So You Want to Know How to Start A Business Online
The growth of internet has made starting a business less complex today in comparison to the last 100 years. You don't need millions of dollars in capital to get started in an online business. All you need is a need a computer and an internet connection. Millions of internet user are online every minute and this makes each of them your potential customers. Before you learn how to start a business online, it is vital to know that the internet is diverse and full of many opportunities. Once you identify your area of interest, it becomes easier to know the kind of business suitable for you.
3 Reasons to Start A Business Online
Reason 1: Time Freedom
Online business only requires a computer and internet connection. Once you have these two you are ready to work from anywhere in the world or even at the comfort of your home. This means you can work at any time of the day so long as you have the necessary tools. Forget the days of waking up super early and commuting to work to punch the clock. In an online business, you can wake up whenever you want and set your own schedule.
Reason 2: The New Economy
The world is interconnected through the internet and that's why it is easier than ever to find customers interested in your product or service. The internet has millions of users every second and as long as you have an online presence then you can capture some of those online users. Retail stores only have customers who come to their stores but with the internet, you can have customers from all over the world.
Reason 3: Google's Internet Trends
Only 40% of the world population had internet access at the end of 2014 according to Google and other sources. Running a business online provides an opportunity for growth because the millions of internet users get an opportunity to see what the business has to offer them. Internet traffic is set to explode in the coming years and it will only get faster and more integrated. If you are not leveraging the power of the internet then you are losing customers, sales, and potential revenue.
The Five Types of Online Businesses
Not all online businesses are the same in fact there are five basic types of online business models. There is the local business, the ecommerce store, the blogger, and the social media influencer. The diversity of the internet makes it full opportunities for entrepreneurs to venture in. The different categories of you need to identify before you know how to start a business online include:
A website offers a great platform for local business people to showcase and sell their products or services. Using a website, visitors are able to access the site and see what you are offering. A website contains all information beneficial to the clients and answers all their questions so the business does not have to spend time actually answering all the client questions directly. Their websites also help customers find their business when they are unsure of it's exact location.
McDonalds, Chipotle, Dominos, and Taco Bell are all big brands that have websites. You are probably wondering why they have a website??? – If you want McDonalds you will just go to the store right?. True but it's more involved than that. These big companies are smart and they realize that the internet is always changing. For instance on the Chipotle website you can order online and pick up your order in the store in just 30 minutes! I have never fully understood why these food companies have websites. I have only been to the mcdonalds website once or twice and it was to sign up for one of their contests where I could win a million dollars. It's because they never know when they will need them or they could become useful in helping them connect with their customers.
Amazon is selling products and services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year online. They started off just selling textbooks but now they are the king of ecommerce stores. Online stores are mostly used by people who sell specific products and goods. The online store has a list of the various goods sold and customers can buy and make payments online. An online store has an online catalogue with a list of goods and even a shopping cart to place the goods. If you want to run a ecommerce store but do not know which shopping cart solution to use then check out my shopping carts for blog post here.
Blogs are common for people who focus on content writing or provision of services like photography, art or design. One of the most successful bloggers is Darren Rowse at Problogger. His whole blog is about how to make money blogging because there are many different monetization strategies for a blog. There are the basic ways to monetize a blog like selling advertising, promoting products as an affiliate, and selling your own products. There are so many ways that are not even though of that bloggers can use to make money blogging like blog endorsements or even job board postings. It is very common to see bloggers offer an ebook that is for sale on their blog.
Social Media Influencers
Facebook, twitter and Instagram have become popular platforms for the modern day entrepreneur. Due to the flow of many users business people are using this platforms to present their goods and services to potential customers. Sometimes the social media users will not even be selling a product or service. Take Dan Bilzerian for example. Dan has over 7 Million Instagram followers and he does is not selling anything! He is always doing self promotion for his latest work but you have to give him credit for his follower base of millions of people.
The Requirements for Your Online Business
An online business is carried out on the web and this means unlike the normal business additional requirements are needed. Some of the basic requirements before you learn how to start a business online include:
Your Own Website
A website is essential for any online business owner to provide a platform for interaction for the business owner and customer. The design of the website will depend on the kind of business you are is involved in. Using a website you can link your social media accounts to enhance the popularity of the website. Make sure the website contains sufficient information about the business and keep it fresh through updating new information from time to time.
Web hosting service provider
A service provider will help you maintain and service your website. This will ensure that the website is operating as required and new designs are updated when necessary. A service provider also helps you to store important files and data regarding the website. The work of a service provider is basically to maintain the physical infrastructure of the website.
A Product or Service
Every type of business involves the buying and selling so having a product or service idea is important. A product/service is what will bring money into the business and this is why you should have a very clear idea before taking the business online. Basically any time can be sold online from jewelry to clothing and services like photography, painting, design and even logos.
Creating a great online presence for your business
For your online business to excel it must be known by internet users and also non-internet users. An excellent internet presence will determine the success of the business and in turn determine the profitability. After knowing how to start a business online, the various ways of ensuring a great online presence include:
Social Media Platforms
Social media is becoming a great asset to business people because of the traffic of people available on the internet. For instance, using Facebook or Instagram to showcase your products or service will make many people aware of your existence. People will only buy your products after knowing them.
An affiliate will market your business online on your behalf to help you make more sales. The only problem with using affiliate marketing is that they have to be paid a certain commission for every sale they help you make and this may cost you money.
Learning how to start a business online may seem simple but hard work and dedication is required. This will include spending long hours on the computer doing research or interacting with the customers and also trying to expand your business.
Apart from working on the computer additional work is required like finding a good web service provider and also physically looking for the products in case you sell products. This is quite an involving business just like any other kind of business out there.
How to Make Your Business Stand Out
Unlike the normal business where you get to see the customers face to face, the operation of an online business is quite different. Since nobody is seeing you the kind of presentation you give online should give the customers a clear image of what you are offering. Make sure all your presentations are interesting, catchy and informative. Make the customers have a picture of what you are about to offer them.