Are you interested in setting up your own business but just don’t have the capital to do so? Don’t worry, because starting an online business can be equally good or even better than offline business if you do it the right way. With online business you actually have the potential to reach out to billions of people over the world compared to offline business which only mostly targets a specific group of people within the country.
Setting up your own online business is actually not as complicated as you may think it is. So I thought today I would take some time to share with you in the simplest form how to start your own online business.
Step 1: Build Your Foundation…
You can’t build a great building with a weak foundation, this also applies to building websites. If your website has poor foundation very likely you are not going to build a successful online business. To stay strong in this competitive industry knowledge is very important and therefore, you must be open to learn new things and regularly keep yourself up-to-date with the latest news and trends.
1. What type of business are you trying to build?
- Ecommerce stores?
- Selling you own product?
- Providing services?
If you haven’t decided what business you want to set up online, I suggest you take some time doing your own research, ask assistance from people around you. You obviously cant move forward without completing this step.
2. What is your unique selling point?
Like I said earlier, the online industry is very competitive(head to head/ toe to toe) so if you want to be successful you definitely must be at least be slightly different from someone. I think you know by now, no matter what business you trying to do( service or sell products) there are already 100’s of marketers out there doing the same thing.
Therefore It would be necessary that you try to stand out from the crowd. Lets say you are trying to sell your own product on hair growth for bald people. Obviously there are already thousands of products out there in the market. How is your product any different from theirs? Is it more cheaper? – because hair growth products are relatively expensive
Or have you let people test your products before you officially sell them, do you have testimonials showing that it really works?
3. Are you prepared?
I know this may sound a bit dumb, but it is my duty I tell you everything. Do you have a computer, internet connection and of course a website?
The first two is quite common sense but the 3rd, having a website is sometimes overlooked. The basis of an online business is having a website, without a website you can never start your online business.
If you already have a website then you can choose to read the next few sentences are you can immediately move on to the second part of the segment.
How to set up a website?
- Purchase a domain – I would recommend you to buy from namecheap because the price is very reasonable and they provide excellent service, I am still buying all my domains from namecheap.
- Hosting – After purchasing your domain, you need a place to host your website, you can either choose to just host and namecheap or other hosting platforms – ultimately depends on your preference
- Design your webpage – There are many websites out there that allows you to build your website, I would recommend you to use WordPress because it saves a lot time, well organised and “dummy proof”. Check out my post on how to build a free website in under 30 seconds.
- Adding the necessary Plugins -the choices of plugin you will be using on your site, mainly depends on what type of online business you are doing,
Once you have set up your website, now is all about adding content and driving traffic to your website.
Step 2: Driving Traffic to Your Website
This is going to be a very tedious part of setting up an online business, as we go on you will understand why. So let me ask you?
how are you going to make a sale if nobody is coming to your website? Setting up a website with your products/services and just leaving it stranded in a pool full of other websites will lead you no where. You have to put in effort to drive traffic to your direction, this can be done with four ways which I will be explaining soon.
Of course it will be ideal that you simultaneously use all four of this methods to boost your traffic but that depends on your individual preference also.
Method 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
With reference to Wikipedia, ” Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as natural, organic or earned results “.I prefer to call this the “free traffic” method because we are not required to pay to get traffic to our site. Though SEO is not the most stable form of marketing as your ranking in the search engines will fluctuate.
If you want to get ranked well from the search engine you have to produce quality content on your website. The idea of search engines is to provide the most relevant search result to users when they search the specific keyword or phrase. Therefore when writing out the content in your pages/post these specific keywords must be used.
However, if you are looking to get instant results from the search engines through search optimization then this is not the right method for you. Because it will take time before google recognises your authority and start ranking you higher in the search engines.
Method 2: Pay Per Click (Also known as Cost Per Click)
As the name says it, you are supposed to pay to drive traffic to your website. What happens is that you(the advertiser) pays money to the publisher(typically a website owner) for advertising the ads on his/her website.
In other words, every time someone clicks the Advertisement and goes to your site, you are required to pay for that particular click. Google AdWords is one of the most highly recommended when it comes to Pay Per Click Advertising model.
This is one of the quickest method to drive traffic but if you did something wrong you may end up paying money for advertising then making profits.
Method 3: Affiliates
Basically it means that you set affiliate marketing campaign where you pay a commission to the affiliate marketer for driving the traffic to you website which results in the purchase. Unlike PPC campaign and SEO, Affiliates has been one that has never gotten much attention because of the complexity in it.
In order to start your own affiliate campaign you must create trusts between your affiliate marketers which cannot be created overnight. How lucrative your commission is also plays a part, if your commission is less marketers might think twice to promote your product, instead they look for better alternative.
If you give too much commission, it may affect your profit margin too, so there is a lot of planning to be done before considering affiliate marketing. but one of the good things is that you only required to pay commission when you make a sales so actually you got nothing to lose. – Low-risk investment
Traffic from affiliate marketing tends to have higher conversation rate, the traffic that comes to your website are sort of interested in buying the product when reading the review from the marketers website.
4. Social Media
Whether big or small business creating social media account can help you drive a certain percentage of traffic to your site. Creating social media account such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pin it will come in handy. When you have a new product, new promotion or you add a new post, posting it on social media sites may help especially when people starting sharing around.
Make sure that when you post something on social media you have a link attached to link it back to your website.
Step 3: Your Traffic must convert into sales
There’s not much you can do about when you have already come to this stage of your business. Now you have to wait patiently and see how it goes. However, one think you should take note is that when it comes to business you cant just stop there, you have to always try to tweak here and there to see what works and what doesn’t.
Let’s say you are getting a decent amount of traffic monthly but they are not converting to sale.. Then of course you know that something is not right, either you are not targeting the right audience or your offer is not attractive or the might even be the audience haven’t build a trust on you yet.
Problem(Right Audience) – try to target more specific keywords in your content. Also known that over flooding your content will do more harm than good.
Problem(not attractive) – Try to offer something more to your customers, may be for a start your products/services can be offered at a much lower price. This will definitely result in more conversation, don’t expect to make immediate profits right away. When you first start you maybe on the losing end but with proper planning and management, overtime you business will sure pick up.
Problem(Audiences trust) – there is nothing much you can do. As your website gains more authority with time people will also start to spread by word of mouth too which can lead to more conversions.
You can also setup surveys on your site to learn more about your audience. Learning about your audience can give you a better view about their opinion and see what changes you could make that might benefit your business.
Once you started seeing more conversions and you are satisfied with the profits that you can choose to continue what you have been doing or if you want to increase your profit margin than you can scale your online business further.
If you guys have any questions please leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.