By http://upandcomingmarketing.com/Table of Contents    The Distinctions Of Online Businesses................................
The Distinctions Of Online BusinessesStarting an online business has become a very popular venture in recent years as more...
The Idea Behind The BusinessObviously, the first place to start with any business is to come up with an idea. What, ex-act...
PayPal Versus Online Shopping CartsOne of the most often discussed debates when it comes to the world of online business i...
Choosing a Web AddressA web address refers to the title your customers will type into the toolbar at the top of thescreen....
Choosing A Web HostIn addition to buying a web address, an online business will need to be hosted some-where. After all, a...
The Importance Of Web DesignMany online businesses, in their haste to get up a website as soon as possible in order tostar...
Sell It With CopyWhat’s just as important as the quality of your product and the organization of the site it’slocated on? ...
Free Marketing ManiaSavvy online business owners can take advantage of all the free marketing opportunitiesthe Internet ha...
Establish An Expert ReputationOne of the most important things that any business can have, whether online or not, is le-gi...
Email Marketing Makes It HappenOne of the most valuable assets an online business can have is an opt-in list. What’s thisa...
We are a professional company that specialises inwebsite design, text marketing, video marketing, so-cial media marketing,...
What You Need To Know About Online Business
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What You Need To Know About Online Business

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The Distinctions Of Online Businesses
Starting an online business has become a very popular venture in recent years as more
and more people become acclimated to using the Internet in their everyday lives. As little
as twenty years ago, the Internet was new to the average consumer and not much more
than a novelty; today, it’s rare to encounter a home in the Western world that’s not
stocked with at least one computer. Most middle class houses in America have multiple
computers at this point.
What this means is that starting an online business can be profitable if done correctly,
given the predominance of the Internet in the average household. People who are naturally
entrepreneurial or those who have already started a non-internet based business will
definitely have a leg up on the rest of the game, but for the right person who’s willing to
take appropriate steps to ensure success, starting an online business can be easy, fun, and
even profitable.
In general, the differences between online business and traditional businesses are slight
but distinct. Here are a few things that potential online business owners should take into
consideration before jumping on the Information Superhighway.

We are a professional company that specialises in website design, text marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, and google local listings, bespoke functionality and web development.

http://upandcomingmarketing.com/

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What You Need To Know About Online Business

  1. 1. By http://upandcomingmarketing.com/Table of Contents The Distinctions Of Online Businesses.................................................................3 The Idea Behind The Business..............................................................................4 PayPal Versus Online Shopping Carts...................................................................5 Choosing a Web Address.......................................................................................6 Choosing A Web Host............................................................................................7 The Importance Of Web Design............................................................................8 Sell It With Copy...................................................................................................9 Free Marketing Mania.........................................................................................10 Establish An Expert Reputation...........................................................................11 Email Marketing Makes It Happen......................................................................12
  2. 2. The Distinctions Of Online BusinessesStarting an online business has become a very popular venture in recent years as moreand more people become acclimated to using the Internet in their everyday lives. As littleas twenty years ago, the Internet was new to the average consumer and not much morethan a novelty; today, it’s rare to encounter a home in the Western world that’s notstocked with at least one computer. Most middle class houses in America have multiplecomputers at this point.What this means is that starting an online business can be profitable if done correctly,given the predominance of the Internet in the average household. People who are natur-ally entrepreneurial or those who have already started a non-internet based business willdefinitely have a leg up on the rest of the game, but for the right person who’s willing totake appropriate steps to ensure success, starting an online business can be easy, fun, andeven profitable.In general, the differences between online business and traditional businesses are slightbut distinct. Here are a few things that potential online business owners should take intoconsideration before jumping on the Information Superhighway: · Lower start up costs/high effort. One of the greatest things about on- line businesses is that they typically don’t cost much to get started. There’s no need to rent out a space or pay utilities, and there are lots of free avenues to ad- vertise with over the digital waves. