Starting an online business can be rewarding and a great way to make money. However, lots of people each year think that they can start an online business without planning. Starting an online business is a lot like starting a business on the high-street, except that online business is growing every year and it’s a lot cheaper. Here are the first steps you should take before starting your business online.
1. Your idea
You should have a solid idea of how you want your business to run. There are lots of government sites that help for people who are starting their own business, you can find local support and get help developing your business idea further. Another important step is registering your idea, whilst it’s unlikely that someone is going to steal your idea, if it’s a good idea and it’s unique, there’s every chance that someone else will think of it.
2. Develop your idea
Whilst you may think your idea is fantastic and faultless, some people might not. Test your product or service before you fully commit to it, think of it as a test run before you start your online business. That way you can make changes or tweak your idea without having to apologise to unhappy customers, keep testing until you think its full proof. This is also a great idea to see if there is demand for your goods or service, there are great sites like Google Consumer Surveys where you can create surveys for people to fill out so you can see feedback from unbiased consumers.
Now that you are sure that your idea is going to do well, it’s time to figure out how much time and money it will cost to start. If you’re selling things online are you going to be buying things cheaply and then flipping them for profit? Are you going to make goods and sell them online? Some businesses can be done in conjunction with other jobs but others take up to much time. If you think that your idea is valuable enough then create a business plan which monitors your spend so you can figure out how much money you need to make.
4. Your website
The most important part of your business is your website. There are great goods or services online that haven’t done well because of slow page loads or unresponsive web pages. Creating a bespoke website can take a lot of time and if you’re not coding savvy then it will take a longer and may not look good. A great way around this is using a website building website, Webeden is a website building tool that gives you a domain name, hosts your site and does it all for free. If choosing a hosting provider and registering a domain name is becoming too costly than using an all-in-one package saves money and time, plus Webeden can always help you with your site if you get into any technical trouble.
Before you launch your website, you should have a solid marketing plan. You don’t need to be a marketing genius but setting up social media channels where you can communicate with your chosen audience only takes a few minutes.
There are lots of great tools to help you figure out who is not following you on Twitter or what analyse what your followers say about your business. Get your friends and family to like your Facebook page before you officially launch it so that business looks established when other people stumble to it.
So get out there and make your online business, there are lots of resources and tools to help you get started.