An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Taking a Business Online

Just a few short years ago anyone moving to online trading had either to learn HTML or appoint a professional.

Nowadays getting online has moved from being too difficult for IT amateurs to being too easy. It is not an exaggeration to say that an entrepreneur waking up at eight in the morning could, with a bare minimum of expenditure, have an online presence of sorts by twelve.

And here lies the problem.

A website is no more than a virtual store-front. An eBusiness is a business like any other. Behind that store front there needs to be a delivery process, the goods or services to be marketed through that store front, and an infrastructure to make everything work efficiently and profitably.

Even if you are only moving an existing business online you need a credible Business Case
.
The business case describes your reasons for going online: indeed going into business in the first place.

  1. It has to be ‘outputs orientated’ ie it says ‘we will provide this product or that service’ rather than ‘we will use this or that resource’;
  2. It has to explain how you will respond to the market, how you will control your Business Risk.
  3. How it fits with the rest of your business (if any);
  4. How you will track the costs (time and money) and how and when you will measure the results

Your business case must be transparent and comprehensive – not an exercise in self-delusion or self-justification, and if it has significant technical content it has to be comprehensible.

Moving an existing business onto the net is one thing, starting a new business targeting an online clientele is quite another.

The ease and speed with which a new commercial site can be set up from scratch disguises the fact that an online business is just that: a business that trades online. All the disciplines that need to be followed when setting up a bricks-and-mortar business are equally relevant when setting up an online one.

Once you have an acceptable business plan in place the time comes to decide between:

  1. The ‘nerd’s’ approach of building as site from scratch
  2. Using a web designer
  3. Opening an account with one of the many providers of commercial sites
  4. Using a CMS to build an online community site.

Here on New2Business.com we do not deal with the first two options, valid though they are.

We do however suggest that the new online entrepreneur consider options 3 and 4 seriously. Both are simple enough for a non-it-specialist to be able to get up and running in a few days once the various options within your choice have been explored. A search of the internet will provide alternatives enough, and whichever way you go there are a couple of really critical questions to ask of the package you eventually choose:

  • What will your site look like
  • On a lap or desk top
  • On a smart-phone
  • On a tablet.
  • How will it interface with, or provide
  • Your accounting package
  • Your order management software.

When you’re considering a CMS system you’ll have to consider the additional modules available with the core software to make that assessment.

In most cases the decision will focus on one of the commercial providers though a CMS may be more suitable for:

  • A niche marketer
  • Clubs and associations
  • Some professional service providers.

In any case going online is not a simple yes/no decision. Many factors come into play and a few hours researching the options can be time well spent.

Just as an aside there is a natural compromise to be made between ‘user friendliness’ and the capacities of a package. Easy at the onset can mean limited at a later stage!

Marketing Strategies for Small Business: Simple Ways of Taking Your Business Online

There are so many marketing strategies for small business out there these days that it’s enough to make you dizzy if you try to listen to every advertisement. The problem is that people who sell internet marketing systems are likely to be pushing something that doesn’t even work for them! No wonder it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the technology of today.

But what if there was a way take just the “meat and potatoes” from the best of the marketing strategies for small business?

The purpose of this post is to try to simplify what you actually need to get started in taking your business online…

Why taking your business online?

The beauty of taking your business online… The beauty of taking your business online…

Because, now that the internet is a huge part of the average business, if you’re not taking your business online, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table! You’re apt to be left in the dust while your competitors ramp up past you with their own marketing communication strategy.

But no need to get overwhelmed just yet…

I’m here to give you those “meat and potatoes” for the best internet marketing strategies for small business…

… in actuality, you only need three things for taking your business online to where you can allow the system to do most of the “heavy lifting” for you.

There are basically only three marketing strategies for small business online…

1) Taking your business online with a capture page…

This is also called a “landing page” because it’s what your visitor who’s searching for your service will initially land on. The purpose of the capture page is to compel your visitor to want to enter their email address; hence, you’ve just “captured” them as a new lead.

The main thing you need to remember about the capture page is that it must promise something.

Look at it from your visitor’s point of view; what would compel you to want to enter your email address for more information? A good example of this is to promise something for free – like a free educational video for more information.

2) Taking your business online with a sales page…

Ideally, this is a video that your new lead will be introduced to immediately upon entering their email information. The beauty of this, of course, is that it’s all automated so your new lead will literally be listening to a sales presentation from “you” while you might be still sleeping!

3) Taking your business online with an auto-responder…

On average, most people will need to be approached seven times before making a decision to purchase.

SEVEN times? OMG!

