Are you ready to launch an online business?
That is the opportunity to turn your ideas and industry knowledge into a profitable business and gain financial freedom.
However, starting an online business does not happen overnight. It requires lots of planning and dedication.
Here are a few tips on building an online business from scratch.
- Determine what Kind of Online Business You Want to Create
Are you starting an ecommerce business from scratch? Maybe you are seeking a franchise for sale and want to market it online. Simply put, there are different types of online businesses. Here are some of them:
- Selling physical products by starting a digital storefront
- Offering digital products, such as webinars, online courses, ebooks, digital content, etc.
- Starting a SaaS company by creating a software application on your servers and charging a monthly fee for access.
- Providing coaching or consulting in your area of expertise
- Decide on how You will Monetize your Business
Deciding how you will make money from your online business is your next essential step. Based on monetization methods, there are several types of online businesses:
- Affiliate marketing: Through affiliate networks, you market products and receive a commission for purchases. Embed a unique URL linking to the product’s sale page. Every time a user clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you get money.
- Advertising: Place ads on your website, and advertising networks pay you a small amount every time a visitor clicks on the ad.
- Dropshipping is a mixture of affiliate marketing and selling your products. Customers place orders on your website. Then, you pass those orders on to a supplier who delivers the products.
- Selling your products. If you have unique product ideas, consider starting your ecommerce store. That is the chance to unleash your creativity and, at the same time, generate higher profits.
- Choose How You Will Fund your Business
Now, you can finance your business in multiple ways.
For starters, you can turn to investors, such as venture capitalists. You will get the money needed to design your products and make progress faster. On the other hand, once you turn to VC funding, you lose control over your company.
You can also go straight to your future customers by starting a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. You ask for smaller contributions from a larger number of people interested in seeing your business ideas become reality. That is an opportunity to connect with your future customers, make connections, and spread the word about your company.
- Establish a Brand
To gain a competitive advantage, establish a solid brand and start marketing it.
Now, here are a few brand design elements you should consider:
- Brand color palette
- Brand tone of voice
- Typography and fonts
Those are the essential elements that make up your brand identity. The goal is to create a consistent brand presence across all online channels you use, including your website, social networks, email newsletters, customer service channels, etc. To build a memorable brand presence, create a brand style guide for your marketing, sales, and customer service teams to use.
- Build a Website
A website is where people will explore your brand and learn more about your products and services. That is why it needs to be spotless.
For starters, choose your ecommerce website builder, such as Shopify or Magento.
When building and designing a website, here are a few factors to keep in mind:
- Keep your design on-brand. Feature your logo, brand colors, and fonts consistently across your website.
- Make it responsive to improve user experiences across desktop and mobile devices.
- Simplify the purchases. Make it easy for customers to find their desired products and complete purchases. The checkout process should be easy.
- Consider the Legal Aspects of Starting a Business
Before you launch an online store, ensure it is legally compliant. Here is what you should do:
- Legally form your business. If you plan to build an LLC or a corporation, you will need to file the legal paperwork to register it with your state.
- Apply for a tax identification number so you can pay separate taxes.
- Set up a business bank account to keep your personal and professional finances separate.
- Talk to an accountant about your tax responsibility.
Over to You
Starting an online business from scratch is a big move. Numerous things go into building a thriving online store. I hope these tips will serve as your solid starting point!
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.