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Avoid Ebusiness Plan Mistakes and Learn From Others

If you want to avoid ebusiness plan mistakes, you can. As you write your ebusiness plan, use this page as a thought provoker to learn from the mistakes that many have made, and continue to make, when trying to operate an online business. Here you have the benefit of knowing what others get wrong, and why over 90% of online busynesses never make any money. Avoiding mistakes as you create your ebusiness plan is the key to your success, and will save lots of time and money.

13 Common Ebusiness Plan Mistakes to Avoid

Here are 13 common mistakes made by ebusiness owners who fail to attract targeted traffic or make sales, and wonder why. Most of these mistakes can be avoided at the early stage of creating your ebusiness plan, and having this knowledge will give you a head start on most of your competitors. Here's where they go wrong at various stages of development:

1. No Instant Credibility
2. Obscure or Easy-to-forget Domain Name
3. Unreliable or Inadequate Hosting
4. Unprofessional Website Design
5. Websites that are Boring (text only) and Uninspiring
6. No Relevant Content
7. No Secure Payment Facility and Complex Shopping Cart
8. Fail to Optimize for Search Engines
9. Fail to Promote using Search Engines and Directories
10. Fail to Create a Marketing Plan and Marketing Strategies
11. No Added Value offers
12. Websites that Never Change
13. Websites with Language Barriers

And there is more:

13 More Tips to Avoid Ebusiness Plan Mistakes




1. No Instant Credibility


More and more, savvy internet users now check out websites to find out who they are dealing with. Credibility and trust must be almost instant. Whilst first impressions of a site are visual (see item 4), if it doesn't look like a real company with real people, they assume an opportunist or scam set-up and get off the site. When getting started, it is essential to get things right, and never too late to review what might be wrong and put it right.


Establish Credible Foundations
Make sure you plan and lay the right foundations and structure for your ebusiness. This means choosing the right name for your business, establishing a legal identity, having a privacy policy, contact information and other factors to give you instant credibility.

Learn More at Getting Started: Things to Think About




2. Obscure or Easy-to-forget Domain Name



It's surprising how many website owners have weird and wonderful domain names that are impossible to recall, difficult to spell, or do not relate to their online business. So unless a visitor bookmarks a particular site, it is easily forgotten and they never return.

Make it Keyword Rich and Memorable
Choosing a keyword rich domain name for search engines can boost internet search results, by describing your website exactly. There is a way to get this right.

Learn more at Domain Name Registration: Get it Right




3. Unreliable or Inadequate Hosting



Blacklisted hosts, reverse DNS, shared IP address, limited bandwidth, free websites and free hosting are just some of the problems that affect the availability of websites. Does this sound like gobbledegook? Read more:

Learn more at Web Hosting and IP address Stumbling Blocks

Get Commercial Web Space
For a professional website you need to use commercial web space, and that means hosting it somewhere that gives you room to grow, capable administration tools, reliable performance, and responsive customer service.

Learn more at Web Hosting must be Reliable and Secure




4. Unprofessional Website



Many website owners make the mistake of designing a website that suits themselves - that they think is cool, trendy and attractive. But that's not what the visitors see. Here are a few examples of what goes wrong:

The focus or purpose of the site is not instant
No real content of interest to visitors
Slow loading pages - more than a few seconds and site visitors leave
The Home page is too busy, or full of flashing banners or cartoons
Excessive pop ups or other irritants
Too many colours, too many different size fonts, dark backgrounds with illegible text
Music or other sounds play instantly, with no way of turning them off
Broken links leading to page not available
Out of date information - no-one seems to care about keeping the site updated
Pages that leave them stranded, with no back links or follow-through
No contact information
Design is structured in frames - very 'old hat' and bad for search engine robots

Here are more stumbling blocks to avoid when designing your website:

Website Design and Construction Stumbling Blocks
Common Mistakes made by Webmasters
Website Content Stumbling Blocks
Navigation and Inbound/Outbound Links Stumbling Blocks

Get a Professional Website Design
First impressions count, and a recent survey showed that consumers made credibility-based decisions about the people or organization behind the website based upon the site's overall visual appeal. In our article Website Credibility and Design you can read all about how people evaluate a website's credibility, how to build instant credibility and what makes a good website.

Learn More at Website Design and Maintenance: Your Window for the World




5. Websites that are Boring (text only) and Uninspiring


Nowadays, websites with just text content can be extremely boring, and even if they contain quality information, visitors soon tire of sitting in front of their computers just reading. These sites lack the ability to keep their visitors enthused, and concentration is lost on long pages of text.

