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Essentials of an Online Business

Once you have established the fundamental premise of the viability of a product, service or information to be monetized online; the next question invariably is how?
With most entrepreneurs who approach me for help on how to establish their online business, the most frequent questions and barriers are about understanding what it takes to drive the creation of an  online business model.
I recommend using the Information Architecture methodology for deriving business planning for online businesses. For my workshops on setting up an Online business ( Contact Score, San Francisco Business Administration Resource Center, Market St, San Francisco, CA Phone 415.744.6827), I normally take entrepreneurs through the entire Information Architecture process in a workshop format. ( Want to learn more about IA, choose to mentor with me at The Information Architecture Institute - iainstitute.org)


This methodology requires you start the process with identification of the target audience and an analysis of use case for each target audience you are looking to attract to your online store. As internet continues to become an important part of our daily lives, the options, the content and the plethora of choice that it offers continues to engage our time. The average  time that you as a business will ever have to present and engage with a prospective customer online is 3 seconds. If your online store front is not engaging enough for your audience; they will move on to the next option.


Research shows search is a lifeline of today’s shopper. 93% of buyers use search in the shopping process. Most compelling from the data, however, is the significant role generic queries and organic listings play in driving purchases in-store. A whopping 86 percent of consumers say search engines are very important in the buying process, while just one percent use social media alone. Search engines Google and Bing were the first stop for 58 percent of respondents, while 24 percent visited company sites and just 18 percent started with social media. Of those who went to search engines first, 40 percent then turn to social media to help make a decision.


I cannot even begin to emphasize the importance of a proper Target Audience analysis process for the success of your online presence. 
In my next post, we will cover the Target Audience Analysis process in detail. Keep sending your comments, questions in the meantime.

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