Starting an online business is exciting. You’re finally ready to venture onto the internet to share all of your ideas with the world. However, there are things to watch out for to make sure you’re getting the most out of your online business while being safe. Here are five tips when starting an online business.
Conduct Market Research
Market research uses information to find your business’s target customers. The research includes knowing how the user responds to the product, and how and where to engage with the customers. Before you begin putting your business online you should know who would want your product or service, how profitable it can be, and who you’ll compete with.
In this process, you’ll need to look at the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), track high-performing keywords, and analyze your competitors.
Watch for Copyright
Copyright protects original works and prevents intellectual property from being stolen. When creating your website, it automatically is copyrighted because it is an original work. However, it’s important to physically note when things are copyrighted on your website to prevent stolen works. Adding a copyright notice at the bottom of your site explicitly tells users they can’t use your content without your permission.
To register for copyright, check out the U.S Copyright Office’s online registration portal and complete an application under “Other Digital Content”. It should take around six to eight months to have your work copyrighted.
While you can copyright your site, that means that other sites are also copyrighted. You should never use another website’s logo or name without permission. Always assume that work created on another site is intellectual property.
Minimize Liability with Freelance Contractors
When starting your business you may want to hire freelance contractors like developers, writers, and designers to help put your website online. The last thing you want your online business to deal with is legal disputes regarding these freelance workers. To prevent this, establish a contract that defines the relationship, establishes the amount of work, and includes payment terms. In regards to payment, always make sure you’re practicing correct practices that are timely.
Like your website property, customers who visit your site must also be protected. When people come to your site to buy a product or service, they will most likely input credit card information and other personal data. You should be looking into security software and firewalls to fight against hackers. Keep note of all the latest security trends to stay on top of what is best for your online business.
Creating a business online offers many opportunities. Find out more on how to run your online business safely with our presentation “What You Should Know About Doing Business Online,” hosted by Shehla Syed on February 14.