T Nation

Starting an Online Business

A friend and I are starting an online business selling a product. As we are kind of new to the online world, we are looking for a little advice from anyone who has already travelled that road.

I have made a few websites, but I think doing this ALL myself would be getting out of my realm of knowledge.

a few questions…

  1. Does anyone know of any companies that are specialize in boosting your google search ranking?

  2. Any suggestions on adding a shopping cart to a website?

  3. Or…any suggestions on a company that will do the whole site (shopping cart, search ranking considerations, hosting, , site design, the whole nine) at a reasonable price?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

Thanks in advance

ebay.com

:slight_smile:

[quote]atypicaluser wrote:
ebay.com

:)[/quote]

Eh?

The answer to all your questions is Google.

  1. Pay Google for the top spot on the search results.

  2. Search Google for shopping cart website kits/templates (there’s plenty of free stuff out there).

But, from the sounds of it, Search Google for a web design company in your local area.

You also need to think about registering a domain name and finding a hosting company (which a web design company can handle for you).

All hail our evil overload - Google - The controller of all information.

[quote]atypicaluser wrote:
ebay.com

:)[/quote]

That site has to go belly up very soon…

Oh, and by the way:

im trying to build an online bussiness also.
my problem is I have the website,I have bussiness lisc. and contact info all tha tstuff is taken care of.
my problem now is finding a product.
I was looking into dropshipping and i have alot of suppliers but I am afraid of using them.

I dont really want to hold an inventory and I dnt know what else I can offer besides some sort of retail site.

[quote]Nich wrote:
im trying to build an online bussiness also.
my problem is I have the website,I have bussiness lisc. and contact info all tha tstuff is taken care of.
my problem now is finding a product.
I was looking into dropshipping and i have alot of suppliers but I am afraid of using them.

I dont really want to hold an inventory and I dnt know what else I can offer besides some sort of retail site.
[/quote]

I’m confussed. You don’t have a product?

But you have suppliers?

What exactely is your business?

[quote]ActionJackson wrote:
A friend and I are starting an online business selling a product. As we are kind of new to the online world, we are looking for a little advice from anyone who has already travelled that road.

I have made a few websites, but I think doing this ALL myself would be getting out of my realm of knowledge.

a few questions…

  1. Does anyone know of any companies that are specialize in boosting your google search ranking?

  2. Any suggestions on adding a shopping cart to a website?

  3. Or…any suggestions on a company that will do the whole site (shopping cart, search ranking considerations, hosting, , site design, the whole nine) at a reasonable price?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

Thanks in advance [/quote]

There are companies that can increase your ranking. I was on a site not long ago but lost it now…I’m sure you will find it on google. It isn’t that cheap, and personally I question the results, but they are out there.

It isn’t that hard to buy a high spot with google adwords on the sponsored links section, but acheiving a high ranking (top10-20)through organic listing is quite hard and takes time and is really determined by alot of factors. Generally speaking, if your site is selling something, you will have a harder time getting to the top of organic because they are generally for information based sites.

You can check out www.perrymarshall.com, he is an expert at google marketing and his 5 day course will give you some good knowledge of how google works.

Adwords can be very expensive if you don’t know what you are doing and depending on what you are selling. Some high demand products such as weight loss can cost more then $5 per click which can add up real fast. $5/click * 20clicks/day *30days/month = $3000/month and this is only getting people to your website, you still got to make a sale. In saying that though, google commands about 50% of all search engine traffic globally and is the best place to start. Yahoo nets around 25-30% I believe.

There is alot to learn, but I believe it is worth learning yourself as you can apply the knowledge again and again. I think if you pay somebody do it, you will likely only have mild results opposed to you doing it yourself. Obviously this is not the short term solution you seem to be after.

[quote]Nich wrote:
im trying to build an online bussiness also.
my problem is I have the website,I have bussiness lisc. and contact info all tha tstuff is taken care of.
my problem now is finding a product.
I was looking into dropshipping and i have alot of suppliers but I am afraid of using them.

I dont really want to hold an inventory and I dnt know what else I can offer besides some sort of retail site.
[/quote]

Of the people I have known to do dropshipping, they soon enough get out of it. Finding a reliable one is the biggest challenge. Sure enough there are successful ones out there and I’m not talking from personal experience.

You can sell anything on the internet really. Before the AUD went down so much, I was doing well selling Biotest products over here. Find whats in demand and go for it. The possibilities are only restricted by your own imagination.

