Looking to start an online business? Do these 5 things to get started in the right direction.
If you are looking start an online business, you are not alone.
Taking the step from looking to ‘doing’ takes some motivation, an idea and steps in the right direction. Starting an online business that is sustainable and delivers profit over the long term takes some strategy.
Even though technology has made it easier to start a business, keeping one going demands strategy, grit, patience, and more. Think you have what it takes?
Starting an online business, where to begin?
Marketing and start-up costs are lower. Working on an online business also allows you to achieve the aim of work flexibly and towards achieving financial independence. The ‘gig economy’ also gives greater access to consultants and small business owners willing to help you in the journey.
While it’s easier to start a business, keeping one going still demands strategy, grit, patience, and more than a little luck. In my admittedly biased opinion, it’s well worth the effort.
If you want to start an online business that not just survives but thrives, here are some truths that I have learned along the path:
- Have a budget, sales plan, and know your operating and marketing costs. This way you can invest the money that you need to in order to automate and scale your business and manage your costs.
- Be willing to pay for expert advice and assistance. If you think of any successful business person you know, do they pay for experts or try to be the expert of everything? Work out your strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.
- Create a business plan, revise your plan, and work to your plan, while also being flexible.
- Be strategic, goal and outcome-focused. The stats have been in for years, goal-setting works.
- Understand and find your audience/customers before you start your online business and check out how competitive your market is, who are your competitors, what are they doing? What are they doing well? What are they not doing well?
- Get your mindset right – your attitude, grit, determination and focus is key to your success
When you are looking to start an online business – find your audience and understand your market first.
When you develop the idea for your online business, also develop an idea of who your customers will be.
You should know who is most likely to buy your product or services before you establish your business. This understanding of your potential customers is vital. Understand how competitive the market it and what your competitors are doing. Then you want to position your business understanding these market dynamics and try to learn as much as possible about your target audience .
Perhaps your target client will stay the same, but for most entrepreneurs, that has a way of changing as they get out there. Consultants find they prefer one type of client over another. Products that were meant for business-to-business end up having a surprising consumer appeal. In short, life happens.
That’s the beauty of working for yourself—you get to choose the work that you do. So while it’s great to know your target client, stay open and try new things. You may find that your best client is one you didn’t expect.
Layout your 12-month plan
Before you start building, grab your idea and convert it into a plan.
While you may hear stories of businesses that took off from the start, grew without much effort and are raking in the $$’s I would love to see their business profit and loss statement. There are a lot of bold statements out there luring would be business owners in with promises of earn 6-figure incomes. Be prepared to do the work and lay your foundations properly to build a strong online business.
The business model canvas is a great tool to help prepare a simple one page business plan. Or talk to a business advisor.
Emerging Trends in Online Business,
Emerging trends in online business include NFTs, taking payments using cryptocurrencies, web3.0, artificial intelligence and more. Dropshipping where barriers to entry are super low and you can start a store on the Shopify Ecommerce Platform very quickly with lots of tutorials and how-to video available continues to be popular.
Affiliate marketing is another option to either add an income stream to your online business or to base your business model on.
You can learn more
Stay focused with goals, objectives and results
What are your goals? What’s your vision and mission?
How much do you want to earn from your online business?
How much are you going to spend getting customers?
A plan can make a massive difference to the overall success of your online business. Even if its a ‘plan on a page’.
Online businesses can vary from just a fun hobby, to a profitable side hustle or replace your income.