You're excited! You've come up with a great idea for a profitable online business. Maybe it's an original idea that has not been marketed online before? Maybe you've come up with a new spin on an old idea? Whatever it is that has influenced you to start your own online business, be sure that you have a plan before you begin. This is not the time to "pick it up as you go". Here are six essential elements that you should be sure to include in your business plan.
Start with the business summary which should give a brief description of the entire business. It is an integral part of the overall business plan. Your next action is to begin to list the objectives or the goals that you want to accomplish through the business. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you should develop your marketing plan. The marketing plan addresses all the specifics of the business.
When developing your marketing strategy you need to address the following:
1.The target market
The target market is the customers that you expect to see visiting your site. For example will your product be more appealing to college students or to those who are in retirement?
2. Consider the competition for your product.
Choose a product that will be seen as unique and useful. Visit sites that are offering the same or similar products. Find out the cost of their product. How they are marketing their product? Finds out the pros and cons of their business and try to improve your product based on their flaws.
Explore the various methods for advertising online. You should become educated about search engines and how they work since each one is different. Also be sure that you know how to submit your site to search engines. You should be prepared to spend a small amount of money on advertising, but the profits that you gain from the advertisements will prove to be money well spent.
4. Think about pricing.
Again, look at the competition and see what similar products are selling for. Pricing can play a big role in the success of your product. Selling a product well below the average price may lead the customer to believe that there is a problem with the product or that your product is not of the best quality. Consequently, pricing items too high could also deter customers from purchasing.
5. Determine the shipping method.
Be sure that you know how products will be shipped so that you can have shipping details clearly posted on your site. If you are shipping things of great value, you should consider providing shipping insurance. Also, consider whether you will ship internationally.
6. Methods of payment.
If your business does not accept credit cards, you should be ready to give up more than half of your sales. If you decide to accept credit cards, will you use a merchant account or will you use a third party credit card processing center? Both will help you get started and the third party processing center will handle all of the business so you don''t have to. When conducting business online, it is imperative that you have a secure server. Also, will you accept checks or money orders?
These few items will help your online business become a great success. You will have peace of mind knowing that you have thoroughly investigated and planned for a smooth transition to the opening of your online business.