Table of Contents Hide
- 10 Steps to Start Your Online Business
- #1. Choose a Niche and a Business Structure
- #2. Investigate the Product
- #3. Learn About the Laws That Govern Online Businesses
- #4. Conduct a Market Analysis
- #5. Define Your Target Audience
- #6. Source Products to Sell Online
- #7. Evaluate Product Viability
- #8. Define Your Image and Brand
- #9. Launch Your Online Store
- #10. Expand Your Company
- Online Businesses to Earn Money in 2022
- Start an Online Business FAQs
- What apps are companies using?
- Why do you need mobile app for your business?
- How much does it cost to make an app by yourself?
For good reason, the world has since gone online. And with that move comes the many opportunities that can earn you a lot of money plus the luxury of starting an online business in any location across the globe. An online business is a business that is fully or partly based on the Internet and in which most of the transactions between seller/service provider and customer are done there.
With the possibility of a total or partial lockdown ever looming above our heads; threatening to disrupt our traditional means of living and our economy, an online business has never been more enticing.
In this article, we look at a number of online businesses that are sure to put good money in your pocket. Most of the businesses in this list are easy to start: requiring little to no capital. But for the most part, in starting an online business, you should know your way around the internet.
A quick look at the list below should give you a heads-up as to what is really required of you. But before then let’s look at 10 steps to take when you wish to start an online business
10 Steps to Start Your Online Business
The following is a step-by-step guide to start any online business;
#1. Choose a Niche and a Business Structure
A company niche refers to your “focus area,” which is a market segment or target demographic that you typically serve. This can range from athletes (e.g. gymnasts) to hobbyists (e.g. post stamp collectors) to professionals (e.g. lawyers) and software developers).
For your new firm, you must choose a specialty. How do you go about finding a decent one? Verify that your target audience possesses the following qualities:
- A problem that no one else seems to be able to solve well enough.
- Willingness to pay a price for a solution to a problem.
- Having enough disposable income to pay for the remedy.
Niches that don’t match all three requirements should be avoided. This is because deciding to start an online business is difficult enough. When you go after folks who don’t need, can’t afford, or aren’t interested in your items, you make things considerably more difficult for yourself.
#2. Investigate the Product
There are three categories of eCommerce products that you can sell online. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
These are material products that must be created, stored in a warehouse, and distributed to clients, as the name implies. Physical items can be profitable, but if you don’t manage your operational costs properly, your profit margins will be minimal.
You can also sell digital products, which are anything that a customer can download to their devices, such as music, software, eBooks, audio courses, online courses, and so on.
Profit margins for digital products are higher (compared to physical goods). However, because they are typically seen as having a lower value than actual products, pricing them can be difficult.
Virtually every service that can be provided remotely can be sold online. The quickest way to start an online business is to sell services. However, it is a business model in which you sell your time. And because you only have a certain number of hours in each day, your earning potential is limited.
#3. Learn About the Laws That Govern Online Businesses
Small business owners may believe that traditional business laws do not apply to them because they operate an online business. That is not the case.
While an online business requires fewer licenses and permits than a brick-and-mortar firm, you must still address a number of legal issues. Specifically:
- What kind of business license (if any) are you going to need to get started?
- What legal structure (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation) makes the most sense?
- Is there anything you need to get permission for?
- Do you need to pass any inspections?
- Is a sales tax license required?
- Are there any restrictions that exclusively apply to online businesses?
- What are the rules for recruiting contractors versus employees?
Nota bene: Every state and country has its unique set of laws. Always double-check facts with the appropriate authorities in your area. If you can afford it, you should also seek competent legal assistance.
Conduct online market research to find out what your target audience wants, needs, or lacks.
In order to start your own online business, you must conduct market research. It aids in determining the company’s vertical depth, competitiveness, and profitability. This is because the last thing you want to do is launch a product or service that no one wants to take advantage of. Market research also aids in the validation of your product concept, pricing, and demand.
Here’s how to begin conducting market research:
Look at the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS)
Examine the search engine result pages (SERPs) for several versions of your product/service’s keywords. What kind of material is now on the first page of Google? What do companies pay to advertise on the first page of organic search results?
This will allow you to assess your rivals ahead of time. In addition, gather data for a preliminary SEO and digital marketing strategy based on the kind of content your target audience prefers.
Do Some Competition Research
You should also examine your main competitors more closely (beyond SERPs). What are the most successful business initiatives in your industry? What kind of money do they make? And what are their advantages and disadvantages?
You can figure out what gives you a competitive advantage over other players by examining them under a microscope.
