Your internet business may
be small - but the Internet lets you think big. Whatever product or service
your internet business offers, the Internet levels the playing field and
lets you compete with bigger businesses, reaching customers around the world
who can conveniently buy from you 24 hours a day.
But in the competitive
world of the Web, growing your business and increasing your profits online
requires some careful planning. For every successful internet businesses,
there are dozens that fail by not addressing basic risks and pitfalls along
the way. So to take full advantage of the internet business opportunity,
make sure you base your internet business on a solid foundation that covers
every element of a successful internet business:
First Step - The Ideas and
This is the most important
step! Without a good concept, a good product, good services or good content,
anything else you do is a waste of time. So what should you look for here?
If you already have a
business offline means in the real world, this is the logical place to
start. So many businesses launching websites as just another place they need
to advertise. They simply copy their print advertisements and brochures to
the web sites. While these sites are not totally worthless, but they fail to
take full advantage of the supreme opportunities afforded by the new
The Internet is becoming
the busiest business area the world has ever known. However, having a web
site should be more than reproducing existing advertising. It should mean
taking full advantage of the Internet's capability of interactive shopping
and globally convenient access. Your web site can be the perfect showcase
for people to obtain information about your company and products, an
efficient way of communicating with your present clients, potential
customers and an international marketplace to sell your products and
If you do not have an
existing business, you should still look for ideas first in areas where you
already have some expertise. If your current expertise does not seem to lend
itself to an online business opportunity, your next plan should be to spend
some significant time learning about the businesses already operating
online. Once you have an understanding of what is available, look for ways
to do the same things in a better way or look for a market niche that has
not been serviced well. Keep in mind that there are almost always ways to
improve upon existing services and products.
Clearly, converting your
ideas, expertise and skills into an internet business is a big job, but it's
too important to do it for a successful career and for financial
TelePk.Com can help. As the leading provider of internet business and
internet marketing services for individuals and small-businesses.
TelePk.Com offers a complete set of solutions that help you easily handle
every step of the internet business process..
If you have not yet
developed your Business Plan, I
strongly recommend you do so before moving on to the next step. Even if you
are starting a very small company with one or two people, you will benefit
from going through this exercise. Business plans are much more than simply a
homework assignment for MBA students or a project for large corporations.
They are a critical first step as well as a continuing process for any
business, which plans to succeed.
Second Step - Your own
Domain Name (Web address)
The first step toward
internet business is selecting the name of your site. Your Web address (also
called a URL - Uniform Resource Locator - or "domain name"),
tells customers who you are and how to find you on the Internet. It is the
core of your Internet identity - your online brand. And because no two
parties can have the same Web address, your online identity is totally
Selecting a domain name is
an important part of developing an Internet business. Even if your company
already has an established business name, it may not be in your best
interest to use that name exclusively on the Internet. You may even benefit
by using two (or more) domain names, one with your actual business name for
customers who would look for you online by typing your company name in their
browser (like microsoft.com) and one for people who are looking for your
product or services and would look in a search engine (like software.com).
Many people have learned that an easy way to find a product or service they
want is to type the name of the product into their browser. The chances are
good that they will find something useful using that method. See what
happens when you type in
Although it is true that
virtually every word in the English language is already owned by someone
else, there are many clever ways around the problem of finding a good domain
name. For example, if you are a travel agency and can't get travel.com, you
might be able to reserve something like JJ-travel.com. You can also reserve
a name with a .net, .org, .biz, .us or many other extensions, but the "dot
com" is still the most well-known and accepted extension for business domain
names. If you would like to register a domain name for your internet
business, I suggest to register domain through TelePk.com which is an
excellent registration service for only
Rs 399/- per year. Network Solutions at
is currently still charging $35 per year for the same service.
Registering your own
domain name is a must for your business. This will give your business
an internet established presence. Too many businesspeople skip this crucial
step. Rs 399/- yearly fee is a small price to pay for professionalism. If
youíre serious about your business, donít skip this step.
When registering a domain name, please keep this point in mind: Donít use
unusual words, phrases or ellipsis in domain name. Choose an
easy-to-remember name that also describers your products, services or
Never use free domain and free hosting (with a lot of banner-ads or
popup-window ads) for your business. They donít leave good impression on
your web site visitors about your business and professionalism.
