Before starting your new internet business read the following steps.

1. Your Business Idea
It's important to start with a solid concept for your new online business. Many professionals say you don't need a full blow business plan, however you need a good outline and how you're planning on marketing. If you decide to start with an untested product or service be prepared for a longer profit curve, or ROI, and additional budget for breaking new ground. Regardless of your product or service you will need to educate your audience. Be cautious of get rich quick or work 4 hours a week schemes design to take your money in return for hype. I've built hundreds of online businesses and can speak first hand at what it takes.

2. Licenses
Consult with a Business Attorney, who is familiar with your assets, and decide if you should file for Incorporation, LLP, S Corp or Sole Proprietorship. The more personal property you own the more you need to protect yourself. Regardless of your choice you will need to file for a business license, DBA, State, City or County filings may be necessary.

3. Legal
Make sure you have a Business Attorney develop or review your existing contracts, agreements, copyrights and trademarks.

4. Choosing a Domain Name
I encourage you to choose a domain name that contains at least one of your keywords or keyword phrases in the domain name.

5. Selecting a Web Host Company
Do not use a free hosting service. It's okay to purchase shared hosting ($8.00 - $12.00 per month is good). As your business grows you might want to move to a dedicated server or VPS (virtual private server) if you are running any long videos, you should look into the costs of streaming hosting services.

6. Designing a Web Site
Web design has evolved over time. Colors and styles that worked a few years ago may now be stale or out of date. According to most research firms PDA and hand held devices are the new laptops, you want to make sure your website functions on PDA or hand held devices. Hire a professional firm if you want to look professional. Ask for their portfolio and make sure they show you functioning websites they have produced. Make sure the firm you hire has a profound understanding of marketing. A good test is to see where they page rank or how they advertise on the web. Ask the firm to show you examples of what they would do to market your business on the web. Many firms are will willing to show a few marketing ideas, they won't give you the whole plan. Many of the so called "Marketing Gurus" are selling the same thing to everyone. One size does not fit all. You want a firm that can has experience in many channels of business.

7. Developing Content for your Website
When developing content, text, images, video, audio or animations for your website, consult with the company your web design company or development firm. They should have a marketing department and/or writers who can assist or guide you in the right direction. If your business requires a State license you should be aware of compliance issues when writing your website content. If planning SEO as a strategy, you should follow specific SEO guidelines set by search engines. For example Google has its own guidelines. Developing original content is always best.

8. Traditional Marketing
If your business is local, you may want to consider a local media blitz when you launch your website. Joining as many networking groups as you can handle is a good idea, make sure you're getting the right ROI no matter which groups you join. Join a couple of online business networking groups and measure your results from both, after a couple of months. When joining a networking group test drive before you buy and discover if this group has the right kind of business class you seek. Developing a limited number of paper documents is always a good idea and business cards are a must. Today most professionals rely on a good digital promotional materials and informational pieces.

9. Marketing Internet
This is the an ongoing and long subject to cover, I'll make it brief for this presentation. You can always contact my office for more information. If you want to try marketing yourself, I recommend using a PPC (pay per click) as the main method for attracting visitors to website/s. You may not want to send leads to your home page. Creating a landing page is specifically for PPC ads is a good idea.

10. Interactive Websites
All websites should be interactive. Adding a poll, vote, survey, quiz or game all all simple methods of interactivity. Consult with your designer/developer for which best fits your needs.

11. Data Collection and Building a Customer Base
You can configure any of the items in Step 10 for collecting visitor information. Experience web site design and development firms will know how to configure any of the interactive modules for maximum results.

12. Repeat and Recurring Billing Business
From the very start you should place this high on your "How to Succeed List". Repeat business is key to any business success formula if you can incorporate a recurring billing cycle then you'll have a better idea of your monthly billing.

13. Accounting and Taxes
Choose a firm familiar with online businesses. For example digital goods are not taxable in most states.

14. Insurance
As a business you may be liable for products or services you offer. I good way to protect yourself is to purchase an Errors and Omissions and/or Product Liability policy to cover you business and make sure it covers you website. Consult an Insurance Professional or discuss with your Attorney your specific Insurance needs.

The information on this page is for reference only and not intended as a step by step or business plan. makes no guarantees or warrants any advice listed on this page. Use this information at your own risk. Always consult with an Attorney, CPA or Licensed Insurance Professional.

Author's Bio: 

Ron Arciaga has owned and managed several businesses since 1980. Sales and marketing for Industrial Supplies, Retail Products, Services and Media. Ron has written numerous articles and several Marketing e-books. He is available for hire by emailing or calling 310.577.8660.

If you would like to discuss the viability of your business idea please contact one of our Internet Business Professionals at 310.577.8660.