Starting any new business from scratch can seem daunting, even an internet-based business. If you are feeling overwhelmed at the beginning, that’s completely natural – you’re not alone. You can manage the cost of starting up your internet-based business, use mobility to your advantage, pick the best domain name, and get that name out there. These methods will ease some of your stress and get you moving in the right direction.
Manage Your Start-Up Costs
The cost of starting an online business is relatively small compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar business; however, it should not be built in the same manner. When starting a brick-and-mortar business, it has traditionally been the model to create a business plan, approach a bank or investor for funding, and set up shop. When starting an online business, you want to use the same steps, but change up the order.
1. Start small and build a successful model.
2. Use PR to ramp up interest in your website.
3. Field offers from investors ready to take your business to the next level.
The costs of starting an online business include website development (ranging from free to a $10,000+ investment) and website hosting ($6-$200 per month). The larger your business becomes, the more it may take to maintain. I’ll show you how to get through the three steps above to gain the revenue you’ll need.
Use Mobility to Your Advantage
One benefit of running an online company is the ability to operate it from anywhere. I have found that mobility has more advantages than an established office. Most significant is the ability to meet others and grow your network organically. Take advantage of entrepreneur hotspots, such as business networking clubs and coffeehouses, which host networking events. One other solution that I’ve been known to work has been creating a relationship based on mutual interests. In one instance, a partner of mine was able to develop an agreement with a client who would give him a workspace and, in turn, he would perform work for the client as compensation. Remember, you are not tied to any specific desk or building. You can go whenever and wherever to build your business; use this to your advantage.
Create Your Domain Name
Most businesses are plagued by a of couple questions when choosing their domain. How do I find the right domain name? How important are image and branding from the get-go? As a search engine marketing consultant, I suggest working with a marketing company to develop a marketing plan before launching an online business. There is more to selecting a domain name than finding your business name online and purchasing it. There is SEO (search engine optimization) value to a domain name, as well as the perception of the public. Website design and search engine marketing/public relations should not be separated. They all play an integral role in creating a successful internet presence and growing an online business. Just as the branding of a company reflects its culture and feel, the website should reflect and showcase the brand.
Get Your Name Out
When running an internet-driven business, you should target your clientele in 3 main ways:
1. Search Engine Optimization: This is the method of being found by potential clients who are searching for information concerning services or products like yours.
2. Social Media: In using social media, you will be able to target your demographic directly with paid advertising, or you can promote your product by encouraging fans and users to actively share your content with their friends. Remember, the best advertising for any business, of any size, is word of mouth.
3. Public Relations: By using a publicist, you will be able to appear on talk shows and be featured in different media formats, promoting your product or service. This, in turn, will flood your website with curious visitors.
Keep this article handy as you move forward, and take to heart the tips on managing your start-up costs, using mobility to your advantage, creating a domain name, and gaining exposure for that name. You will have a quick road map to keep you on your journey to success, wherever that online journey may take you.
Joel Goldstein is an internet marketing expert. The founder of Peer Marketing Group, an internet marketing agency that specializes in SEO, web design, and lead generation, Joel has won numerous awards for his work.