Six Steps to Your Online Business Dream

When entrepreneurs set out to sell their products, many different communities on the web will advise them to set up something called a "platform." This is particularly common among authors, who are by necessity the leads of their own rock bands. The platform is the place where the digital entrepreneur can safely and consistently promote their work without interference from other sites or companies.

Online business

This process was much easier when the web wasn't quite as dense as it is today. With so many options, digital business leaders need to know where their time is best spent. Where can a new company get the best traction? What activities should that company avoid lest they invest a great deal of time and money only to find they achieved no return?

Here are some things to consider as you establish and build your digital empire.

Buy Your Own Land

Before you do anything else, you need at least one domain. This happens before you design your product, before you establish a digital workflow and before you set up a store.

It doesn't have to be an expensive domain, and it doesn't have to be a dot com, but you need your own land if you are going to build a castle. The fewer characters the better. Avoid putting dashes in your name, as that becomes problematic when you try to tell people where your web site is.

One good thing about having a second-level domain is the entire namespace of subdomains becomes yours automatically. So for example subdomain.yourdomain.com and all other variations on that name are exclusively yours as long as you own your original domain name. This is important and convenient for your fans and customers, as they will be able to access featured parts of your site without having to remember long URLs.

Run Your Own E-mail

As strange as it may seem, having a free e-mail address, even from a big provider, is a very efficient way to communicate "amateur" to your potential customers. It's even worse if you try to do business over a social media account. Real companies and real business people have their own e-mail addresses on their own domains. There is a little extra effort involved in setting up your mail clients and making sure your hosting provider is a reliable administrator of mail services, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Avoiding either of these first two suggestions will dramatically limit your potential growth as a credible business on the web, regardless of the quality of your product.

Update Daily

Whatever your product, you must communicate with the general public at least once a day. The best way to do this is with a blog, a social media page or video marketing. Your daily updates don't have to be comprehensive. They just have to be interesting enough to attract new viewers. Over time, you will build an audience made up of people who get in the habit of watching or reading your new material. From that audience will come many of your customers.

Merchant Account

Go to your bank or a primary provider and get a merchant account. There are a few companies online like Stripe.com that provide primary merchant services. These are acceptable in the short term. Avoid commodity payment processors wherever possible. Most of the "easy pay" sites are geared to buyers rather than sellers, and you'll find if you are selling products or services other than blenders and shoes, the service you receive will be inadequate for your needs in the long run.

Mailing List

As soon as you have a sellable product, be sure you have some means of obtaining contact information from your more enthusiastic clients and customers. You need a mailing list. Setting up an account on a site like Mailchimp is a good option. When new products are released, it will give you an important head start if you already have customers lined up. It also helps if you decide to make special offers or discounts.

Patience

Building any kind of business requires time. The Internet has trained many people to expect instant results, and those kinds of expectations always lead to disappointment. Your success will not happen instantly, no matter how good you are at what you do. Be patient and let the quality of your work speak for your company. In time, if you take the right steps, you will be successful.

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