Starting Your Online Business
Your target market and budget combine to determine the design of the new website. Visit Disney.com with its Flash animation and bright colors meant to capture the interest of its child audience and compare the lack of design of Craiglist.com. Disney’s site requires a constantly changing and highly animated design for passive viewing by the tween-age-and-under set. Craigslist expedites the process of “finding stuff” by removing visual distractions and grouping categories, regions, and functions. You will want to consider the factors in design before starting your online business. In terms of design costs, the time required to create the visually pleasing Disney is far greater than that needed to create a Craigslist.
Finally, no online business exists for purely altruistic reasons. In other words, we don’t spend money unless there’s a return. The return might be in the form of feeding your passion or hobby, or it might be in the form of profits. Assuming a profit-oriented goal, how will your site make money? If advertising revenue plays a role, how do you intend on marketing your site to bring in the traffic necessary to sell advertising? If membership dues contribute to profitability, how will users pay, what will they pay, and what benefits will your site offer to support paid membership?
At Thunder Data, we want to help you achieve your goals in starting an online business by helping you understand the principles behind development. Occasionally, potential clients decide that they need more time to consider their ideas, or they realize the costs and risks are too great to proceed with development. Sometimes, our conversations steer clients into totally different and unanticipated directions usually centered on ideas they are passionate about.
Starting an online business built on your passion may provide emotional or financial success far greater than building the next MySpace. What are you passionate about?
Part II: Starting an online business centered on your passion.
Questions to consider before starting your online business:
- What kind of functionality will your site offer?
- Is membership required, what benefits exist for membership?
- How do members interact?
- If you are selling items or access to the site, will you require online credit card processing?
- What interesting interactivity will you offer your users?
- What differentiates you from your competition?
- What minimum functionality must your website offer to attract and keep excited users?
- How will your online business startup make money?