The internet has levelled the field of play for small company owners globally.
Before the advent of the internet, only a few had access to the resources needed for starting an online business. Outside finance was frequently easier to get by if you had connections with financial and entrepreneurial know-how. Therefore starting cash had to be sizable.
That is no longer relevant in online sales and eCommerce, where demand for eCommerce and online enterprises has skyrocketed. Even in the last several years, eCommerce has grown significantly.
As per studies, the size of the eCommerce market was estimated at USD 9.09 trillion in 2019 and is projected to increase at 14.7% in 2027.
It shows that today, regardless of professional background or prior entrepreneurial experience, anyone can establish and build an online business.
The entry barrier has been reduced, but it isn’t completely gone, either. Before beginning an online business, prospective entrepreneurs must still bear a few key factors in mind.
This guide will take you through 7 initial key factors you need to know before starting an online business.
But before that, let’s understand why you should start an online business.
Benefits Of Starting An Online Business
As you prepare to launch an online business, some doubts may creep into your mind, and you may wonder why not build a brick-and-motor shop.
To clear your doubts, here are three benefits of starting an online business.
People have chosen remote work over on-site jobs over the past two years. It means that now is a fantastic time to start an online business because it is an easy and convenient route to freedom.
It enables professionals to have a predictable income and flexible hours. Remote jobs provide the ability to generate a good living from anywhere globally.
You won’t need to lease office space, purchase trucks, or keep expensive machinery in working order. All you need is a computer, a fast internet connection, and a desire to add value for your customers.
It’s Reasonably Affordable To Start
Starting an internet business eliminates many obstacles, including the requirement for capital, the budget for hiring staff, buying inventory, and making leasing payments. Apart from that, a financial loss can result in the business failing.
With an online business, all you need is a:
- Domain name.
- Website builder.
Put another way. You don’t have to invest your life savings in launching an online business.
Sustainable Development And Growth
When you run a brick-and-mortar business, you must contend with the constraints of the actual world, such as local demand and real estate expenses.
None of these restrictions applies if you operate an online business. You may sell to anyone, regardless of where they reside, and as more people become accustomed to online buying, your potential customer base grows yearly.
Now that we know the many benefits of starting an online business let’s look at the seven key factors you need to consider before starting one.
7 Key Things To Know When Starting Online Business
1. Market Research
Conducting market research gives room for you to discover market gaps and close them. That’s how new businesses emerge.
Many of the SaaS companies that spring up daily result from market gaps. Dave Rogenmoser and his team discovered content writers battle writer’s block in the content marketing industry. So they developed an AI writing tool – Jasper, as a solution.
You can find market gaps by looking at what people are looking for on the internet.
- Visit online discussion boards to examine what queries individuals post and what issues they are attempting to resolve.
- Find popular terms with limited competition from other websites by conducting keyword research.
- You can research possible competitors by visiting their websites and noting what they’re doing to meet the demand. Then, using what you’ve learnt, you can make a product for an existing market superior to the competition.
2. Business Plan
“If you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.”
This quote has the perfect application for starting an online business.
A business strategy explains your goals and suggests ways to get things done right from the start. It covers the online business you intend to start, the competitors you will have, and the methods you will use to draw in your target audience.
Your business plan can be created by researching direct competitors in your market, finding out what works for them, and figuring out how to improve on it using the resources at your disposal. Your pitch deck must be flawless if you intend to propose your business idea to an investor.
3. Raise Income Through Upselling And Back-end Sales
Creating a lifetime value for each consumer is one of the most crucial online marketing tactics. If you get in touch with customers who have purchased from you, at least 36% of them will do so again. The hardest element is closing the first transaction. To persuade them to repurchase, employ upselling and back-end selling strategies:
- Promote goods that go well with their initial buy.
- Send them electronic discounts for future visits that they can use.
- Offer them similar products after their first purchase.
Customers that receive rewards for their loyalty will stick with you longer.
4. Setting Up Your Website
Once you’ve decided on your target market, offering, and selling approach, you’re prepared to begin your small-business web design. Always be clear in your communication. You only have a brief window of time to pique your visitors curiosity.
Here are some steps you can take to nail that first impression:
- Choose a short, smart, and unique domain name that resonates with your business
- Get domain name extensions like .icu which are ideal for setting up business websites and creating a memorable online business identity.
- Pay for hosting and managing on platforms like WordPress
You can even hire a web developer to customize your website the way you want.
Remember to provide quality content that will increase online awareness of your business.
A solid content strategy entails having updated blogs, a constant social media presence, and the correct copy that sells for your website.
Another is to leverage an all-in-one website or landing page builder to set up your online business. It is suitable if you plan to dive into selling products online.
For example, many eCommerce merchants that run online stores use Shopify, Etsy, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, which are popular eCommerce platforms.
5. Promoting Your Online Business
You must constantly show up for your audience to notice and remember you. That’s when promoting your business comes in. Creating awareness using different digital marketing strategies that work for your audience should be on the card.
Email marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, SEO, PPC, influencer marketing, etc., are different ways to promote your online business.
Choosing which marketing channel to use depends on the products and services you sell, the resources available to you, and the skills you have acquired.
For example, an eCommerce merchant will do SEO to promote their store while investing in paid ads that yield faster results.
A blogger will focus more on SEO to rank higher on search engine result pages. The same is true for an affiliate marketer that makes a commission when users subscribe to the paid plan.
The key takeaway is that you can do an organic promotion like publishing valuable videos on YouTube and publishing quality blogs that rank on Google.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Customers are the lifeblood of your company. You need to have measures to ensure they get the most out of every dollar they spend on your business. The more customers you have, the more your revenue skyrockets.
Think of the best ways to offer fast and helpful support to your customers so they can recommend you to their families and friends.
Chatbots, live chats, emails, and phone calls are popular channels you can use to provide support as an online business.
Sometimes it could be you asking them how they are enjoying the product they bought from you.
Below is WProcket asking if their product has improved their client’s site speed:
A customer that bought a product from your store may have a challenge using it at home. The ability to respond and offer help once they call you.
You can also create a video guides, FAQs, and knowledge-based articles to help customers resolve issues on their own.
7. Operate Within The Ambit Of The Law
Keeping to the law while operating your online business is the best way to avoid any form of fine or penalty from relevant authorities. It also encourages high-paying clients to do business with you.
Laws that relate to intellectual property, copyright, license & permit, payment gateways, trademarks, customer privacy, and taxes should guide your operations.
For example, you must register your online business and prove that you pay taxes before you can use certain payment gateways.
You may also require to be licensed and certified before you can sell certain health-related products online in certain countries.
Get On The Right Track When Starting An Online Business
Starting your online business comes with a lot of excitement, and you need guidance to be on the right track.
Even though your job has only just began, by following these seven steps, you will have established a strong base for your online business.
By laying the groundwork in this way, you free up time to focus on managing and promoting your online business rather than putting out multiple fires that might have sprung if you had missed any of these crucial tasks along the road.
Chuks Chukwuemeka is a freelance SEO content writer & strategist who helps SaaS brands boost their rankings on search engines.
He’s the founder of Depreneurdigest, a marketing blog, and loves learning new things about SEO. Connect with him on LinkedIn.