Estimating Timelines For Business Startup And Web Site Promotion
"Boy, wouldn't it be great if tomorrow morning upon waking up my inbox was packed with orders. It would be truly amazing since just last weekend I uploaded my web site and started marketing."
"I have the solution for you. My product will have you up and running in less than 24 hours and I guarantee $1000 in 7 days or your money back."
Considering this hypothetical conversation between a customer and an internet marketer, it's no wonder that thousands of people are trying to make money online. If only it were that simple.
From the beginning I want to make it clear to you that if anyone tells you that they will guarantee thousands in little or no time, they are lying to you. Not only does the entire internet marketing system work in the opposite way, it is not physically possible to go from no online business to thousands in profits in a week, and keep it there. Why? O.k., sit back and let me show you a few things, and dispose of several myths.
(1) Finding Your Niche Market
Unless you are going to attempt to sell products developed by others, this stage will take the longest, perhaps months. By and far it is the most important. Everything else is a detail. Once your product idea is developed and niche market located the rest will be a piece of cake. Don't expect this part to be easy. If it were, everyone would be rich. This is however what makes a select few successful - they can, time and again, locate and sell to target groups looking for the goods offered.
(2) Web Design
Because the purpose of your site is to give prospects an interface from which to learn about you and bring in sales, it should be as simple as possible. Luckily this severely reduces the time required to have your site up and running. You will need to install a shopping cart, order forms, newsletter and contact forms. All in all, anticipate at least a month of design time to implement and work out any bugs.
Suppose you place a solo ad in an e-zine. It may take 2 weeks before your ad actually is sent out depending on the back list of publisher orders. After it is sent, and if it is written well enough to prompt subscribers to check out your offer, expect to receive feedback for at least a week. Thus each advertising campaign may take from 3 weeks to a month to complete. Keeping several different campaigns going will allow you to track your results on a continuous basis.
(4) Search Engine Placement
This stage takes the longest time and is really an ongoing process in online marketing. If you can drive traffic to your site by other methods, by all means do so. Search engine traffic is not very reliable. It is targeted, but you are constantly battling to keep your ranking. Indexing your site within each of the major engines requires anywhere from 4-6 weeks.
Adding up the time periods outlined above, it is not unreasonable to anticipate 6 months development for implementation, and possibly an entire year to see profits coming in on a steady basis. The reason that some marketers promote making profits quickly is that they see it work for seasoned marketers who have already found a niche, developed their site and have reasonable ranking with the search engines. Spend the time in the first year to get it right. Everything else will then follow.
Dan J. Fry is an independent researcher and owner of e-Kinetic.com, a site devoted to providing resources for small budget home businesses. He has a PhD in Physics, two daughters and two cats. Subscribe to his free E-Zine on home business resources at e-kinetic@GetResponse.com or by visiting his site at http://www.e-kinetic.com . He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timeline for starting your own business.