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The challenge of taking your business online – planning a website and online business strategy – I

Hello,

Its been a while any of the snipers at virtualsnipers.com posted on the blog. We have been kept very busy by some very good natured entrepreneurs seeking perfect solutions. We have spent time with doctors making their websites, helping an auto portal client on internet marketing strategy, putting together some challenging media plans, and creating a different looking personalised gifts website and a few a interesting projects which we will be announcing soon.

And while at all this the question which none of my clients has really asked me (Infact I was asking and answering this for them and then informing then) was “How should a new business or an existing business going online for the first time approach the process of making their first online presence the correct one? How should a new business approach a. website? What kind of planning is required?”.

Sure everyone needs a website today. Isn’t it like an office address now? At virtualsnipers.com, our business cards no longer have addresses of our offices. We are global with our domain name and website.

Alright so the big question that any nw entrepreneur needs to ask himself or herself is, how to plan and execute the perfect website? First of all let’s see how you reach this stage, you plan a business, give it a nice name which in itself can be a difficult exercise and then you get yourself space and equipment to start your business and then as you settle down to your work you realise that you need to showcase your work, tell the world that you exist and are available for the work you do and do this effectively and cost efficiently. The objective is to grow. This means you need a marketing resource which is powerful and which can be your representative 24 x 7 across the world. And that is what a website does for you and precisely the reason for you to plan your website properly and well in time.

So is website planning difficult?

Anything you have not done and are not an expert at is difficult. Fortunately Website planning is not. It calls for a very clear understanding of your business, its objectives and the target audience / customers you are looking for. There may be a few problems in the beginning but once you spend good time on planning you will appreciate the effort you invested.

We have been hand holding our clients through the process of website planning and the various processes involved to ensure a proper internet presence right from planning a website, preparing an internet marketing strategy and making the most of the growing Digital Medium.

To begin your business journey online you need to answer a few questions. The very first one would be,

1. Who is your target audience?

Answers to this and couple more questions will ensure that the final website plan is prepared just the way it should be.

Today your website is your most important marketing tool. The website is your business showcase to the world of prospects on the Internet and thus needs to meet their needs. Easy as it may sound, it is not. Consider the audience you want to reach, today the internet is connecting people in so many ways that you will realise that your audience consists of prospects split into multiple target groups each having its own personality. It is important that your website plan and design be able to appeal to your prospects across various target groups and not only get their attention but also their time. There are thousands of websites being created every day and to get a customer and retain him is very difficult. A keen understanding of your prospective customers will ensure a smooth ride.

Ensuring that you study your existing clients purchase habits with regards to products which you and competitors sell will go a long way in helping you strengthening your website plan. Information from loyal customers about their purchase reasons, their internet habits, their preferred payment methods, websites they visit etc will help you understand their internet preferences. Studying competition is always one of the best strategies, soon enough you learn to anticipate their moves and be prepared.

While on the subject of prospects and Target audience, let me say that an easy to navigate and useful website has better chances of growth and success in the long run. We will discuss this in one of our forthcoming blog posts on Website Navigation and Usability.

Its time to take a much needed break after a long 20 hours day. See you in part II of this post soon where will discuss the next question : Are you prepared for more business?

HAPPY 2011

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