Starting an Online Business – 10 Things You Need to Know

In recent years there has been a significant rise in businesses being launched online. 

According to Datanyze, Godaddy, a web hosting company, reported a 48% increase in paying subscribers between February and April 2020. 

Thanks to the internet as it’s less costly to launch an online business when compared to doing it locally, and you run it anywhere.  

And you can be surprised if I can tell you that you can even launch your own online business in just within a week!

There are various reasons why one should opt to start an online business. The following are the key reasons why you should consider starting an online business over a traditional business.

It is Inexpensive

For one to launch a local business, one usually needs to have some investments in place. 

You need to purchase the inventories, pay for the lease, and even budget for employees. And in most cases, it is not a guarantee that it will succeed after investing in your business. 

In fact, according to dcincubator, at least 60% of new businesses fail within the first three years of existence. 

This sounds scary, but it’s a reality.

Starting an online business isn’t expensive. You only need your computer, buy a domain name, design your website and be ready to go. 

In short, just with as little as $100, you can be able to launch your business, and even in case it doesn’t work out, in the end, you won’t go at a much loss.

There is no time restriction

Unlike a localised business, an online business can run 24/7 and even seven days a week. 

Even when there are disruptions like lockdowns, your business will stay open. 

Once you have set up your business and it’s up and running, you are always ready to make a sale. Buyers can always order from your business any time as you don’t necessarily need to be available physically to make a sale.

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There are no Limitations

There are no limitations like space issues, no foot traffic, or even transportation issues when running an online business. 

With an online business, there are none of the above limitations. You can sell anything to anyone regardless of their locations. 

As time goes, you will realise that your customers will be exponentially increasing as many people now prefer buying products online. You can also be working during holidays, 

Like any other business, for a business to be successful, you need to consider vital things. We have highlighted them below.

1 – Do Market Research

Research Your Competitors

The first thing you need to do is to do market research for your business. The purpose of market research is to make sure that your product solves a particular customer’s problem. 

When doing market research, you identify a gap in your area of interest and gear towards solving it. 

Make sure also that your product has a high global demand and your product can fulfil their needs. 

When something is in high demand, though you will have to do marketing to be aware of its existence, it becomes easier to convince people to buy it. 

Your product should not necessarily be the next social media giant like Facebook or E-commerce website like Amazon or Alibaba; rather, it should be unique and address a particular problem. 

If you can identify a particular problem that people in your area are facing and solve their problem, you can create a great business.

2 – Make sure the business interests you

Once you launch your business, you will be spending many hours working. So If you don’t have the passion and interest in your business, you will be quickly overwhelmed on the way. 

The more enthusiastic and eager you are, the easier it is to succeed in your project.

If you don’t love your work, you will never be great, and it becomes tough to succeed. Try to figure out what your purpose is and find something that stirs you up. 

When you find out your passion and purpose, it gives you direction in life, and you will live a life of service and adventure.

3 – Have Revenue Goals in Mind

Freelancer Accounting Guide Income

Before launching your business, you need to know your specific numbers. For example, you need to know how much your product will cost, the average cost of organising everything like outsourcing some things, and any that will require outsourcing.

You also need to know how much you are willing to pay for employees if you have to bring some talents onboard. 

You need to know if your products have expiry dates or not so that you can plan accordingly.

Additionally, before launching your business, you should also plan to cut down the cost as the business progresses. 

As the business grows, you will be making many sales, and it can be an excellent opportunity to negotiate with your suppliers to reduce the costs. 

Any amount that you save can be used in your marketing strategies. 

Having this in mind from day one will help you inform your suppliers or those you work together with so that they can have it in mind.

4 – Learn about the laws of starting an online business

Before you start an online business, you need to know that traditional businesses’ laws also apply to online business. 

Though an online business requires few permits and licenses compared to the other businesses, you still need to sort some legal issues. 

For example, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need a tax license?
  • Are there any regulations that apply to your business only?
  • Are there any inspections that you need to pass?
  • What are the laws governing employing workers and contractors to work for your business?
  • Is a sales tax license required in your business?

