Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Business Preflight Check Lists For My Internet Business

By Trisha Frauenhofer

I have a confession to make. This is my second Internet business, and I'm starting it having learned from the mistakes I made in the first one. I took a course at the Small Business Administration on business management and planning, and I'm amazed at how many things I did wrong the first time. Consider this a blueprint for avoiding the mistakes I made.

The overall structure of my internet business check list is the business plan. It should cover the steps you want your business to grow through, factoring in cash reserves, cash outlay, marketing budget and operating capital. Fortunately, internet businesses are low overhead operations.

A key aspect to making your internet based business is getting on the web in the first place; you'll need a web designer for that, or you can learn it on your own. We're going to be iconoclastic here, and suggest that it's worth your time to pay someone to do this for you. The primary business case for spending money on outside people is whether or not they can do something you can't, or whether they can do something you can do - but free your time up to do something else. Even if you're an HTML and CSS guru, if you're starting your own business, having someone else do the grunt work of designing the site is worth the time.

About the only thing I did right last time was learn the ins and outs of using for setting up my domain names. My designer helped me find a hosting provider who could install the software I wanted to make this all work, which helped a lot.

Internet speed is one important aspect of My Internet Business Pre-Launch plan that I think many people do not take into consideration. No one surfing the net will want to wait a long time for your page to load onto their computer. So unless you plan to only target customers with high speed internet access, remember all the glitz and flashiness will not matter much to those who do not have the time to load it.

When designing the site (or working with the designer), remember the KISS principal: Keep It Small, Stupid. No matter how shiny the graphics are, no matter how whizzbang the Flash animation is, your goal is to have something that loads almost instantly. Take the time to hit your site with a dial up modem; if it takes long enough that you wouldn't wait for it, make a low graphics main entry page and work from there.

Before you launch into business ready to make millions, you will want to have a plan for getting customers to your site. You can not exactly make millions without any clients. You may have the best looking web site, with superior products at the absolute best prices, but without customers none of that really matters.

A sure fire method it getting traffic to your store is to get your business in the top twenty search engine results. Keep your business in plain sight for everyone to see. Advertise on related web sites and you will see customer traffic begin to pull into your web site. Back links, keywords, SEO's, and strategically placed ads should all be created by your design firm, and will get you high search engine rankings. - 16651

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