The age of the Internet has thrown wide open the world of entrepreneurship to more individuals and groups than ever before. By harnessing the power of the collective knowledge base that exists online, half-baked ideas and pipe dreams can become reality. The Internet’s role in your new business venture needn’t end once you have found your inspiration, or researched the practicalities of setting up your enterprise however. You can use the web for much more than information, and it could well be the perfect venue from which to launch your business idea.
Whether you choose to host your business online and trade directly through a website, or have a site just to support a physical presence in an office or shop, having a visibility online matters. Having a website make you appear more professional can give you the edge over your competition, as well as putting your name and business in front of an audience that may not otherwise have found you. Using the net as a marketing tool can give you the edge over your competition, whether you choose to use SEO, PPC, social media marketing or traditional advertising online to achieve this.
When setting up you are unlikely to have a big budget and setting up an online business is a good way to get up and running without huge overheads like rent to worry about. There are a few important things you must remember to invest in for your online venture however, and you should budget accordingly from the start.
If you are planning to trade online, whether taking payment through the Internet or not, you need to have good Internet security in place. According to a study by Symantec, in the past 12 months alone, 556 million adults were victim to some form of cybercrime, which represents an increase of 46%. This cybercrime could take the form of information theft, hijacking of a website and repurposing it, or even scams run in the name of your business. You can find more information on website security in Symantec’s infographic, split into part 1 and part 2. The result of these attacks could stop your business in its tracks before it even has time to get started, either by reputation damage or actual physical and monetary losses. The effects are even greater if you are running an ecommerce site where customer’s payment information could be stolen in a security breach.
Don’t skimp on your hosting or web-build either. Poor hosting services are easily compromised and could be a weak point in your security, and there is a possibility that your site could drop at any point. Go with the bigger names for some added peace of mind. When building the site make sure you don’t leave any holes or areas that aren’t secure, especially where money or personal information is involved. If you don’t have the time, or don’t feel you are able to learn to build your webpage well enough yourself then don’t be afraid to ask a professional.
Once you have the million-dollar idea and have worked out the steps you need to take, you should turn your attention to how you can best use the Internet to help you reach your goal. If you use it well and take all the right precautions the World Wide Web could be your strongest ally on the road to success.