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that “less money invested means less work,” because nothing could be further from the truth. Online business owners often feel like their computers are grafted onto their hands! · Be a jack of all trades. It’s not good enough just to have a stellar idea or a fantastic service. In order to be successful, you need to be able to do graphic design, understand web server technology, programming, and knowledge of the Internet as a marketing medium. For those that can’t do all of this single handedly, outsourcing is an option, but this raises overall cost. · Think globally. This isn’t opening up a small Mom and Pop store in your neighborhood. The business will be able to reach all corners of the globe, thanks to the Internet. The good part is that this potentially means more business – the bad part is that owners will have to make provisions for costs such as international shipping, and maybe even pay for translated versions of their websites. · Marketers make the market. There are thousands of ways to market on
  3. 3. The Idea Behind The BusinessObviously, the first place to start with any business is to come up with an idea. What, ex-actly, is up for sale and what is the best way to attract the customer to the product? Thishas been the main focus of all businesses, whether online or brick and mortar, for centur-ies.For those who already have a traditional business, this is the obvious place to start. Evenbusinesses that primarily work in the “real world” can benefit from having an online out-let, if for nothing else than to reap the benefits of the worldwide marketing aspect.However, one of the most common mistakes that a “real world” business makes whentransitioning to an online outlet is that they become what is known as a “brochure web-site,” where the website itself offers little information other than scanned brochures anddirections to the store itself. While there is some merit to be had in this sort of website –and it is, indeed, better than no website at all – this doesn’t maximize the potential thatthe Internet has in furthering the cause of businesses.For businesses who are looking to transfer from the “real world” to the digital one, it’s re-commended to consider looking at the website as if it was the main focus of the business,rather than a peripheral concern. If a business owner was starting from scratch with awebsite and trying to sell the product, how important would the website itself be? Itwould be vital, because the website is the medium that sells the product. Websites whohave “real world” businesses should view their site in the same way.For those who are looking to start an online business from scratch, the most importantthing to do is research. What are competitors offering in the field? How much are theycharging, and what do their websites look like? Try Google searching for others who areoffering the same things that you would like to sell, and check out their quality and pri-cing.Next, sit down and consider how you can improve upon what your future competitorshave already brought to the table. Do most of the sites you see have uninspiring websitesor difficult navigation? Take note and make sure not to make the same mistakes when it’stime for you to launch your own site.Remember that your online business doesn’t have to necessarily be unique in order to besuccessful. It just has to be a more appealing option to the consumer than the othersalready on the market. Take note on what your competition is doing and envision making
  4. 4. PayPal Versus Online Shopping CartsOne of the most often discussed debates when it comes to the world of online business isthe method with which owners offer their customers to pay for the services rendered.Everybody has heard the tale about the witless consumer who gave his or her credit cardnumber to some nameless company on the Internet and ended up with thousands of dol-lars charged to his or her card. There are about a thousand variations on the same horrorstory, which means that customers have high standards when it comes to giving out ac-cess to their financial resources online.Namely, your site is going to have to offer your customers a way to conduct transactionswith you in a method that is both secure and user-friendly. Not having a payment methodlisted on your site that is well-respected and trusted will seem unprofessional and sendthe vast majority of potential customers elsewhere. With the competitiveness of the on-line market, there’s no reason to lose a customer base due to perceived overtures of unre-liability.Most online businesses these days conduct their transactions through PayPal or throughsome form of online shopping cart. The pros and cons of both can be debated for days onend, but here is a quick overview of both.PayPal is well known and proven, and has high levels of customer satisfaction. Evenmore intriguingly, it’s free of monthly fees for the user. The payment for services throughPayPal is docked through a service charge, which is taken out of every transaction. Thereis much debate about at what point PayPal starts to become less cost-effective than ashopping cart, but the overall rule of thumb seems to be that if your business does lessthan 1000 dollars a month of money exchange, PayPal seems to be the best option. Ifyour revenue level is higher than that, it’s best to have both a PayPal option as well as ashopping cart.A shopping cart system requires a monthly maintenance fee, which can seem prohibitiveto smaller businesses. However, once your business sees serious growth, it’s a good ideato invest in shopping cart services, if nothing else than for the peace of mind they canbring. Paying the fee means that somebody else deals with the hassle of embedding thesoftware into your site, takes care of all the bugs that pop up, and generally ensures thatthings are running smoothly. With a PayPal account, the owner has to add this to the listof responsibilities.The most important thing to keep in mind is that as a respectable online business owner,
