So you are in the same run as others who are looking out the ways that leads to set up an online business or in simple words an internet business. Before starting, let me clarify here in this article, I am not going to discuss how you register a company, or how you get the finance, but mine first and last aspect is to discuss what are things you required to set up your online/internet shop (business) – in simple words, how you take your business online. I guess, you probably got some idea as of now that suggests what is the base of this article – so well now let’s start with mixing all the ingredients together. Setting up an internet shop, the first thing comes your mind is what you required then, the requirement goes like this, you need a domain name, hosting provider, content management system, payment solution provider.
BASICS: WHERE TO START?
Domain Name Selection: Domain name – this is the one that defines you and your business entity in an online world, so it is pretty important to take special care of as once you selected the name and starts working towards making it a brand, it is not easy to change it for one-to-many reason. The domain name will establish your identity on the internet, providing your potential customers as well as surfers an address to come, visit, buy (if you are into an e-commerce business), chat and do a lot more. Remember, selecting a long big name or name other than your proposed business nature does not make any sense as for online public, your domain name is everything, so better select it properly, make sure it will not be so long, as long words often ends in confusion.
Hosting Provider: You’re done with domain name selection, now what next, the next point to consider is to select hosting provider – you have the full authority to choose whatever the hosting provider you like, but also see as well as check that which hosting provider fulfils your all needs, say suppose, one hosting provides you guaranteed 99.99% uptime but other not, then what’s the benefit to opt for. Similarly, if one hosting provider provides you 24 by 7 customer care help and other not, then the same thing strikes, it is often quite possible that one offer you better options then from others, but in short, it is you to decide which hosting provider comes up with all what I required for mine online business.
If you are planning to run an e-commerce store, then in most of the cases, you need not to worry about hosting provider thing, as these days; there are plenty of companies out there who are tended to offer you browser-based stores with full support, even more than that, based totally on your requirements. Examples include Shopify, Big Cartel, CubeCart, Monster Commerce, Shopping Q, Actinic, Mals E-Commerce, ClickCartPro and Spreadshirt. These all offers your different plans and pricing you can opt for, plus you need not to worry about any of hosting issue either with them.
INTERMEDIATE: WHAT NEXT?
Design your online business: You had decided your domain name, selected your hosting provider, set-up everything on basic level, what next now? Now, this is the stage to design your online business. If it is a mere website, then you can simply opt for content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others (there is a huge list).
But, if you are design an online store (e-commerce store), you have to consider how many products you wish to display, the types of products, how many pictures of products you want to display, pricing of items, discounts, shipping and even the ability to input information on your products that may include: item number, category, product ID, description, price, weight (for applicable for shipping rates).
Payment Tools: Online payments, product checkout plays a key role in an online business these days, reason is simple, the internet vendor can’t wait long to get the money for the products they sell out, so in order to make things happening and in quick way, it is very important to set up a payment tool, one single can also work. The vendor can start with services from PayPal and American Express, although there are plenty others who are in the same run, offering the service.
Vendors accept PayPal overseas also giving the vendor an ample choice to make its online business global, offering its full range of services in about 20+ countries. PayPal charges a 3.9 percent transaction fee for international sales, plus another fixed fee based on the currency received. For more sophisticated exchanges you can opt for American Express. And, while doing the business globally do remember that currency rates can fluctuate dramatically and required more complicated accounting.
ADVANCE: THE GRAND OPENING
You are wondering that do I done everything to have the grand opening or still something left, the answer is Yes, there is still something left but this time in marketing and advertising front.
Advertising: You would be definitely in very concise budget, so how you do advertising, as you even can’t neglect it either, you can opt for Google AdWords – one of the good way, but not limited to – the second one you can opt for StumbleUpon Paid Discovery (this one I like most) – as I feel, this one gives more better results as compared to Google AdWords. But, well there are plenty of other ways either you can opt for advertising but all varied totally according to your own budget. Even, more there are sites like buysellads.com, buyads.com – you can opt there, as these sites gives you plenty of sites options together in which you can select for Advertising totally as per your own budget.
Marketing: Done with advertising, but still don’t want to left any stone unturned, so want to give marketing too an equal importance, as an equal importance, you can do this by offering giveaways, discounts, talk with other vendors and ask them to give your product as free or talk with magazines, newspaper and ask them to write about you. There are huge options for this either, but important is how you make the selection. A well selected marketing technique gives you a much better return.