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The Digital Business Start-Up Workbook: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Succeeding Online from Start-up to Exit

Book Description

How do I know if my idea will work?

How do I decide on the business model?

How do I find my audience?

Your digital business start-up journey begins here.

From the bestselling author of The Small Business Start-up Workbook, Cheryl Rickman brings you a thoroughly practical guide to starting up a digital business, covering the full journey from idea to exit, with easy-to-implement strategies to make your online venture an ongoing success. With a combination of tips, exercises, checklists, anecdotes, case studies and lessons learned by business leaders, this workbook will guide you through each step of digital business.

Learn how to:

  • Assess whether your business idea will work online/digitally

  • Choose the right business model for your proposition and avoid wasting time

  • Assess demand, viability and uncover untapped needs and gaps in the market

  • Build a usable, engaging website and mobile app

  • Create a buzz using social networking

  • Drive high quality traffic to your site and convert visitors into paying customers

  • Use search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) tools effectively

  • Raise finance and protect your business

  • Build and maintain a strong brand

  • Recruit and retain a strong team

  • Sell the business or find a suitable successor.

Reviews for the book:

"If you want advice on starting your own internet business, don't ask me, read this book instead. It is more up-to-date and costs far less than a good lunch." Nick Jenkins, Founder of

"This book excels in providing practical guidance on how to create a successful digital business which exceeds customer expectations and keeps customers happy each step of the way." Scott Weavers-Wright, CEO of, and MD of (non-food)

"If you read just one book on digital business, make it this one... It is inspirational, informative and interactive in equal measure. Highly recommended!" Rowan Gormley, Founder and CEO of

"Interspersed with inspiring and useful stories from successful entrepreneurs, this book can help aspiring business owners through a step-by-step process of refining their start-up ideas and building a solid business." Elizabeth Varley, Founder and CEO of TechHub

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Endorsements
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. Dedication and Acknowledgements
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction: Generation Entrepreneur: Open For Business
    1. Greater Opportunity = Greater Competition
    2. The Perfect Storm for Digital Enterprise
    3. What You’ll Learn
  8. Part 1: Starting Up Your Own Digital Business
    1. Step One: The Big Idea – Create and Evolve Your Concept
      1. Sowing the Seeds of Success
      2. Stepping Stones: The Journey of an Idea
      3. The Long-Term Vision
      4. Good Idea Checklist
    2. Step Two: Choose Your Business Model
      1. All Change: The New Digital Currency
      2. Digital Business Models Explained
      3. Go Forth and Multiply
    3. Step Three: Assess Viability and Create A Customer-Centric Business Plan
      1. Diligence: The Importance of Planning
      2. Destination and Direction: Plotting a Clear Path
      3. Creating a Customer-Centric Plan
      4. Knowledge Is Power: Gathering Evidence and Understanding
      5. Testing Times: Get Your Product Out There
      6. The Right Market
      7. Research Competition: Uncovering Gaps in the Market and Growth Sectors
      8. Creating Your Business Plan and Action Plan
      9. Make It Official: Business, Trademark and Domain Name Registration and Intellectual Property
    4. Step Four: Fund Your Venture
      1. Suitable Sources of Finance
      2. Raising Finance: Preparation
      3. It’s Not All About The Money
      4. The Right Match
      5. Pitching Do’s and Don’ts
      6. When the Ink Has Dried
  9. Part 2: Building Your Business
    1. Step Five: Build Your Website
      1. Setting Up Your Website
      2. 1. Content-Rich to Attract and Retain Website Visitors
      3. 2. User-Friendly Navigation
      4. 3. Persuasive, Clickable and Indexable Web Copy to Convert Visitors into Customers
      5. 4. Aesthetically-Pleasing Design and Well-Managed Development
      6. 5. Accessible to All
      7. 6. Reliable and Fast-Loading
      8. 7. Secure and Customer-Friendly Logistics
      9. 8. Analytical
    2. Step Six: Build Your Mobile App And Mobile-Friendly Site
      1. Optimize your Existing Site for Mobile Across Multiple Platforms
      2. 2. Develop a Mobile-Specific Mobile-Commerce Website Which Accepts Mobile-Payments
      3. 3. Develop a Mobile App
    3. Step Seven: Build Your Team
      1. Staffing Options
      2. Specifying Talent: Filling the Gaps – Defining Strengths and Weaknesses
      3. Sourcing Talent: Finding People to Fill Those Gaps
      4. Recruiting Talent
      5. Retaining Talent: Keeping Hold of Your Best People
    4. Step Eight: Build Your Brand
      1. A Passionate Purpose: The Importance of Brand Values
      2. Play To Your Strengths
      3. Package Up Your Brand Identity and Image
  10. Part 3: Running And Growing Your Business
    1. Step Nine: Effective Online Marketing
      1. Spark Interest Before Launch
      2. Pick ‘n’ Mix
      3. Digital Marketing Methods
    2. Step Ten: Measure and Improve your Marketing and Website Performance
      1. The Evolution of Marketing
      2. Monitoring Marketing Performance: Accountability of Expenditure and Results
      3. Monitoring Website Performance: Using Analytics, Tests and Feedback to Improve Results
      4. Website Analytics: Secure All Exits
      5. Using Customer Feedback: Listen Up
    3. Step Eleven: Creating a Buzz Using People Power
      1. Social Networking
      2. 1. Visibility
      3. 2. Credibility
      4. 3. Positivity
      5. 4. Profitability
      6. Channel Hopping
      7. Amaze and Empower Your Customers: Customer Retention and Referral
      8. Reputation Management and Buzz Monitoring
    4. Step Twelve: Selling Up
      1. Timing: When is the Best Time To Sell?
      2. Reducing Owner Dependency
      3. Due Diligence and Value: Preparing For a Successful Exit
      4. How To Maximize Capital Value
      5. Selling to the Right Buyers
      6. Selling for the Right Price
  11. The Definitive Online Business Success Checklist
  12. About Cheryl Rickman
  13. References
  14. Index