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Building an Online Business with a Shoestring Budget

Do you have a great idea, service or product? Then now it’s time to build a website and realize your dream. An eternal optimists say, “Build it and they will come.” This is easier said than done. There are many frustrations undertaking such an endeavor. However, with some guidance, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. In the following column I address the various ways to build an online business.

Avoid The ‘Home Grown Look’

Pitfalls of having an “all-inclusive-online-store template” is that the end result is an online store that doesn’t look very professional. It could look down right ugly. This wouldn’t matter if you had an inexpensive niche product or service that everyone wants to buy, but this may no be the case. Niche products and services are slowly disappearing as more websites are filling these voids online. This is why being competitive from the start is so crucial to your online store succeeding.

Online Payment Offerings

Let’s assume you already have a website. Now you need a way to accept credit cards online. Pay Pal offers a program where you sign-up for free to accept monies online and charge a very small fee per transaction when money is sent or received. Millions of people use Pay Pal this way. Simply sign up with Pay Pal (you’ll need to have an active bank account) and in 2 to 3 days you are ready to go. There are also alternative ways to process credit cards online. These include; Authorize.net, Stripe, Square, First Data and many others.

Raising the Bar

The difference between a very basic e-commerce store and a professional store is the user experience. The look and feel of a professional store has a well designed or even custom designed interface with a variety of options.

Naming Your Website – Pick a website name (domain name) that follows 3 simple rules:

1) Easy to spell

2) Easy to say

3) Easy to remember

Marketing Online

Go to Blogs and Social Media and talk up your website. Post a few items or services on Amazon or E Bay to increase your name brand recognition. Also you can submit your website information to free directories over the Internet. You might also consider setting up an affiliate program whereby you offer commissions to people who resell your products or services. There are people who make a living participating in multiple affiliate programs.

Take that First Step

Set up your website and grow your online presence. The longer your online store is live on the Internet, the greater the chances are of being found. Most importantly don’t quit your day job just yet. Building an online business at any level takes time and patience. Six months may go by without one single sell. Don’t get frustrated.

Give the search engines like Google, time to find your website and list your website. Talk to other people who have similar products or services online. You’ll be surprised how helpful and friendly these people can be in offering you some solid advice in growing your business. After all, they have been there and done that.

Build it and they will come. Wait and they won’t.

Your E-commerce website is a way to capture niche markets and build a new customer base. Our web site solutions can get you up and running a sophisticated online e-store to start selling your products online. This lets your customers browse and buy from any where in the  the world! Accept customer credit card online, and ship their merchandise very same day. We can create, design and develop your search engine optimized shopping cart applications for business. Our company can help you establish a powerful eCommerce presence online. Start planning your online store today!

About the Author
Rick Vidallon is President of Visionefx, a Web design company based in Virginia Beach, Va. They provide services to national companies as well as small to medium businesses throughout the United States. Rick can be reached at (757) 619-6456 or rick@visionefx.net. Visionefx a ecommerce website design company in Virginia Beach provides e-commerce solutions for any sized business.

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