E-business is a hot word today. Most of the people would like to start an e-business today but do not have much clue as to how to go about it. E-business can be either easy or complicated based on the business that you are going to have .
I have compiled a basic list of steps that can be used as a starting point.
- Plan your business first
- Get a business name
- Decide the domain name
- Purchase the domain/host name
- Write down features of site clearly
- Decide on the vendor
- Develop the website
- Finalize and go live
- Market your site
It is very important to clearly decide, the kind of business you would like to run on the internet.Is it a product or service business? Is it completely online or a mix of offline and online? Who are your target customers? How are you planning to reach them? How would you decide on vendor?
Write down all these question in a document and make sure that you get the proper answers. Search them on internet, ask the experts or find them in a book. But without finishing at least 80% of planning, do not start execution.
Research to find out your business name. Try out combination, use family name or anything else. However, spending large amount of time on it is not desirable. You should quickly get a name and move on.
To get a website name exactly as your business name is most desirable but many times it is not possible. There are various tools that tell, if your desired domain is available. If you cannot find the domain name which is same as business name, try to get the closest sounding name. Decide if you want to use .com, .info, .biz, .org based on your business type.
While purchasing domain name will just provide you with the ownership of domain, host is the place where your website will reside. Search on the internet to determine the best host for your requirements.
It is very important to write down in a document, clearly all the features that you would like to see in your website. Write down navigation paths ( how would some search a product for example) , login process( how a customer will login, what will he see, which fields he will have to fill etc.) , customer touch points ( how will customer interact with site) etc.
This document can be given to the vendor who will develop your website. It will also help you decide on the price you are going to pay to your vendor feature wise.
Deciding on the vendor is the most difficult thing. Analyze your vendors based on your paying capacity and their experiences with web designing. Ask for references and prototypes before signing the contract.
If you have finalized a vendor, ask him/her to develop the site based on contract that you have signed. Ask him to constantly update you with the progress of the site.
Once you are done with your website, test it and set it up for go-live. Once go-live, monitor the website for performance issues and bugs.
Create a strategy for marketing your website.Ask questions. Will it be online, offline or a mix of two? How are you going to use adwords to help people find your site? Will you use social marketing?
I hope you find these useful as a reference to start your online business.