Online business is the thriving and blooming business of the 21st Century. These days almost every entrepreneur have something they are selling or services they are rendering online. It’s not a fad, it has come to stay and as long as technology evolves, many other businesses will be founded on the internet space.
This is not to frighten you or cajole you into starting one, but to fully enlighten you and prepare you for the many boundless opportunities that lies therein. It’s not enough to have a great business idea, it’s enough to start, it’s important you gear yourself up towards knowing what to and how to do in order to have a thriving business.
Many of us know little or nothing about starting an online business, and I don’t want you to start one without adequately preparing yourself for what you are getting into. This is why, I have simplified the basic steps needed to start up that idea of yours. Ready? Let’s go!
1. Identify a need or problem you want to solve and research online about it.
Life is full of problems and everybody is just looking for a way out. Everyone wants a solution to their problem. They are not looking for more problems, they are looking for more solutions. That’s why when people find someone with a solution to their problem, they wouldn’t mind paying any amount for it.
So, the first step to take is to identify a need or gap in the market space. Don’t just pick a product and think, oh this will make good sales. Think about how many people will want it and how much they will be able to pay to have it. Find out what will solve their problem and sell the solution to them.
After you have identified the need, go online and research about it. Find out from people who are going through these problems and ask them questions related to it. Visit online forums and discussion boards on what other people are doing to solve same problem. This will help you plan for your business and give you more than enough information to work with.
2. Figure out the service you want to render or the product you want to sell and come up with a name for it.
When you’ve been able to identify the market needs and problems within your environment, you will now have to figure out what product or service to render to help solve the problem. Don’t just go for a quick fix or shortcut to meet the need, go for a lasting solution to the problem. Doing this will give you trust and credibility from your customers and clients.
You will also have to pick a name and logo for your business. Go for a name that aligns with your values, pick something easy to remember and easy to pronounce. Make sure it’s not taken by someone else and it’s exclusive to you, or the services you are rendering. Your logo should be unique and relative to what your business is all about. Think about how you want your brand to be remembered or the lasting impression you want people to have about your work.
3. Start building an online community for your business.
You don’t have to wait until everything is perfectly put it in place before building a community of people who loves what you do. Go on social media and put yourself out there. If you don’t let people get to know and understand what you do, no one will find out about it.
Create a business page on social media for your online business and invite people to like or follow the page. Share valuable contents on the page and attract people through story telling. Let every work you do leave a remarkable impression to potential clients.
Facebook and Twitter is a good platform for an online business, but you can as well explore other platforms and options available. It all depends on where your customers and potential customers are.
4. Create a website for your business and start collecting emails from people who subscribe.
Your new business no matter how small can reach out to millions of people through the power of a website or email marketing. It is essential for every business to have a website where your customers can look out information about you or where they can quickly purchase your products and hire your services. Make sure it’s user friendly and quick to load.
As more people get to visit your website, collect their email address by offering something free to them. Send out promotional contents weekly or monthly via email or WhatsApp and connect closely with them. Include social media share buttons on the contents and ensure back links to your website.
5. Think of a reasonable price for your product or service and select a good payment processor.
Many business lack adequate knowledge on how to charge for their product and service. This may vary by different industry’s, but something I have learnt long ago is to charge people for my time on delivering the product or service rather than charging for the product or service itself.
When you charge for your time, you get people to understand that the real value they are paying for is YOU and not your product. They can get your product elsewhere or hire another person to render your service, but they will certainly not get the same value from it because the difference is in you and your brand. Knowing this will stop the confusion on what to charge and what not to charge.
Make sure to research on what your competitors are doing and the price they are offering. Knowing about your competitor helps you close gaps in the market place. Why is Close-up toothpaste price different from the price of Oral-B toothpaste? The difference is in the value they give. So, know your worth, understand your value, and charge according to it.
If you’ve been thinking of what good payment processor to use for your online business, then Paystack is your friend. It’s a modern online and offline payments for businesses in Africa. It let’s you get paid by anyone and from anywhere around the world.
If you are also looking to working with international clients and getting paid by them, Paypal is your go to place for receiving and transferring worldwide online payments easily and quickly.
Are you planning on starting an online business soon? Have you started already? What steps did you take and how has it been? Share your thoughts with us below.
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