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How to Build an Online Business

Book Description

The ultimate guide to launching and growing an online business

You’ve got a crazy idea, a hobby, a business or special expertise. You want to take it online, and you want to it be a money-making success. But what do you do next? Using a simple 5-step approach, best-selling author and digital marketing specialist Bernadette Schwerdt uncovers the inside tips and tricks that Australia’s most successful online entrepreneurs use to build their multi-million dollar businesses.  

For those just starting out, this book will help you identify the best business idea to pursue, guide you on how to set it up and give you the strategies to grow it quickly using low-cost tools. For those with existing businesses, you’ll learn how to maximise your online impact and access the little-known but powerful tools and technologies the top disruptors use to create a global presence.

Featuring dozens of case studies of how Australia’s most successful disruptors have done it, Bernadette reveals the underlying patterns common to all successful online businesses – what they did right, what they did wrong, what they would do differently and the short cuts to building an online business that only the successful know. You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop the entrepreneurial mindset needed to turn your passion, hobby or expertise into an online business
  • Access free tools and technologies to help you build and test your online idea (before launching) to ensure a viable market exists
  • Create a minimum viable product (MVP) that attracts attention and generates instant income
  • Source web developers, designers and other important suppliers for a fraction of the usual cost
  • Write, pitch, persuade and present like a professional to attract investors, customers and high-quality strategic partners
  • Understand the basics of the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence and use these technologies to help your business create a point of difference
  • Work from home and set up your online business in just a few hours a week
Whether you are starting an online business or building on an existing one, How to Build an Online Business is your complete, how-to guide for making it a success.

Table of Contents

  1. About the Authors
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Preface: What’s your ‘pinch of salt’?
  4. Introduction: The state of play
  5. 1 Mindset How to develop an entrepreneurial mindset
    1. Chapter 1 Mindset #1: Trust your crazy ideas
      1. From zero to hero
      2. Why are crazy ideas succeeding?
      3. Four factors that enable digital disruption
    2. Chapter 2 Mindset #2: Take action
      1. Why entrepreneurs start their businesses
      2. Businesses that start as one thing and become another
      3. When failure leads to success
      4. A little site called eBay
      5. From little things, big things grow
    3. Chapter 3 Mindset #3: Look ahead
      1. Extreme customer centricity
      2. Domino’s goes digital
      3. How not having depth of vision failed Kodak
      4. Who needs depth of vision?
      5. Those who don’t look ahead remain behind
      6. Virtual reality (VR) and the real-estate industry
      7. What’s your ‘pinch of salt’?
    4. Chapter 4 Mindset #4: Know what business you’re in
      1. Who are you really competing with?
      2. What business are you really in?
    5. Chapter 5 Mindset #5: Know what problem you’re solving
      1. Are all the good ideas gone?
      2. Finding a problem to solve
      3. Who’s the ‘whale’ in your industry?
      4. Why business ideas fail
      5. Wouldn’t it be great if …?
      6. How disruptors create ‘feeder’ industries
      7. Let’s recap
  6. 2 Minimum viable product (MVP) How to create an MVP to launch your startup
    1. Chapter 6 How to come up with a great business idea
      1. You need an expert
      2. Choose your business idea carefully
      3. 20 ways to research, test or find a great idea
      4. Collaboration: Building your team
      5. Your past does not equal your future
      6. Leadership skills
  7. 3 Momentum How to harness the technical tools to build your online business
    1. Chapter 7 What is a minimum viable product (MVP)?
      1. Why do you need an MVP?
      2. Who is the MVP for?
      3. What should an MVP look like?
      4. If you build it, they will come … maybe
      5. How to pick a user persona
      6. What did Uber do?
      7. What does ‘minimum’ really mean?
      8. Which ‘wants’ should you include?
      9. Are MVPs just for startups?
    2. Chapter 8 Anatomy of a startup
      1. 13 steps to launching your MVP
    3. Chapter 9 How to bumble your way to success
      1. What not to ask when you’re getting started to ask when you’re getting started
      2. Creating trust: The only currency that matters
      3. Why winning awards pay dividends
      4. So, who’s going to do all this work?
      5. The MVP equals the end of your dream
      6. Let’s recap
    4. Chapter 10 7 questions to ask before you build your online business
      1. 1. What will you sell?
      2. 2. What staff will you hire and on what basis?
      3. 3. What social tools will you use to engage your community?
      4. 4. What gamification tools will you use to increase customer usage?
      5. 5. What level of failure will you accept from your staff?
      6. 6. What goals and metrics are used to track staff performance?
      7. 7. What data will you rely on to make business decisions?
    5. Chapter 11 Open Access, Open Sesame!
      1. What is OAT?
      2. Democratised access
      3. Democratised tools of production
      4. Democratised software
      5. Democratised capital
      6. Have you checked the children?
    6. Chapter 12 Marketplaces: Disrupting legacy industries
      1. Education marketplaces
      2. Financial services marketplaces
      3. Construction services marketplaces
      4. Who wins from marketplaces?
    7. Chapter 13 Software hacks every startup should know about
      1. What software will you use to build your online business?
      2. Surprise and delight
    8. Chapter 14 How to build an information-based business
      1. 13 steps to creating your online business
      2. Let’s recap
  8. 4 Marketing How to get found, get traffic and get sales
    1. Chapter 15 Content marketing
      1. The 3-step content creation process
      2. 3 steps to creating a successful podcast
      3. How to promote your podcast
      4. How to create instant content — without writing a word!
    2. Chapter 16 Social influencer marketing
      1. How did HiSmile get started?
      2. Transparency and trust — the new currency of marketing
      3. The rise of the micro blogger
      4. Social influencer platforms
      5. All or nothing? What works best
    3. Chapter 17 How to write great headlines that get results
      1. What do copywriters do?
      2. How to write great headlines
      3. The top 3 formulas for creating successful headlines
    4. Chapter 18 How to get on page one of G oogle
      1. Where do you rank on Google?
      2. Where do your competitors rank?
      3. Where is your audience hanging out?
      4. How to improve your Google page rank
      5. 5 questions to ask an SEO consultant before hiring one
      6. 5 questions to ask a web developer before hiring one
      7. Top 8 free Australian business directory listings
      8. So how do you get online reviews?
      9. One last tip: treat your website as the mothership
      10. Let’s recap
  9. 5 Motivation How to pitch, persuade and influence others to do business with you
    1. Chapter 19 How to source media coverage for your startup
      1. DIY (do-it-yourself) PR
      2. DIFM (do-it for-me) PR
      3. DIY + DIFM (do-it-yourself + do-it-for-me) PR
    2. Chapter 20 How to pitch, present and persuade
      1. Why being a good public speaker is good for business
      2. How a lack of preparation can cost you
    3. Chapter 21 How to prepare a great presentation
      1. The Preparation Pyramid: A 3-step formula for pitching and persuading
      2. Postscript
    4. Chapter 22 The art and science of business storytelling
      1. So, what’s your story?
      2. Facts tell, stories sell
      3. How to structure a powerful story
      4. And the moral of the story is …?
      5. The 6-step storytelling process
      6. How long should a story run for?
      7. Who should the story be about?
      8. What’s the ‘moral’ of your story?
      9. What kinds of stories can you tell?
  10. In closing
  11. References
  12. Index
  13. EULA