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Start, Grow, and Promote a Successful Online Business

How do you take a successful online business opportunity and turn it into a successful online business? Online business success is the result of more than just a good idea or a great product, it comes from ongoing application of tried and true business principles.

The first step to establishing a successful online business is to plan for success. This means to take the time to find out whether there is a genuine demand for your product or service and if there is, whether or not that demand is already being met by competitors. Conducting a feasibility study essentially means discovering whether or not your business idea is actually feasible, after all the primary purpose for creating an online business is to make profits.

The next step to establishing a successful online business is to write a business plan. You need to know where you want to go and how you can get there. You also need to cost your start up and ongoing expenses. Many businesses fail due to insufficient capital from the beginning. Even online businesses require a certain amount of investment. Can you afford to make it? New businesses also fail because of a lack of focus. Business owners can find that they are very busy doing activities that are not income producing. A business plan protects you from making these classic mistakes because it directs your activities and gives you something to measure your performance against.

Once you know what you have to do in order to grab hold of a successful business opportunity and turn it into a successful online business, you can begin to take steps to achieve your dream. The obvious first step to creating a successful online business (assuming you have your business concept) is to obtain a well designed website that is easy to navigate structured for search engine optimization. Getting a website up and running has never been easier. You can create your own even if you are not a proficient computer programmer by using web design programs such as Front Page, online web design software (usually linked to a domain provider) or paying for a professional to do it for you. The last option does not need to cost you a fortune should you opt for it. Freelance job sites allow you to post your requirements and receive bids for the work from professional freelancers. From these bids you can select the one you feel is best for your needs. It is not uncommon to see bids of only a couple of hundred dollars for a basic but professional website to be created to a client’s specifications.

Once you have a professional website, you need to be able to attract targeted visitors to your website in order to develop a successful online business. Let’s face it, without website traffic you won’t be able to make sales and without sales your potentially successful online business opportunity will flop. Two of the most effective ways to generate website traffic are article marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Article marketing is a free business building strategy whereas pay-per-click advertising can be costly. It is important with PPC advertising that you take the time to research the most popular search terms. You can do this for free by using Overture’s search inquiry tool. This information allows you to choose keyword terms that are most likely to attract visitors.

Article marketing, on the other hand, is a free strategy but it is time intensive. It is the process of writing relevant and informative articles related to your business area and submitting them to article directories. Webmasters and ezine publishers can download your article and use it for free as long as they leave it intact and include your biographical information and live links to your website or blog. This benefits you in two ways. Firstly, people who read your articles may click on your link to obtain more information, thus providing you with the opportunity to directly market to targeted visitors. Secondly, the back links to your site from sites that host your articles will improve your search engine page rank making it easier for you to get found on free search engine results pages. This, in turn, will help to generate more traffic.

By diligently applying these strategies you will be able to start, promote and grow a successful online business and best of all, you will be able to avoid common pitfalls and enjoy the process.

Business Women – Is Business Networking With Other Women in Business One of Your Issues?

Business today as much as yesteryear is about relationships. With women business owners and women executives expanding their influence within the marketplace, meeting fellow women business owners just makes good business sense. Yet, where does one find them and more importantly know if it is a good fit?

Each community has a plethora of groups where the primary membership is women. There are national organizations such as: National Alliance of Business Owners, Business and Professional Women (BPW), E-Women Network; Women in Construction; just to name a few with local chapters.

Chambers or service organizations may have small business committees where women in business can meet other women in business. Couple these organizations with business after hours and other related business events such as seminars to workshops provide a rich environment for women in business wanting to connect with other women in business.

With plenty of opportunities, meeting other fellow female business owners won’t happen if your marketing skills (networking) along with your self leadership skills are lacking. Many women in business due to their hectic schedules and demands may not be open to other women who they perceive lack professionalism.

If you are business networking, make sure that you always look and at as the very best professional person that you can be. Taking such actions may require attending some professional development such as improving your speaking through Toastmasters or working with an Executive Coach.

After meeting fellow female business colleagues, take some additional time to meet them over coffee and see where your energy connects. You may discover an unknown strategic partner who was looking for someone to help out with a prospective contract or sale.

Finally, when networking remember to bring value to the other person. Ask if there is anything that you can do to help this other woman in business? By focusing on the other woman truly demonstrates your values and genuine concern for helping other women business owners and executives.

P.S.- IMPORTANT! Please do not forget your professionally printed business card. Also, make sure that you have a website with a real email address and not a generic one such as Yahoo.