Small business startup problems are unavoidable. Regardless of what industry or niche your small business focuses on, you?ll need to tackle and solve several startup problems common to all businesses looking to get online.
Many startup problems arise from technical issues related to operating a blog, eCommerce store, or website ? mainly because small businesses aren?t necessarily experienced in PHP, CMS, SEO, blogging, Internet marketing, social media, and so on.
Before we begin, you might want to read a related article entitled ?The five stages of launching a successful Internet startup? for more on how to handle Internet startup problems.
If you?re an entrepreneur or small business looking to start a website, eCommerce store, or blog, then it?s likely that you?ll find the the solution you need for these five startup problems you have, or will, encounter.
1. How to get high quality, but affordable small business hosting and domains
The first step in getting a small business startup online is selecting a domain name and finding a suitable hosting provider.
What makes domains and hosting tricky is the overwhelming number of choices and services on offer. It is possible to buy a domain only. It is possible to get a domain with a hosting plan. It is possible to get a domain, hosting plan and website. Anything!
First understand your current small business website requirements, and make sure you have a grasp of what you hope they will be in a year. Then find the service you believe allows your business the affordability to operate now, with the room to grow later.
Here are some of the best domain and hosting services available for small businesses:
2. How to build the right small business website
How you go about creating the right web presence for your business depends on your needs. If you want to sell goods, subscriptions, digital downloads, and anything else, then it is likely you need to go with one of the top eCommerce platforms.
For a simple blog, something like a free WordPress account might suffice. But for more flexible requirements you may need to bring in a developer or use an online site builder that caters for your specific requirements.
Here are some of the best website platforms available for small businesses:
You might also want to check out the following articles that provide a more in-depth look at how to get a professional small business website up and running:
3. How to tackle SEO for small business
With a small business website up and running, the next issue is how to ensure that it is driving traffic and new business optimally.
The majority of all traffic on the Internet originates from search. This makes SEO (Search engine Optimization) important to all business websites.
The problem most businesses have is how to implement proper SEO ? since it requires technical, creative, analytical skills and experience. There is also no shortage of dubious SEO services offering actively harmful SEO practices to unwary businesses.
One of the best ways to implement proper SEO, is empowering yourself with sufficient information to make informed decisions.
The following articles and resources will help you to make the best SEO related decisions for your business:
4. Small business Internet marketing how to
SEO practices often overlap those of Internet marketing. However, Internet marketing doesn?t focus exclusively on organic search traffic, but rather on:
- social networks
- traditional media/
? and so on. Basically anything that can drive traffic and revenue to your business, aside from organic search traffic from search engines.
Many small businesses miss out on the potential of Internet marketing because it requires a persistent and consistent effort with very little initial return ? it?s a medium to long term investment in time and resources.
With the exception of advertising, which can have a more immediate effect, many Internet marketing activities take time. This is because marketing online still relies on making human connections.
The following articles and resources will show you how to approach small business Internet marketing efficiently:
5. How to maximize ROI and conversions
Finally, once your startup is operating and driving traffic through the search engines and Internet marketing campaigns, it becomes imperative to monitor and analyze visitor traffic patterns and behavior.
With a clear understanding of where people are coming from, who they are, what they are doing on your site, and why they are or aren?t converting (a conversion could be signing up to a newsletter, making a purchase, or meeting any stated business objectives), you won?t be able to direct your SEO, marketing and development efforts in the right direction.
Proper analysis, creative solutions, and excellent conversion design will all help propel your business to greater popularity and success. The following articles show you exactly how to do this:
Do you run a startup? Have you had to overcome technical and Internet based adversity? If you?ve been particularly brilliant in overcoming a certain problem, I?d love to share your genius with everyone else.
Share your problems and solutions in the comments and join in the conversation on Twitter or LinkedIn.