A Primer on Starting a Business Online

There are many reasons why, each day, thousands of people are drawn to the idea of starting an online business:

  •  Existing business owners can increase their potential customers to include millions of internet users,
  •  Home-based entrepreneurs can cost-effectively advertise their products and services and build huge prospect lists, and
  •  All business owners can take advantage of online services that not only help to automate the sales process, but also develop lasting customer relations.

The complexity of starting an online business depends, to a large extent, on the degree to which off-the-shelf solutions are used to implement the sales process.

An initiate into online marketing can register a domain and upload a web page featuring products and services, and manually process orders and customer contacts.

At a minimum, a business owner or home-based entrepreneur must complete the following steps:

1) obtain a domain name from any one of many domain-name registrars,

2) purchase web-hosting from a hosting service,

3) build and upload the web page,

4) manually take orders and payments, and

5) manually deliver products or services.

The proposition of, "Build it and they will come," made famous by the movie "Field of Dreams," is not generally true with respect to marketing with a web page. In order to achieve sales, prospective customers must first find the web page and then spend enough time on the page to absorb the sales message.

A web designer's use of HTML techniques can help insure that a web page will be cataloged by internet search engines and be seen in search results.

Traffic exchanges, blogs, and article submissions can be used to "drive" traffic to a web page.

Carefully crafted and placed squeeze pages can be used to interest--at a glance--a web surfer enough to take a closer look at a product or service.

Once web surfers are exposed to a well crafted squeeze page, they can be induced to submit a name and email address.

After submitting their contact information, interested prospects can be sent additional information: autoresponders are typically used to automatically deliver the information and to help build prospect lists.

Once web users find their way to a web page, a payment gateway is often used to collect a customer's payment.

Elizabeth Adams
Sincerely Yours,

Elizabeth Adams

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