Every day, thousands of new websites come online, including competitors to your website. If you want to stay ahead, do something different and unusual to make your site and your business stand out. Give your visitors the opportunity and choice to see some pictures (pictures say a thousand words), watch a short video clip to show them how your product works, or provide some background music they can select whilst they delve into your website. But always obey the golden rule - don't set anything up to auto play and annoy them.

Learn More at Working with Multimedia for Impact




6. No Relevant Content


Content is King on the web. Eighty percent of people use the internet to find information, and your website should be rich in content relevant to your products or services. Content comes first; sales next. Potential customers are much more likely to buy from companies they trust and who provide them with valuable information. Websites that do well on the internet are not only providing good information, they stay within a particular theme or niche.

Learn More at Content and Copywriting: the Fundamentals




7. No Secure Payment Facility and Complex Shopping Cart


Many websites can convert visitors into buyers, but lose sales at the payment process. Complex shopping carts, lack of security, lack of confidence in the payments offered, lack of information about how the process works, and other barriers simply put potential buyers off. They will find another site that makes payment easy and tells them everything they need to know.

Make Security a Top Priority
Credit card security must be top priority for your website, even before you go live. Give your customers the confidence to buy online, by providing secure payment systems, and make the shopping experience easy and safe.

Learn More at Ecommerce is Essential for Online Sales






8. Fail to Optimize for Search Engines


There are over 600 million website owners on the net and over 94% are not making a penny, because they haven't optimized their websites to achieve high ranking on search engines.

Internet search engines generate about 90% of website traffic, with search engines and directories like Yahoo, Google, MSN and AOL in the top ten. The top 20 websites listed under a popular search term can pull in over 1000 visitors per day from search engines.

Learn More at Optimizing your Website for Search Engines






9. Fail to Promote using Search Engines and Directories


In addition to optimizing web pages for search engines, it's also necessary to submit the website to major search engines and directories, to be listed. Many website owners think that optimizing for keywords or phrases is enough, and rely on the 'spiders' or 'robots' to find them.

However, many major search engines obtain their listings from third party search providers (who also run their own search engine sites), to provide 'back up' or 'fall through' against having no results. You can learn more about this in our article Where Search Engine Results Come From. You can also learn all about how to promote your website on search engines to achieve high rankings:

Learn More at Search Engine Promotion Comes Next




10. Fail to Create a Marketing Plan or Marketing Strategies


A marketing plan should be part of your original business plan. Many online businesses fail to identify or focus on the right target market, or decide how they are going to market their products or services. The ultimate goal of internet marketing is to generate sales and build lifetime customer relationships, and if a website has nothing 'extra' to offer visitors, they will go elsewhere.

Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
You need a comprehensive marketing plan for your ebusiness, which should include details of your target market, where you find them, what they prefer, and how you will persuade them to buy from your website. Decide which promotional strategies will suit your ebusiness best, and apply one strategy at a time, so that you can measure the results and focus on the ones that give you the best sales per capita.

Learn More at Marketing your Website: So Many Ways




11. No Added Value Offers


Websites that don't offer 'extras' or bonuses to their visitors often fail. Nowadays, visitors look for something they can obtain for free, or at discount prices, or other 'goodies' to add value to their potential purchase or information search.

For instance, offering a free quality ebook download or email mini course; weekly tips and other bonuses, can be the start of building new customer relationships, whilst building up your own email list, and identify you as an expert in a particular area of interest. There are many ways of introducing 'bait' to increase your customer base, and an ebook is only one of them.

Learn More at Ebook Publishing for Added Value




12. Websites that Never Change


A surefire way to lose regular visitors, is a website that never changes or offers anything new. The content may be updated and perhaps articles added now and then, but the design, layout and everything else stays the same. There's no new and interesting features.

Keep moving onwards and upwards, and don't let your website go 'stale'. Introduce interactive facilities related to your business, or some other exciting feature to keep your customers returning to see your amazing developments. Or maybe a re-design to improve the visual impact? Keep up with technology and trends to keep your website 'fresh'.

Learn More at Web Development: Moving Onwards and Upwards




13. Websites with Language Barriers


Most websites are in the business owner's mother tongue, with a certain style and culture embedded into the content. The way that words are used and their meanings are different according to the culture of each country. For example, American English is written differently that English; signs and symbols mean different things to different people; and so on.

If you are offering a product or service that is in demand globally, or in a particular country, why not consider translating your website (or part of it) to take advantage of the huge online market in other important world languages? A good example of this is Google, who now offer search engine facilities in several languages.

In 2004 there were 615 million internet users (estimated) where around 38% (projected to fall to around 30%) were English language users. That's a whopping 62% of potential global customers!


About the Author: http://www.4-better-business.com/default.asp?page=avoid_ebusiness_plan_mistakes.htm




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