You have been considering starting a profitable online business. That’s great! Every successful venture came from start-up ideas.
Starting an online business is easy. The question is, are you equipped with the right information? You can definitely start to work on your business plans right now. However, the hardest part is being consistent and resilient to grow that business.
Many people are eager to build an online business but they don’t have an idea of where to start. This article should validate your ideas and help you in taking the small steps to make your business thrive and ultimately become profitable.
6 Steps To Start An Online Business
1. Research for a need and fill it
Planning for a niche to approach is the “floor plan” in building your business. You will have an idea or two right away but be wary that your personal preferences do not mean something until you confirm it through research.
To begin your niche research, think of small groups of people who have the same strong interest. Bonus if you find passionate people with a problem that you can present a solution.
You can find these needs by
- Joining forums and social media groups
- Using Google search bar autocomplete
- Using Google recommended searches
- Discovering questions at AnswerthePublic.com
- Visiting Reddit boards
- Reading Amazon questions and reviews
2. Check for competition
You now have considered a niche to tackle. Your next move would be to find a gap to squeeze in.
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All business ideas have competition. You could not avoid competition no matter how small of a group your prospects are. The goal is to know their overall undertakings for you to develop a plan ahead of time.
- Understand the marketing strategy that works
- Know who to target
- Clarify what products are selling
- Get a clear idea of where the competitor stands
- Know the competitor’s weakness and use it to get yourself in the crowd
Perform a Google search of your niche to discover who your competitors are and what they are doing with their business.
3. Build your website
Your website makes your ideas and products come into life. It’s your avenue to “wow” your customers so make it superb. A website with a pro design already makes the selling for you.
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Principles to remember when building your website
- Simplicity is the best
- Consistency in branding
- Readability matters
- Mobile compatibility
- Quality imagery
- Fast loading
- Easy navigation
- Clear message
Tip: Before opening your doors for business, do not skip adding tracking codes. Sign-up for Google analytics beforehand and set-up the code in your template.
4. Curate a copy that sells
There is a way to make your audience engage and convert into customers. It is through formulating a copy that attracts and sells without being too “salesy”.
Tips in writing a copy that sells
Do your research
Research on who you’re writing it for, how your audience thinks, and what they need. A good copy understands the behaviour and needs of the audience to better capture their attention and deliver their needs.
Treat your audience as highly
As much as you want your audience to interact, consider the most important aspect of their being – respect. When they feel respected, they reciprocate it towards your business.
Make an irresistible headline
People only read headlines ninety percent of the time. The reason why “click-bait” titles are widely-used these days. A headline that rocks is comprised of phrases that hook your readers up.
Run your headline through this headline analyzer to determine the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) score.
Focus on your point
Get straight to what you want to deliver. People on the internet have a really short attention span. If your copy is being too distracted, people will scroll past it. Who has the time to scrutinize and find your point? Nobody.
The biggest question a customer has with your campaign is “Why?”. Why they need your product. And why they have to consider it in the first place. Once you answer these questions with your copy, you are already halfway there.
Even the best copywriters spend days to weeks crafting a great copy. So why should you hurry? Spending some time to write not only means you’re serious at what you do but also makes it more effective.
5. Capitalize on search engine traffic
Initially, you want to have your SEO game spot on. From the very beginning of your business journey, your website should be search-query-optimized.
What does this mean?
I’m telling you to target specific keywords that describe your business. Furthermore, the important pages of your website such as product pages should also be optimized for search engines.
SEO needs patience, from the learning curve to the time it takes effect. Some website owners set this aside due to complexity. But the longer you wait to implement SEO on your website, the harder it gets to beat the competition.
SEO is free and highly effective. It’s the only way for your online business to be highly profitable in the future. Unlike paying for ads, SEO takes targeted visitors to your business without paying a dime.
If you want your business to succeed, learn and apply SEO or hire someone to do it for you.
6. Establish a reputation
It’s quite easy to present expertise in your niche if you have experience with it or it’s something that you love. However, being in a business where you do not have any exposure in the past, it can be hard to be an expert.
The trick is to keep learning and apply the knowledge across your business. In time, you will gradually hone your skills and become an authority in your niche. Nonetheless, all experts were once an amateur.
Ways to present your expertise
- Create free valuable content that your target customers will enjoy.
- Start a group to gather your audience in one place and answer their questions as a real person.
- Deliver interactions professionally in a friendly tone.
Related Topic: How To Build A Trustworthy Brand Online?
9 Tips To Manage A Profitable Online Business
1. Pour your best at what you do
You want your online business to take off and become profitable. Why not put your best self at everything that you do. At the end of the day, you will rest easy if you have done your absolute best even if your goal wasn’t achieved.
2. Look at the big picture
Think of your business as a whole. Have you delivered the purpose and message that you want your audience to know? If not, connect the dots to make your message clear out there.
When your target customers understand your mission, it’s easy for them to love your brand. Be consistent; I could not stress it more. Consistency across all channels clearly depicts the message that you want them to know.
3. Use analytics to your advantage
Get the data; learn the data. The idea is to study the existing figures to come up with the next moves. By analyzing what has been working throughout, it’s easier to proceed unto the higher step with little to no concern about it failing.
4. Be unique
I mentioned about studying the competition above. However, the purpose is not to copy your competitor. Create your own unique brand. Craft your own unique style. Copying others would make you less visible.
Keep in mind that customers will definitely know if your intention is genuine. Besides, some brand loyalty are tied to a unique style of doing business.
5. Practice flexibility
Plans do not always happen and goals aren’t always achieved. Learn to be flexible to the curves of your business. It’s not always a burst of happy sunshine in managing a business. Gloomy days are bound to happen; it’s inevitable.
The most important thing is to learn from the pitfalls and do it differently next time in order to succeed.
Furthermore, absorb customer feedback and suggestions. After all, you are compelled to serve them; it’s essential to listen to their opinions.
6. Build a team
As your business is growing, slowly build a team to accommodate the additional tasks. This is a necessary step to stay profitable because running a growing business alone, as we know it, is rather difficult.
7. Know when to cease
Choose your battles wisely. If you are running a campaign and noticed that you are losing money rather than earning a return, immediately stop the campaign.
Running profitable campaigns for your online business takes trial and error. It’s necessary to know when to take something down that is failing rather than letting it drain your resources.
8. Be organized
I know it’s hard to keep everything organized. Running a business can sometimes feel like chasing your own tail. That said, being organized is the last thing that comes into our mind.
However, being on top of your business activities such as bookkeeping and accounting helps in determining where your business stands.
9. Be a customer service rockstar
How do you become a King or Queen at delivering superb customer service? By simply listening and using your resources and efforts to resolve an issue.
Do not overthink customer service. The thing is, your customers do not want an exaggerated offer; they only need you to address their concerns. Customer service isn’t complicated at all. It only takes a listening ear and a timely action in response to their problem.
Anyone can dive into the idea of starting an online business. I say go for it, but consider the necessary steps outlined above to have a solid foundation.
When your business is up and running, ponder into the management tips listed in this article to stay successful and profitable.
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