The number of internet users today is overwhelming; which has strengthened the notion that all seems to be happening online. While that is true for the most part – as the internet has become a link connecting people from different regions together – it is also important to note that not every lazy attempt at starting up an online business will prove successful eventually; it takes knowing the basics of online business to successfully pull it off. These basics are like essentials that anyone looking to establish an online business should be conversant with .Having said that, here are
Some of the key basics of Online Business:
Develop a Business Plan
This is like the blueprint of your business. A business without a business plan is slowly drifting towards the path of failure. And the fact that the business is an online business doesn’t make it any different as the same applies.
A good business plan gives you an idea of how you intend to finance your online business, forecasts the possible profits that the business is capable of yielding, helps you know if there is a market for your product, helps you develop a good marketing strategy that will ensure your products gets to the right people and also make investors take you seriously – as they can know if the business is worth investing in by merely looking at the business plan.
Basically, a business plan gets you prepared for the unforeseeable future and as someone that is starting out on something as big as an online business, you don’t want to get into it without knowing what to expect and how to tackle the challenges that are yet to come.
Select a Niche
Of course, before starting an online business you should have an idea of what you want to do and focus on it. People make the mistake of selling everything at first try without identifying themselves with one; in such instance there will be too much on your plate and one product will end up suffering.
So for a start, have an idea of what you want to do online that will be fetching you some cash, it could be: Blogging, Vlogging, Ecommerce, Freelancing etc. Pick one and make it your sole aim. If you want to get into Ecommerce, which is highly favored, pick a niche; you can choose to be selling just shoes and clothes or gadgets and its accessories.
The essence of selecting a niche is for your customers or audience to have something to identify you with; so when they see your brand name somewhere, they can be like, “ this is the person that sells shoes on that online store” and not confusing you with another brand.
Build an Audience
This is actually the tough part – getting people who are staunch believers of what you do.
It could take you doing a whole lot to get the attention of many. The following are few ways in which you can achieve that:
- Be concerned about value creation: Whether you like it or not, people out there want quality, whether it is the product you sell online, make sure it is the best there is. If it is blogging you are into, ensure the contents shared are legit contents and are grammatically correct. If you are a YouTuber, ensure that your videos are of high quality and that there is always something new to learn by watching your videos. So be concerned about quality, when you do good stuff people will help market you by taking positively about your brand.
- Get Featured on Authority Sites: They are sites that review products and services, people go there to sort of seek validation before patronizing any brand. If your products or services gets reviewed by such platforms that could go a long way in boosting leads – which is something every online business is concerned about.
- Encourage Clients or Customers to Share their Reviews: This has been proven highly effective in generating leads. It’s a no-brainer, once those that have purchased from you or used your services talk good about you, that will equally attract people to your brand.
- Encourage Good Customer Service: You want to be that brand that is spoken highly of when it comes to customer service. That gives prospective clients an assurance that they will be treated like royalty if they patronize you.
- Be active on social media: You can get leads from the different social media platforms available, by appropriately publicizing what you are selling or into.Social media platforms that are often used for this cause are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
- Encourage Freebies and Promos: Almost every one likes freebies. So, occasionally organize freebies and promos where they can win something or buy at cheap prices. This is a one fast way that can motivate people to talk about your brand, the more you are being talked about, the higher your chances of generating more leads.
With the aforementioned strategies, in little or no time your business will be more visible online and there will be a large audience associated to your brand.
At this point you have planned, you know what you want to be doing online to make cash, you have found ways to market it and built a large audience as a result; so this is the point where you finally execute. Don’t let the setbacks encountered discourage you from forging ahead, provided you have done your homework, launch the business and watch it play out.
Also have it in mind that there are a number of people doing what you do already, and the fact that they are hitting it big already and you aren’t doesn’t mean you are a failure. Pay close attention to what they are doing and apply what you learnt to your business – gradually, you will end up recording growth in due time.
So whatever online business you end up establishing, it is paramount you are conversant with the basics of running an online business, as already discussed in this article.