How to Start an Internet Businessby ContributorUpdated September 15, 2017
If you've decided to start an Internet business, there are some very important things to consider first. Cyberspace is a universe unto itself and your business can get lost if it isn't filling a need or easily found.
Find your "niche." A niche is a specialized area of sales or service. If you think in too broad terms, many potential customers will never find you. You may have exactly what they want, but if your website is too vague the customer may not even bother looking. Start by deciding what you will sell on the Internet. It may be your own designs or products, other peoples products, digital information or a business to business site.
Research the Internet thoroughly. Using search engines, find your competition and study their sites, looking at the most successful sites. Look at the products offered, the prices, availability, return policies, the warranties or guarantees. Next, look at the site itself. Look at the graphics, logos and pages. Know your competition.
Choose the perfect name for your Internet business. If you can find a niche, try to include the product in your business name. For example, if you are going to supply special wrenches to the automotive industry, name your Internet business something about wrenches. For example, Billy Bob's Garage is not nearly as descriptive as Just Wrenches. Billy Bob's Garage will get lost in cyberspace with all the gas stations and repair shops online, but Just Wrenches will create a niche; everyone will know what your specialty.
Build your own website or pay someone to make one for you. There are affiliate sites that will give you a free website, but it will look just like everyone else's and you won't be able to change anything. As an affiliate, you are a salesman for the company and will collect a commission on their products. The free website is based only on their own products. Many website hosts offer a free website builder with their hosting service. You don't need to know html to build a website.
Promote your Internet business. Start with a list of search engines and click on each search engine. At the bottom of the search engine page will be a link for you to add your site to the search engine. The search engine will send a robot to your business site and "crawl" it. The robot will check for keywords and any changes you've made. The more often your site is crawled, the higher up it will go on search pages. You can also promote your business by adding the Internet address to your signature line in emails or on forums and message boards. Another good promotion idea is to send a free newsletter to Internet customers; include news along with sales or promotions.