Third Step - Selecting a Web
There are some basics you
need to consider when selecting a web hosting company:
This refers to the percentage of time the hosting server is working and
displaying your website. Unfortunately, these percentages are often reported
only by the host company, so their accuracy should not be taken at face
value. A good rule to verify their reliability is to check existing web
sites hosted on their servers or ask their existing web hosting clients
about their hosting services.
support staff -
All hosting companies probably have support staff. The important question is
how easily can you get in contact with them and how soon can you get help
with your problems.
hard drive space
- An average web page is 10K to 100k. Pictures and other graphics usually
range on size from about 1K to 500K. This means that if you have a 10 to 15
page website with 2-5 graphics on each page, you will need 3 Mb to about
10MB to save your website on a server. Even if you have a much large website
with many more graphics, your website should be able to fit comfortably onto
about 25MB of hard disk space. When web hosts offer you 500 Mb or 1,000 Mb
of hard disk space, they do so knowing that the vast majority of users will
not come close to using all of that space. Therefore, in most cases, offers
of more than 10 - 50 MB of space are made mostly to impress prospective
customers who really do not understand how much they need. It just sounds
other access -
There are many ways for you to upload your web pages to your server.
However, the quickest and easiest is by using an FTP (File Transfer
These allow you password-protected access to mail sent though your website
email address. You may want to set up separate POP accounts for each major
department in your company. Ask how many POP accounts your host allows you
to have without paying extra.
software - Some
web hosts include no software; others include a large number of software
tools to help you run your site more easily. Examples of programs, which you
might expect to have available are: Auto-responders (to send automatic
replies to your customers), site statistics (to monitor your visitors),
webmail (check your emails using web browser) etc.
access - If you
want to run your own programs on your website, you must have CGI access.
Your CGI capabilities must allow you to read, write and execute on your
server. Many hosts do not allow such access. This may not seem important
when you first set up your website. However, as your site develops and
interactive capabilities are needed (like quizzes, contests and surveys),
you will find your company needing this ability.
name hosting -
At a minimum you need your host server to allow you to have your own domain
name. Since you can now register a domain name for only Rs 399/- per year,
every company should have their own. Some hosts will allow you to have more
than one domain name on your site; others will not.
Fourth Step - Designing a
If you already familiar
with HTML, Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver, a graphic
designing program like Microsoft PhotoDraw or Adobe PhotoShop and using FTP,
you can design, maintain and update your web site yourself. But keep in mind
that it should be professional-looking in design and contents.
With a domain name and web hosting in place, you're ready to start building
your internet business online presence. But before you begin, take some time
Plan Your Site Carefully First, identify clear marketing goals for
your site, such as generating leads, building a database of potential
customers' names and e-mail addresses, or putting a product or services
catalog online to save the time and expense of printing and mailing.
Quantify your objectives - such as increasing sales - so you know whether or
not your internet business is successful.
Then, figure out what your potential customers need to know before buying
your products and services. This might include:
An overview of your company, its
products and services, and their effective use.
Complete product or service
descriptions, including features, key benefits, pricing, product
specifications, and other information, for each product or service
Testimonials or success stories
so customers can see how similar individuals or organizations have worked
An FAQ section that anticipates
and answers customers' common queries
Plan the structure of your site, focusing on making it easy for customers to
learn what they need to know, make a purchase decision, and then buy
Internet Business Site Design Tips
Following these basic guidelines will help
make your site not only attractive, but also easy for customers to use - and
that means easy to buy from you.
Carefully examine your own
favorite internet business sites.
Creatively adapting the most compelling marketing and design techniques will
enhance your site's effectiveness.
Your home page is your site's
and your business's online front door.
It's essential that it make a good first impression on visitors. Make sure
it clearly presents the following basic elements that customers are always
likely to look for:
Your company name, logo, and
slogan, prominently displayed. Take full advantage of the opportunity to
showcase your brand identity.
A link to an "About the Company"
page for customers to quickly learn who you are and what your business
A site menu listing the basic
web pages of your site. Keep this menu in the same place on every page
throughout your site to make it easy to navigate.
