How To Start Online Business
You’ve probably read about it or seen it online – people living an alternative lifestyle, outside of the rat race, financially independent and self-sustained. You found out that they have their online businesses and now you want to own one too – the only problem is, you don’t know what you need, where to start or how it all works. Do not worry, and keep reading – in this article, we will cover these questions and more. After you finish reading, you’ll have that sense of direction you’re looking for to get started.
Reasons to start an online business
While there are many good reasons why you should set up an online business, we’ll go ahead and talk about a couple of the best ones. Perhaps the most enticing reason to start an online business is the lifestyle change that comes with it. It’s too easy to become bogged down in your regular 9-5 job, working repetitive hours every week to help someone else increase their revenue without you seeing any more results coming in. In this situation, you have little freedom in choosing when and for how long you wish to work when you want time off, and the type of work you do. Working for yourself, with an online business, means that these lifestyle limitations no longer apply to you!
Secondly, having an online business means you can avoid the high startup costs of setting up an offline business while enjoying high margins (assuming you put in the work). Setting up an online business entails typically paying for a domain name, hosting, and potentially some marketing costs, depending on your type of business. This is a stark contrast to offline companies, where you usually have to lease property, pay for costly equipment and staff. Given the low setup costs and potentially high returns, setting up an online business is relatively risk-free so may even hire an affordable seo services to get better solution of your all problems.
Before you get started
We can’t stress it enough – just because the business is an online one, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a business plan. Having a business plan is essential for any business, whether it’s big, small, online, or offline. Having a good business plan will help you focus on the specific steps you need to take to ensure that your business succeeds, while also organizing the strategies that will help you achieve your short and long term goals. If you don’t want to formulate a comprehensive business plan, then we recommend that you at least make a lean business plan which will distill your business plan down to its bare essentials, without all the added complexity of a regular business plan. A lean business plan is faster to set up and can be ready in an hour.
The Steps to a Successful Business
Get the right idea
Your business idea is at the core of your business. Everything revolves around it and stems from it. It isn’t always easy to come up with an idea for a company – while there is no shortage of business ideas on the internet, a vast majority of them are not viable. So what constitutes a viable idea when building a business? Online courses and online coaching are great ideas – they are low cost and highly profitable. Affiliate marketing and advertising are also great ideas – while they have smaller profits, they also come with low prices, which makes for decent passive income).
When coming up with your business idea, there are a couple of golden rules to keep in mind. The first and most important rule is that your business should be about your customers; this means that you should aim to primarily solve the customer’s problems and add value for them, not yourself. The second important rule is contrary to what many others will tell you, and that is passion isn’t everything. While it’s good to create a business around something you’re interested in, you must keep in mind its feasibility and profitability – can you make money? Will there be enough customers? How difficult is it to set up?
Building the business
When deciding on your domain name, you must keep a couple of things in mind. Firstly, make sure that your desired domain name is available when deciding on your business name. In essence, you don’t want to choose a business/storefront name only to find out that the domain name for it is unavailable. Secondly, ensure that the selected domain name is easy to remember – complicated domain names aren’t remembered well and get misspelled regularly, leading your potential traffic elsewhere or nowhere at all!
Every business worth its salt has a comprehensive understanding of its target audience, which they intend to sell their products. Having a target audience is essential because if you are aware of who you are selling to, you can tailor your brand, website, and marketing towards appealing to that specific audience, resulting in optimized user experiences and more revenue for your business. In business planning, deciding on your target audience should be a crucial step. During this step, consider demographics like gender, age, location, income level, and consumer needs as factors for determining your targeted audience.
When you’re ready to build your website, don’t focus on getting every little detail perfect and fully fleshed out. As long as the live site contains the core functionality sufficient to achieving your business objectives, you’re ready to launch; this allows you to reduce your time to start while allowing you the opportunity to test features for viability and effectiveness before committing to them fully.
These days, most of the traffic on the internet comes from mobile devices, which is why it is vitally important that you optimize your website to display and function nicely on mobile devices. While you’re at it, ensure that your site also works well on tablets – although not as numerous as mobile device traffic, tablet users are still a flow of traffic you don’t want to neglect. Keep in mind that many templates don’t offer device responsiveness by default, which is why you’ll need to be diligent about this task.
