Setting up your own business means you are ready to take full control of your life and finances. Quite often, it is not a very easy task and involves a lot of time, effort, and capital. The luck factor can’t be ruled out of the equation either. So, what is it that stops you from starting your own online business? On the other hand, what are the factors that urge people to even leave their full-time jobs and start a small business or an online business on their own? This article will give you the answers to all these questions and help you set-up and get running with your own successful online business.
1. The Planning Phase
2. How to Set-Up an Online Business
3. Marketing and Selling
The Planning Phase: No business can survive if the product or service you are offering is not required by anyone; simple as that! So, any online business has to start with a proper planning phase that includes:
Step 1: Finding the need. First of all, you need to do a proper research of what product or service is actually required by the general public or your target customer-base. If it’s a new product, you need to determine if it will be whole-heartedly accepted by the public. Be a consumer at that point and rate your product from a neutral point of view. If a variant of the same product is already available in the market, what difference does your product make? Why should the consumer opt for your product rather than going for the already established brands?
Step 2: Preparing the business plan. After the needs are analyzed and requirements to start the business are chalked out, a proper business plan should be prepared. The funding sources and mechanism, how to target the market, when to release the product, etc. need to be decided in order to make an efficient workflow for the online business to function properly in the future.
How to Set-Up an Online Business: Once you have decided to move on with a particular online business and got ready with the initial investments, comes the part where you actually set it up.
Step 1: Register your Internet Business. There are various laws regarding the registration processes in various parts of the world. Also, you will need to get bank accounts opened in the name of your online business in order to facilitate seamless online transactions.
Step 2: Get a domain name and hosting for the online business. Isn’t it evident that you need to have your own website in order to freely explore the prospects of the online marketplace! Of course, you can list your small business on various online portals and sites and sell via them, but they will get a share of your profit every time you sell. And if you decide to separate from your online partner in the future, you need to start building your online reputation afresh. So, it’s always better to register a domain name for your company and buy a decent hosting plan to get your own website started.
Step 3: Design a responsive and trendy website. Yes, people do judge a book by its cover! If your website is not trendy enough and is not accessible by mobile devices, there are chances a lot of visitors will abandon the site, thus having a deep impact on the sales figures. E-commerce templates should be installed in order to make the whole process of uploading and selling products up to the customer receiving his/her order much easier for everyone. A great website design and easy navigation options make the visitors stay on the site for extended periods of time, thus turning your venture into a successful online business.
Step 4: Tie up with payment gateways. If you need to sell online, you need to have the means to collect money from them. Payment gateways come into play here; they need to be integrated into your e-commerce site so that the customers can make the payment to you. The payment gateway you choose should have the flexibility to accept payments from around the world via different payment methods.
Marketing and Selling – Just creating a super-awesome website won’t directly start bringing paying customers to your e-commerce website. Extra efforts are required here and this is, by far, the most important part of any business, selling! This is how you do it:
Step 1: Optimize your site for Search Engine Result Pages (SERP): Various on-page and off-page SEO techniques are required to get your e-commerce site to the top of search engine listings when a customer searches for a similar keyword.
Step 2: Social Networking. Aid from social media sites goes a long way in promoting your product/service/brand online and should be used as an effective tool to boost the online presence.
Step 3: Offers and Guarantees. Providing special offers to first-time visitors and regular customers help increase the site’s reliability in the online world and increases its visitors over time. Opt-in offers are also great ways of engaging the audience and building a probable customer database for your online business.
Step 4: Create Urgency. Many a time, creating an urgency to buy an item or service at a lower cost than the original price drives the potential customers to buy the item that they might not have required so much. This is a very effective marketing strategy.
An online business opens the gates to a world of possibilities; you can turn your imaginations into reality, given you invest ample efforts into it to convert it into a successful online business. There are a number of businesses that can be started within a matter of days and do not require much capital to start with.