A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Start a Successful Online Business

March 27, 2018 Off By Hoofer
There is more to running an online business than having a great product or service. Entrepreneurs need to think about their brand, online security, data management and market viability. If you want to start on the path to success, here is a step-by-step guide on how to start a successful online business.

Step One: Identify a Niche

Before you consider launching a business online, you need to identify where your business will fit in the industry, and you’ll need to find the right products to fill a gap in the market and complement your branding. To do so, research the different niches in your industry and aim to identify potential problem areas so you can find the best solution for your customers.

Step Two: Assess Market Viability

Once you have identified the right business idea, you will need to gain a detailed understanding of your market viability. For example, what is the stock keeping unit (SKU) number your business will require, and will you have enough storage space to accommodate demand? Is there a demand for a new business or product in your industry? How many competitors will you need to compete with online? Aim to discover the answers to these questions before you move forward.

Step Three: Conduct Market Research

Before you embark on the brand development process, it would be wise to embark on market research, which will help you to identify if you have the best business idea and product range before you launch your online venture. For example, you should undertake keyword research, arrange focus groups, and evaluate market trends. This will help you to identify areas that may work, and how you can improve upon other companies’ shortcomings. As a result, this can help you define your brand and market positioning.

Step Four: Understand Online Business Laws

Many online businesses will need to adhere to various business laws, so you will need to familiarize yourself with the different requirements, which could make or break your business. For example, your company might be faced with zoning laws, trademark problems, and shipping restrictions.

Step Five: Discover Data Storage Options

Many new online companies underestimate the importance of securely storing consumer data. However, you have a responsibility to secure your customers’ personal information, and there will be significant legal repercussions if you do not adhere to data protection. Don’t make the mistake of storing sensitive data in filing cabinets and local servers, which can be easily accessed by trespassers, cybercriminals, and staff. Instead, turn to a cloud computing solution, which offers safe, secure, and extensive storage space.

Step Six: Learn About Your Target Demographic

Unfortunately, many aspiring entrepreneurs market their new business to everyone, with the hope this will allow them to experience as much revenue as possible. Yet, this can be a big mistake, as you risk ostracizing the best consumers for your product. So, you must identify your ideal shopper, as well as their likes, dislikes, and how you can tailor your branding, product and website experience to their taste and needs.

Step Seven: Start Sourcing Your Product

Only when you have followed the above six steps should you start sourcing your product for your new business. That’s because you will understand the right product for the right customer and will understand how your business can meet their needs in the market in line with your company’s legal requirements.

Step Eight: Build Your E-commerce Store

As soon as you have sourced your product, the business can really begin. Your next step should be to build an e-commerce store that not only promotes your product but reflects your branding and offers an attractive design with easy navigation. Keep your primary target audience in mind whilst developing and designing your website.

Step Nine: Write Compelling Content

The content on your website can determine your success online. You must strive to write compelling content that provides informative information on your brand, products, and services, and use copy that grabs their attention on every page on your website.

For example, you should spark their interest on your site with a compelling headline, and you should describe how a product can solve a customer problem. Discuss how the product will benefit the user and create a sense of urgency to encourage them to make a purchase online. If available, add past customer testimonials regarding your products to encourage trust in your business and product range. You should also strive to regularly publish high-quality blog posts that will educate and entertain the reader, whilst driving traffic to your landing pages in the search engines.

Step Ten: Optimize Your Website

Of course, once your website is up and running, you will want as many people to visit your website as possible to explore your product range. However, you should not sit back and wait for traffic to arrive at your new website once built, as you will need to proactively drive users to your landing pages. To do so, you will need to optimize your website to ensure your site ranks in the search engines for select keywords. Regularly publish fresh, unique content on your website that naturally features the keywords and phrases you want to rank for online. You’ll also need to optimize your website with meta descriptions, alt tags, header tags, and title tags.

Step Eleven: Run a PPC Campaign

Of course, it can take a great deal of time for new websites to experience a considerable amount of traffic. The easiest way for new sites to enjoy a great amount of traffic could be through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. A PPC ad will appear in the search engines immediately and will allow you to test various keywords, headlines, and sales approaches online, which can support your future SEO and content marketing campaigns. You’ll also experience a significant amount of organic traffic from people potentially interested in your product, which could potentially help you experience an immediate return on your investment.