How To Start An Online Business in 8 Steps

How To Start An Online Business in 8 Steps

Have you ever been hit with a realization at midnight? Like what am I doing with my life? I want to do something meaningful. Considering the circumstances, you might have thought of starting an online business.

If this is the case, then you have come to the right place as by the end of this article, you’ll get all your answers on how to build a robust online business. And a good time too as last year, 1.79 billion people shopped through online platforms!

Follow these 8 steps and you’re bound to succeed in the e-commerce business.

How To Start An Online Business

1. Find a problem that your product/service will solve

This point sounds like a cliche, but this will determine whether your business will survive or not. Having a firm idea is a must. 

It should solve a problem that enough people care about in order for your online business to be successful. Develop your business idea around your expertise and strengths to get an edge. 

2. Conduct Market Research

It’s daunting to find a unique purpose and mission the people will care about. Because of this, market research becomes a necessary element. See if the product/service that you plan to launch has a demand or not. 

Even the best ideas that look good on paper can fail miserably if they have no market. Moreover, conducting market research would help you identify your target audience which will help you sell better.

Market research includes various elements like:

  • Keyword research: You can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner for this purpose.
  • Research on popular social platforms: Social Media is a fantastic opportunity to get the know-how of conversations happening around your business idea.
  • Find trends related to your niche: Google trends can be a viable option to analyze the market. It can help you identify if your potential niche is on the verge of rising, overcrowded, or not in trend. 

3. Define your target customer’s needs

This is a crucial step, without it, your product or service could misfire and become a complete flop. Do not assume that you know the needs of your customer unless you have asked them first. 

Conduct surveys, 1v1 interviews, and focus groups to understand the needs and preferences of your target consumers in detail. 

4. Generate problem-solving content

You should meet customers’ needs according to where they are in their buyer’s journey to make a significant impact. The buyer’s journey includes three stages

  • Awareness Stage: If the prospect is in the awareness stage, make content that helps them identify their problem.
  • Consideration Stage: Make content regarding how to solve the particular problem they are facing
  • Decision Stage: Design content that shows how your product/service will help them achieve their goal or solve their problem.

Generating problem-solving content will position you as a thought leader in front of the target audience. This will develop trust and faith between you and them.

5. Devise marketing strategies to expand your business growth

You must understand how prospects will progress through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. This will help you come up with marketing strategies for each stage so it can hit the mark.

Following are the inbound mediums you can use to drive business growth:

  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Paid ads targeted towards the relevant audience
  • Social media and Content Marketing
  • Email marketing 
  • Blogs and infographics.

6. Launch an easy-to-use e-commerce store

Shopify, Woocommerce, and Squarespace are amongst the popular e-commerce platforms that you can use to launch your e-commerce store. Make sure that your store website is mobile-friendly, simple, and easy to navigate. 

This is important, as statistics have shown that 74% of the customers will switch to another company if they find your purchasing process complex. 

7. Market your product/service using platforms your customers use

There is a myriad of communication platforms on the internet. So it’s important to market your product or service on the platforms that your customers prefer or use regularly. 

Using every medium for this purpose is also a strategy to fail. Once a person becomes a customer, bother them with only relevant information. Statistics have shown that 94% of the customers have cut ties with companies that used to bug customers with irrelevant promotions.

8. Stay updated on current and upcoming business trends

Many businesses face downfall if they focus only on the present. You probably would have heard of Nokia and Blockbuster. They were rigid about their business model and looked at what happened. 

This teaches us to always stay updated regarding potential opportunities and future trends. Your company needs to be flexible to market demands to survive in the long term.

 

Final Note

In a nutshell, you first need to have a purposeful online business idea. To check its viability and demand, you need to conduct market research and in the process determine the audience’s needs. 

Second, you need to devise marketing strategies using the platforms that your target customers prefer. Third, you need to launch your online business store and drive traffic to it using marketing strategies. And finally, do not forget to stay on top of business trends and have a flexible approach as this can make or break your business.

If you have made it this far, then we are sure that you would be in a better position to launch an online venture. Start taking action on it from today and you’ll get closer to making it a reality soon.

Best of Luck!

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