By Gary Nugent

Online Business

Thinking of starting an online business? You are not alone. Hundreds of new businesses are launched online every day. The key for your business to succeed is to be able to stand out from the crowd. You can easily set up an online store within minutes, but the planning that goes on before the site launch can put you in a better position for success long term. Here are some steps you will want to take to plan your online business.

Do the Research

With so many businesses competing for the attention of consumers, you will want to take the time to research your direct competition, both online and offline. This will help you understand what they are doing well and where you can change your business to offer more products, services or support to your customers once you launch your business.

What can you research? You can research a number of things including estimated site visitors per day, how the competition runs its sales and specials, common customer complaints and how quickly they respond to consumer questions and concerns. You can also research wider industry trends to help you figure out what customers are looking for and how you can get the products and services they need before anyone else.

Make Important Purchases

Domain Name Extensions

There will be some monetary investment into your business before you launch, even if you are not buying and maintaining inventory directly. A few key purchases that you will make include buying online shopping cart software (if you are running an ecommerce business), website design services, cyber security services and your domain name. You will want to reserve domain name so that you can get a memorable and highly descriptive address for your website. Registering your domain weeks or months in advance can help you plan all of your pre-launch marketing.

Test Your Business

Getting all of the kinks out of your website won’t happen overnight, but you can be prepared by doing some testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Often businesses test for the technical aspects such as email response time and flaw in web coding, but if you really want to get to the heart of any problems, you will want to conduct user experience testing. This will allow you to get a better idea of what the customer experiences when they are trying to purchase products and services from your website. If there is something that doesn’t work well, you will have the time to make the necessary changes before the website launches.

Most online businesses will look similar. The key in your pre-planning stages is to look for ways that you can stand out from the crowd. This can be through excellent customer service, offering exclusive products or making the user experience truly unique. If you think big, you can find success with your online business.

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