If you want to start an online business, keep in mind that it’s not an easy road. However, it’s more accessible than ever. First, because we live in a world where everyone is connected all the time — to spare free time, shop, and learn something new. Plus, technology is not the same as it was a few years before. It’s much better now and ready to help you get your idea off the drawing board.
With this in mind, this article will serve as a quick guide. From coming up with an idea to planning a marketing strategy, learn the basic instructions to start.
Come up with a great idea
No business starts without an idea, or better saying, without a problem to solve. As plumbers fix leaking pipes and electricians bring light to your house, companies born to offer a solution. So if you are willing to start an online business, you need to figure out a problem waiting to be solved.
As family and friends, look at forums, research trends, and find what people are looking for. Think about your own experiences too. Have you ever come across an obstacle while pursuing good results? Is there something annoying you? Is there a way to overcome it? Fit this potential solution in a market segment (niche) and a target audience while asking yourself:
- Is it a problem no one else is giving the proper solution to?
- Are there people willing to pay for a solution to solve this problem?
- How are you going to make it a success?
Research and test the market
Let’s say you got a great idea. Now is the time to start further research regarding your target market. When you immerse yourself in something, it’s easier to understand how it works, find the gaps that need to be filled, and communicate with your audience. So before committing to invest time and money:
- Set a niche and a target audience: while working on an idea, both niche and audience will pop up. Niche is the market you want to focus on (welfare, sports, finance, etc.), while audience wraps potential customers (gender, age, interests);
- Run a competitor analysis: learn about businesses with the potential to compete with your idea. Check how they work, their strategies, how they attract and engage customers, strengths and weaknesses, pricing, and demand;
- Validate your idea and seek feedback: ask people about your solution, desirable features, and improvements through online questionnaires, conversations, and a minimum viable product (MVP).
Set up a marketing strategy
After all your research, you can start working on your brand. It represents the overall vibe of your business. From the name and logo to the color scheme, visual, typography, and compelling copy, all this together will help you convey your solution. If you kick off your website at this stage, don’t worry about doing it amazingly. Just focus on directing your audience to it.
When you are ready to start promoting your online business, this is where your marketing plan earns the spotlight to build your digital presence. There are many paths to follow — social media, paid advertising, influencer marketing, content marketing, and direct outreach. Consistency and metrics are decisive to engaging and succeeding — no matter which ones you choose. It’s worth trying different ways to see what works best for you.
Attract traffic to your business
Together with an effective marketing strategy comes a plan to attract traffic to your business. Besides SEO copy oriented to climb up the Google rankings and engaging social media profiles, there are other resources you can adopt to potentialize your results when you start an online business:
- Affiliate marketing: when affiliates promote your solution to their audience (through social media or ads) and, every time a sale happens, they receive a commission;
- Pay-per-click (PPC): it involves paid advertising. Whenever a user looks for something related to your business (using keywords) through the search engines, a link to your website appears among the top results. Each time someone click on this link, you pay a fee in exchange for the display;
- Email marketing: your email list is one of the most relevant assets you have to reach out to your customers and potential customers directly. This tool helps you nurture leads until they are ready to buy your solution.
All the steps here are the foundation to start an online business. They are all basic but essential to success. Finally, it’s worth saying that it can take a while to grow. From the conception of the idea to the marketing strategy, there is a long path. However, did you know that many successful entrepreneurs failed before growing big? Consistency and metrics are your best friends to keep a track on every move.
If you need help to send and receive payments using different currencies while you expand your business, Husky can take care of it.