Internet Business

Internet Business Launch

by Doug Samuel on 10 April, 2009

Internet business launch is exciting, but it can also get tedious.

I’ve just launched an internet business with three other business partners.

When we started putting the internet business together, things went very quickly.

As time went on though, progress seemed slow.  There is a good reason for that.

When you start an internet business, you can very quickly put certain things into place, for example, the website.  A website seems substantial, and there is a real sense of accomplishment, a real sense that our internet business is nearly done, now that you have a website.

It isn’t – a website is just the beginning.

The purpose of a website is to convert as many visitors as possible into customers.

In order to convert customers, you first need traffic, then you have to pay very close attention to your copy, sales process, terms and conditions, tiny details that might dissolve the sale, gotchas that might cause customer service nightmares, etc. etc.

We spent considerable time customizing our shopping cart checkout page.  This is an essential part of conversion.  Just because someone clicks the buy button and proceeds to your checkout page, does not mean to say they have really made a buying decision, and even if they have, they may change their mind before they complete the transaction.

What happens after they buy?  They will not receive their product buy mail for several days.  By then they might cool off.  We need to keep their excitement stoked with a series of emails, sent automatically after the sale, and designed to keep them excited.

We also need a way for our customers to communicate with us.  An internet business has several communication modes available, including email of course, as well as help desk software, phone, fax, live chat, mail … you name it.

We chose to start with just a help desk.  Emails can get lost, and the help desk provides an excellent record of customer interaction.

Along the way, there were numerous hiccups and glitches.  There were technical problems, and we adjusted some of our policies and procedures along the way.

We did have a clear goal, and this is very important.  In our case,  we decided to launch as quickly as possible, providing all the essentials were in place and operating correctly.  This allowed us to cut many a discussion short with “good idea, but it is post-launch.  We’ll do that later.”

So many good ideas are really detrimental to a project – they are best put aside in the interest of focusing on completion.  Otherwise you can build and adjust for ever, and never get off the ground.

When we finally felt we had everything in place, we turned on the traffic.

This can be anticlimactic.   We had ads in place in our Google account, but when we turned them on, nothing happened.  There are delays before the ads run, and we may have to adjust our bids so that they are high enough to match the competition.

Launching an internet business is fun.  It also requires attention to detail.  If you are not that person, make sure you are working with (or hiring) someone who is.

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