Sponsor Post: MyDomain Shows How to Take Your Business Online in 2010

first_imgEditor’s note: we offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write ‘Sponsor Posts’ and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.Over the past decade, the Internet has evolved at a rapid pace, and if you didn’t jump on the bandwagon in years past you may be feeling like it’s a bit too late to establish an online business. That’s not the case, however, and 2010 is the perfect time to start doing business online. The underlying technologies of Internet architecture are well-established and are more affordable now than ever to end-users.The last several years have also seen a huge increase in the number of available social tools, web utilities and online services that make promoting your business and being visible online easier and more affordable. The number of Internet users continues to grow substantially across the globe, and there are an expansive number of channels you can use to reach potential customers online.From an economic perspective, now is also a good time to consider starting or growing your business. The global economy is showing signs of recovery from recession, and catching an economic upswing when growing a small business is always a good thing. Small business loans from banks and other creditors may still be difficult to come by, however, which makes an online business an even better choice due to low start-up costs. In recent history, a great deal of attention has been paid to the massive growth in large social networks, but now the Internet appears to be shifting towards a more local or hyperlocal focus with smaller communities inside bigger networks becoming more common. As a result, small businesses offering local products or services can find a targeted audience of potential customers to engage with.All these factors make now a great time to start your business online. Follow through on a 2010 resolution to make money from what you enjoy doing by starting a complete business from the ground up, adding an online component to your existing physical business, or just using a website to supplement other income and test the water for your idea. Below are a few steps you can take to get started.9 Steps to Getting Your Business OnlineFind a little cash: It’s probably going to cost a lot to get started with a business website, right? Not so much. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can’t afford to start a business online just because you see startups with millions of dollars in venture capital funding featured on ReadWriteWeb or other tech blogs. A huge number of successful online small businesses were started out of a home office or garage workspace. The Internet is massive, and if you can find a good niche, you don’t have to be everywhere at once to be successful. Costs for getting started with a domain name, hosting, basic website creation and online marketing can easily be kept under $1,000 in your first year of business if you plan well.Get a strong domain name: If you’re in the early planning stages of your business, always keep potential domain names in mind when choosing a business name. If you move forward with a great business name only to find the domain name is taken, it could mean back to square one on name planning. Instead, keep a domain search handy as you brainstorm and get creative with names to find a great fit. Your domain name will be your website’s permanent address on the web, so it’s important to get it right the first time.Get Web hosting: You’d be surprised how many people think the domain name is all they need to build a website. What you need next is a place to store website files online. That could be something as simple as basic web hosting or a more powerful solution such as a virtual private server – both of which we offer at MyDomain. There are many other options as well, including self-hosting on your own server. There’s a decent chance you know these basics already, so if that’s the case, make sure to share your knowledge with others who are looking to get started online.Build a website: There are a huge number of options when it comes to creating a website in 2010. Most hosting packages come with some a website builder that will create a decent, if not slightly dated looking website from a template. If you’re not experienced in web design but want to create a good-looking site yourself, look into content management systems such as Drupal, Joomla, or even WordPress as viable options that are easy to keep updated. The best – and not-surprisingly most costly option – still remains to hire a Web design company or freelancer. But if you’re serious about your online business, your website design and usability should be a top priority.Create an e-commerce strategy: Now comes the fun part: figuring out how to let other people pay you. If you want to have an integrated shopping cart solution, you’ll be able to sell directly through your site and manage complete product listings. However, this type of solution is the most expensive and complex way to sell online, and a simpler solution may be a better fit for a small business just getting started. A great place to start is simply integrating services such as Paypal or Google Checkout into your website to accept payments. Another viable alternative is to use a website as an informational source for your business, but sell through another online vendor like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. A final option is to choose to not sell online, but instead establish a website to promote and market your physical business.Secure your site: If you’re planning to sell through your website or will even be collecting sensitive information from visitors, you’ll want to look into getting an SSL certificate for your website. SSL encrypts data transmissions to and from your website and is most commonly used to protect credit card and financial data. Varying levels of encryption and visible security indicators for your website are available.Network like crazy: Traditional networking can be crucial to the early success of a business, and social media can enable you to network effectively online. Talk about social media for business use is everywhere, and there are a huge number of resources and articles available to help you get started. Make sure that above all else, you go where your customers are. Utilize the tools that will allow you to most effectively communicate with those customers.Track like crazy, too: Make sure you’re using website analytics to track your website visitors and sales. Part of the beauty of the web versus a traditional storefront is the ability to easily track, sort and analyze all of the data collected from visitors to your website. Analytics can help you improve your website design, track your sales conversion, see where you’re ranking in search engines and much more. Google provides some of the best options available with Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Website Optimizer that all provide invaluable data for any online business.Grow and organize for the future: If you’ve made it to the point where you have a website set up, sales are coming in and your business is growing, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re fully organized online. Use custom email addresses for your business, and make use of powerful collaboration, calendar and task management tools such as Open Xchange, Microsoft Exchange or Google Apps. Stay on top of the latest Internet trends and changes as things will continue to change rapidly for the foreseeable future. From there, carry your 2010 success long into the future as the Web continues to expand as a great place to do business. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Sponsors#web rww sponsor 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img

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