How to start an online business
First thing first, congrats to your decision of starting a new business. If you are ready to implement the idea into reality but don’t have the capital to open a store or buy a franchise, consider seeking the help of the internet. You can create a business website to commence your growth. When your business is online, you can reach millions of customers without needing to spend on retail space. Plus, with an online business, you can also eliminate hassles of dealing with numerous people which could be really futile.
There are numerous benefits of online business, including-
- Global access and wider customer reach
- Enhanced flexibility
- Cost saving
- Less consumption of resources
- Opportunities to manage the business from anywhere in the world
Interested? Now the main question. How to start an online business? Although there are numerous benefits of online business, it is not that easy as it seems. You’ll need a great product and a robust marketing plan to sell that product.
We have provided a detailed guide to help you start selling online. We have divided the guide into three major sections:
Setting Up the Business
This section majorly includes strategizing and researching about the product and services you are going to offer. The steps are preliminary and must be performed in order to get your business live.
Creating an Online Store
This section is useful if you are going to set up an online store which is almost a necessity if you are starting your business online. We will discuss the essentials for an e-commerce portal.
Marketing Products & Services
Seems small but amongst the crucial aspects of starting a business successfully. This section includes increasing your reach and selling products and services to the actual customers.
You can skip any of the sections you feel have already completed. Read the complete guide below to get the answer to the question – ‘How to start an online business?’
Setting Up the Business
1. Define your product and understand the market scenario.
Starting up a business online is not simple. You are going to enter a highly competitive market with thousands of online retailers having a similar business idea. What will make you unique from others is the way you define your product.
Your product should be different from others already selling in the market. For example, if you are going to sell t-shirts, you must showcase the unique character of your t-shirt to your customers. If might be the design, graphics, or cloth material.
You also need to figure out what’s already prevailing in the market and what customers are ready to pay for your category of product. This will help you to design and develop your product and market accordingly.
2. Register your business with the law.
Your business idea and plan is all set to get implemented. However, your business needs to be registered with the state and national laws to get recognition. Choose a name for your business and complete all the paperwork to make your business official.
3. Buy a domain name.
Perhaps the first and the foremost step on the path of getting your business online. You need to buy a domain name for your business that is catchy and resembles your business. Once you find a suitable name, go ahead and register it. The choice of your domain name is subjected to the matter of availability.
There are numerous websites such as Godaddy and Hostgator to search a domain name for your business. Visit the links to read everything about them.
4. Get a web hosting for the website.
Web hosting in one of the essentials that are required to start a website. You can avail shared web hosting if you don’t want to spend much. But if you are serious about your business and want to start strong, you can buy a dedicated web hosting from various web hosting providers. With dedicated servers, you are less likely to get troubles such as slow down when your business takes off.
To purchase web hosting for your business website, you can reach to the same websites where you bought the domain names.
Creating an Online Store
1. Develop an intuitive and functional website
No matter what your business all about, you need an e-commerce website to start selling your products. It will not only help you to start your business and enhance your reach, but it will also give your business a professional feel.
Your website would be everything that a customer will see before purchasing your products and services. Therefore, it needs to be engaging and easy to use for them. You can seek the help of professionals to create an effortless website for your business. However, if you want to do it yourself and save that extra bucks, you can always find several website builders available in the market to develop a website hassle-free.
Read about top website builders available in the market here.
2. Buy e-commerce software
So, you have finalized the design of the website, and the basic framework is all set to roll out on the floor. You now need a software to let customers view all your products and identify their specifications. The software will allow your customers to buy products and make payments online. Don’t miss this section, since the e-commerce software you are going to choose will make a huge difference in how easy it is for your consumers to feel safe purchasing something from your online store.
3. Set up a payment gateway.
Online payment is gaining a lot of traction in the modern business world. Businesses nowadays provide safe and secure payment gateways to let consumers use their credit and debits cards for shopping. For instance, you can use payment services like CC Avenue and Paypal to allow users to make effortless payments securely. These services will also help both the parties in cases of payment disputes.
Marketing Products and Services
1. Add content to your website.
No matter how intuitive your website design is if the content is not appropriate no customer is going to click that buy button. After the design is implemented and software have been deployed, you need to add catchy taglines and descriptive content to your site.
Put your best content in the first fold to attract the customers and add descriptions where appropriate and necessary.Also, try to add CTAs where required to allow customers to buy your products and services.
2. Make use of social media.
Whatever your business is and the products you sell, using social media for marketing purpose has become a necessity nowadays. Having a business account of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will not only enhance your reach but will also link back to your main website.
3. Add Google AdSense to your website.
Google AdSense is a revenue-generation service offered by the tech giant Google itself. Under the service, Google place ads of different companies on your website to attract customers based on their search history and internet behavior. Also, you also get a small amount when customers click on the ads shown on your website.