So you have been thinking long and hard about starting an online business. And you’re about to pull the trigger, but you are not quite sure how to go about starting the process.
It is really pretty straightforward actually after you determine the service or products you intend to offer. You need to get very clear about what you will offer and figure out your angle – or your ‘unique selling proposition’ – USP for short.
Your Starting Budget
One factor that will determine your path is whether or not you have a budget to start with – and more importantly, how big is that budget?
Many marketers conduct the entirety of their online business through paid advertising, and many of them have done very well with that model. However, there is a learning curve that can get very expensive that comes with learning how to use online paid advertising.
On the other hand, it is very possible for those starting an online business to do it for less than $50. In fact, you could probably do it for much less than that.
There’s an old saying among online marketers that says “you’ll spend either your time or your money on your online business, so take your pick.” And they are not wrong when they say this.
Your Launching Platform
Now that you are clear about your objective, and you have established your starting budget, you need to determine a platform that will be your main online presence. For the majority of people, this is usually a blog or website. There are a few who launch from a social media entity like a Facebook page.
However, unless you already have a huge following on a social media platform, it is recommended that you begin with a website. This website is your base and where you will direct all of your future traffic. When you go about starting an online business, you need to have a focal point.
The first thing you will need to do is figure out what to call your business. Branding is very important these days, so try to make it something short and catchy. Secondly, you should craft a mission statement, a 30-50 word bio, and a short slogan or tagline.
Finally, you will need to get a nice logo designed. You can either design it yourself or get one done very inexpensively on Fiverr for $5-$15. Many people delay doing this at first, but I recommend you get it done from the start to strengthen your branding.
Your Domain and Hosting
Now you need to register a domain. I recommend you go to either Namecheap or Internetbs and get either a “.com”, “.net”, or a “.org”. Personally, I like Internetbs because they provide free “Who is” service which blocks your registrar data.
Hopefully, you will be able to get the name you decided to call your business. Sometimes you will need to modify your domain name a little. For instance, if you call yourself the “Red Shoe Store” and it is already taken, then try something like “TheRedShoeStore” or “ARedShoeStore” or even “RedShoeStoreNow”. Don’t worry about the modification; it is not as important as you think, but you shouldn’t use any numbers or hyphens in your domain.
Next, you will need hosting. Never get your hosting and your domain from the same company. If you become unhappy with the hosting service, they will never let you move your domain to another company. Always keep them separate.
You should get your hosting with a company that has a long history and a good record of online time. I have used many of them and there are lots of good ones out there.
If you have never registered your domain or setup hosting, there are lots of great tutorials on YouTube that will show you how. In fact, most companies now have videos that show you how to use their service. Don’t worry if you are a non-techie, it’s pretty simple actually.
Your Online Presence
Now it is time to boost your brand. The best starting point is through social media. You now should create social media profiles on all of the main social media sites. As you make each profile, you need to include your mission statement, your slogan, and your logo. Finally, you need to post a link back to your website.
Now you have the main points about starting an online business, you are ready to begin your quest. As you can see, it is not that hard to start your online business, the hardest is promoting it and making your brand popular.