Starting your own business online is a great opportunity to not only work for yourself but to also build your own job security. There are a lot of benefits to owning and running an online business (like an almost unlimited list of potential customers for one) but there’s also a lot of work in planning your product roll-out, building your marketing plan, creating your website and initiating your business’s launch.
Much of your success will depend on the strength of your initial build-out and your marketing plan. So you want to start an online business? Here are 15 things you should take care while building your online business.
1. Develop and Build Your Online Name
First and foremost is picking your online name. Most select a “dot com” domain (you can also consider one or more of the many alternatives”. All single word names (those existing in the dictionary) are taken, so your choices are to make to a new word or use a phrase. Whatever your choice, the name you select should reflect you and your product or service. Do a search for available names associated with your online business.
2. Choose and Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media sites are great networking tools and you will need to build yours so that you can establish relationships and build the network that will ultimately make your business successful. But networking and social media is a two-way street. Along with following friends, family and business associates, make sure you follow those within the industries and companies that will best represent your business.
3. Get Professional Help Where Needed
You can’t run a successful business on your own. You need to surround yourself with people who are experts in the parts of your business where you are not. As an example, getting the right advice regarding accounting, tax and legal matters is crucial. Depending on your area of expertise, you may also need help with some of the technical stuff like hosting and web design.
4. Create a Business Plan
According to Bloomberg, 80% of all businesses fail in the first 18 months. A business plan will help you mitigate some of the risks. Your business plan should include your marketing plan as well as your budget. You need to know how much money you will need to launch your business and how much you will need to run your business until building your revenue stream (your burn rate).
Book Corner – Starting Your Online Business
5. Differentiate Your Business
Whatever business you’ve decided to start, there’s a pretty good chance that someone has a similar business. You need to define what makes your business different from your competitors. There are many ways you can do this. Special discounts, free gifts for signing up (maybe a free book). Find something your competitors don’t do and offer it as part of your plan.
6. Learn from Your Mistakes
No one is perfect and you are likely to make some mistakes as you build your business. Some can be fatal (like creating a website name that no one can remember) while some can be annoying (such as not building out your entire site before launching).
7. Balance Your Expectations
It’s rare to start off as an instant success and that is certainly true of an online business. It will take time to build your client and user base. Your marketing plan and social networking plan will play a big role in how quickly you build your audience. While there are things you can do to fast-track your growth, balance your expectations so that you stay motivated in achieving your end goal.
8. Build Your Brand
Your brand defines who you (or your product) are. It’s what allows people to identify with you and, as you build your brand, becomes an additional driver of business. Your brand is tied closely to tip # 5 above (differentiate your business).
9. Find and Leverage Advisers
While it sounds similar, this tip is different from tip #3. Advisers are individuals who can take an objective view of you and your business and give you some advice to help you make changes and improvements. They can be experts on SEO or maybe they are business strategists. If you don’t know individuals like this, find them and leverage their advice.
10. Spread The Word!
This is executing on many of the tips above. The more people that know about you and your product/service, the quicker you will build your business. Leveraging your network, finding some type of advertising, building a partner network where your service compliments what they do. All of these things will help you build your successful business.