Keep Track of Your Top-Performing Keywords
Monitor niche-relevant keywords to see how demand for different products is changing in your niche and what content ranks well.
The following are some useful tools for this:
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
To obtain sales and ultimately scale your business, you need to know exactly who your target market is. Research both demographics and psychographics data to understand more about their requirements and preferences.
Basic socioeconomic variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, job title, and so on are included in demographic data.
Values, beliefs, interests, views, and other psychological qualities are included in psychographic data.
These insights, when combined, aid in the development of a comprehensive understanding of your prospective buyer’s needs, preferences, and purchasing triggers.
If your products are mediocre, you won’t be able to start and run a profitable online business. This is because you’ll end up on social media’s trending sites for all the wrong reasons. As a result, give your product procurement strategy more thought.
Create Your Own Goods
If you plan to offer digital products, this alternative is pretty simple. Physical product manufacture, on the other hand, necessitates a great deal of effort in terms of design, interactions, material selection, and so on. The financial costs are also larger. However, manufacturing will always provide you an edge over the competitors in terms of quality, product selection, and brand recognition.
Look For a Dropshipper
You can identify a manufacturer who will dropship their products to you. To avoid company costs, many small business owners establish dropshipping agreements with overseas manufacturers (mostly situated in Asia).
Work with a Wholesaler
Alternatively, you might pick a wholesaler that will give you a selection of products to buy and curate in your online store. You can also choose a wholesaler to help you distribute your items (if you plan to manufacture them).
#7. Evaluate Product Viability
Before purchasing or manufacturing a large order, you should analyze the feasibility of your product(s) holistically. To do so, consider the following questions:
- Is there currently a successful online business selling similar products?
- Is there a long-term demand for this product or Is it a one-time thing?
- Are there any logics to this product’s math? Is it possible to resell it for a profit?
It doesn’t matter how cool the product appears to be. What matters is that it’s viable from a business standpoint!
#8. Define Your Image and Brand
Your company’s entire “vibe” is defined by its brand. From your company name to your online design and copy, you want to project a consistent visual image and message. The same goes for your off-site presence, which includes social media, email newsletters, and even packaging.
Pay attention to the following while you work on your brand identity:
- The scheme of colors.
- Layouts for pages.
- Photographs and graphics
All of these pieces should work together to create your brand image.
#9. Launch Your Online Store
Preparing for the launch is the next step in your business plan. This entails configuring and setting up your eCommerce website.
Decide on an E-commerce Platform
A technical backbone for selling online is an eCommerce platform. From a product catalog to payment processing, this type of software has everything you need.
Listed below are a few popular choices:
- BigCommerce: An open-source software-as-a-service platform with a wide range of native commerce functionality and no restrictions on extensions or modification. When compared to Shopify, BigCommerce’s out-of-the-box capability can save companies between $5,800 and $30,000 per year in-app subscription costs.
- WooCommerce: An open-source platform that you may customize to create any kind of store you want.
- You can add hundreds of WooCommerce extensions to help with shipping, bookkeeping, marketing, and much more. However, you’ll need to pay for hosting as well as a developer to set up and design your store.
- Shopify: Shopify is a SaaS platform with over 4,100 integrated apps and a wide range of native functionality (separate subscription fees apply). It also comes with over 70 professional and responsive themes for you to choose from while creating your website.
Choose a platform that offers all of the capabilities you require at an affordable price.
Add Your Products
Add products to your catalog once you’ve decided on a platform and a store theme. Pay great attention to the following:
- Images of the products; Provide high-definition visuals of the goods from various viewpoints.
- Descriptions of the products; Instead of lining up features concentrate on the benefits that the consumer will receive.
The conversion rates of your product pages are heavily influenced by product photos and descriptions. So take your time and make sure they’re correct!
Decide How You’ll Ship Your Goods
Fast and free shipping is the most important factor in completing an online purchase, and it has been for the past six years!.
Ensure that all of your products are delivered on time to your customers. You can use a variety of shipping methods to do this.
Double-Check That Everything Is in Working Order
Finally, triple-test all aspects of your ecommerce store after it’s up and running. Make certain that:
- All pages look great on any device (desktop, tablet, mobile).
- The website works well in a variety of browsers (Chrome, Brave, Firefox, etc.).
- All of the buttons are clickable and linked to the appropriate programs.
Plus, if you have the funds, hire a QA expert to do the test and report on the results.
