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Planning Your First Online Business

Robert Cuellar - Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Building an ONLINE BUSINESS  requires careful planning as well as a substantial amount of time, money, and energy by both the client and the developing company. The client needs to be involved in every step of the process, from conception to the finished product, so s/he has a clear understanding of the requirements necessary in making a successful online business.

Below are few items to consider in achieving a successful project.

  • Online Business Goals Provide at least three goals, listing them in order of priority. This will aid in the focus of your online business.
  • Call to Action Detail what the “call to action” should be. What do you want your website visitor to do most? Should they signup for your monthly newsletter? Do you want to sell merchandise/services online? What is the primary action they should take?
  • Content is King No matter how cool the graphics might be on the website, content is the key to a success. What kind of information are you providing that will help your customer/visitor with his/her personal or professional growth? Engage the visitors with your content to keep them coming back for more.
  • Make it Accessible Today it’s important to make a website accessible to everyone in the world, including people with disabilities. Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. ‘794 d) online businesses need to make every website accessible. Ignore this and your company could face a hefty fine or lawsuit.
  • Design Your Online Business Designing a website is very important! The look and feel needs to be clean and professional; the colors need to match your branding both offline and online. Simple is beautiful and makes for a better, easier to navigate design.
  • Scope of Work Laying out a detailed plan between business and customer/visitor at the beginning will help prevent any unnecessary work later (i.e. the client is continually adding more pages/content to the project). The scope of work saves time and money, all while avoiding stress.
  • Promotion Strategy Promoting your website is critical; however it is also critical that you know where you’re promoting your online business. There is no way people will find your website unless it gets promotion in some form. Start by putting the URL on your business cards. Once you get that step out of the way, go ahead and submit your site to search engines and web directories. Use the gift of gab! Encourage your employees and existing clients to ”spread the news” by mentioning your online business to their friends and families.
  • Maintenance Required Just like a car requires a regular tune-up, a website requires maintenance after it has been created. New content, tips & tricks, and tutorials are en vogue and each needs to be posted and/or updated on a regular basis. Make it interesting for visitors to keep coming back for more...
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