There are always challenges in starting an online business. Have you cut through our nation’s red tape when it comes to setting up a new business? What are the steps to take when starting an online business? Then you’re at the stage where you need to address some specific technical or strategic positioning.
So, let’s start with the most important steps you need to take before going online.
Online Business Strategy
1.) Business plan – preferably a well-argued and realistic one
Before starting any kind of business, you need to have a business plan. We’ll talk about this plan in more detail in another article. This is, of course, also true for an online business. Remember that it is vital to have a projection of what you want to achieve. It is essential to have the right planning! The business plan does not have to be exhaustive, but it would be desirable to include specific details of the niche you are going to operate in. It is important to define the short and long-term goals you want to achieve. Calculate your profit margin and your commercial addition. In your overheads, don’t forget to include your promotion budget and agency fee, if applicable.
2.) Choose the right product/service
It is essential to know exactly the type of product you are going to sell or service you want to offer. This is one of the most important aspects of launching an online business as it can determine future success. It is very important that you, the future entrepreneur, answer the following questions:
- Will my product/service satisfy an unmet need in the market?
- What is my competitive advantage (that value proposition they keep talking about)?
- Is there a niche I can serve?
3.) Do you know your target market?
To be successful in any industry, you need to make sure you have a range of skills in the area of marketing and sales. Throughout the research phase, you need to analyse the demographics of the customer base you are targeting. Make sure you understand the specifics of your target audience’s buying decision-making process.
Also, study the competition! You can learn a lot through this observational process, about how their brand is positioned in the market, what their customers say about their products/services, etc. All of this can help you understand a lot of details in the market.
4.) Choice of domain name
How well should you think about your domain name? Is it really that important? If your products or services are of high quality, you’ll get visitors to your site regardless of the domain name, right?
For an online business the domain name is the key element of the website you are going to develop, which is why it is crucial to choose a name that is integral to your business.
This is important because it is the first impression you leave on your audience. The URL is the first thing visitors to your site will interact with. A correctly chosen domain name can leave a positive and lasting impression.
One thing that few people know is that the domain name affects the organic ranking part (SEO). Of course, more on this tough choice in a future article, where we will also highlight platforms from which domains can be purchased.
5.) Choosing web hosting
After going through the various critical aspects of business planning, you need to pay close attention to the hosting provider as well as website development. Choosing a reliable hosting provider is very important. Don’t forget that it is vital to benefit from the highest up-time, 24/7 support service, FTP access and so on.
The Cpanel license is required to set up your email addresses, subdomains, etc.
Also, if your business will be an online shop, you need to make sure that your package includes the LiteSpeed Web Server service. This service greatly improves site security, load time and resource usage.
Once you’ve identified the right hosting service, the next step is to start building your own website, which we’ll cover in a separate article.
6.) Effective marketing strategy for an online business
A well thought out and executed advertising strategy can play a crucial role in promoting your business correctly and effectively. As soon as your products and/or services are ready to be offered for purchase in the marketplace, you need to make sure you choose the right mix of strategies to promote them.
A well-executed marketing strategy will support business growth. Much of this blog will revolve around this topic – online promotion.
7.) Social Media
Social media can play a key role in your success. Many of the social media platforms you can use (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) will allow you to promote your business online in a variety of ways. Using social media gives you a variety of ways to connect directly with your customers.
Don’t forget – each platform has its own specific demographics: Facebook mostly 35-50 year olds, Instagram 18-25 year olds, TikTok, 12-18 year olds.
The goal of business promotion is to reach your target market in exactly the environment that potential users use, i.e. social media networks. Make sure your products or services are visible online to the widest possible demographic.
This exposure will generate interest, converting a curious visitor into a potential customer. Social media presence is one of the most effective modern ways to build a solid customer base.
8.) Be available
Easy said, hard done! Constant communication with your audience is vital. Attending and answering questions that potential buyers may have sends a signal of trust in your brand that will translate into solid organic business growth.
Of course, each path entrepreneurs take on this journey into the world of digital is unique. There is no single recipe that can ensure success, but you may decide to implement the tips above to maximise your chances of success.