What is required to start an online business?

Required to start an online business


When you want to go online you need to know what is required to start an online business. For all practical purposes you will need a web site to present the offer you have to the public. This article will focus on the practical issues that needs to be sorted out to get a web site up and running.

First.  let’s discuss using a free online set up, that are mostly available for blogs, but also web sites can be made for free.  When you use this type of solution you will not own the web site your self. If you plan to build a business for the future that is not a viable option.

Since you don’t own the domain nor the hosting service you will loose all your work (content) if the owner decides to stop the service.  Therefore, if you want to build a real online business make sure you own the main asset of your business – the web site. This means you have to get a domain name, and a hosting service. Added to that you need an autoresponder for sending emails

Let’s look at each of these items in turn, so we can assess the cost of what is required to start an online business.

Domain name is required for the online business


The domain name required for the online business, is the online identity. Therefore, it should reflect what is provided to the customers. Is it a solution to  one of the problems or wants of the market?  This make it easier to brand the business. Alternatively, the owner can select to use his own name as domain name. The brand will then be a personal brand in the market or niche.

A historical side note: The domain names online is controlled by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that was started in 1999 after a  law suite.  ICANN controls the domain names but more than 800 registrars provides domain names to the public. Top level domain names (TLD) like .com, .net, and .org are the most frequently used extensions, but recently a lot of new extensions can be used.

The domain will typically read like this: yourdomain.com, and when you have got the identity you must get some real estate, or rather a hosting service.

As was a stated above the domain is bought at a domain registrar. The registrar is an online business that has a domain themselves. This domain has a numerical address that is determined by the Name-server. And the hosting company is another online business, who also has a numerical address.

For the domain name to occur at the hosting you have to point the registrar’s server.  When this is done the domain resides with the hosting company.

If the hosting company should stop their services you can download all your content, and take this to another hosting company. If your domain where on a free hosting it was the hosting company that   owned the domain and you are out of luck!

Hosting is required for the online business


The hosting required for an online business depends of the type of business.  If you sell eBooks on your web site this will require a modest hosting server. This goes for both speed and disk capacity. While a service provider like Google will  require enormous resources, both with respect to processing speed and disk capacity. But the most important criterion for hosting required for the online business is the

Online business

Online business – where do you start?


Starting an online business is not easy. Because you will find  too many online business advisors that give you plans that always are missing some important parts of the puzzle. These are often gurus that has made a living of advising online newcomers on the “secrets” of online marketing, but they have never run a business off line with direct customer contact.

Are there really any secrets in online business?


But are there really any secrets in marketing, be it on or offline? In my opinion doing business online is the same as doing business offline. Business is a process between people; – one has a problem and the other has a solution. Through negotiation they find a common ground – an acceptable price for the solution. Then the buyer can solve his problem and be satisfied, while the seller make a profit. The seller  can then continue to do (online) business.

To make it clear – you find  a marked you want to serve, and provide the solution(s) to their biggest problem(s) or want(s). But other businesses  will also provide similar solutions. The way you win the sale is to build a rapport with the potential  customers and win their trust. You make them your tribe. At that stage you will get the sale!

To sum up: you find your tribe and provide  solutions to their problems and get the business.

What is the similarities between online business and the “real” world?


Online business is very similar to direct mail marketing from the real world. Direct marketers could not get in personal contact with the potential customers. Therefore they studied human behavior and how we make our buying decisions.The result  they came up with are that all our decisions are emotionally based. Afterwards we rationalize our decisions by finding the features of the gadget or whatever we bought. But our decision were based on the benefits the product would give us – or the emotions the product instilled in us!

So therefore when you read about sales copy they always tell you to emphasize the benefit of the product, not the features! So the sales process is really based on our emotional triggers. And this can also be misused to sell crappy products, but that’s not how we shall do our business.  As online business people we shall serve our customers and bring value to them, that’s how we build a long term online business.