Today, the internet offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs to look at setting up an internet business. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics. Reports show that the holiday season online retail spending for 2012 was a 16% over 2011.
This includes November 26 (aka Cyber Monday) which became the biggest online spending day on record at $1.4 billion, Tuesday, 4 December reached $1.3 billion and Monday 10 December was $1.2 billion.
These three billion dollar spending days currently rank as three of the four heaviest online spending days in history. And they all took place last year. So what does this mean for those setting up an internet business? It means that 2013 and onwards will see more of the same. More people buying online, more money being spent online, more success for online businesses.
However, setting up an internet business does involve a bit more than putting a website online with a few products and waiting for a flood of customers to come and buy from you.
Here are 5 tips to setting up an internet business
1. A Business Plan
In the same way that you have a business plan for an offline business, the starting point for setting up an internet business is to create a business plan.
You need to know your target market, know your competition, know how you will fund the business, have access to good resources, build consumer loyalty and forge alliances with strategic partners.
2. Your Market
One of the most important elements of setting up an internet business is knowing if there is a market for your idea, product or service. The internet is very competitive so you do need to work in a niche market where you can attract like-minded customers.
3. Your Website
The cost of setting up and creating websites can vary considerably. There are now many programmes available that make it much easier for new online entrepreneurs to create their own website. If building your own website is not an option, try searching for web designers online, or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. However you create your website, keep the site clean and simple as people will buy from you if they trust the site and can find what they want. Make sure you update your website’s content constantly and make it easy for people to get in contact with you.
When you are setting up an internet business you have to use marketing to attract customers to your website. There are both free and paid for methods that you can employ. Marketing is usually where online businesses fail as they spread themselves too thin with lots of different marketing techniques and channels. The key is test each channel on a small basis. If it works, scale it up. If it does not, drop it and move onto the next one.
5. Training and Education.
You would not start a new job in a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ business without somebody showing you what to do and how to do it correctly. Your internet business should be no different. Take time and recourses to invest in your online business education to learn from those who have gone before you. It will save you a huge amount of time, frustration and money.
The internet has certainly revolutionized the way we live our lives, and offers a place where individuals can compete with global organisations. But setting up an internet business and becoming successful does take time. As a new online entrepreneur, you’ll need lots of energy, enthusiasm, determination and passion.