#10. Expand Your Company
It’s time to start bringing traffic to your eCommerce site once everything is in place. Make the following channels your top priority:
- Paid Advertisements; Set aside money for pay-per-click (PPC) adverts on social media and in search results. That’s the easiest approach to boost a new store’s brand awareness.
- Influencer marketing (a term that refers to the use of celebrities); To advertise your items, collaborate with social media influencers. This is another easy approach to get them in front of your target audience.
- Social Media Marketing; Build audiences on Instagram and Facebook to supplement paid efforts with organic traffic.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization); Ensure that all of your website’s pages are optimized for search engines. Then, for your blog, devise a content marketing strategy.
- Email marketing; (a type of marketing that involves sending emails) Capture the email addresses of visitors to your ecommerce store to create an email list. You can then use your email subscribers to market your products.
Online Businesses to Earn Money in 2022
There is a lot that can be said about blogging. When done right, it has the potentials of making one a lot of money but it is also necessary as a blogger to love, not just the writing process but also what you write about in your blog website. This will ensure consistency and the long-term existence of this business.
Like with many other businesses, not everyone can make it from blogging but there are some factors that can ensure you at least have a fighting chance. Besides the aforementioned love for writing, passion and patience will see the blogger a long way.
#2. Business Coaching
Evidently, many people wish to venture into one business or the other. Most in this category however lack the experience or know-how to successfully launch and sustain such. That is where a business coach comes in. This is someone who can play the role of an advisor and ensure that the client has all he or she needs to be successful in starting his/her business online.
If you have a knack for the intricacies of business building, you could carve out a profitable venture by offering your coaching services online. You can make use of social media to advertise your services and communicate with paying clients.
#3. SEO Business
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a vital aspect in web-based content production as every site on the Internet aims to rank higher and be more visible on search engines. The SEO consultant does website analyses and reviews with a goal to improving the rankings of such sites on search engines like Google.
You do not have to know everything about SEO to become a consultant but you do need to continually practice and garner experience as you go because SEO is beyond theory. Merely reading everything that has been written about it will only get you so far; hands-on is very important in achieving success and starting out on the right foot in the online business.
Podcasts are not what they used to be but they are still standing strong. Today, it is possible to create a podcast with your smartphone and an Internet connection. You can make podcast on such topics as music, lifestyle, sports, entertainment, politics, technology and what have you. Anchor and Google Podcast are great podcast platforms.
If you have a lot of listeners and produce quality content, you can also make a lot of money from sponsorship. You can also sell your podcast episodes to broadcast stations which would further increase your show’s popularity.
YouTube, the biggest vlogging platform on the Internet, has made a lot of people very rich. According to an online report, an average YouTuber with one million subscribers can make roughly $60000 per annum. This goes to show how much financial reward there is in vlogging on YouTube.
Starting this online business is pretty easy but requires tons of planning, ranging from the kinds of content to publish, to how they should be published and in what sequence.
The traditional retail business, where you sell what you readily have, involves huge capital, not to mention large storage space. This can pose a great challenge to many people looking to start a retail online business. This is however a challenge the online marketing strategy called dropshipping solves.
Dropshipping involves purchasing products online only after the order has been made by your clients and shipping it to them. In essence, you are buying on behalf of them and making a profit doing so. It helps you avoid the problem of having your profit and storage space tied down.
#7. Digital Marketing
Marketing digitally has to do with the selling of goods and services on the Internet. Digital marketers are able to use their knowledge of Search Engine Optimization, web development, content marketing, and social media management to get people informed about products and services. As a digital marketer, you can as well convince Internet users to make purchases. Many companies outsource their digital marketing efforts. Digital marketers can work from home at their convenience.
It is no longer news that the Internet is the future. Many businesses have left their brick-and-mortar foundation for the virtual paradise that is the Internet. There is a lot that can be gained from running an online business and it is something absolutely worth considering.
Worried about the right business plan for you? Worry no more, check out the business yield idea generator for tailor-made plans suited to you.
Start an Online Business FAQs
What apps are companies using?
The following are major apps used by a ton of companies;
- Microsoft Office 365.
- Amazon Web Services.
- Google G Suite.
- SAP Concur.
Why do you need mobile app for your business?
Improved direct communication with consumers and customers is one of the reasons why your company requires an App. Business mobile application development has enabled simple and direct contact between customers and enterprises by providing instant access to a plethora of information.
How much does it cost to make an app by yourself?
The most basic apps usually cost roughly $25,000 to develop. More sophisticated apps, on the other hand, frequently cost well over six figures, if not seven. Marketing, testing, updates, and other costs are also factored in.