How to Start a Business Online ?
Internet has levelled the playing field by making it possible for anyone to start an online business, from any place in the world.By going online, you are now not limited by geographical location and restricted to potential customers only near you. However, this doesn’t mean anyone who starts an online business can expect to hit it off big. You need a strategic approach. Without one, you will find yourself working inefficiently. Like all successful businesses, yours must have a core resolve to solve a pressing problem.
Here’s how you can start an online business with no upfront investment at all:
Understand and solve problems
Figure out and understand the pressing needs and problems of a market you’re interested in, and go about fulfilling and solving those.
Do your due diligence and study your market carefully. Observe trends and find a profitable niche. Focus more on coming up with solutions. Here are some ideas that you can get started on, that don’t need any upfront investment from you:
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital information products
- Social media consultant
- Virtual assistant services
- App Developer
- Translating services
- Telemarketing services
Name your business
Your business’ name identifies your company and gives it a distinct identity. It’s also in many cases people’s first impression of your business. Have a catchy name that’s easy to recall and relevant to what you have to offer. The name you’ve selected, or its close variant, must be available as a domain name. Make sure to check whether someone else has already registered the name you have shortlisted. Avoid numbers in your name, unless necessary. Reserve your domain immediately.
Some examples of catchy names would be:
- Rose Wood Works
- Creative Egg Designs
- Sunset Candles
- Smith Illustrations
- Waterwise plants
Buy a Domain
Using your business domain in your email (i.e. [yourname]@[yourdomainname].com) creates a professional presentation for your business, reflecting your serious attitude towards your work. It also lets you brand your user interface with your own logo, rather than Google’s. Do not make your domain unnecessarily complicated, or long as it may be hard for people to remember and recall it.
The most cost effective right now is Google’s G Suite Five Reasons you must use G Suite for your business.. With its familiar GMail user interface most of us are already familiar, it has intelligent apps allowing you and your clients to work together on documents simultaneously. Unlike Microsoft, or any other competing service right now, it only charges you for the number of users under your subscription.
Design and build an easy-to-use website
Your website must be easy for people to navigate through. Have a simple, clean and organised user interface offering people a streamlined user experience. A difficult to navigate user interface will lead to a low retention rate, effectively driving away valuable business from you. Make sure using your website is an enjoyable experience for people.
The most popular option for this happens to be Wordpress. A huge chunk of all websites up on the internet have been built on this platform and it’s more than well equipped for your web-design needs. It also happens to be the most economic option available as of now.
If people don’t know you exist, you won’t get any business. So how can one go about grabbing attention and making their presence felt? By providing upfront value. This is where content marketing comes in. Write about your niche. Give out relevant content that educates people. Your approach to content marketing needs to be strategic and focused on providing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a well defined audience who would then want to do business with you.
Social Media Marketing
Brands and organisations these days are already interacting with their customers using social media. If you choose to not adopt this strategy, you’ll be missing out on tapping a large chunk of potential customers. Speak directly to your audience through popular social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Marketing on social media when done right can bring remarkable success to your business, creating supporters of your brand and even driving leads and sales.
It’s a known fact that people would rather do business with those who they know, than with strangers. When introduced to a brand/ seller through someone they trust, people are vastly more comfortable than with a buyer they find randomly. After all, it is very reassuring for people to do business with someone who has been given a positive endorsement from someone they know and trust. Ask customers to refer their friends and family to you, after you’ve served them creditably.
All the best with your business venture. Following links might help you:
For Domain : G Suite for your business
To build a website : WordPress for startups
For E commerce : WooCommerce
Toolkit for WordPress: Jetpack