Internet Business Checklist for Your Online Business Success
An 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
Internet Business Promotional Links
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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.
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
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.
Determine a Domain Name
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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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