How to set up an online business
An online business is a business just like any other physical business. It needs a lot of resources, time, and good planning. Start by identifying a potential problem that either you or others have experienced. Use various research methods, and identify the pain points. Pick one pain point and create design a technology solution. It is best to design it on paper first before anything else. Then choose a suitable technology such as a website, mobile app, or e-commerce platform to create a medium through which you will reach your target market.
Steps to Starting an Online Business
- Set up your website, mobile app, or platform.
Do proper research on which platform would be best to work with, look for a designer or developer, and set up your online solution. It is prudent to avoid using too much money before you have proven that there is a market for your product or service. Start small and grow once you know what you develop works. Also, you can start with one or two target customers, and make it work for them before you expand into the market.
- Market your platform.
Use all types of marketing to create awareness for your platform. Both online and offline methods. Some online methods you can use include pay-per-click (Google Marketing), Social Media Marketing (Sponsored Advertising), Content marketing (blogging, videos, social media), direct emails (email marketing), webinars, WhatsApp, and any other suitable ways of marketing. For offline marketing, use word-of-mouth marketing to friends and family, attend networking events, cold calls, sales personnel, and referral programs.
- Grow your business
Once you have made more than a few sales, it is time to grow your business. Get constant feedback from your customers, and use that feedback to modify your online platform, as you make your solution more customized and relevant for your target market. Set up business processes and systems that will make it easier to grow the business and serve more customers without putting too much stress on your staff. It is, however important to note that you can never have a perfect solution and that you cannot serve everyone. Stick to your target market, unless it makes more financial sense to change tactics and business.
Once you have achieved some level of success, it is time to multiply your revenue by looking for other related products and services that you can upsell or cross-sell. Create other revenue streams and ensure you do not leave any money on the table.
Starting an internet-based business is attractive because it is a cheaper way to grow and scale your business. You can start with an excel spreadsheet, sending it to clients via WhatsApp to make orders, and grow into an online shop selling all over the world.
Do you have an idea, and do not know where to start? Get in touch with us.