  5. 5. Choosing a Web AddressA web address refers to the title your customers will type into the toolbar at the top of thescreen. The web address of the media giant Amazon is amazon.com. You can check outwhat Disney is up to at Disney.com, and so forth. When you have your own online busi-ness, people will be able to type in your web address in order to see what you’re up to, aswell!This may seem like a somewhat obvious concern, but you will have to think up a web ad-dress that is catchy, evocative, and easy to remember, which is no small feat. By thispoint in the history of the Internet, a great deal of the short, snappy names have beentaken. For instance, if your business is called Good Times, well, it’s highly unlikelyyou’ll be able to land goodtimes.com for the purposes of your site.It’s gotten to the point where many people choose to name their businesses based off ofwhat web addresses they can land rather than basing the web address of the name of thebusiness. In fact, it’s probably a smart idea to check out what web addresses are availablebefore building your site if you have the luxury to do so: those who are building websitesto bolster a previously existing business won’t have this luxury, obviously.There is a lot of fuss on the Internet regarding using hyphens in web addresses. In anoverarching sense, whether or not to use hyphens in your web address comes down topersonal preference, but it is true that most people don’t stop to note hyphens in thenames of addresses unless giving specific directions to a site. Thus, if you have a greatname that is available only when you use hyphens (“blue-money.com”) but goes to a dif-ferent site when the hyphen is removed (“bluemoney.com”), it’s probably best to think ofanother name, lest you end up accidentally sending customers to an unrelated site or,worse, a competitor.Also of contention are the extensions for web addresses, which can include .com, .edu,.net, .org, .us, .info, .biz, and many others. There are also country specific web addressessuch as .co.uk. Of course, the most popular one of these is the .com, and in general, ifyou can land the web address of your dreams that also happens to be a .com, then thestars are smiling on you and it’s your lucky day.However, if there’s no chance of that happening, .org and .net are well-known as well andmost customers find them perfectly acceptable alternatives. Just make sure to publicizeyour website with the full web address should you not have a .com extension. The coun-try-specific domain names are great for local businesses – after all, if you’re working out
  6. 6. Choosing A Web HostIn addition to buying a web address, an online business will need to be hosted some-where. After all, a website is essentially a collection of graphic and text files uploadedonto a remote server so other surfers can access your files. If you don’t have a web host,then what you basically have is a lot of files on your own personal computer that nobodyelse can see.The first major choice that an enterprising business owner will have to make in regards toweb hosts is if he or she would like a free or a paid web host. There are advantages anddisadvantages with both.The major advantage for a free web host is, of course, the fact that it’s free. Taking ad-vantage of not being forced to fork out cash monthly for web hosting can save a businesshundreds, if not thousands of dollars. For those of you who are starting on a shoestringbudget, a free web host can be a real option for saving money.There are several disadvantages inherent with free web hosts, though. The first being ad-vertisements – the vast majority of free websites force ads onto their pages in order to payfor the hosting, which can be a major turn-off to visitors. (There are some free web hoststhat don’t force advertising, but many of these close due to lack of revenue – since ifpeople have the option to turn off advertising, most will!) In addition, several of the freeweb hosts don’t allow FTP, or File Transfer Protocol access. While this may mean noth-ing at all to you at the moment, once your online business really takes off, having FTP ac-cess means that you will be able to do so much more in regards to customizing and op-timizing your site.Generally speaking, it’s much more recommended for businesses to spring for the paidweb host if at all possible. There are some places where you can get basic web hostingfor under ten dollars a month, and you can switch web hosts at a later date should yourrequirements exceed the capabilities of the cheaper web hosts.Should you elect to go with a paid web host, the amount of options out there could com-pete with the number of stars in the universe. You can choose to be based out of yourown country or go international – while being based in your own country may seem likethe obvious option, if you’re trying to appeal to an international crowd and your target isEnglish speakers, being based out of the US is probably the best idea, even if you are loc-ated in another English-speaking country. You can choose to pay as little as five dollars amonth or as much as five hundred.
