Online Business: 6 Tips to Success
Looking for advice on how to deal with your online business?
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by Luke Bryant
April 20, 2010
Starting an online business can be very frustrating, especially when you don't even know where to start. With so much competition and a continuously evolving online environment, things can quickly become overwhelming. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started and keep you going:
* Whilst the internet has endless amounts of information, find Business Online Forums to discuss your problems and ideas with like minded persons. Online business forums provide a place for entrepreneurs and site owners to discuss and share ideas. If you're stuck, try asking a question on one of these forums. The participants can surprise you.
* Don't rush into your project without planning first. You recently purchased your domain and just want to get stuck into building your website. It's easy to get excited and ahead of yourself. Consider the structure of your website and your business. If it's an online commerce website, how are you going to accept orders and payment? Is it better to purchase shopping cart software? Before choosing the software, study it carefully. Does it have all the features you need?
* Keep thorough records. No matter what you're doing; whether contacting suppliers, submitting articles or updating clients or products, it's imperative to keep track of your efforts. Whilst record keeping is time consuming, you will actually save time backtracking when a problem arises.
* In addition to online software, you may want to keep track of your customers, stock or clients using relationship management software. Quickbooks offers a great program for keeping both financial data and records of your products and customers.
* Keep learning. Make things easier on yourself by continuing to learn every day. You can download tutorials, read ebooks, subscribe to ezines and even borrow books and magazines from the library. Things will eventually start falling into place. The more you know, the easier your journey will be.
* Get ideas from your competitors. You need to see what others are doing, especially if they are competing for the same customers or audience. Sign up to their newsletters and take some sneak peeks into their methods. Obviously, don't infringe on any copyright or intellectually, but it never hurts to get some handy tips.
* Don't give up. Over half of businesses fail, not because ofbad ideas, but because the owners simply cave. Many ideas have great potential, but people tend to fold when they become overwhelmed. If you feel like you're drowning, have a break. Step back from the situation and evaluate the whole picture. Sometimes it's better to completely stop thinking about the problem, go and do some mindless task like filing or making your lunch. This helps to calm the nerves and to consider the problem from the subconscious mind.
* Give your customers something more than just your products or services. Inform, educate or just make them laugh. Internet users have tapped into social media and expect interaction from business.
Contrary to popular belief, online business requires persistence and hard work. Look at your incentives. What's driving you to do this business? Everyone needs some encouragement from time to time, whether it be from family, friends or even a book. Above all, keep inspired.