The 25-Point Checklist for Starting Your Online Business – (Part-I)

Many businesses have failed due to not planning properly or missing vital points in the plan. This is a checklist of points I have put together for you to consider and follow step by step when starting an internet based business.

1. First take a Foundational Training or Basic course on how to set up your own internet business. Most never rise above the mediocre level because they never bother to train themselves on what it takes to start on online company and what it takes to create their own product or service for that business.

For basic training on how to start your own internet business, I recommend the beginner’s course offered by the American Internet Business School at www.ibsamerica.org, and for training on how to create your own product or service for your business, I
recommend the beginner’s course at www.internetnewbiesacademy.com.

You can also research online to find other similar courses that you may prefer to these recommended ones. It does not matter which one you choose, the important thing is to get proper knowledge and understanding.

Don’t under estimate the need to learn how to properly set up an internet business. It does not matter how educated you are or how much offline success you have had, the internet is still a different terrain altogether and you NEED the education before starting.

2. Decide the kind of online business you want to start. There are many choices or opportunities to start an internet business. You must choose the type of goldmine you want to dig. After picking the goldmine you want to dig at, you must the research your choice of business or services you want to deliver to that market thoroughly. You must narrow down to a niche with a hungry market and which you are passionate about.

3. Research the market for your chosen line of business. Don’t just jump in there. Ask questions such as: Who are the biggest players in the market. What is a need they missed or are not servicing very well in your niche? How can you leverage on what they are doing or have already done? How can you get some of the big players to support you and help you get into the business? How can you set up joint ventures with them?
Use Google Keyword search to help you find a niche within your chosen market. Just search using keywords that relate to your intended business. Find and focus on a niche or a market that is not over-saturated with online businesses

Don’t be intimidated to ask for help from the big boys. You will be surprised at how cooperative they may be. Online business is very different from brick and mortar businesses when it comes to competition. Since the internet is world-wide, people do not see themselves as do or die competitors or consider any new entrant as a threat to their income. They are happy to help their competitors thrive because that will also help them down the road to expand their market.

4. Educate yourself thoroughly about what it takes to succeed in your niche. Find out their buying habits; their code of conduct; the trigger points for getting noticed and accepted. The narrower your niche, the more the more serious are their mores; culture and attitudes. You must understand their trigger points and their turn off points.

5. Decide if your online business would be a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation. It is good to have a long term vision. You want to have a professional business name for your company and not just be using your name.

6. Strategically Name your online business. Don’t just pick a name because it sounds good to your ears. It is advisable to choose a name that spells out what your business is about when you register your domain name. Try as much as possible to pick a name that matches the keywords that your target market may use to search for your services. This will prove very important for search engine optimization for traffic later.

7. Write a realistic Strategic Business Plan for your online business. Most internet businesses failed because they never had a business plan. Most successful people have a written business plan that guides their action. It is a fact that a bad plan is better than no plan at all.
You can join the www.imrehabcenter.com to learn how to write a real good business plan.

8. Write a Marketing Plan to execute the business plan. This should answer some critical questions such as: Who is your core target market? What are their habits? How do you plan to market your business? How do you want to market it?

9. Organise financing for your online business based on your business plan. Evaluate how much you can raise yourself and how you are going to get the rest. Do not believe anyone who tells you that you do not need any money to start your business. You will need money for tools and resources and well as
promotion money. It may not be much but you will definitely need some!

10. Join relevant internet business networking forums and different social media groups in places like Facebook; Google+ and LinkedIn related to your niche and other offline trade associations related to your online business. Join internet forums for Africans such as www.afrinetvillage.com to start networking with Africans in internet marketing and www.warriorforum.com for global networking. Ask questions and listen to recommendations from the gurus before you.

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