These days, the Internet is a major part of both small and big business. With extensive traffic on the web, from social media advertising to new methods of merchandising online, a new generation of business people is growing up: the Internet entrepreneur is someone who is looking at the vast power of the Internet to start or grow a business. Whether it’s a physical merchandising business or a play on innovative modern services, someone who wants to become a successful Internet entrepreneur will often pay attention to some startup basics involving blending this new technology with classic good business sense.
1. Have a concrete business plan. Just as in traditional business, Internet businesses can profit greatly from a well thought out business plan that will help attract capital, guide leaders in starting and growing a business, and present this fledgling enterprise to the outside world as something legitimate with great potential.
- Include both specific and big picture guidance in the business plan. A detailed business plan should help present viable finance for a business. It should also attract interest and enthusiasm by offering investors and others a vibrant look at the potential for what the business is offering. A business plan is, in some ways, much like an elevator pitch. It’s something that precedes a business, like a herald ringing a bell, and gives so many new businesses what they need to survive: attention and the presentation of potential success.
2. Add shopping carts or other infrastructure. One of the key aspects of becoming a successful Internet entrepreneur is to put the needed tools onto the website, allowing customers to get involved with the business and make transactions easily and conveniently.
- Use surveys, etc. to drive future business. Customers need a way to buy, but the business also needs a way to track sales and identify target audiences. Complex web tools and good leadership can allow for a sophisticated marketing plan that takes advantage of the information at the fingertips of business leaders.
3. Pursue appropriate advertising. Advertising needs are different for every business, and dialing in exactly what a specific Internet business needs is a huge part of success for any Internet entrepreneur or business startup leader.
- Take advantage of easy modes of Internet advertising. YouTube and other sites offer a variety of great ways to advertise a business creatively.
- Add physical advertising. It’s important to remember that in some ways, the Internet exists in isolation. Many users who don’t regularly use the Internet need other ways to get attached to the business as first-time customers. Participating in local events and using other time-tested strategies will help the web business profit from effective outreach.
5. Hedge against risk. Getting a good business structure and purchasing appropriate business insurance will help the new Internet entrepreneur or business leader guard against some unpleasant situations that could come up due to product liability or other kinds of unfortunate events or legal challenges.