It’s important to know that each country has its own set of rules and regulations governing businesses. 

You need to clear with your local authorities before even starting an online business (that is, if it’s a more significant business). 

You can always seek professional help if there is something you don’t understand.

5 – Define and know your Target Audience

In addition to doing market research, you also need to know who is your target audience. You need to know their demographics. 

For example, you need to have data like age, income, job, ethnicity etc. 

You also need to know their psychographics data like their interests, beliefs, values, and even opinions.

6 – Define your Image and Brand

How To Start A Personal Brand

The brand of your business is what distinguishes you from other businesses.  

When starting an online business, you need to ensure that everything about your business has consistent visual ideas and images. 

This applies to your presence on social media, packaging, and even in the newsletters.

As you work on your brand identity, you need to consider the following.

All the above elements make up your brand identity

To implement the above, you can hire a graphic designer, and they will be able to help you create something interesting for your business. 

But if you don’t have the budget, you can start by creating your own logo, and you can create other graphics like banners and posters using websites like Canva.

So before launching your business, you need to have this in mind and prepare in advance.

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7 – Have Marketing Strategies in Place

As a business owner, you need to consider the various marketing strategies that you will use to ensure the success of your business. 

Regardless of the size of your business and the kind of products you are selling, you need to devise the strategies you will use to ensure that your product reaches the masses.

You need to have a budget for running Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads. 

In addition to that, you can launch an influencer program to market your product immediately when it’s launched. 

You can look for famous influencers in your specific niche and use them to help your business trend, for example, on Twitter.

As you plan for your marketing strategies, you need to ensure that you are unique. This is to help you be more competitive in the market. 

But you might be wondering, “How can I be competitive in the market”? One of the ways is by using 3D Modelling if you are selling products.

How 3D Modelling Can be Used in Marketing

With 3D Modelling, you can create advertising materials in 3D in which users can see all the features of the product. 

Social media platforms like Facebook now support sharing of 3D models, and once posted, one can spin around it and see all the sides and sections of the product.

When you have 3D modelling skills, you will be able to create customised images for your product. 

You can create images of exciting scenarios, such as seasonal promotions, short-term sales, etc. 

You can create CG images that look exactly like your original product. 3D Modelling also allows you to make changes to your designs without spending money easily or wasting time as it’s easier to make adjustments. 

With SelfCAD, you can import designs in most of the standard formats. 

The tools of SelfCAD also work directly on the mesh, hence doing modification to your designs.

8 – Have the Methods of Maintaining Your Business in Place

Money Financial Branding Tips

Like the traditional business, as you start, you need to have a business plan and everything in place, including how you will pay taxes from the start. 

After setting up your website and uploading your products, you need to devise ways to ensure that your business is up and running every day and you’re making a profit and not losses.

To achieve this, you can get inspiration from what other businesses similar to yours are doing. 

You don’t necessarily need to copy what they are doing, but you can get inspiration and ideas. You can also get lessons from the failures of others. 

If there is a business that isn’t working well, you can get some tips to avoid falling victim.

As mentioned above, you also need to have some capital to serve as an emergency if something happens. 

If your products are physical, you need to have several potential manufacturers or suppliers. If one fails, you can easily switch to another to ensure that your business runs without interruption.

9 – Begin with a Service, then Move to a Product

When you are just starting an online business, and you’ve less money that you can’t afford to buy products to sell, it’s recommended to start with offering a service before moving to products. 

This is because, in the beginning stage, you’ve more time than money.

When you begin with a service, it’s advantageous to have a good understanding of your client’s craft, which will help you later on when selling products as you will know exactly what they want. 

Though this strategy is time-consuming, you can be sure you will get to know your clients’ needs, what they like, and what they don’t like.

10 – Know Your Competitors and the Strategies you can use to be Different

Every industry has people who’ve already dominated that specific field unless you’re producing something that no one has ever produced. 

Knowing whom you are competing with and the strategies they are using to market themselves is crucial as it can help you do extra work and find different strategies to use to compete in the market.

Try to find what makes your product different from the others and explain your product to your customers. 

Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tips For Starting An Online Business
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