In the age of the development of information technology, and in particular the Internet, more and more people are switching to using online platforms. Now you don’t have to leave your home to shop, buy tickets, transfer money or take a training course. Accordingly, the demand for business on the Internet has increased significantly in our time.
For example, there are about 38 million online businesses in the US.
However, in order for your internet business to be successful, it is very important to build a solid foundation. Therefore, useful tips will be needed more than ever.
Decide on a business idea.
“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”
Josh James, Omniture CEO and Co-Founder
First of all, to create an online business, you need to decide on the type of your business and find the right product or service. At the same time, this should be something which you understand very well and which arouses your interest. The best place to start is by examining your experiences and skills.
After that, think about the way how to generate them in the business. Moreover, make a list of all possible business ideas. In conclusion, analyze them in terms of relevance and financial investments, identify all the advantages and disadvantages and choose the most suitable one.
Conduct market research and identify competitors.
“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.”
Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-Founder, and CEO
You need to understand the relevance of your business. Find out how profitable it can be and if there is demand in the market. For this, the best option would be to conduct marketing research. Ask your audience how interested they are, what they expect from your business.
It is also important to know your competitors well. Study companies that offer similar services and products, read reviews about them, identify their strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to think about how you personally can interest potential customers, how your business will differ from many others.
Define your target audience.
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.”
Ken Blanchard, Founder of Mollie Beck
In general, the audience is always the main key to a successful business. Identify your ideal customer considering the following points:
- demographic (age of a potential buyer, gender, religion and nationality, marital status);
- socio-economic (education level, occupation, income);
- psychological (lifestyle, the field of interests, character, habits);
- buying behavior (reason for buying; the amount your customer is willing to pay; priorities in choosing a product or service; expectation from the brand).
Make a business plan.
“Without a plan, even the most brilliant business can get lost. You need to have goals, create milestones and have a strategy in place to set yourself up for success”.
Once you realize that your idea has a right to life, the next step is to make a business plan.
First of all, it includes the development of your business strategy. Moreover, be sure to choose a name, as well as write down the goals and values of your company.
Overall, a great business plan should consist of:
- summary (general overview of your business, its key points);
- presentation of your business idea (the type of business, means of doing business, description of products and services);
- sales and marketing strategy (tactics, information about competitors, target audience);
- management team (number of people involved in the work; their functions);
- partners (do you intend to cooperate with suppliers, dropshippers, other companies);
- budget and finance (start-up costs, costs per month/year);
- income and development forecasts.
Choose the right platform for your online business.
“You can’t just open a website and expect people to flood in. If you really want to succeed you have to create traffic.”
Joel Anderson, Walmart CEO.
Undoubtedly, when starting an online business, you need a platform to operate, describe and advertise your products or services.
There are a huge variety of options at the moment. However, one of the best is creating your own website. With its help, you can familiarize a potential buyer with your brand, with your team, create a detailed catalog of your products or services. Moreover, there are many free and multifunctional platforms for creating sites (WordPress, Magento, and Shopify). Meanwhile, be sure to take the time to create an excellent design for your platform, or ask a web design company to help if necessary.
It is interesting that almost half of the Internet users say that website design is one of the main criteria for them when choosing a company.
In addition, if you don’t have enough knowledge or resources to create your own website, try starting your business on social media platforms. Create a page or group, add customer reviews, short videos, and don’t forget about creating content to attract an audience.
Explore legal issues.
“Business owners should not have to choose between violating their faith and violating the law”.
In addition, when you start an online business, you need to explore all the legal requirements and obtain a license for the provision of a specific service. You need to make sure that your own business will operate in accordance with the law.
Advertise your startup business.
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
Steuart Henderson Britt
Besides, driving online traffic to your website is one of the important points. This can be done with social media, targeted ads, SEO, and so on). Meanwhile, advertising must be run based on your target audience. Your business should inspire confidence, be interesting. It is important to note that now, when choosing a product or service, people pay great attention to the comments and reviews of other people, especially celebrities and bloggers. Consequently, buying advertising from them will be able to attract more customers and to advertise your product or service.