Another important aspect of websites to keep in mind while setting yours up is the page-loading time or website-speed. Generally speaking, the rate at which people leave without interacting with the page (bounce rate) spikes exponentially after waiting more than 3 seconds for the page to load. Time is precious; every second count and becomes the difference between retaining and losing traffic. To improve your page-speed, consider a caching plugin like WP Rocket. You should also take the time to compress the file-sizes of your images as much as possible as large image file-sizes are often the leading culprit in slow page loading times.
Get traffic to your business website
Setting up your website is only part of the journey towards establishing an online business. The next step is to get traffic coming into your site – just because you’ve built it, it doesn’t mean they’ll come. Two key ways of bringing traffic to your website are to use digital marketing and social media marketing.
Social media marketing involves the acts of joining and advertising within various social media communities and groups, using targeted ads like Facebook ads, and building the number of friends, followers, or subscribers that you have. Given that most people use one or more social media platforms, social media marketing is a method you shouldn’t overlook. As an added incentive, Google’s algorithm factors in your social media activity and traffic sent from your social media into its ranking system, so it’s best not to ignore it!
Of equal importance, if not more, there is digital marketing, which involves organic SEO (search engine optimization), paid google ads, and email campaigns. While traffic gained organically takes quite a lot of time to establish, it is free and consistent. In a nutshell, you’ll need to optimize your site for a specific set of keywords (words that you anticipate your target audience to use when searching for your business). Paid Google ads, while potentially price, offer instant and guaranteed results – you’ll be able to drive traffic to your site a lot sooner compared to organic SEO. Thirdly, you should consider collecting email addresses from your target audience so that you may use them in targeted email campaigns to pull users back to your site.
Make sure it’s legal
You’ll need to take a few steps to ensure that your online business is perfectly legal. Firstly, make sure that your business idea or planned content isn’t conflicting with any privacy or intellectual property regulations. If it does, this may come back to bite you later on. Secondly, ensure that you register your business as a business. The way you’ll go about this is done differently in different countries. This step will lead you to the next one – learn about your tax obligations for running your business. You’ll need to do this because you’ll likely be liable to pay income tax. Furthermore, as an online business, you should be eligible for specific tax reductions. Also visit the online academy website to get access to more content like this.
Avoid these fall pits
Poor time management
One thing that many new online business owners believe is that they “just don’t have enough time.” However, this is not the case, consider all the things you do during the day that aren’t work-related, all the things you spend time on that are not productive. Whether it’s watching cat videos, or playing video-games, the opportunity cost is your productive time. Be mindful, prioritize, and plan your time.
Not taking care of yourself
Another key pitfall for new online business owners is the dreaded burnout. Sure, you should sink a lot of time into your new business, especially at the beginning, but not at the cost of your health and sanity. In essence, you’ll only end up discouraging and demotivating yourself, not to mention your quality of work will suffer. Setting up your online business is like a marathon, not a 100m sprint, pace yourself, look after yourself, take a break now and again.
The surest and quickest way to losing your online business is by giving up. We get it, it’s difficult, time-consuming, and complicated, but we assure you, if you stick to it, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re stuck, find a mentor, ask someone for help, if you’re tired, take a break. If you’ve run out of ideas, step back, and look for new sources of inspiration. Just don’t give up!
Let’s wrap it up
Setting up an online business is right for several reasons; you will experience a radical lifestyle change while gaining freedom and autonomy. Given the relatively low barriers to entry, it also happens to be a low-risk investment. Before you get started, you should have a business plan that, at the very least, covers the bare essentials of how you intend to implement your business. You should also carefully consider your business idea, aiming to balance interests with financial feasibility, while ensuring that your company provides value to the public. When setting the business website up, consider setting up the MVP to reduce the amount of time to launch, but don’t forget to optimize it for speed and various screen sizes! You can then get traffic flowing towards your website through social media, email campaigns, organic SEO, or even google advertising. Keep in mind that when setting up an online business, the going can get tough – manage your time well, keep yourself fit and healthy, and never give up!