Updated 21st September 2019
How To Starting In Online Business
How to home business – What you need in a startup – When running an online business from home you want to start off on the right foot. This being so, here are five things I recommend to you when starting in online business:
1. A Business Phone Number
You’d be surprised how many people forget this important item. At a minimum you want to have a dedicated business phone number, answered in your business name.
These days, with iPhones and Smart Phones you’re no longer restricted to just getting a second line put in. You could use one of the many VoIP providers to get a dedicated number using some PC software and your broadband internet account. Alternatively, you could use a “virtual office” provider to set up a phone number which would either be answered by an operator or forwarded to your mobile or home phone, or both.
The options with virtual offices these days are quite sophisticated, and you often get phone and fax numbers and IVR menus built into a standard package, along with operator call forwarding and SMS text messaging.
2. A Business Email Address
When you sign up for broadband, your provider probably gave you an email address like <email@example.com>. Whereas what you need if you want people to take you seriously is an email address like; firstname.lastname@example.org>.
In other words, you need your own internet domain name.
This is not nearly as big a deal as it sounds, and you definitely don’t need to get the geeks involved! There are many providers of domain name services online, and nearly all of them will bundle “mailboxes” (email addresses) with the domain name at little or no additional charge. You can sign up for these services with a credit card and have your new domain name operational the following day (it takes up to 24 hours for a new domain name to become active).
3. A Digital Letterhead
These days it’s far more likely that you’ll be sending electronic documents to your clients than paper ones. You may send some paper ones too (in some jurisdictions, you may still be required to send a paper invoice for services for example), but if you have a digital letterhead, you can always print it out for a hard copy.
The best format for a digital letterhead is a Word template (substitute your favourite word processor for Word if you like). A template is a “locked” document that enables you to create new documents using the template as a starting point. You can start a new document from your template just by double-clicking on it. Then you can turn the template into whatever you need: an invoice, purchase order, with compliments slip, etc. If you want to get really ambitious, you can create custom templates for each business document you require.
When sending documents to clients via email, it’s a good thing to convert them to a PDF before sending them. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and is a file format created by Adobe.
The advantages of PDF are: the reader is a free download (and most people already have it installed), so you don’t have to worry about whether your recipient has Word installed; the document is read-only so it can’t be modified by the recipient; and PDF’s will always print out exactly as you see them on screen, so if your recipient uses a different paper format or has their printer set up differently, you can rest assured the document will still print out OK.
4. Business Cards
Whatever your business, even if you think you’re not going to have any face-to-face contact with your customers, you still need professionally-designed business cards. Remember, it’s not just customers you may be meeting – suppliers, bank managers, small business support groups, networking events, even friends and relatives. Every time you have one of these contacts and you don’t have a business card with you, it’s a lost opportunity to get exposure for your product or service.
A business card is often the only contact you’ll have with someone for a long time, so it’s important to make an impact, and ensure that all the details are 100% correct. This is why it’s best to spend a little bit extra to get the card professionally designed.
5. A Contact Log
Every time you make contact with anyone, be they a customer, supplier or other form of business associate, ensure you log the contact in your business contact log. This can be as simple as entering information in the “Notes” field of your address book or email program. Alternatively you could use a paper system (although these tend to become unwieldy very quickly).
There are custom contact management and lead management applications on the market, however these can be expensive. The advantage of keeping notes in your email address book is that anytime you receive an email from a contact, you immediately have the contact history on hand. Even when speaking to someone on the phone, it is a small matter to ask the speaker if they wouldn’t mind holding for a few seconds. You can then quickly look them up in your address book, digest the history and retrieve the call.
The contact log is vitally important – nothing gives your business a more professional tone than to be completely informed about everyone you speak to. Humans thrive on social contact, and if you are well-informed about your contacts in a business setting, it will serve to increase your business profile and people will be more likely to remember you with a positive attitude.
Now lets move on to…
10 Commandments Of An Online Home Business
There are (at least) 10 absolute musts for anyone who wants to run a successful online home-based business.
1. Do Not Expect A Free Lunch:
Chances are, you will not get rich quick. Deal with it. Don’t waste your time convincing yourself or listening to others who tell you differently. Hard work and perseverance will not fail you.
2. Any Product You Promote Must Solve A Customers Problem:
We humans are greedy creatures most times. We want comfort, ease, peace of mind, and a plethora of other self indulgencies. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask “What’s in it for me?”. If your ads or products do not clearly spell this out, and tell the customer how you will give him what he desires, most times you will not make the sale.
3. Always Educate Yourself, Keep Learning And Developing Your Expertise:
Read, Read, Read. Observe other successful people in your field. What are they doing? Read some more.
4. Try Your Best To Set Aside Some Money For Paid Advertising:
Free advertising is an oxymoron. The only people reading free ads are the ones who are placing them there, and all they’re looking for is their own ad, not yours. Instead, learn all you can about your target audience, and find them. Whether it is through pay-per-click advertising using highly targeted keywords, eZine ads, banners on related sites, etc. Don’t go after the general public. Go after people who are looking for your type of product or service. Allow a certain monthly expense for advertising and stick to it.
5. Always Track Your Advertising:
You made a sale! Congrats! How did the customer find you? If you have 10 different ads on 10 different sites, how on earth will you know which one(s) are working? View your server logs to see where the users came from. Create unique URLs to use in each ad. For example: http://www.yourdomain.com?ad1 http://www.yourdomain.com?ad2 etc. Just add the ? and ad number to the end of the URL you post along with each ad. Change the number for each one & for goodness sake, write them down somewhere! StatCounter.com offers a great free service that will assist you in tracking your visitors.
6. You Should Always Tweak:
Familiarize yourself with the term “split-run”. A split run is where you take 2 ads and send them out simultaneously and measure the results to see which ad pulled more clicks and sales. You take the better of the 2 ads and create another one. Run a split-test again with your best ad & your new ad. The winner moves on to the next round. Repeat this process often.
7. Honor Your Mailing List:
Your current and previous customers are an incredible source of revenue for you. It’s a shame that many online business owners neglect this each and every day. Stay in touch with your prospects by sending an email or printed newsletter or flyer. Offer them special discounts and loyalty bonuses. If you forget them, they will surely forget you.
8. Do Not Be Held Back By The Occasional Failure:
You will fail. Period. Dust yourself off & get back on the horse. It is part of your education. Learn from it and move forward.
9. Duplicate What Works:
Commandment number six goes hand-in-hand with this one. The wonderful thing about doing business online is the ease at which you can scale-up your operation. If you find something that works, do it again, and again. (Rinse and Repeat) Reach a larger audience. If you’ve found a successful niche as an affiliate with a mini-site, set up more websites.
10. Make Sure You Have Some ‘Me’ Time:
You need some time away from the computer. Go outside. Go shopping. Visit friends. Read something non-technical, fiction maybe. You’ve earned the right to treat yourself. Make it a habit or it will become a resentment.
To finish. I did say in number 9 you should set up more sites and I know where you can get them, and all at no cost.
I’m referring to the community I have been a member of since 2014. As a member you do receive 25 free sites, and all those sites wont cost you a penny for hosting either. You can choose your own theme design for your website(s). You can also choose your own Domain Name. You will also have access to a free keyword tool, step by step training, an online Bootcamp, Live Chat and a whole lot more.
Click on the image below my name and you are taken to a community web page with a menu. Within those menu headers you will find all the information you need to get started with your own home business.
Before you visit that web page perhaps you could leave me a comment below and let me and the other readers of this article know your own thoughts on working from home with an online business where you are the boss.
Remember to look me up on the inside, and I and over a million other members will help you all we can.
Have an awesome day folks.