  7. 7. The Importance Of Web DesignMany online businesses, in their haste to get up a website as soon as possible in order tostart raking in the customers and the revenue, completely forget about the importance ofweb design when it comes to selling online.It helps to think of your website as a physical store. Before you invited the customers in,you’d take care to make sure that everything was organized, the place was easy to navig-ate for as many people as possible, and that the store was clean. If your store is cluttered,hard to navigate, and dirty, many customers will turn around and walk right out upon see-ing the place, without giving a second thought to the products inside.Web design is important in the same way. When you present your site it needs to bepresented in a clean, clear-cut fashion that draws the customer in and invites them to ex-plore the website more, rather than sending them running due to an onslaught of blinkinggraphics and clashing colors.The best web designs, thankfully, tend to be the more simplistic ones. Make your linksobvious and your text a reasonable size with appropriate colors. Note that “appropriatecolors” doesn’t necessarily mean that the website has to be in shades of white – in fact,pops of color add interest and make your website memorable – but having a yellow back-ground with pink text is going to shock your customers in a way that you’ll likely findless than desirable.Also fortunately, while most of us might not be web design gurus, there are a number ofpeople who have dedicated their lives to the art of website design and maintenance. Ifyou are a person who struggles to put italics into your HTML documents, there’s noshame in admitting that you’re not the grandfather of code. This is one place where out-sourcing can be a great idea. Yes, a look at many website design sites might make youreel with the prices they quote, but there are ways to keep the costs low when it comes tooutsourcing web design.Consider purchasing a ready-made site and then buying customized graphics on top ofthat as opposed to getting a site made from scratch. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.Also consider talking with students from design schools – yes, you’ll have to pay them,but they often charge much lower rates, and many students will jump at a chance to buildtheir portfolios.Also remember that outsourcing your web design can be claimed on your taxes for an on-
  8. 8. Sell It With CopyWhat’s just as important as the quality of your product and the organization of the site it’slocated on? The copy that sells it, of course!Consider your copy the same way you’d consider yourself before going on an interviewfor a job. You’d be clean, you’d look professional, and you might even rehearse a littlebit about what you were going to say. Your copy should present itself like it’s going infor an interview as well – this is your business speaking for itself, after all!What are the cornerstones of good copy? Well, let’s start off with the obvious – goodcopy is first and foremost well organized and free of grammatical errors. If your copy ishard to read and misspelled, it looks unprofessional which sets off red flags in the mindof your customers. Don’t let the incorrect usage of semicolons drive away potential rev-enue. Also, if nothing else, be sure to run everything through spellchecker before puttingit up.But if you want your copy to truly pop, you’ll need to do more than make sure that youcross your Ts and dot your Is. Good copy can accurately describe the product or servicesthat you sell, as well as inform the customer why your product and services are betterthan what’s offered by the competition. It paints you, the seller, as credible and honest,and it adds a touch of urgency to the transaction, convincing the customer that it’s inhis/her best interest to make a purchase as soon as possible. Good copy is convincing,but not overbearing.There are two obvious ways to go about getting good copy for your online business. Thefirst is writing it yourself. The second is outsourcing. The first is definitely the cheaperway to go, and even if you are utterly incapable of designing a website, it’s likely thatyou know how to work a word processor and use spellchecker. You could write yourown copy very persuasively and well.But this is another area in which potential online business owners should not scrimp. Behonest with yourself. Will you be able to represent your services and products to the ex-tent they deserve - and need to be represented in order to be profitable – with your writ-ing abilities?Many people opt to outsource their copy just as they outsource their web design. Just asthere are people who have dedicated themselves to the art of making web pages, there arethose who make a living out of writing the copy that fills these pages. Many of these
  9. 9. Free Marketing ManiaSavvy online business owners can take advantage of all the free marketing opportunitiesthe Internet has to offer. In order to maximize the results by using free marketing, you’llneed to put in a little bit of elbow grease and quite a few hours of time, but once you getthe hang of it, you’ll be astonished by how well you can get the word of your businessout there and start seeing real conversions.The best way to go about marketing your site without spending a dime is definitely thesocial media route. There has been a literal explosion of interest in sites such as Linked-In, Facebook, MySpace, and Yelp in recent years, and any online business owner who’sinterested in getting the word out about their products and services would be foolish tonot take advantage of these congregation spots.The trick for making social media marketing effective is the method in which you goabout it. Many business owners simply sign up their businesses for accounts and thensend off hundreds if not thousands of friend requests and expect interest to come floodingback in.The reality of the situation is that it’s not that easy – a smaller approach is definitelymuch more economical insofar as generating real interest in your business is concerned.Start by friending smaller groups – no larger than twenty people. If somebody sees thatyou’re trying to friend over two hundred people, chances are they’ll think you’re a spam-mer and not reply to your query. Smaller groups make you look more genuine and inter-esting. Also remember only to friend groups and individuals who have a stated interest inthe product or services that you sell; to do otherwise is considered spam.When sending out news feeds on these sites, the number one rule to consider is keepingyour send-offs interesting. Before you send anything out, be it a “tweet” or a status up-date or an email announcement, take a minute and think about whether or not what you’resending out is relevant or interesting. People will enjoy hearing about your product of-fers occasionally, but not three times a day. Again, you don’t want to come off as a spam-mer, because then people will stop friending you and the whole process will be fornaught.Also, be sure to take the time to look at the profiles of your friends and occasionally com-ment on what they have to say. This helps build your credibility as a “friend” and showthat you take an active interest in the people who are following you on the social net-working sites. Once again, more personable and less spam-like makes your social media
