Venture online

Venture online

With more and more Indians having access to computers and internet, there are increasing opportunities to start an internet venture. While the costs of starting have come down, it is important to keep some of the basics in mind before plunging into internet entrepreneurship.

1. Who is my customer? There are over 10 crore Indians who have access to internet, but not all of them are your customers. It becomes important to identify, classify and focus on your customers and accordingly model your business around it. The design of your website, language and usability will be determined by your target group. Try to visualise how your customers will use your website and what problem will it solve for them.

2. What is the revenue model? Most common assumption in starting a website business is that you will start earning advertising money as soon as your website is up. However, attracting advertisers requires you to attract customers first — and that is what you should work for from the start. Revenue model can include product sales (for example Flipkart), lead generation (Ixigo), merchandising (Myntra), listing fees (JustDial) etc.

3. Create it! It takes Rs 500-1,000 approximately to buy the website name and another Rs 500-1,000 approx to buy a hosting space for your website. Advance packages may vary and you can also use cloud computing to keep your capital costs low in the beginning. Depending on the complexity of business, number of users and transactions per user, you can decide upon the technology to use (ranging from .net, Java, PHP, mySQL etc).

4. Sell it! Once the first usable version of your website is up (also known as beta version), you can start sharing with potential customers and increasing your site visits. Techniques like search engine optimisation (so your business can be found on Google), link-building and directory submissions can further enhance the visibility. Tools like Google Analytics can also give you insights on what is working and what is not. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can also be used for spreading the word.

But remember, there is no advertising as powerful as a satisfied customer who will refer you — so build brand ambassadors out of your customers.

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About the Author

Amit Grover, founder of, is an IIT Delhi and IIM Indore alumnus, having more than 12 years of industry experience. He started Nurture Talent Academy, and earlier worked with Infosys, Asian Paints, Onida and Mumbai Angels. He regularly blogs on AHA Taxis, his recent venture, offers one way outstation travel across India.

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