There is nothing satisfying than having your own business, especially an online business where you can work from anywhere, set your working hours and make a living from the internet. Starting an online business requires fairly small startup expenses thus making them a perfect venture for entrepreneurs who do not have a lot of startup capital. The type of business you can start lies within the limits of your imagination. You can start a business about anything whether computer related, hotel, betting, limo, online tutoring, programming, name them.
Today’s shopping trend is directed towards online shopping. With many consumers shopping online, businesses which want to strive must incorporate the use of the internet and social media to draw significant online customers. Sales in eCommerce are growing steady, and the only way to survive in this fierce economic market is to utilize technology and go online. Customers prefer online shopping as it saves time and reviews of products come in handy.
Steps to Starting an Online Business
Some proven steps can guarantee you success when starting an online small business. Here are steps to be followed to launch your online business successfully.
Research your idea
You should try at all means to avoid the common marketing flaws that entrepreneurs make in promoting in a product that consumers don’t want to buy. This is a startup trap that you should avoid by researching your idea to ensure that it is viable and easy to monetize. Talk to your friends and other parties to weigh out your idea.
Register the domain name
You need to think critically about the name of your business. Your business name shall determine the domain name. Choose a name that is easy for your customers to remember. Use a reputable site to register your domain. Notable prominent sites include GoDaddy, Namecheap among others.
Find a web hosting company
Once you have a domain name to identify your business, its time you choose a web hosting company to host you site. You need to choose a hosting package that suites your budget, yet covers for all the necessary features you want. Look for a reputable hosting company with good customer live support and reviews.
Design your website
When it comes to creating your website, you have two main options. One, you can hire a programmer to do all the work for you, or you can do the work by yourself. Whichever the option you go for, be guided by what gives you the better deal. You can easily and quickly build sites using applications such as WordPress, Joomla and the rest. Find a web host that integrates with WordPress or Joomla in case you decide to build your site from these two. Download the required themes and plugins customize your site accordingly.
Set up online payment accounts
Since you are running an online company, your customers will need a way to make the purchases. You need to open merchant accounts and accept payment gateways. A merchant is set by your bank to allow you get paid via credit cards. Some payment gateways include SecureNet and Authorize.Net. Additionally, you need an online payment solution with leading providers such as PayPal, Stripe, and Dwolla among others. You will be faced by other customers who don’t use credit or debit cards. You would, therefore, need E-checks and ACH bank transfers to offer a means for them to make payments.
Design your delivery system
After you have done all the tiresome work, it’s time to get things going. You need to plan a way to deliver the products to the customers after they make the purchase. Delivery of products should be swift and trustable. For digital products, you can facilitate how they can get downloaded to reach the customers. There are circumstances where drop shipping may be applicable
Launch and Market your site
After everything has been properly done, the next step is to ensure that customers get to know your site. Have your site include quality content to increase your search engine ranking. Build an email list and keep communication active to your customers. Utilize other forms of marketing such as video marketing and social marketing to push your site to the next level. Use suitable tools to measure and track the success of your business.