  10. 10. Establish An Expert ReputationOne of the most important things that any business can have, whether online or not, is le-gitimacy. If customers think that a particular business knows how to get a job done cor-rectly or sells flawless products, not only will they come back, but they’ll also offer yourname to others. And all business owners crave that word of mouth referral like nothingelse, as it’s marketing gold.But how to get that reputation? With online businesses, it can be a little bit more difficultto cultivate word of mouth recommendations simply because your customers might befrom all around the globe, and thus are less likely to ask each other for referrals as com-pared to neighbors in a single community are. Like everything else about online busi-nesses, it’s possible to get that reputation you want going, it just requires a bit of ingenu-ity and unconventional thought.One of the best ways to start building your reputation as an online business is to start offwith a bang – give away free content. This doesn’t mean that you need to give out freeproducts; though, certainly, if you can afford to do so, freebies are a great way to get acustomer’s attention. What you can do, however, is start giving out your advice. Ifyou’re a construction company, set up a “how to fix it” section of your site that anybodycan visit. If you’re a shoe repair shop, make some videos about how to do simple thingslike fix shoelaces and upload them to YouTube. This is a great way to draw in potentialcustomers who may not have originally been looking for your services, but advice – butthese surfers can quickly become customers if they believe in the strength of your advice.Another great way is to get involved with online forums relating to the product or ser-vices that you sell. If you’re a car repair shop, consider joining some forums based oncar repair and start offering up your free advice on the subject. Most of these forums al-low their users to post “signatures,” which are little text/picture snippets that appear at thebottom of every post. If you use this opportunity to advertise your site, you’ll start gener-ating interest when you build your reputation within that particular forum. Just be sureto actually contribute to the conversations in the forum itself, though – most forums havemoderators and if your account is deemed to be producing too much spam, you’ll be re-moved from the community. Not to mention, people who only use forums to place ad-vertisements and not contribute to the topics at hand are looked at with derision. Besides,if the topic of the forum is something that you are interested in – and assuming that youstarted a business in a particular topic, it hints that you are - you might even end up hav-ing fun by participating in forums.
  11. 11. Email Marketing Makes It HappenOne of the most valuable assets an online business can have is an opt-in list. What’s thisand how does it work? We’re here to help!An opt-in marketing list is where a customer (or potential customer, but it’s most oftensomebody who has purchased something from your site) gets an option to include them-selves in on an email list that your company sends out.This is very different from spam, which is where unscrupulous business owners go“phishing” for random email addresses that they find on the Internet and relentlessly peltthese poor souls with emails. Spam does nobody any good and basically ends up costinga business a lot of money only to irritate people.An opt-in list, though, is a brilliant for business because the people who receive youremails are actually interested in receiving them. You can send this list of people who areinterested in keeping constant correspondence with your business occasional emails – nomore than twice a month, usually, and only when you have something of worth to say oroffer – which can detail everything from the current goings-on of your business to dealsand offers and promotions. Many companies offer special promotions to those who jointheir opt-in list as an incentive to, well, opt in.Opt-in lists give customers who are interested in you your attention. Even better, the ef-fect of an opt-in list is entirely traceable, as if you start offering promotions through yourlist you’ll be able to tell how many of them get redeemed. Opt-in lists are also anothergreat way to get out more of that free expert content you offer, specially designed forthose who wish to follow you. Many smaller businesses offer Q and A sessions throughtheir opt-in list, where followers can ask specific questions that can be answered throughthe general forum of your email.These lists are also the digital equivalent to having “regulars” at a store and engagingthem in casual chat. Through an email list you can develop more intimate relationshipswith customers as compared to the normal “anonymous buyer” that hops into your site topick up a few items, and then hops out without you knowing anything more about themother than what they bought. Close relationships with customers generate brand loyalty,which is a hot commodity.Want another bonus? Email marketing can also be entirely free if you manage it yourself.Even if you choose to outsource your email marketing or leave it to an employee to
  12. 12. We are a professional company that specialises inwebsite design, text marketing, video marketing, so-cial media marketing, and google local listings, be- spoke functionality and web development. http://upandcomingmarketing.com/

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