[quote]Spry wrote:
Nich wrote:
im trying to build an online bussiness also.
my problem is I have the website,I have bussiness lisc. and contact info all tha tstuff is taken care of.
my problem now is finding a product.
I was looking into dropshipping and i have alot of suppliers but I am afraid of using them.

I dont really want to hold an inventory and I dnt know what else I can offer besides some sort of retail site.

I’m confussed. You don’t have a product?

But you have suppliers?

What exactely is your business?[/quote]

ok,I have a store front.I was dealing at one time in aftermarket japanese engines and other jdm( lapanese domestic market) auto parts.

that went under and I still have my site.
now I am looking for a new product.
I have a list of drop shippers,basicly all I do is advertise the product on my site,consumer places order with me at a marked up price, I place the order with the supplier and they send it directly to the consumer.
the product ships from an account in my name so they see my name on the box.
I get whatever mark up from wholesale I get from the order.

I have never used a drop shipper,the concept is there and I have credit accounts with several but I am real hesitant.

I looked into drop shipping years ago. The great thing is that, as you stated, your name is on the box. Your name is on the invoice. It’s all you. At the same time, it’s all you when the drop shippers take too long or screw things up. You have very little control over things, yet you’re taking the full brunt of it from the customer. Drop shipping is okay if you’re 100% sure of the shipper. Otherwise your name can go to mush rather quick.

In terms of using google adwords, I tested it with my product and it is quite expensive, it did generate leads (I think I got 5 mails and 20 hits on the order page regarding purchasing the product) but it also cost $100 which would have been about 5 to 20% of my sales (not completely unacceptable with no overhead and a low cost product) but I would like to eliminate this cost if possible.

I would prefer to pay a one time or yearly fee and not keep getting hit monthly to get my site in the google rankings, Has anyone else used the google shopping cart? does it integrate nicely into your site?

Thanks again,

Google gets you hits but not sales.

I question the effectivness of the pay per click system. When we have used them, they always seem to spend our budget before the time period expires but sales didn’t track along with the clicks.

Somebody was clicking the links but they were not buyers.

If you want to sell physical products without storing or shipping the inventory yourself then use a fulfillment house such as this:

You can read more about this in the book The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.

If you want to sell info products or get involved in internet marketing check out these sites:

http://www.warriorforum.com/index.php

http://www.kenmccarthy.com/

If you want to sell info products directly related to the fitness industry then go here:

That should give you some good ideas for starters.

[quote]ActionJackson wrote:
In terms of using google adwords, I tested it with my product and it is quite expensive, it did generate leads (I think I got 5 mails and 20 hits on the order page regarding purchasing the product) but it also cost $100 which would have been about 5 to 20% of my sales (not completely unacceptable with no overhead and a low cost product) but I would like to eliminate this cost if possible.

I would prefer to pay a one time or yearly fee and not keep getting hit monthly to get my site in the google rankings, Has anyone else used the google shopping cart? does it integrate nicely into your site?

Thanks again, [/quote]

We set up an online business about 2.5 years ago. It has been quite successful. We never used anything from google.

I will tell you to stay away from NetFirms. They are thieves.

Check out GoDaddy. They offer packages that cover the entire set up of the website. Had we known better, we would have used them.

Also, stay the hell away from paypal. They are worse thieves than NetFirms.

I know of a guy selling pipes (you now, the kind stodgy old men smoke). He linked to a place that sold vintage pipe tobacco, and paypal suspended his account which had about $4K in it at the time.

Opening an online business is not much different than opening a brick and mortar. You have to know your market. You need to be in front of as many prospective customers as possible. This takes work. Don’t rely on google, or any of those internet traffic director things to do that for you.

If you need any help, or would just like to run some ideas by someone - PM me.

I’ve heard lots of bad stories about PayPal…suspending accounts with thousands of dollars in them, without giving a reason to justify the suspension.

I still use PayPal, but I wouldn’t trust them for large amounts - only small eBay transactions.

I withdraw all the money in there straight to my bank account when the PayPal balance gets over $200. I just don’t trust them enough to allow my money to sit in there. You never know, they might just fold over & collapse one day, and then owe all their customers millions of dollars without any intention of ever paying it back.

Thanks all for your advice, I will certainly be taking another look at setting up a merchant account rather than paypal.

Thanks rainjack, I will certinly be sending you a PM about setting up an online business, I have a lot to learn!!!