How to start an online business?
Many employees dream of starting an online business and freeing themselves from the rat race.
Small business owners look to bring their brick-and-mortar business online to gain more exposure.
The idea to start an online business may seem daunting at first, but nothing can’t be achieved when you break it down into achievable steps.
It will no doubt require some consistent effort, but the barrier of entry has lowered considerably in recent years.
Nowadays, anyone with no technical knowledge or capital can enter the online business arena.
Literally anyone can succeed online, as long as they are willing to put in their entrepreneurial spirit.
Gone are the days where building a website requires coding expertise and huge capitals.
Today, let us look at some basic steps you need to know before jumping the gun.
4 Steps To Know Before Starting an Online Business
Before you start an online business, you need to have a basic understanding of how online businesses work.
Only then you plan the structure and direction of your business, and how you want to carry out your business plan.
So let’s get ready for some brainstorming and work out your grand plan!
Find Your Passion
The basic principle of economics states that in a business, there should always be a supply and demand chain.
Without a demand to fulfill, you would be hard-pressed to get your online business going.
Fortunately, this is the internet we are talking about. With over 3 billion internet users, no matter what business you are in, there is always a demand for it.
The best bet to start an online business is to find your own passion, so you can keep working on it long-term.
What interests you? We all have a hobby that gets us excited and motivated.
For example, let’s say I’m interested in basketball shoes. That could be the core of my online business, and the focus of my website and online store.
A simple search with Google Trends tells me that I’m in good shape to start an online business for basketball shoes. The demand is always there.
If you don’t have a particular passion, don’t worry. You can still build a successful online business by following the free affiliate marketing bootcamp here.
Build a Website
Once you have identified the focus of your website, you have found your niche. A niche is a targeted part of the market.
My niche in the example above would be basketball shoes lovers, and people who want to know more about basketball shoes.
Better yet, there will be people who are looking to buy basketball shoes online.
My website will revolve around providing useful information and products to the audience of my selected niche.
Building your own website is very simple.
The entire process takes less than 30 minutes, and this includes choosing a web design that you like (this is usually the time-consuming part).
As you’ll have little to no contact with your customers, you need to put together an interface that is easy to use.
Make the layout clear and guide your customers where they should click.
The more engaging your website is, the longer they will stay around to browse your content and products.
Watch this video tutorial on how to build a beautiful website for free, in less than 30 seconds.
Attract Visitors to Your Website
Your goal before trying to make your first penny online is to have real people to visit your website.
I always recommend Wealthy Affiliate University when it comes to learning to build a business website and drive visitors to your online business.
It is a free educational platform that offers an Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, which is essentially a step-by-step guide to build your online business from scratch.
Best of all, a free membership with Wealthy Affiliate gives you 2 free websites along with unlimited hosting.
You will learn to build your first websites for free, as well as the most current traffic techniques to get an abundance of targeted customers to your website.
You will also learn how to post quality content and get in line with Google’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Good integration with SEO is essential to rank your website content in Google’s search results, thus bringing in more visitors and customers to your website.
Here comes the exciting part! The ultimate goal of starting an online business is to earn money, no?
Once you have a steady stream of audience (traffic), you can promote products and services through affiliate programs which are free join.
You earn up to 75% commission if your visitor ends up buying a product.
For example, there are more than 32,000 different “basketball shoes” on Amazon alone, and you can earn a commission by promoting anyone of them.
If you have put in time and effort to build your website and attract an audience, this part will come naturally.
Of course, you can choose to setup an online store within your website and sell your own products too.
Many successful online businesses employ affiliate marketing strategy just because it is relatively effortless compared to selling your own products.
Selling someone’s products and getting a commission means you don’t have to manage product inventory, staffs and after-sales services.
Your only job is to get relevant customers to visit your site and promote products that are helpful to them.
The Bottom Line
Number of internet users worldwide (Source: Internetlivestats.com)
With the number of internet users exceeding 3 billion people and increasing steadily, online businesses are only going to grow stronger year after year.
There is simply no reason to overlook the internet if you intend to start a business.
The best part of an online business is the time, location and financial freedom that comes with it.
You can literally work anywhere, anytime and still have revenue flowing in.
However, keep in mind that starting an online business is pretty much the same as starting a traditional business, minus the capital and risks.
You still have to put in time and effort to make it work. Focus on building a solid foundation for your website, and don’t expect to earn big money in the early days of your online business.
Keep working at it consistently and you will become successful.