6 Basic Steps to Start Your Own Business Online

Do you know, besides being an information powerhouse, the Internet is a source of living for millions the world over? YES, that’s a fact! Internet is revolutionizing the lives and livings of millions of people cutting across the international boundaries.

Online business is one such trend that’s catching up fast and fascinating the people from every strata of the society. But as with every other business, you need to get your basics right and acquire the requisite tools to succeed in online business.

There are some basic steps that you have to follow to start your own profitable business online.

1. Build a business plan: It is a packaged plan that covers everything for running a business where advertising, promoting, selling, innovating, researching, building relationships, and investing money, are involved. And it is designed to produce specific results.

Before you start running your business, you need to set up your business plan and it has to demonstrate that your business is profitable.

2. Find a hungry market: If you want to built a profitable business, then you need to know what people want, what problems they have and how much they can pay for a solution.

Think about how you can solve these peoples’ problems and how they want the solution packaged.

Research and investigate until you identify a hungry and passionate market that you can feed with your expertise and products.

3. Create a product/service: To make money, you need to sell a product and no matter if it is physical or digital. The point is that you have to provide your market with a good product/service. Create something different and unique, something that people love. They don’t want another product/service that is available everywhere.

4. Get your tools: Working online? You need some tools. There are many free tools out there, but remember you have to look professional. If people find attached advertisement not related with your product/service or unprofessional things on your product/service, they are not going to buy from you.

You need:

 - Domain name

- Web hosting

- Website

- Autoresponder (to keep in touch with your prospects or customers)

- Payment processor

 5. Sales letter: It is crucial to your success. It is designed to generate sales, therefore it must motivate the reader to take an action. For this reason, it must reach your target market.

Before you start writing your sales letter, put yourself in the shoes of your readers and answer every question that could be in a prospect’s mind. You need to communicate the benefits of your product/service to your readers in a clear and concise way. Show them why they must buy from you and not from your competitors.

Your sales letter can generate handsome revenues if you know how to use it.

6. Traffic: You can have the greatest product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then you have nothing.

People need to know that you have a great product, therefore you have to divert traffic to your site. There are many ways to generate traffic, some of them are free while for others you have to pay.

You can use:

- Writing and submitting articles

- Writing and submitting press releases

- Participate in forums and place your link using your signature

- Create a blog

- Use web 2.0

- Joint Ventures

- Pay Per Click (PPC)

- Search Engine Optimization

Starting your own business online is not difficult. The hardest part is to build a successful business. For this reason, you need to prepare each step carefully.

Remember that your success depends on your effort and dedication.

If you understand this, then you can start to build your own business online right now.

Invest in Yourself – Protect Your Ability to Earn Income

In today’s economy job changes are certain. Sometimes they can be forced upon people when companies go out of business, companies lay off employees due to cost saving measures or they can just simply downsize due to their competition or lost revenue.

Are you prepared to invest in yourself and protect your ability to earn income? You should take the following quiz to see if you are prepared to face the next round of employment cuts:

Have you ever conducted a honest and recent assessment of your strengths and weaknesses at work?

Have you recently reviewed your job description to make sure that you are not exceeding in your job responsibilities?

Do you currently hear about jobs that are available at other companies but are not advertised?

Has a co-worker left your company recently to take a new job? Have they recommended you for any open positions in their new company?

Have you looked into finding easy ways to gain further education or training in your chosen career?

Did you answer yes to all of the questions? That is excellent, you are truly investing in yourself and preparing yourself for the future. If you did not answer yes to all of the questions, you might not be as secure or as prepared in your current job as you think. You financial and career goals are way too important to leave in the hands of your employer. Do not let yourself be unprepared or surprised. Instead you need to concentrate on your career and your future.

Should Your New Business Charge Low Prices to Attract More Clients?

A few weeks ago, I was going through a bunch of subscriber email questions. One question that kept popping up over and over again went like this:

“I’m just getting started in my new business. My friends suggested pricing below market to build my portfolio. What do you recommend?”

As usual, my answer would be, “It depends.”

Some profitable service professionals have fond memories of charging low prices when they still checked off the “new business” box at networking events. For example:

An executive coach told me, “I started my business ten years ago with fifty-dollar resumes. Now I charge $200-$250 an hour and get more business than I can handle.”

A web developer built her reputation through a discount job site, then began working directly with clients. Now she charges a five thousand dollar minimum to design websites.

Meanwhile other service professionals charge bargain basement prices and never seem to get to the main floor.

So your friends may be right. Or not.

I encourage my clients to consider 5 questions:

(1) What is the range of fees for your service in your market?

Sometimes you have a “going rate.” Everybody expects to pay the rate. Charging well below the market price will be viewed as a sign of desperation.

Career coaching is a good example. When you pay below $150 for a single hour, you’re probably working with someone who is very new or very eager to get clients.

But sometimes fees are all over the map. You can pay as little as $150 for a decent web design (if you know where to look and how to work with the designer). Or you can pay over fifty thousand dollars — sometimes well into six figures — for a huge flashy corporate website.

(2) Will a portfolio of low-end projects create credibility among high-end clients?

You’ve probably heard this advice: “As a new business, your challenge is to build a portfolio. That’s more important than charging a high price.”

True.

But sometimes you’ll find yourself creating projects that will brand you as a low-end service professional. For example: Low-end web design clients want simple, fast, easy-to-navigate websites. In the web business, low-end does not always mean low income. Some entrepreneurs who earn in the high 6 figures (or even 7 figures) have websites that look like their kids put them together for a middle school assignment. They know what appeals to their markets.

A portfolio of low-end design assignments won’t look impressive to a client who’s ready to pay premium dollars for a bells and whistles, flash and splash website.

In theory, you can delight your client by providing a product that’s worth ten times what they paid. But that’s like offering steak tartare to folks who come to McDonald’s seeking Whoppers with cheese.

You’ll invest a lot in materials and labor. And your client will probably hate it.

(3) Are you attracting testimonials from clients whose names will attract high-end clients?

Working on a project for a Fortune 1000 company will get you a testimonial you can take to the bank. A project for Small Newbie Productions will not impress larger clients(if you’re lucky: don’t be surprised if the newbie is more nervous about endorsing you than the big guns).

(4) Will you gain experience from working for low-budget clients? ?

You may find that you attract different types of clients at different feel levels. Peek in your neighborhood’s $6 haircut shop and then pay a visit to a spa-type salon with haircuts $75 and up.

Sometimes lower-paying clients can be more demanding and more naive. They’re less experienced in business, so they don’t “get it” when you ask for testimonials.

At the other extreme, high-end clients expect more amenities, more service and a certain level of savvy and confidence that they associate with expertise. Personally, I have no problem with “fake it till you make it” as long as you deliver the goods: you can come across as experienced when you’re a new business, but competence and talent will shine through every time.

(5) Will your clients move up to your new level when you get busy?

“Ingrid” grew her design business with rock-bottom prices. As demand grew, she raised prices – but old clients viewed her services as a commodity. They found new sources.

But “Len” told me his consulting clients were willing to pay more as he grew his business and enhanced his credibility.

In general, clients are more likely to grow with you if they realize you are moving up, not positioning yourself as low-end. For example, Your service agreements can include a clause emphasizing that fees may change on future projects.

And finally, you may decide you want to target smaller or lower-end clients with tight budgets. Some professionals enjoy working with solo-preneurs. Some enjoy creating many low-priced information products instead of a few high-end products that require large amounts of time and money.

In that case, you need many clients. You need to consider offering services to groups and creating information products.