The internet has levelled up the way businesses operate, and we all live in a world where putting your business ideas into action requires the use of digital technology to keep up with the competition.
So, if you’re thinking of starting your own online business, here are six easy-to-follow steps that will help you to succeed in a busy marketplace.
1. Evaluate your business ideas
Establishing your own digital business requires an open mind and forward thinking. It pays to have several potential business ideas in mind, as these are your opportunity to try something new. However, even the most brilliant ideas can fail if they don’t have a market.
That said, evaluate which among your ideas will be enticing enough for people to actually want to spend money on it. Ask yourself if the products or services you plan to offer will resolve your potential customers' problems. Price also plays a vital role, so think about how much people will be willing to spend to solve their problems.
If you have a physical product to sell but don’t want the hassle of creating your own website and marketing your product, an Amazon store is a great place to start. UK-based Entrepreneur Handbook also have loads of online business ideas you can start today, and our top picks are:
2. Research your competitors
Now that you know which of your business ideas could work best for you, the next thing to do is to understand what you’ll be facing. Do your research and find out how your potential competitors are doing business, what they’re charging and how they are promoting themselves and their products or services.
It’s crucial to know what’s out there so you can strategise accordingly to differentiate yourself. Understand what works for the same online business types and what doesn’t so that you can draw your inspiration from them. Learn from their best practices, as well as mistakes.
Above all, make sure you are very clear about your competitive advantage and what makes you unique in a crowded marketplace.
3. Identify your target market
Researching your target audience is just as crucial as learning about your competitors. It’s always a great idea to identify first which locations you plan to have a presence in to jumpstart your business. Then, learn about the demographics in that target area, such as age and income, so that you can determine the right approach once you launch your business.
4. Create a comprehensive business plan
Now that you have a good feel on how you’re going to fare in the online game, it’s time to put your business plan into writing. Be as comprehensive as possible and include details about your:
5. Build your online presence
The beauty of today’s digital technology is that there are heaps of options to let the world know that your small business exists. After all, what’s a business without customers? The best way for them to know about your products and services is to build an online presence.
Create a website that includes quality content, specifying the value of your offerings and their unique characteristics. Take advantage of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to post content about your online business. You can even publish teasers on these platforms while you’re busy developing your online business, so you create a sense of interest and anticipation.
Social media should be an important ongoing aspect of your communication strategy, so make sure you have a convincing call-to-action in all of your social media posts.
6. Utilise digital talent
When we say digital talent, we mean people with digital skills, such as analytics, automation, data management, and digital marketing expertise. There is some stiff competition out there for people with such skills, but initially you may not need anyone full time, so check out freelancers who will work on specific projects, such as web or app development, on a per-project basis.
What are you waiting for?
After following these six steps, you’re now ready to start your own online business. Well done! We know it isn’t easy and if you need a little financial assistance to get things started, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our business loans to $10,000* to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours – so you can turn your online business ideas into reality!
* Normal lending criteria applies.