If you want to chase your dream of starting a business but are limited with budget and capital to buy a franchise or open a store, you can consider of starting an online business. An online business has its own advantages, you can reach millions of people without shelling out money for retail space. But, starting an online business is as good as starting a starting a brick-and-mortar store. There are unique aspects of running an online-only business that would-be entrepreneurs need to consider. Below I have laid some steps which you must learn to start your business online.
Steps to starting an online business:
1. Plan your business
Just like any physical business, online business also needs planning. Planning works as a foundation and pillar for your business. A thorough market analysis, plans for how you’ll fund product production, and also a SWOT analysis should be included in your planning process.
2. Register Your Business
A business needs to be registered with the respected state law in which you want to start your business. Choose a good official business name and complete the paperwork to make your business official. Its better to know the business regulations in your state, so that you comply when you get things up and running.
3. Register your domain name and set up your website
Once you have registered your business make sure to book a domain with the registered name of your business before it gets taken away by anyone else. Go for something short and catchy that will be easy for people to remember. Once you’ve secured it, the process of setting up your business website begins. You can DIY with lots of tutorials streaming around in the internet, hand it over to a professional.
4. Get a web hosting service
In order to publish a website online, you need a Web host. The Web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. There are free hosting services to be found, but if you’re serious about running an online business long term, consider paying for one that offers all the services you need.
5. Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site
Driving traffic to your website through related search queries is the best way to generate online customers. You can achieve this through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing/Pay Per Click (SEM/PPC). While SEO takes a lot of time and needs patience for a keyword to rank and get traffic, PPC does it in minutes. It totally depends on you which method you want to go with. There are many digital marketing agencies which offer SEO & SEM services, you can hire the same for a professional experience or DIY through videos and guides available in the internet. I believe that investing in a agency will be a far better idea.
6. Use e-mail marketing to turn visitors into buyers
Build an opt-in list on your website. By doing this you’re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business as your customers give you the authority to send them email. Any person visiting your website and opting is a hot deal for you. Their opting in means that you’re giving them something they’ve asked for and the response is 100 percent measurable.
7. Increase your income through back-end sales
You can increase your income through back-end sales and up-selling. Up-selling is nothing but to persuade a customer to buy something additional or more expensive. The first sale is certainly the most difficult and expensive part, so you can use back-end selling and up-selling to get them to buy again. But you must always remember that you must up-sell without turning off your customer. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them.
8. Create a social media presence
On the surface, social media marketing seems like a very simple concept. Just to create accounts on social media site like Facebook linkedIn, twitter then start posting and you are done. Not necessarily. Setting up profiles and posting links is easy. Building your brand to the point where you have significant reach and influence in your industry is an entirely different story. For that you need to Identify your audience and start interacting with customers, influence’s and other people in your industry.