How to Set Up A Successful Online Business?Mar 29, 2022
Are you pondering about starting on your own and building an online business? Are you stuck in a 9-5 job that feels like 24/7, and you want to change? Have an idea for a business but not sure where to start? I've been there and done that all. Changing from a corporate job, I became my own boss and never looked back. But while 'Being Your Own Boss' sounds sassy (and absolutely awesome if you ask me), one should never underestimate the work that needs to go into it to make it a success and the power of planning. It's essential that you have a plan and follow the correct process to lay a solid foundation for your upcoming online business idea. Therefore, I've created a quick guide to help budding entrepreneurs like you make the right move forward. Let's get started!
1. Choose a Profitable Business Idea
Businesses are built upon an idea. And online businesses are no exception. So, I suggest you writing down all the major and minor online business ideas that come to your mind. Carry the list with you because you might get an idea at the most random times!
Write them down on your phone or a notebook to never lose that “billion-dollar idea.” That’s not it. You should also do your due diligence to figure out the most profitable niches and industries you can start an online business in. Here are a few questions you’d like to answer:
- What are you naturally good or skilled at selling?
- What problems can you solve with your products?
- Which niche/industry is easiest to get started in?
2. Create a Business Website
Have you determined the online business idea by figuring out a suitable niche and products to sell? It’s high time you created a business website. Central to an online business, a website establishes your online presence and acts like a store your potential customers may visit. I use Kajabi for my website because I want to be able to make adjustments, updates and changes without having to involve any third party in the process. Kajabi is an online platform that will let you do just that and so much more. I am hosting my online products in a shop, my blog and my upcoming course. I can't recommend it enough!
3. Competitor Analysis
Shortlist the features and functionalities you’d want to add to your website before you start designing. The analysis will help you create a unique brand voice and identify areas of improvement - giving you an edge over the competitors off the bat. Here are a few steps involved in designing a business website:
- Know the primary purpose of your website
- Decide your website’s domain name
- Choose a web host
- Build your pages
- Set up a payment system
- Invest in website SEO
4. Develop Content to Attract your Target Audience
It’s time you strategise to figure out how to drive traffic to your website. After all, you don’t just want to build a website and wait for visitors to come. You will have to make them find you! An excellent way to do that is by creating content online. You can start that by creating blog posts. High-quality and SEO-friendly blog posts help websites rank in Google search results.
Consequently, such content brings in organic traffic and allows readers to pin them on Pinterest, where online users are always looking for products and services. The rule of thumb with content production is to create content that helps solve your target audience’s problems. Smartly weave your products and services into the content so your visitors know who to consult to gain the benefits.
Here are some of the types of content that will help you connect with your ideal customers:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Guides and how-tos
- Master classes
- Live sessions
Gone are the days when you had to hire a designer to create beautiful content for your brand. Of course, you can still do that if you have the budget; however, startups and solopreneurs, especially at the beginning of their journey, have limited funds. Canva Pro makes everything easy because you can create your own content with no design skills in minutes.
I am a trained graphic designer and can use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but I mostly use Canva. Just so simple and convenient with stock photos, pre-designed templates and fonts, all you need is a bit of your imagination and vision, and you are good to go!
5. Create a Digital Marketing Strategy
Content creation can only take your online business so far. You’ll have to resort to online marketing to make sure the content works. After all, you want to post the content on the right online platforms and attract the right audience to your online business. To market your business efficiently, you’ll have to consider the following steps:
- Conduct competitors’ strategy analysis
- Know your target audience demographics and interests
- Publish content with best practices
- Choose your online channels and tactics
- Analyse the strategy performance and adjust
6. Analyse your Business Performance
Lastly, you should strive to create a sustainable online business. It’s essential that you analyse and clearly understand your business performance and monitor results in real-time. Collect as much data as possible and monitor the results using Google Analytics and other tools. Set up KPIs like website traffic, conversion rate, bounce rate, referral traffic, CTRs, page views, site speed, and more.
Generate weekly/monthly reports and adjust your business strategy accordingly. When you understand what performs well and what type of content brings potential customers to your website, you are able to create more of those.
Modern-day consumers prefer making online purchases. But that doesn’t mean setting up an online business will automatically bring you customers. You will have to push yourself and market your business as your life depends on it. Most importantly, you must prepare to endure and stay patient throughout the process because business success doesn’t happen overnight. There you have it. I shared some of the fundamental tips you’ll need to start an online business. Did you find the post helpful? If you want to read more about running your online business, and perhaps ready to scale up, go and check out these article about The Best Ways to Scale Up your Online Business.