Chapter 2. Opening Your Own Online Business in Ten Easy Steps

In This Chapter

  • Finding a unique niche for your business

  • Identifying a need and targeting your customers

  • Turning your Web site into an indispensable resource

  • Finding more than one way to market your business

  • Evaluating your success and revising your site

The concept of starting a business online has been around since the 1990s. These days, opening a storefront or a sales channel on the Internet is not the least unusual. In fact, you have lots of success stories to emulate and be inspired by. Also, new software and services are continually developed to make creating Web pages and transacting business online easier than ever. But after you leap a few not-so-high technological hurdles, the basic steps for starting a successful online business haven't really changed. Those steps are well within the reach of individuals like you and me who have no prior business experience.

Online businesses are affected by economic downturns just as offline operations are. But in good times or bad, you can still thrive. All you need is a good idea, a bit of startup money, some computer equipment, and a little help from your friends.

One of my goals in this book is to be one of those friends — someone who provides you with the right advice and support to get your business online and make it a success. In this chapter, I give you a step-by-step overview of the entire process of starting an online business.

Step 1: Identify a Need

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