Starting an Online Business? Do the Groundwork!

Think of the planet’s most successful businesses over the last decade or so, and you will associate them with the internet and online trading – Google, Amazon and Facebook, to name but three.

They have all tapped into the enormous potential of doing business online. The mere fact that their customers think they are getting something for free is one very important factor in the success of these and other online businesses.

Imagine, for instance, that sending an email cost as much as posting a letter in the UK –  60 pence is only the starting price for a First Class stamp – and it is easy to see where online businesses have the advantage. Add the cost of office space, costs of travel to work, and the idea of an online business, especially one where you can work from home, becomes progressively more attractive.

Sites such as Etsy and Folksy, which offer an outlet for home-crafted items, such as needlecraft, papier maché or unique furniture, have become extremely popular, but trawling through the many exhibitors on these sites is time-consuming.

It is far better for anyone thinking of starting an online business, for whatever type of product or service, to start a blog which will help them connect with like-minded people in the first place. Then, if you can find others with the same interests, it is time to start your own business and to think about the look, feel and content of its website.

Of course, the attraction of an online business is that you can start trading in hours or days from now. Whatever you are selling, or service you provide, you must be sure there is a demand for it, so searching the keywords which you will be using yourself is the first thing to do. If you are knitting and selling socks, for instance, a quick search will tell you how many competitors you have and how they go about selling their products. Then you can see the state of the market and find a unique way to make your business stand out.

Keywords are important, but their overuse in any web content will only make your site look greedy and desperate. It is better to have your site linked to social media sites and blogging sites, where you can use links to and from these to increase traffic. It is essential to remember that, however good your product, people will not find you automatically, and you must use every avenue to encourage visitors to view your site.

Similarly, you could attract many more visitors to your site than your competitors, but the quality of the look and feel of it, plus your ability to deliver the products they are searching for is more important than the mere quantity of visitors.

Perceptant101 are e-Commerce experts and have been designing, developing and promoting online stores now for over 6 years. Harnessing technologies including Magento and Zen-Cart, has allowed these stores to quickly take advantage of ‘off the shelf’ functionality, including online credit card processing, cross-sell & up-sell and search engine friendly URL’s. Whether you have an existing online store, or want to take advantage of an online niche, we can help.

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