Are you running an online company or preparing to create a new web venture? Planning is key to helping your business run smoothly.Don’t forget the basics of business. Add some fuel to your strategy by keeping these five key steps in mind.

1. Choose quality software

Pick a great accounting software and data management suite to help you run your business. QuickBooks remains an excellent option for small business owners, but vendors are anxious to help out companies with a variety of SaaS packages. You can even choose marketing software if you want to excel at advertising.

2. Sign up with the right vendors and services

Expand your presence on the web by picking out some great services and vendors. Google Adwords, Google Places, LinkedIn, and many other services can help you increase your online presence and help clients find you more easily.

Customize your vendor choices and services to your type of business and don’t forget popular cloud options like Amazon Small Business and Rackspace. Smaller vendors with dedicated packaging services may also be a big help.

3. Use social media

Social media is not only for advertising and promotions; it can also help you make sales in much more direct ways. Take a look at Pinterest for a great example: many entrepreneurs set up Pinterest profiles to showcase their goods and connect directly with their online stores — a move that is growing increasingly easy as Pinterest and similar networks upgrade their capabilities.

Twitter offers multiple advantages for businesses willing to pay for premium services. Facebook allows you to create business pages, and LinkedIn is a great source of advice and connections.

4. Join communities

If you want to make sales, join communities like Etsy and eBay. If you want to find out more about your industry, then join forums and journal sites to keep up on news.

Don’t be afraid to comment on posts and seek out conversations. Discussion can have many benefits for the small online business. You can find new leads, learn about trade show opportunities, and get a feel for what people want or don’t want in your market. You may even find a business partner!

5. Create interesting, authentic content

A blog can certainly help a growing business, but remember to be creative about it. Instead of making every post the same, explore other options.

Create interesting YouTube videos about your business, your products, and how to use your services. Vine and similar apps can also help make your content more interesting. Make sure you produce informative, entertaining pieces to draw in customers.