Looking to start an online business? Do these 5 Things

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.
  • Moving from looking ‘doing’ is a more motivated group.
  • Doing it in a way that leads to starting and online business that is sustainable over the long term is a smaller, more elite group.

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, is a trend that’s been rising a few years.

Marketing and start-up costs are lower, thanks to technology and the wish to work flexibly has driven many people to consider the dream of starting an online business. The ‘gig economy’ giving you greater access to consultants and small business owners willing to help you in journey.

With less wood panelled offices and an ‘expert’ sitting on the other side of a desk looking sceptically at you, does that mean that more people are sinking money into business ventures that are doomed to fail? OR can side hustles, which are more and more accepted, in some sectors such as technology, (or even expected!) grow into the business of your dream?

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:

  1. Have a budget, sales plan and know your operating and marketing costs so that you can spend the money that you need to in order to automate and scale your business
  2. Be willing to pay for expert advice and assistance – if you think of any successful business person you know, do they pay for experts rather than try to be the expert of everything?
  3. Create a business plan, revise your plan and work to your plan, while also being flexivle. Be strategic, goal and outcome focused! The stats have been in for years, goal setting works.
  4. 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?
  5. 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 your 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, so that you know there are customers out there, follow this up with some research. 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.

Lay out your 12 month plan

Before you start building, grab your idea and convert it into a plan.

While you may hear the 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.

The most recent trend is starting an online business dropshipping tshirt designs using a Print on Demand service. Barriers to entry are super low, you can start a store on  the Shopify Ecommerce Platform and be online with a store very quickly. But what are your goals? How much do you want to earn from the store and how much are you going to spend getting customers to your store? A plan can make a massive difference to the overall success of your online business. If its just a fun hobby, this may not matter too much… if you dream of a profitable side hustle or to replace your income eventually… a plan is very important.

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