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This course is ideally suited to you if you’re thinking about starting an online business, or have already started one and you’re not sure why things aren’t as expected.
There are 44 video lectures, divided into themed sections, with learning assignments, online quizzes and supplementary resources taking around three and a half hours to complete, excluding assignments.
The first section deals with common perceptions about Online Business, followed by a section on whether you have the Personality, Skill & Resources for an online business, which includes an online self-assessment quiz.
There’s also a section devoted to Your Business Idea. What you need do to test if your business idea is really viable and considers if you’re struggling to come up with an idea.
In Is This Online Business For You section, who your competitors are, whether you can compete - for attention - with your value proposition - and on search engines. How to work out the number of visitors and sales you need to be profitable and the pitfalls of relying on SEO and free visitors.
A section deals with the importance of Your Business Plan, why you need one and the 10 steps you need to create one. There’s also the case study of Bill Weber who uses six steps of the process to make the right choice for his online business.
In the final section Starting an Online Business - Revisited are the six biggest and most important mistakes made by new or existing online business entrepreneurs; so important, each is covered in a separate lecture.
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|Section 1: Section 1: Overview|
Understand if you are suited to take this course, why you should take the course, have a broad overview of the course content and resources available and determine the suitability of the instructors background.
Following the introduction you should be able to appreciate the benefits of the course, what it’s about and not about.
|Section 2: Section 2: Online Business|
You should be able to appreciate what will be covered in section 2 of the course
|Be better able to avoid get-rich-quick schemes and being duped by Internet marketers, Gurus and scam artists.|
|Avoid falling into the trap of thinking everything online is free and easy.|
|Be better able to see through the lies and deception which are common place on the Internet and avoid the temptation to believe what suits you, rather than the truth, which you may find harder to face or accept.|
|To appreciate it’s often not what Gurus tell you, but what they don’t tell you that really matters and that not everything is at it first seems.|
|Section 3: Section 3: Personality, Skills and Resources|
|Following the introduction you should be able to appreciate what's covered in section 3 of the course.|
|Realize that being successful has nothing to do with the level of your education but more to do with attitude, determination, enthusiasm, staying power, the ability to learn from experience and keep learning both from success and failure.|
|Appreciate it’s OK to have a dream but equally you must be a realist and be prepared to take calculated risks without all the information you feel you need. That it’s not always possible to find solutions that are quick and easy and involve very little effort.|
|Determine if you have some of the right skills, talents, experience and attitude for online business.|
|Appreciate that starting and running an online business takes time and money and that it’s unwise to assume you can do everything for free.|
Accept some or all of the truths about making it online are probably not what you want to hear, but it’s what you need to hear.
|Section 4: Section 4: Your Business Idea|
Following the Introduction, appreciate what will be covered in section 4 of the course
Understand the choices and decisions that need to be made before putting an existing business online and the problems that can be created by placing too much trust in a web designer or web design firm.
|Understand why and how you need to test the market and your own suitability, when considering your hobby or passion for an online business.|
|Understand the choices and issues faced when trying to turn an idea into a business and appreciate the important role a business plan plays in the decision process.|
|Realize that it’s not essential to have a unique idea for an online business, but it is essential to have a unique twist or unique selling proposition. Appreciate the use of SWOT in your marketing and that competition is a good thing.|
|Section 5: Section 5: Is This Online Business For You ?|
|Following the Introduction, appreciate what will be covered in section 5 of the course.|
|Understand the importance of doing thorough market research in order to determine the suitability of your business for the Internet.|
|Understand the need and importance of determining the strength of the online competition, using the online data sources that are available.|
|Realize that you have to be able to compete in 4 main areas; by product or service, for visibility on the search engines, for the attention of searchers, and compete with your value proposition.|
|Recognize that PPC should form part of your market research when deciding if a product or service you are thinking about offering, is viable for an online business.|
|Appreciate that you must determine the number of sales you need to make in your online business to be profitable, known as break-even.|
|Understand the need to determine the number of visitors you need to get to your web page to view what you are offering and reach the point at which you’re online business will become profitable, or break-even. Realize that most new websites get far fewer free visitors from search engines than they did a few years ago.|
|Understand why you cannot assume or expect to get enough free visitors from Google or any other search engine to sustain your online business.|
Realize that if you have objectives for your website you need to communicate these to your web designer in writing and relinquishing responsibility for your site design to a web designer can be a big mistake. You should also appreciate that web designers don’t generally give guarantees and having a great looking website doesn’t mean you have a great performing website.
|Know what a landing page is and explain what web page conversion rate means.|
|Section 6: Section 6: Your Business Plan|
Following the Introduction, appreciate what will be covered in section 6 of the course.
|Appreciate the business plan involves a ten step process and provides an essential framework and a platform from which to launch your online business.|
|Appreciate the step by step process that Bill Weber goes through to determine how many of each of his products he needs to sell in order to make a profit ; break-even.|
|Appreciate in any business plan, realistic assumptions have to be made and there are risks if those assumptions are overly optimistic or prove not to be accurate or invalid.|
Understand how to calculate the number of visitors to a web page using an assumed realistic conversion rate. Appreciate the significant effect having to pay for visitor traffic can have on a business plan.
|Understand the significant impact having to pay for visitor traffic can have on the business case for being able to sell a product on your own website. Appreciate that having to pay for visitor traffic will mean that for the same conversion rate, you need more visitors which in turn adds extra cost, which in turn requires more visitors.|
Appreciate the need to rework the figures to take account of the additional costs of paid for visitors and because of revisions to the assumptions; these usually always occur because of working through the business plan.
Understand what a project plan is, what it comprises and why it should be part of any business plan.
|Appreciate how and why working through the numbers can change what you thought was going to be possible in a proposed online business. Understand that it’s important to avoid the temptation to massage the assumptions and numbers into being overly optimistic, just to give you the answers you want. Appreciate that the key business objectives and key targets were not plucked from thin-air or just wish-full thinking, but came about from working through the first 6 steps of creating a business plan.|
|Section 7: Section 7: Starting an Online Business - Revisited|
|Following the Introduction, appreciate what will be covered in section 8 of the course.|
Understand that it doesn’t matter how many customers there are searching for what you are offering, if you don’t have the resources to reach them, they will never be your customers. So assuming you can reach them is a very big mistake.
|Understand the competition in the market you are trying to reach with your offer may be too big and too well established for you to be able to compete. Realize you must determine the strength of that competition before deciding if your business has a good chance of competing. Accept that it’s a big mistake to not check or underestimate the strength of your competitors.|
|Realize it’s a mistake to assume enough demand - know how to test for product demand and interest - appreciate there must be enough interest and demand for what you are offering - that you have the resources to reach the prospect and they have the disposable cash to make a purchase.|
|Understand the importance of not assuming you will be able to get enough free search engine visitors to view what you have to offer and not assuming just because you have your own website that it will achieve what you expected.|
|Understand how to use conversion rate to determine the viability of an online business and appreciate the importance of conversion rate in affecting how many visitors need to see your offer, before you make enough sales to sustain your business.|
|Realize that you should not become too emotionally attached to your business venture and that your dreams, desires and determination to succeed may prevent you from being able to accept the need to cut your losses and abandon your business venture.|
Tony has a B.Sc in Communications Engineering, with off-line and online experience in Sales & Marketing. He is also a qualified trainer in Customer Service training and has run his own off-line and online businesses. Tony has 15 years experience in web design and website optimization for visitors and search engines - SEO. For the past 10 years he has used his professional training to try to help other website owners navigate the pitfalls of trying to make a living online.