Having a successful business online is very rewarding. However, it can not be done without some work and this is probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there. Typically, peoples perception of online businesses is that those who are successful just happened to get lucky. In reality though, this was probably never the case, they got there through hard work and dedication. If you feel that you have this, I would encourage you to continue reading. However, if you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, you probably do not want to hear the reality of online business, and you should stop reading here.
Step 1: Get Legal
Sure, there is some initial costs of getting legal to run a business online. However, it is well worth it in my experience. Especially if you want to be taken seriously by other businesses you may want to partner up with. In my experience, any business I wanted to associate myself with required that I have at minimum a sales tax ID. This was simply a number that verified I was serious about my business venture. When they see that you are serious, they will be much more inclined to work with you. On top of this, if you have a booming website, you do not want the federal government to come in and take ownership of it. I have yet to see this happen, but in theory, it is possible.
Step 2: Develop a Website
Once you are a business, now you need somewhere to sell your products. This may seem like a very simple task for some, but really a lot of thought and care needs to go into it. The first thing that people online will see is some page that represents your company. If that page screams something like the terms "unprofessional", "child play", or "snake oil salesmen" your visitors will not buy from you. You should ensure that the page represents you well so that the traffic you receive may possibly covert to paying customers easily. Spend a lot of time making sure there are no grammatical errors, it is easy to read, and that the website you get straight to the point you want it to make.
Step 3: Market Your Business
No matter how great your website looks, if no one sees it then no one will be buying from you. The best way to think about owning an online business is that you have built your business in the middle of a dry and desolate desert. This is a scary thought, but it is reality for all online start up businesses. Unlike brick and mortar businesses built on main street that the minute they open their doors that they have people walking in, online businesses have to work to get their traffic. You must advertise your products and services using various online marketing methods. This is a topic that can be reserved elsewhere as there is much more to it than placing it in a single paragraph. However, the concept is simple, to get people to a store in any desert, you must go out and tell people that it is there and entice them to visit. Otherwise, it will simply be a store that never sells any products. This is not meant to scare you, but to help you understand that you are not done with the hard work when your website is finished and online. It is really just the beginning.
Source by Aaron Goldberg