How to Start Online Business
In today’s time everyone wants to be independent and wants to be their own boss. Dream of being financially free and the ability to work from home around the world is catching fire.
Now this is no more a dream. Enter the Internet. The Internet has created a new economy that is accessible to everybody. Its explosive growth and sheer size has already changed our perception of the traditional way of doing business.
The advent of the Internet has in many ways leveled the playing field for small businesses to compete with major corporations.
Now the question of the hour is…how?
The answer is by Building Online Business.
Definition: Online business is the mode of business that is mainly conducted through online, with the help of Internet.
Online business is booming, and there has never been a better time to build, or buy, a business of your own. It has the unique ability to grow exponentially because they present endless possibilities and upside.
With the expansion of the internet beyond compare and in the wake of the sharply growing unemployment problem, commencing an online business nowadays among people from different walks of life has become commonplace.
In general, a person all through his/her professional life changes the career at least two or three times. A host of persons seeking retirement from their existing professional jobs either voluntarily or for other reasons considers taking a next career move from the comfort of their home.
Most of these persons are actually the ones who have been following conventional nine-to-six work shift throughout their lifetime and are on the brink of retirement, starts desperately thinking what to do next. Because the facility of the internet is with the reach of virtually every person today, the idea to commence a home-based business is down to earth and fruitful in every way.
In order to have the top home-base business, you have to find what you can do, make, or provide better than anyone else and market this idea. Anything has the potential to be a top online business opportunity if marketed correctly. Take the time to research the market and see what else is out there. Find out who is already engaged in the field, and what they are providing. Look for gaps that the clients of that business are feeling, and work on filling those voids.
With the internet, online businesses has definitely risen to the top. Not only can you use the internet to research your chosen field, but it can also be an invaluable marketing tool. Advertisements that are properly posted on the web can draw in people around your city to around the world. Plus, thanks to technology, many services can be performed directly online, thanks to instant messaging, video conferencing, and the like. Using the internet, you can work from home and totally run your business from conception to research to marketing the final product.
Benefits of Starting an Online Business
Like I have mentioned above the primary reason is your freedom. But there are numerous benefits of starting online business which I have tried to highlight so that it reinforces your idea to be implemented.
Though narrowing down or summarizing it in a single line is not possible. Following are the most compelling reasons you should start online business:
Scalability and Exponential Growth
Internet has broken all the barrier and there is no geographical boundaries as in till where you can expand your business. Online business is the only business today which is quickest and easiest to expand.
Today’s business are rooted in highly scalable online business models – Uber, Facebook, Amazon, Dropbox, all the online tools and social media platforms – the list goes on and on.
Flexibility and Time
With an online business, if you need to work from home, you can. You are no more bound to any particular location. A well-established online business may not even require employees and a business infrastructure to maintain, support and even grow.
With all these flexibility you can manage your time and prioritize your task. Also since there is no time-bound commitment and you can complete your task at any given time. It gives you enough time make your life happen.
Make Your Voice Heard
Back in days when internet was not accessible to the masses it was difficult for them to make world hear what they have to say. It was next to impossible. There were so many talents but due to lack of resource their voice were not heard.
Then came the social media which amplified the process. It gave rise to the citizen journalism. Social media coupled with internet access became the platform for many to rise.
Operating online business is cost effective. When you start you can bootstrap. When you grow you can still stay lean and save huge cost.
Depending upon the industry you choose and nature of business you may not require a physical location. This in return can have added advantage. Also let us not forget adage saying that a penny saved is a penny earned.
For online business the resources required are going to be significantly less than that of a brick-and-mortar business with physical assets. So the initial cost to start a business becomes very minimal.
Not only that you can quickly identify what is working and what isn’t, and tweak your strategy. This can help you mitigate the risk and save the cost, lowering the risk if it fails.
Starting A New Business vs. Buying An Existing One
Creating the next revolutionary online business is not easy, and it takes risk, but you must see past the risk and keep your eyes fixed on the endless rewards. You must focus on leveraging and scaling your business by harnessing the power of the Internet. You can start your online business by:
- Buying an existing online business
- Building an online business starting from scratch
It is entirely on your wish whether you are buying it or starting from scratch. If you are set to start from scratch then be prepared for the grueling work and lots of other ground work. Before your business will even take off from ground.
