So you want to start your own e business. After all, Internet marketing is hot. Not long ago I heard a statistic that more people look on Google to search for businesses than the yellow pages. More and more people buy online. It is a huge, growing market and one with endless possibilities.
But how do you start an e business? What is the process?
Here are 12 steps to building YOUR own e-business!
1) Thoroughly analyze the following: what’s your passion? What do you love to do? What makes your eyes light up when you talk about it? What are your skills, gifts, talents, experience?
2) Choose one of these passions and consider business start-up ideas. Love organizing? Start a professional organizer consulting business. Is your passion to create crafts? Select on online store like Etsy and build your business around that. Do you have a skill or experience that can be turned into an ebook or Amazon book? Become an author! Want to produce and sell music? There are several outlets for independent musicians, like CDBaby. Interested in writing a book? Learn how to sell books on Amazon.
2) Once you have selected your business concept, ask yourself who your target market would be. Whom would you serve? You might want to select an affinity or niche market. What group of people do you most identify with? For instance, if you are a homeschooling mom, then your affinity market might be homeschoolers. You might consider developing a product or service homeschooling moms need, want, or desire.
Get to know your audience. Do thorough research. What is their pain? What are they afraid of? What do they desire? Whom influences them?
3) When you have gathered all this information, decide on a name. You may want to promote your name as the business or create a descriptive one. It’s whatever excites you and keeps you motivated that matters. You might also want to create a slogan. Make sure the name is not trademarked with the U.S. trademark and patent office. At this point, you may want to register as a sole proprietorship or Limited Liability Company. Weigh the options of both. Talk to your attorney and tax accountant for legal and financial issues. If you plan on selling retail products, get a sales tax license through your state and city.
At this point, you may want to do a professional business plan written, as well as a cash flow projection chart. What kind of capital do you need to get started? Unless you are involved in something technology driven, it’s probably smart to not go into debt over your new business but let it grow slowly. All you absolutely need is a computer and a fast Internet connection.
4) Have a professional photograph taken of yourself. If you can’t afford a professional photograph session, make sure you trust the abilities of the one who takes the photo.
5) Choose an image that represents your business. Build a brand that communicates the essence of who you are and what you do. Include your photo and slogan, if you have one. If you have a descriptive name for your business, you might want to consider putting your name somewhere as part of the logo.
6) Set up your sales funnel. Decide where you are going to sell your products and set it up. Are you going to take orders through a site like Etsy, or do you need PayPal? If you are taking recurring orders, you will need your own merchant account.
7) Purchase a domain name for your business. Develop a free product, something of value, that will entice your target market to give you their name and address.
8) Sign up with an autoresponder. Create a weekly online newsletter. You want to share gold nuggets of information with your prospects. Give them valuable content and also include a small promotion about your business.
9) Make your marketing plan. What balance of offline and online marketing will you do? Offline ideas include business cards, postcards, bookmarks, display advertising, or door hangers. Online includes article marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click ads, banner ads, online classified ads, and ezine ads. Decide what frequency you will do these actives.
10) Develop your product or service. If it’s a product, like an ebook to be downloaded from the Internet, test, test, and double test.
11) You may want to make a launch plan and stick to it. Write press releases and send online and to local venues.
12) Launch your product or service. Work your marketing plan consistently. Make sure you have a system for your finances and administration. Have fun and enjoy your new business!
Follow these twelve steps and you will build an e business that sizzles!
To learn more about creating your own brand image and how you can make that brand more effective, download my FREE report, 10 Ways You Can Make Your Brand Sizzle at http://www.makeyourbrandsizzle.com
Want to get started right away to make your brand sizzle? Check out my extensive course at http://www.brandidentityquest.com that will teach you how the basics of brand design and marketing.
Dana Susan Beasley is principal and publisher of AngelArts, a Creative Arts Agency and Publishing House, and the author of a 3-month graphic design and marketing course called Brand Identity Quest. An experienced and creative graphic artist, she has been helping companies, organizations, and artists reach new heights in their branding for over 17 years.