How to Get Started Online

Although many sources claim that “anyone” can make a website; designing and implementing a successful business website is not that easy. Just as in any business, proper pre-planning is essential to ensure that your online “storefront” coordinates effectively with your existing marketing plans.
Here are some tips to help get you started in planning and implementing your “virtual storefront” or home online.
1) Gather information about your business:
Do some planning ahead before you meet with your web designer. Have pertinent information about your products and services ready for discussion. Bring color copies of your letterhead, business card and logo for scanning or supply the graphics file on disk, pictures of the product if you have them, brochures, technical data, editorials, advertisements and anything else that may convey a particular theme or style of writing. Your website is an extension of your business and should be easily recognizable.
2) Do some research and choose a theme:
Prospective customers who visit your website are looking for information about a particular product or service. The color scheme and images on your site should be appropriate to your type of business so that a visitor knows they are at the right place. Is your website going to be an information source, or a means to generate sales? Can they buy your product online or will they contact you to complete the transaction? Do you want a clean professional look or something fun and colorful? Do some research on the internet and look for sites selling similar products to yours. What layout appeals to you. How have they presented their product. Can you do it better?
3) Professional web design or homegrown:
Your website is your face on the internet so it is important to make a good first impression. A “homegrown” site with slow loading graphics, ornate background and text that is hard to read will more likely send a prospective customer back to the search engine rather than inspire a purchase. A professional web designer can create a “virtual storefront” which is pleasing to the eye, fast loading and informative. You can plan to do your own updates and maintenance but make sure your site is designed by a professional.
4) Choose your website designer carefully:
This phase of your project can mean the difference between success and failure. There are several things to look for in a web professional. A good web designer is a “team player”. He should be willing to learn about your products and services and be receptive to your comments and ideas. YOU are the one who knows your business best. Your web professional should have a website (own domain, not a free one) with a portfolio or links to previous projects and websites for you to look at so you can judge the quality of his work. Your website designer should be willing to spend time consulting with you about your website and be able to give you an approximate quote or cost estimate based on the preliminary plan. You may want to get some information in writing including who owns the copyright to the site and how maintenance and updates will be incorporated and billed.
5) Make a long term plan, don’t dabble:
One of the biggest mistakes, would be “net-preneurs” make is to “try the internet”, by putting up a sample or trial page. Don’t be a “day-trader” with your business, plan to settle in for the long haul. Financial advisors will tell you to put your money in long term stocks and deposits and watch it grow steadily but surely. The same can be said for an internet business. It takes time for the search engines to list your site. It takes time for all your advertising and promotional efforts to start gaining momentum resulting in increasing hits and more sales. When you put up a “sample site”, you are showing the world that you don’t really think it will work. No businessman would open a new store with the shelves half empty. Plan to go online with a full storefront. If you want to have customers buy your product online, you should be able to accept credit cards online securely. Have a maintenance and update plan in place before you start and make sure you commit to it.
I hope that the information included here will be helpful to you as you plan to take your business online. My final word – don’t go online until you are ready and when you do, take it seriously and plan to succeed. Visit Affiliate Sphere to start up your online home business and various promotional ideas.

0 I like it
0 I don't like it