Here are our 6 steps for starting an online business:
Identify and research - This is the most important part of your journey. Identify your interests and what type of business you want to run. Research your ideas and see what already exists on the internet. Are there already businesses out there competing for customers or will your business fill a unique niche? Take inspiration from what others are doing. Then improve on those ideas and make it your own.
Build your brand - Create a professional online presence. Whether you choose to create your own website or you use another platform, create an image of professionalism. Use a professional photographer for photos. Keep the graphics clean and uncluttered. You have a very short window to grab a viewer's attention, so get your point across simply and directly on the front page.
Build your customer base - First you must draw viewers to your site with marketing. Use social media platforms to get the word out. Pay for some print advertising in niche publications that cater to your audience. Once you get them to your website, keep them engaged. Offer an incentive to get potential customers to sign up with their email. Be sure you do not abuse their trust. Do not share their email address or send spam.
Update your site often - You do not have to make major changes, but by keeping it fresh customers will know that you are engaged in the business. Share articles on a weekly blog, or regularly share a new relevant quote on the front page. Customers will not feel confident with a business that has an outdated site.
Watch your cash flow - Bookkeeping is always an important part of running a business, but it’s especially important in the early stages. Keep an eye on your debits and credits so you know if you’re making money or not. When you know your expenses, it’s easier to price your product or service correctly.
With some advanced planning, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of starting an online business. Once you have your business up and running, get in touch for help with bookkeeping and payroll.