project. You can learn more about our process here.
So that’s all well and good. What now?
If you are starting an online business, whether full or part time, the tips above will help you not only to be successful online, but to do it efficiently and smooth out any bumps you may normally experience along the way. Integrated Webworks has helped hundreds of businesses achieve success online; we look forward to doing the same for you. If you’re interested in setting up a meeting with us give us a ring at 904-279-0279 or contact us.