• Marketing
  • The Basics of Operating an Online Business

    One of the biggest obstacles to online business success is the fact that most people looking to get into online business don’t have any idea of the fact that there needs to be an underlying business driving the online operations. Don’t get me wrong – it’s definitely possible to operate a business which begins and ends with its existence on the World Wide Web, but business principles remain the same with online businesses.

    Here are the basic tools you’ll need, albeit these are digital in their nature:

    A Domain Name

    Your domain name is the web address for your website, i.e. www.yoursite.com, etc. Ordinarily this would be the name of your business and in this case since we’re discussing web-based businesses it would have to be catchy and memorable. A domain is not expensive at all and you can get one with a dotcom (.com) extension for around $10 or so, provided the one you require is not already registered by someone else.

    A Web Hosting Service

    Your domain name needs to be hosted somewhere and so you’ll need a web hosting service provider. Basically this is like where your website will “live”, much like how if you own a shop you rent a store for it or you pay rates and taxes on a piece of land you own. The costs associated with web hosting depend on the features you’d require, but you can get your website hosted for around $7 per month.

    A Website

    Most people like to use Content Management Systems such as WordPress to build their websites, which is a great path to take if you don’t have a technical background in web design and development. Basically you can buy a template and install it to your web hosting server. This is how your website is born and in the case of operating an online business, that template you buy, install and customize would likely be something like an e-commerce site.

    A Product or Service

    I’ll continue to expand on the e-commerce site example as the type of online business you’re perhaps pursuing, in which case you’d then source products (or services) to sell via your website. In the case of an e-commerce site, you’re likely going to sell products instead of services, with digital products perhaps making for a great channel to pursue over physical goods that would have to be shipped to your customers as soon as they complete their purchase. Digital goods such as e-books can be downloaded instantly once the buyer completes the payment.

    A Marketing Strategy

    This is where online businesses are made or broken since competition is quite tough. If it exists and is available for sale, there are perhaps a million other people all around the world offering it for sale online, but that’s the beauty of online businesses because what it means is that anybody can take a shot at trying to land themselves a nice big slice of the cake.

    Give buyers a chance to buy from you, they may just do it, but then you’d have to learn about online marketing strategies and you can even try to create your own if you wish.