Whether building or buying, the same principle applies: ‘Focus’ is critical.
Down below you will find a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success while building online business.
Are you considering buying an online business?
Once you have decided to buy the business, you should exactly have the idea where to search for them. Below you will find the idea as in exact ways to find an online business for sale:
This is one of the best approach. Because approaching the businesses directly let you negotiate the cost and thus you will end up saving the brokerage or any additional service charge.
You can also analyze the business using available tools. You will need to do the due diligence so that the deal will be as per your desire making your entire business proposition profitable.
Online marketplaces are the obvious places to start. There are many online business marketplaces from where you can buy the running business.
There are certain steps involved and you will have to tread cautiously. Plus you should be aware of the online scams and sham. Alternatively you can also hire agencies to do it for you. Though the cost would be a factor.
Auction sites are similar to business marketplaces with the main difference being that potential buyers can bid on sites. Due diligence therefore lies with the buyer.
If you aren’t familiar with best practices, purchasing a business through an auction site should be approached with some caution.
Brokers make the buying process easier on buyers. They can rely on their experience, work with them to resolve issues that may arise and can benefit from their advice and guidance when going through their structured sales process.
Brokers are only paid when the sale goes through, and therefore have a vested interest in overseeing the deal from beginning to end. This is also why they are committed to curating high-quality listings.
How to build an online business from scratch?
The steps involved in setting up a market online are given in the points below:
Brainstorming Ideas and Business Exploration
To start any business you need to have a firm idea in your mind as to what you want to do. Your wants and goals should be clear to you. Once you have got a few ideas in your mind, research on them.
Finding your niche is a two-step process. The first step is to find the industry you want to work in, and second, your niche within that industry. A niche can be geographic-specific, product-specific or vertical-specific.
Amazon, another example, started out as an online bookseller, not a general online store (a product-specific niche). Only once the company succeeded in selling books online did it expand to other products. Uber knew it wanted to disrupt the transportation industry but started in just one location, San Francisco (geography-specific), and after gaining traction there, rolled out its app in other markets.
Keep your plausible competitors in mind
Check the website or blogs of those people or companies whom you can see as potential competitors in your field. Analyze their services and products thoroughly and then come up with a better and informative marketing idea.
Knowing the competitor gives you an edge above them. You will not only be able to beat them. Knowing them inside out will help you leverage the situation by providing better service.
Create a business plan and finalize your legal structure
Formulate a clear and reasonable business plan. Then decide as to which form of ownership will suit you best or serve your purpose best. Once you have done that, it’s time to get your company registered.
Steps involved in Starting an Online Business
Since it need lot of planning and once it is done and you have your goals and vision outlined, it is always advisable to give it a formal name and shape. It has huge benefit among which saved tax is primary and utmost crucial.
Create Offer, Product, Services & Validate
What is your audience already buying, how can you be the expert they turn to, how to create a product funnel that pulls in free visitors (leads) and converts them into customers.
Plus how to test if the market is interested what you have to offer before spending the time making everything. Also this will help you validate the product. If your market will not find it useful you will have enough chance to pivot.
Design and give shape to your website and establish your reputation
Your website will be your home. So keep it neat, simple, easy to use and customer friendly. Do not add videos or audios if you don’t have to. Try to write compelling copies that will help you sell easily and with conviction.
Write blogs for others, or give free content and advice and circulate it around the internet or social media sites with the link of your website attached to it. This will help you build a reputation for yourself meanwhile.
Leverage Search Engines to Drive Targeted Traffic
The internet has become an important and indispensable medium these days. If you get the art of internet marketing right and understand the needs of your customers then you can become really successful, in a short time.
That being said use SEO, SMO, Email marketing and other viable channels to drive traffic. These visitors will be your potential buyer. They can be your patron and loyal followers as well.
Optimization and Metrics
Once you have setup the platform, the content is being pushed then the time comes to track and optimize. This is going to be an on-going process.
You will have to track, measure, split test, and follow up with your leads and customers. Basis the metrics you will have to Test, Tweak & Track.
Scaling Your Business
There are numerous tools that will give you added advantage to scale your business. With right strategy and online tools you can easily scale your business.
There is no limit when you start advertising online and leverage other people’s audience to make your business known to wider audience. With this comes the increased income through back-end sales and upselling.