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Is Your Business Ready to Go Online

Find out if your business is web-ready

Summary:

For many, a website is a big step in the life of your business. Although there can be huge reward in moving your business to the web – there is also a risk involved. It’s not just having a website but having a great website that will be critical to your success.

Keywords: business website, business online, small business website, starting a website, designing a business website

Congratulations, you’re in business and now that you have business cards and letterhead, it’s time to consider if you’re ready to go online. Whether it’s a product or a service that you’re selling, an effective website can be a powerful marketing tool. But before you decide to become the next great website – there are several factors to consider. Let’s take a look at these individually:

The Marketing/Business Plan
As a new business owner, the business/marketing plan is a road map that will allow you to define your objectives and evaluate the success of your business. A portion of the marketing plan should be specify your objectives and reasons for having a website. For example:

  • Along with other marketing collateral, your website will provide information about your products and/or services
  • To acquire customers who will “find” you on the web.
  • To establish 24-hour accessibility
  • Sell your products directly to consumers via the Web.
  • To promote your product and/or services both domestically and internationally
  • Provide company updates, news and FAQs

The Making of a Successful Online Business
To determine if your business will be successful online, study other businesses in your niche that have a successful track record. Successful online businesses include:

  • Businesses that can be easily found using search engines
  • Companies with name brands advertised in other media
  • Computer-related businesses

For your business to succeed online you should:

  • Stay informed about web marketing strategies and tactics and study what your
  • competitors are doing to make their sites more visible and user-friendly to potential customers

  • Upgrade your website regularly and use search engine optimization tags
  • Promote your website at every opportunity, including in all marketing collateral, yellow page listings, advertising, sponsorships, blogs, podcasts and online business networking sites etc.

Resources to Build, Promote and Maintain a Website
Once you’ve completed your initial research and have determined to start a website, the next step is to determine the costs involved with the development of your site. These include but are not limited to:

  • Cost of designing/developing and updating your website
  • Cost of your domain and hosting your website (recurring cost)
  • Determining the right e-commerce software for selling products online
  • Credit card and/or Paypal payment processing
  • Search Engine Submission/maintenance, customer and visitor tracking (optional)

The Customer is Always Right
Once you are up and running, always remember that your website is an extension of your brick and mortar business. You still need to offer superior customer service – both online and offline. This includes listing an email address and phone number so that you can respond quickly to potential customers. If you’re selling products, will you be able to process orders and returns efficiently, and credit customers’ bank accounts accurately. In addition, you will want to keep your website updated regularly to keep customers updated about new products and services that you’re selling.

Last but not Least, It’s All About Commitment
A website can be used to give your business an edge, but like anything involving your business, you need to work on it and stay involved. Commitment is vital for success. Once your website is designed and built, make sure that it’s updated regularly to reflect your current business.

Roni Jacobson
Web Business 101 Expert
Roni Jacobson Uncover the essentials of web business and the basic tools that will help you make an impact with your website.

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