Internet Business
Internet Business

Internet Business Checklist for Your Online Business Success

Internet BusinessAn internet business can be very exciting. There is a lot of information to gather before getting started with your new home based business. Online business success doesn't come over night. However when you follow your passion the journey is just as fun as the rewards. I hope that this check list will help to keep you on track.


Internet Business Checklist

Note: This page is similar to the Non Internet Business except for the items needed to use the internet as your store front; including software for sales, marketing and the payment center.

 Office Setup

Setting up your new home based business office is very important. There are two things that it will do besides just being a workspace. First it establishes a mental attitude and makes a statement that you are ready to get to work. Try to make your home internet business office as friendly and work efficient as possible. You will be spending a lot of your time in your office so try to remove as many distractions as possible.

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Hot Target Market

Find a hot target market and research products that may excite you and that have a high profitability margin. Be sure you find a hot market. You may be excited about a type of product but the market isn’t growing or is way too saturated to make a profit. Research is the key to finding a hot market and deciding on the product. If you have found your product check out my article; Product Pricing for Your Home Based Business.


Once you decided on your product you will want to sell, you will need to decide on how to handle inventory. Should you drop ship or stock inventory? There are advantages and disadvantages for both. You might even do both. 

 Business Goals 

Having an idea of the marketplace, products and method of inventory, you now can start to form your internet business goals and model. If your product can be sold off the web, do you want your internet business to have a non internet presence as well?  

What’s In a Name? 

You will need to create your business name and entity. Many people create a business name without any regards to their product. Sometimes that is appropriate and sometimes not. What message do you want your internet business to convey? Will having your name in the title be a benefit or not? Would it be better to put your product into the name? Think seriously about this. See my article; Is Business Image Important?

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Type of Business 

What entity should you set up for your internet business? There are many choices such as an S Corporation, C Corporation, LLC or Doing Business As (DBA) also know as a fictitious name. This is a serious decision because it will depend on how you are taxed, how the money will flow to you and many other legal issues. Check with a qualified business tax accountant and lawyer. You want to get it right the first time! You may want to read my article; Start a Corporation for more information.

Once you have the business name and company setup, you are ready to get a business bank account. It is really exciting to get your first business bank account. You are now officially a business! 

Sales Tax Certificate 

If you are going to be selling products retail, you will need to have a state sales tax number and certificate. For our international friends please check with your local government about what is required. It is a good idea to have it even if you don’t believe you will be selling in your home state. Many sales tax laws are changing and you will need this certificate sent to every vendor you will be doing business with.  

Web Hosting Service 

Finding a quality web hosting service is essential to your internet business success. I cannot emphasize this more fervently. If you don’t have the correct web hosting service you might as well not start an online business. Think of your hosting service as the building in which your store is located. If the hosting service has a bad reputation for spamming, poor up time and lack of support you built your internet business on shaky ground. It can be very costly and time consuming to change hosting services down the road.

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Determine a Domain Name 

A domain name is the URL or Universal Resource Locator which allows people on the internet to be able to find your internet business. Choosing a domain name is one of the most important aspects for internet businesses. You will want a domain name that says something about your type of business and product. A domain name is just as important as your web hosting service.  

With the proper domain name and web hosting service you will have an excellent start and solid foundation to making your internet business successful. This is so much different then a non internet business setup. 

Only Promoting an Affiliate Program?  

An online business makes promoting affiliate programs easier because of the marketing strategies used. Many times internet businesses use their own website to promote affiliate programs. If you are not familiar with affiliate programs, you might want to consider seeing how they can increase income for your home based business. 

Get a Shopping Cart

This part of your internet store is also as important as the web hosting and domain name. The shopping cart represents your store. The front page and products displayed on it are sort of like a regular brick and mortar store. People will come to your store and see what the front window looks like, if interested they will come into your store and shop.

Having the correct shopping cart in place will make the difference between success and failure. Your customer will decide in a few seconds whether this store looks and feels like a place to spend time and possibly buy. They will either click on a product or hit the back button to your competitor.

You will need to find a shopping cart that is customer friendly at check out also. If it is too hard to make a purchase the customer will just abandon the cart and go to your competitor.

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 Design your Website

Once you have your shopping cart you will be able to design the look and feel of your website. This will be the time to upload product photos and determine the prices the customer will be charged. It is like stocking the shelves in a tradition off line store. My article on Website Design for Your Online Customers explains more. 

Receipt of Payments

When accepting payments for your product and or service, there has to be a decision on what payment method you are going to use. Do you want to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover? If so you will need a merchant account. There are many quality accounts out there. Check rates and commitment levels very closely so that you don’t get locked into unacceptable monthly payments.

As an internet business there are also different payment systems available such as PayPal and numerous others. I explain more in my article on A Merchant Account for Your Home Based Business. A very important feature of the online merchant service account is the need for a secured encrypted payment gateway that will link your shopping cart to the merchant service. The shopping cart software must be compatible with the merchant service interface or it will not work properly. 

Bottom Line:

You will find that there are still other small items that you may want to add to this internet business check list. However these are the basic items needed to get your new home based business up and running. I look forward to seeing you on the internet.

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Website Design

Merchant Account

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