Four Steps to Start an Online Business

If you’re more ambitious and want financial independence, it is time to start and run your own online business. This will create a full-time income while also giving you the freedom to spend your time as you wish.

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How do you start an online company? The niche that you choose to work in will play a significant role in your online business’ success. You want to make sure you are targeting markets with a lot of money buyers. Once you have chosen a profitable niche, it is time to create great marketing messages and a website.

You, as an aspiring entrepreneur with a small budget, share the same immediate goal: to establish yourself quickly via a strong network and generate enough cash flow for you to continue living!

1. Expert Advice and Market Research

It’s great to have the support of your family and friends to help you get started. But wouldn’t it be better to network with real business people who have been there. What are you sacrificing? Worst case scenario, they may point out significant flaws in the plans and force you to cancel or delay your plans. There is no perfect start-up. Your consultations may yield some really great advice.

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What your target audience thinks is just as important as the qualifications of a professional. Crowdsourcing websites are very popular these days, and can help you gauge real interest in your products or services. The traditional customer survey remains a key component of evidence-based research.

2. A functional website

It’s funny to see how many internet businesses still shudder at the idea of websites or invest little or nothing in them. Even with the rise of social media, an e-commerce website is still the foundation of any budding online business. It establishes your brand and differentiates you from other “fly by the night” operators.

  • These are the basic steps for setting up a website with a limited budget:
  • You can use the WordPress platform, or any other Content Management System (CMS), as your base.
  • Register a domain name that is strong and trustable with a domain name registrar.
  • For a professional look, add business plug-ins in your CMS to simplify customer navigation.

3. Find out more about your competition

You are unlikely to be able to compete with Google, Ford, and Wal-Mart. Regardless of market share, it is important to stay aware of the major competitors. These include both direct and indirect competition, as this is where your ideal customer base will be.

You can customize alerts and keep track of trends with search engines. You will eventually be able build a solid list of websites that provide valuable information about your industry.

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When it comes to starting your own business, there are two major mistakes people make:

You might think that if someone else has already done their idea, they should not do it. If your business idea is already being done by others, then this is evidence that it is viable and you should pursue it.

If nobody is currently doing their idea, then they are sitting on a goldmine of untapped potential. Although breakthrough ideas are possible, it is likely that there isn’t a market or profitability for your idea. Otherwise people would be doing it.

You should create a list of your competitors and research what they’re doing. What products are they selling? What are their ad campaigns? What is their marketing copy? Although you shouldn’t copy the competitors, you can still learn a lot from them by looking at their success and copying what they do.

4. Do not skimp on sales and marketing!

You should set revenue and cash flow goals, such as $100k in sales within 18 months. Set revenue and cash flow goals (e.g. $100k sales in 18 months) and include intermediate benchmarks to help you measure your business’s growth.

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To get the word out, you can choose one or two social media platforms. While Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest are the most well-known social media platforms, you might also consider smaller websites that target your specific area such as trade magazines and industry associations websites.