Who on earth would want to be that much of a nag? Especially those small businesses such as network marketing deals where you get all the work and NO training on how to promote you deal. Developing a marketing strategy is so much easier if you only need do it once, and then let the system take over the bulk of the work for you.

The beauty of having an auto-responder is that you set it all up ahead of time with your own personal messages…

People tend to want to buy from those who they know, like and trust. And it’s your continuous flow of emails with your pictures and videos that help them get to know who you are, whereby giving them the chance to grow into a trusting “relationship” with you – even without ever having met you!

And that’s really all there is for in marketing strategies for small business online… except for the idea of a “funded proposal”…

If you haven’t heard of this term before, think of an internet marketing system that will automatically “sell itself” while you use this system for taking your business online. This is an idea adopted by millions of successful internet marketers because it costs money to market your business, and, without a funded proposal, it’s likely that your funds for the business will be exhausted before you start to make any substantial profits.

It’s no wonder that the funded proposal is now a household term among those using marketing strategies for small business online!

Marketing a Business Online Through YouTube

You might want to consider using social media marketing tools in the form of YouTube in marketing a business online. The reason for that is because of the huge transition that has happened over the last couple of years in communicating and interacting. It is an accepted fact that as of now there is a huge transition in how people communicate with each other.

You would have noticed that letters, postcards and the like are on the wane. What is the change then? Communicating through social media tools is a simple way, not only to interact between friends and family, but also to advertise your business. So, what can you do using YouTube?

Well, it allows you to upload clippings, small videos and music videos. As of now a mind boggling 2 billion videos a day are being viewed on a daily basis here. That itself is more than proof that YouTube is the most happening thing in the online marketing community. It must be mentioned here that this article only provides in detail about how marketing a business online is effective through YouTube or social media tools.

You can find information on other online marketing methods on the internet. The second part of the article contains information on other online marketing methods. Though it is given very briefly, you will definitely find it useful. It is also worth mentioning that YouTube has not only become the one and only video content sharing website worldwide, but is the most effective advertising tool in the online business community.

No matter the company size, one and all have the ability to share unique videos that are informative. YouTube can help your company target a wide range of international audience. Online marketing is all about reaching to far ends where traditional marketing methods can’t excel.

So, when you use YouTube as your advertising campaign tool, it can benefit marketing a business online immensely.

However, an effective video campaign on YouTube needs some key ingredients:

Keywords: There is no doubt that keywords play an important role for viewers to find your video or clippings. YouTube users search videos using keywords depending on their area of interest. It also depends on the products or services that they are on the look out for.

So, you must make sure that your video clipping has proper keywords. If it doesn’t then it will most likely not be displayed during search results. Having the right keywords tagged along with the clipping is an important factor while marketing a business online. You obviously want your video to be accessed easily by viewers.

Quality of your video: It is another story when you are uploading a video for fun. But, when you are uploading a video on your business, you must display a certain amount of professionalism. You must have the business sense to ensure that your video displays to others that your company is a professional one. Before you load your video, take some time to observe the lighting, sound quality, and the words that are used.

Video with some humor: You would have noticed that videos that have good humor tend to make it big on the internet. Sure, your audience expects the video clipping to have informative stuff, but at the same time they like to also be entertained. It can be a very boring experience merely watching a video about a company.

You can easily recollect videos that are unique in their humor and have good stuff. Similarly, when your video clipping has some quality humor, your audience would keep coming back to view it and refer it to others too. So, when your video is humorous and worth remembering, then you can be rest assured that the clipping could become a hit on the internet.

The best part about marketing a business online is that, the mentioned above methods are extremely useful in helping your website get the ranking that it wants. It is not that one particular method only can help your website increase its website rankings. The mentioned above steps can definitely help you market your business online.

You will find the given below tips useful on marketing a business online, especially if you have started a new business and don’t have much knowledge on online marketing methods.

Many ways to market your small business: Like we have seen above, the most powerful method to gain popularity on the internet is YouTube or through social media tools. But you also have other method of marketing a business online in the form of search engine optimization, search engine marketing, article marketing, email marketing, and the list goes on.

Can compete with large companies: As you have started out recently and are a small firm your immediate goal would be to attract customers of bigger firms. You have to fight it out there using internet marketing methods that are mentioned above. You must have excellent online marketing strategies that can get you the results.

You will have to work on your brand awareness. This is a key point for any small business.

Finally, remember to have some patience. This is not an overnight procedure. Sure, marketing a business online using social media tools and the like will make a huge difference, but you must realize that it is slow but steady process. You would want to stay out of advertisers who claim to give you immediate results.

It is not really possible and in some cases it may even take a year to notice good results. So, have fun while learning marketing a business online.