Fast Tracking Online Business Ownership

How to Start an Online Business icon

The process for planning and launching an online business can take a few days, or even a few weeks. But, what if you need it yesterday? Here are the key steps for fast tracking online business ownership.

Online Business Launch Process

The standard routine for creating a successful online business is:

  1. Purpose Statement – why are you doing this?
  2. Rewards Requirement – what do you have, and what do you want?
  3. Objectives Statement – what direction will you take?
  4. Strategies – how will you get there?
  5. Production – create your content
  6. Reap Rewards – monetize your traffic
  7. Appreciate – grow traffic, grow revenue, identify new markets, review purpose

Note the question marks on the first 4 steps. This is your planning period. Clear as many of those question marks as you can before you start your website. Please do not answer the questions about yourself – they are about your business proposal. I clarified this in Fast Tracking Online Business Ownership , and restated the first 4 steps as:

  1. Purpose Statement – what will your business do?
  2. Rewards Requirement – what do you have, and what do you want?
  3. Objectives Statement – what direction will your business take?
  4. Strategies – how will you guide your business direction?

It can take time to refine, but how can you shortcut the process safely without risking failure? Many people would argue that you do not need a Purpose Statement. I disagree. You need it to keep you focused, and to inspire you when things get tough. Make it so personal it makes you cry. Mine, for this website, is on the page About Shrewdies. I haven’t refined it to the point of tears yet, but it is a daily reminder that this website is for you.

Make sure you have a purpose statement before you start step 4. If your website is already in production, create a Purpose Statement now, then review your website and change or remove anything that is not fit for purpose.

Let’s assume that you have your purpose, and you’ve already decided that you will create a website. How can you shrink those first 4 steps, and just get on with it? What are the vital tasks to make sure you hit the ground running?

Market Focus

If, you’ve already decided that you will create a website, then you must know what that website is about. Make sure you focus on what the market wants. Carefully select your market phrase that you will target. Is it general enough to have enough volume to generate the revenue you need? Is it specific enough to make an impact within your time frame.

If in doubt, start specific and expand later. For example, if I were doing this website to create money, I’d start with “WordPress for Business.” Once I’d got my share of the $2k per month in that market, I’d review my purpose and expand the WordPress or Business markets. Instead, I’ve started with wide market targets, and a fairly random approach. Because that fits my purpose.

Brand of You, or What You Do?

So, you’ve got your subject, now what do you call your website?

If you believe you only have one project for a website, it is useful to build yourself as your brand. The personal touch is always more compelling. You will become the goto guy for your subject. Your name is your website.

If you are likely to create websites for different subjects, you need to create brands for them. Creating brands is never easy, but generally the shorter the better. Don’t go for website names that are the subject. People think that calling a website “WordPress for Business” is a good idea, but it isn’t. Usually, I like to include a subject related name in my brand (GoutPal, Foodary). But Shrewdies is simply because, this is not for dummies. When you think of a name, search for it – you need to be unique.

So the choice is not really you or what you want to do now. It’s what you want to be.

If you are naturally focused make your name your brand, though if you are Jim Smith, you might want to choose a nickname. If you like to have fingers in many pies, create a subject-related brand.

Business Name Ownership

There is a school of thought that says if you really want to own your brand, you have to have own yourbrand․com. I agree with that, with the following exceptions:

  • If you are targeting a market outside America, a local domain suffix might be more appropriate
  • If you do not have the resources to invest in yourbrand․com, you will have to settle for something less

Whatever you do, do not infringe trademarks. Be unique.

Domain Ownership or Rental?

To own your domain, you need to commit to annual domain name registration fees, and website hosting charges. I can provide you with several choices of fast secure website hosting services. If your budget is tight, just contact Keith Taylor first, then register your domain through my affiliate links, and I will host your website free for one year.

If you can’t make that commitment, there are many zero cost ways to host your website. I think Blogger (aka Blogspot) is the best way. You can start building your reputation and traffic there, then use some of the revenue you earn to register your own domain later. Alternatively, I can host your website at zero cost. Your website could be yourbrand.freedly․com or yourbrand.1drous․me. If your focus is on creating on online store, yourbrand.retayler․com is available. Let me know your market, and I might have a more suitable domain that you can host with.

Which option will you choose? Buying your own domain gives you more control, but with cost and responsibilities. Renting a subdomain is lower cost, but you need to trust the domain holder. If you need help making the decision, please add your comments below.

Fast Tracking Online Business Ownership

Now you’ve committed yourself to creating a website, you must choose where you will host it. Do not make that choice without:

  1. Your Purpose Statement
  2. Your Target Market Phrase

What is your fast track to online business ownership? Share your experiences, opinions, and questions in Shrewdies Make a Website Group, or Shrewdies Website Help Chatroom.

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