A "What's New" section for news,
announcements, and product promotions. Frequently updating this area will
encourage customers to return often.
Contact information. Don't make
it difficult for visitors to find your phone number, e-mail address, mailing
address, and fax number.
Your privacy statement, clearly
describing your business's policy for protecting customer's personal
Make it easy for customers to
explore your site. As you build
your site, try to minimize the number of clicks it takes the customer to go
from your home page to actually being able to click "buy" and checkout. Four
to six is a useful rule of thumb. Make sure links make sense, so customers
know what to click to find what they're looking for.
Keep things simple.
Don't fill up your site with graphics,
animations, and other visual bells and whistles. Keep the color scheme and
fonts same to all pages of your web site. Ensure that images and graphics
serve to enhance, not distract from, your marketing goals. Make sure your
text is easy to read - black letters on a white ground may not be terribly
original, but they are easier on the eyes than orange type on a purple
Keep download times short.
Test pages to make sure they're not
too overloaded with graphics that slow load times - and minimize the size of
your images when possible. Nearly half of online shoppers surveyed said they
left sites when pages took too long to download. Effective Web pages take
anywhere from 3 to 15 seconds to load, depending on the user's modem and
Internet connection (remember: many internet users surf the net from home
using slower connections). Most users click away to another site if a page
takes more than 15 seconds to load, resulting in lost potential income.
As soon as you've completed this step, you're ready to put your site on the
If you do not have the
time or the skills needed to design and maintain your own website, you will
either need to hire someone to work in-house or hire an independent design
Fifth Step - Test, Test
You may be eager to launch your internet business web site, but take time to
review and test your site thoroughly before going live. You will only have
one chance to make a first impression on each new visiting customer, and
broken links, incorrect email address, and grammatical or spelling errors
don't leave a good impression to your web site visitors about your
Sixth Step - Promote your
Now, you've established a compelling and easy-to-use web site for your
products and services. It's time to let people know about it.
Your website is useless if
no one visits it. Generally, your goal should be to generate traffic that
will result in increased business, but paying for advertising that does not
deliver targeted traffic is not an effective use of your advertising budget.
Here are a few tips for driving traffic to your site.
Register your site with
search engines. Over 85 percent of
Internet users search one or more of the top engines to find what they need.
Make sure your business is part of the results when customers look for the
products and services you offer.
website in the top 10 - 20 search engines, because top search engines
generate 80-90% of web searches, so paying for services that claim to add
your site to thousands of search engines is probably a waste of money.
Manually submitting your site to search
engines and directories can take countless hours every month, so try
www.inktomi.com (A Yahoo! Company) for paid inclusion in SEs and list
your site manually to
www.dmoz.org a human-powered directory that provides its data to more
than 100 SEs.
One of the
most important marketing tools for your website is located right on your own
site. That is, the keywords and description you use on your site (in the
Meta Tags, document headings, paragraphs, title, image alter text etc.) have
a huge impact on your placement in search engines and the traffic you get
pay-per-click search engine (like
www.overture.com or Google AdWord) rather than pay-per-impression.
engines often do not index pages past the first level (link from the index
page), you should put links to most of your key pages on the first
page of your site. The more pages a search engines indexes from your site,
the greater the chance that your site will be found. Don't forget to include
keywords and description meta tags on each of those pages that are
appropriate to the content of those pages.
for visitors who buy products or services from you!
In the meantime you will
get free product branding and free traffic by setting up your own affiliate
program. Once you have experienced the high cost of advertising online, you
will realize that affiliate programs are generally a much more cost
effective way of selling online, unless you sell a service or product that
can only be delivered locally. This is really a
GOOD DEAL!! You can set whatever commission structure you want. I do not
recommend that you select payment per click, however, since you will end up
paying your affiliates for traffic that may never buy a thing. The best
system is to pay either a percentage or a flat rate - only if a sale is
Put your domain name
advertisements, business cards, and even hats, jackets, and t-shirts can be
effective ways to promote your site and establish your corporate identity.
