This is a great question and one that cannot be taken lightly. Nowadays it seems like more and more people want to start an online business and that ‘traditional’ businesses have grasped the brilliant opportunity the Internet presents. It seems like every man and his dog desire and wants an online business, but how do they start?The first thing that must be asked is WHY do you want an online business? For example, a single mum who is struggling financially might want to start an online business to create an additional income and to support her family. Similarly, a high street shop might want to start an online business to sell their products to a global audience and to keep up with the competition.There are so many reasons as to why people start an online business, but the key thing here is to have a driving force or a burning desire so as to keep motivated because as much as everyone would want to believe it is NOT all smooth sailing. You need a different mindset to start an online business as there is a different ethos.7 Quick Steps To Starting An Online Business
Concept/Idea: This is a key part as you need to have a feasible idea for your online business as well as a Unique Selling Point. From the two examples, the single mum might have her own product but if not can become an affiliate for an existing product with potential; also, the high street shop owner can set an ‘online shop’.
Domain Name and Web Hosting: The domain name is like your ‘tag’ so selecting a good domain name that is both memorable and search engine friendly is key to developing an Internet business. It is also extremely important to find a reliable web hosting company that can cater for your needs.
Website Design: The website is what the Internet is all about and needs to sell your business. Either design it yourself or commission someone else.
Marketing: I won’t elaborate on the importance of a sound marketing plan, but a lot of time and research needs to go developing a great marketing plan that will target your potential audience.
Building a Customer Database: One of the best things about an Internet Business is that you get easily traceable results; a decent online business, along with its marketing plan will be able to track its customers and then capture their details so as to build a list.
Building Relationships and Repeat Business: It is a known fact that a customer that has bought from you before is more than likely to buy again, if satisfied. You need to build a good rapport with the customers so as to gain their trust and hence repeat business.
Test, Refine and Reinvest: The online business owner needs to be constantly testing its effectiveness of the website and more importantly its marketing plan, refine it needed and then reinvest a portion of the profits to further build the business and/or create new products.
The steps above are not exhaustive but merely give a good outline on how to start an online business.
Here you will find the 10 biggest forum mistakes that can impede your forum’s success. Do not allow these mistakes to happen to you! I have seen many forum administrators, even experienced ones, do some of the mistakes listed here! Most of these are the reason forums die within the first 3 months.1) Caring too much about your theme/skin rather than content. The forum and its content are way more important than the looks! Many administrators spend the majority of their time working on their forum’s look while neglecting the actual content that will keep their forum alive! Even the greatest looking book cover will not entice readers to read a horrible book!2) Expecting members to just start posting threads. Many administrators open their forum with just rules and guidelines, expecting their new members to start spontaneously posting threads. You cannot expect your members to just start posting threads. Give them some threads to post in, help them out, and you should see more activity from them then.3) Expecting a lot of activity quickly. Many forum administrators believe that if their forum is not extremely active in the first month or two then their forum will not succeed. This is a horrible mind-set. Forums are like businesses and must start small. I see way too many administrators throw in the towel early when the forum had huge potential! Keep working on your forum and you will see it grow.4) Setting a deadline that you cannot meet. As simple as that seems, a lot of members become frustrated by an admin that continually does this. Be sure of what you are saying and earn the respect of your members. Do not set a deadline unless you are positive you will deliver on time.5) Not knowing your competition. Many board owners are unaware of forums similar to theirs and wonder why they have little or no activity. Look at your competition! See what they’re doing, see what has gone well and what hasn’t. Learn from them and try to create a better forum than your competition, this is the only way you will attract members to your forum and not theirs!6) Being unoriginal. Now I’m not saying to go and create a forum genre no one has done, but at least be creative and original with the forum you own. If you copy a larger and more active board exactly, guess what, you will most likely see your forum dead very soon. Members need a reason to go to your forum and not an already established one. If they see no reason to join your forum, then they won’t, so give them a good reason to join your forum.7) Don’t overwhelm the members. Having a bunch of forum categories and sub-forums isn’t going to make your forum any better. If you have way too many forums then try cutting down the ones that have less activity, they aren’t truly helping you. This is very important to keep in mind with a new forum because you will most likely overwhelm the new members with too many forums and (since you are new) little or no activity on them will give your forum no value.8 ) Expecting to see a lot from staff members. “Hope for something, expect nothing.” Unless you are paying your forum staff members, don’t expect a whole lot from them. They have a life outside of the forum that is a much larger priority, so don’t overwork them. Many forum admins expect a lot from their staff and are frustrated when little or no progress is shown.9) Not hiring staff members carefully. This can lead to many forum troubles, as many know. Hire your staff carefully, you never know when a staff member can turn on you and the whole forum.10) Not having enough time to dedicate to your forum. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your forum, then don’t expect it to be the biggest thing out there. Forums are a lot of work and if you just don’t have the time, then it will probably not work out. Realize that running a forum is similar to running a business. Most people lack the time to operate a forum adequately. It is a huge responsibility and as administrator you are the best example of what you want your forum to be. Be active, be smart, and follow ForumBlogger’s tips and advice and you will see success in your forum!