Starting an online business can be an exciting venture. Whether it’s something you want to do for fun, or you’re looking to increase your financial freedom, it will involve a lot of time, work and effort. In today’s internet landscape, there’s more and more small businesses starting every day which means the market is increasingly competitive. Here’s 6 steps that will help you start an online business.
Find a market, then a product
For those looking to start a business, it’s easy to get excited and try to find what you will be selling immediately. However, if there’s no people looking to purchase what you’re selling, your business is likely to struggle. Therefore, the best approach is to start by finding a market.
The key is to find a market that has a problem without a real or effective solution. The internet has made this significantly easier as you can search online forums for what people are looking for, search engines for what businesses are competing, and how you can improve upon what they’re offering.
Get your legal obligations in check
Something you might not initially consider when starting a business is the legal process you will have to endure. There’s a lot to set up when you create your business. Firstly, you must determine your legal business structure. This might be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a type of corporation. Typically, a one-person business would be a sole proprietorship.
It’s also worth protecting your businesses brand and name by trademarking your logo, name and any designs. At the same time, it’s important to ensure you aren’t infringing on any existing trademarks. Specialised trademark lawyers like LegalVision are well-experienced in trademark registration and help ensure you and your business get through the process properly.
Get good at sales copy
When people search for a product on google, it can be seen as the start of the customer journey or sales process. Not everyone is looking to make a purchase straight away. People seek out information, reviews, alternatives all while slowly working towards the end sale. It’s important that your online store satisfies each of these points in the consumer journey. Show the consumer what problem they have, and tell them how your product or service can uniquely solve this problem and make the customers life better.
The better information you have, the more memorable your brand will be and so the more likely it is that a reader will turn into a customer.
Build a great website
If you have an online business, it’s clear that your website will need to top quality. Think of your website as your virtual storefront. Keep things clean and simple, making it easy for your visitors to understand what you sell and find their way around the site.
Make sure it loads quickly, and it’s easy for customers to make a purchase. It’s also important that you have a way to capture visitors email addresses. This will help you keep your customers up to date and sell to them without having to get them on your site again
Leverage Digital Marketing
Email marketing is one way to increase your sales, but there’s many other channels that you can leverage in the digital space. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the easiest way to generate traffic. In Google, your PPC ads typically appear right at the top of the search results and you only pay for those who click on your ad. This is a good form of advertising, especially for newer sites that are testing out their pages and keywords.
It’s important however, to generate organic traffic. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the act of optimising your website for search engines such as google. The idea is that the better your site is in the eyes of Google, the better it will rank for specific keywords.
Become an Authority
Another thing you can do online is build yourself up as an authority in your chosen space. As an authority, your customers are more likely to trust you and make repeat purchases. To do this, it will take time and a considerable amount of work but can be extremely valuable to your business. Your site might have a blog where you write content addressing customer pain-points and how your product can be a solution to these problems. You can also build up your authority by guest posting on popular sites within your niche. The more often people see your name and business, the more familiar they will be with it and the more likely they will be to make a purchase from you, rather than a competitor.
If you’re starting an online business, it’s important that you first do your research. While it can be exciting, diving in headfirst will usually set you up for failure. Knowing what to sell and how to do so is just the beginning of launching a successful business.