Obviously, the first place to start with any business is to come up with an idea. What, exactly, is up for sale and what is the best way to attract the customer to the product? This has been the main focus of all businesses, whether online or brick and mortar, for centuries.
For those who already have a traditional business, this is the obvious place to start. Even businesses that primarily work in the “real world” can benefit from having an online outlet, if for nothing else than to reap the benefits of the worldwide marketing aspect.
However, one of the most common mistakes that a “real world” business makes when transitioning to an online outlet is that they become what is known as a “brochure website,” where the website itself offers little information other than scanned brochures and directions to the store itself. While there is some merit to be had in this sort of website – and it is, indeed, better than no website at all – this doesn’t maximize the potential that the Internet has in furthering the cause of businesses.
For businesses who are looking to transfer from the “real world” to the digital one, it’s recommended to consider looking at the website as if it was the main focus of the business, rather than a peripheral concern. If a business owner was starting from scratch with a website and trying to sell the product, how important would the website itself be? It would be vital, because the website is the medium that sells the product. Websites who have “real world” businesses should view their site in the same way.
For those who are looking to start an online business from scratch, the most important thing to do is research. What are competitors offering in the field? How much are they charging, and what do their websites look like? Try Google searching for others who are offering the same things that you would like to sell, and check out their quality and pricing.
Next, sit down and consider how you can improve upon what your future competitors have already brought to the table. Do most of the sites you see have uninspiring websites or difficult navigation? Take note and make sure not to make the same mistakes when it’s time for you to launch your own site.
Remember that your online business doesn’t have to necessarily be unique in order to be successful. It just has to be a more appealing option to the consumer than the others already on the market. Take note on what your competition is doing and envision making it better. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel to find success – but if you can package it better or get it out faster, that’s a major step in the right direction!