Don't forget to include your domain name in your press release, too.
articles for Internet newsletters
- If you write
well, you can get articles accepted in many online newsletters. When the
article runs you will essentially be trading content (your article) for free
advertising (your web address and email on the article).
Placing a banner ad on other well-trafficked sites can attract huge numbers
of prospective customers - and doesn't have to cost a fortune.
- the most important tool for your lasting
I've listed these few promotional tips in brief. In my next articles I will
cover each and every aspect in details.
Seventh Step - Making Your
Site Interactive (and current)
One thing you do not want
to happen when someone visits your website is this: You do not want them to
feel that they could have had essentially the same experience as if they had
received your company literature in the mail. The Internet offers such
awesome potential for creativity and multi-level communication with
potential customers that companies have a responsibility to take advantage
You need to give your visitors and potential customers something to do, some
way to interact with you and your website. Of course, the minimum and most
common way to do this is to provide an email address so you can be contacted
by email either directly or through a form. Amazingly, some websites do not
even make that small gesture.
Surveys or Contests
You can make your site interactive with online surveys or opinion poll,
which give your visitors a reason to stay longer and perhaps look around.
If you are not able to answer each email you receive immediately, a
carefully-worded auto-response is significantly better than no response at
all. Auto-response programs can also be individualized to include
information (like the person's name), which was entered on a form. You never
want to create the impression that you have an unattended website. This is
the same reason it is critical that dated information is always kept
current. An announcement for an event that ended last week is a sure sign
that you are not actively involved with the visitors to your website. If you
cannot keep your information current yourself, hire someone who can do the
same for you.
Groups and other active
Depending on the content of your site, you may want to consider letting your
visitors join interest groups or submit content to your site. I strongly
caution against adding an unmonitored guest book, chat room or bulletin
board, however. If you have anything on your site to which visitors can add
their own words before you have a chance to edit it, you will find your site
used by people selling their own products or services or to express any
manner of thoughts that you will probably not want to be associated with
Learn from others
Look at other websites (but don't copy), be creative and make your site an
experience that people will want to share with their friends!
Recommendations, references, links and re-visits all represent traffic for
which you do not have to pay. That's the best kind!
Eighth Step - Building
Your Customer Base
Every website you own should include a form where visitors can give you
their email address. Of course, only a small percentage of visitors will
share that information, but those who do can be developed into future
customers and repeat visitors. On the top of each page in this website you
will see a form used to establish a mailing list.
Every website you own should display your customer/user privacy statement.
It is important that you keep your word to your subscribers. That is, if you
say you will not sell or distribute your email list to others, your MUST NOT
SELL OR SHARE these email addresses. If you respect the privacy and wished
of your subscribers and provide useful information in your emails, your
reward is that you will have repeat visits from them and will have a ready
audience for important announcements you need to make about your business.
Unless you are a news service, I do not recommend sending emails or
newsletters to your list more often than once a week. Sometimes once a month
is even better!
Tell a Friend
Offer incentives to your current customers to tell their friends and
business associates about your site in any way that is appropriate to the
content and purpose of your site. You may need to try several different
incentives before you find one that works. An inexpensive, yet effective
incentive is to give them more chances to win in a contest you are running
for every friend they send to your site. Another is to give them some kind
of priority access to your services. It might be something as simple as
offering a 10% coupon on products they purchase on your site after they have
sent a few new customers. To get a free "tell-a-friend" script for
your web site, please visit
Ninth Step - Generating
Once you have customers
using your services, you need to be creative about finding ways to keep the
relationship going as well as encouraging your customers to send others to
your site. This can be accomplished in many ways. Some examples are:
Tenth Step - Start Selling
With an online identity, a Web host, an eye-catching, professional-looking
Web site, and the right promotions, your internet business is ready to
succeed in the competitive world of the Web.
In the light of the
above-mentioned nine steps, you should have an idea or plan what to do. Then
register a domain name for the same and get a web hosting package. Why have
I recommend you to get domain and hosting in first steps? Because, I know,
it will automatically motivate you to start earlier and as soon as possible.
Your web site development
and web site promotion is not a one-time job. It needs continues research
and work to keep your web site contents updated and promote it in as many
ways as possible.