How To Start A Small Business Online

How To Start A Small Business Online

Regardless of what part of the globe you are located, you can start a small business online so long as you have an Internet connection. You can start pretty much any business online these days within hours. However, your success in an online business will be determined by your determination to succeed and your hungry audience or customers if you have any.

The reason I’m writing this post is because a lot of people have come to ask me what and how they can make a living setting up an online business; and how to grow their already established businesses.
I agree we all come from different backgrounds which can sometimes influence our success rates. Nonetheless, the key fundamental principle of making it online is knowing what people want and how you can meet those needs. That is, your customers, their needs and how to meet those needs. Eventually, their needs will become your product / service.

This post is going to focus on the basic requirements for starting a small business online. I have been in the midst of people who started with these strategies and became really successful at them.

10 Key Requirements For Starting A Business Online:

These tips are for both startup and an established businesses alike.

1. What Are People Searching For Online (do you also have a passion for it)?

People search for different things online because they want those needs met. Rather than you forcing a product or service on people, start by asking what they need. Or simply put, do research on what people are looking for to see how you can meet those needs. For example:

a). Visit or attend business network events or forums.
I attend business forums, business networks and meetings, for instance, and I am amazed to hear the questions people ask sometimes. This is one of the reasons I have set up my blog to meet those needs as I may not be able to have a 1-2-1 conversation with everyone.
b). Do a google or an online search on what your passion is to know if there is a demand for it. I’m surprised at how many people, across the globe, have actually searched for how to start a small business online for free at home. You too can do your own research to find what your potential customers are looking for online.
c). Who are your competitors and what are they doing to meet those needs? The online is vast; nothing is new under the sun. Find out what they are doing, learn from them and improve on their mistakes.

2). Start A Blog

Start a blog based on your researched product or service. There are many free blog platforms like Tumblr.com, Google Blogger platform (Blogspot.com) and WordPress. But if you have an already established website, you can start a blog alongside of it using either a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org, or any of the free platforms.
You can set up your blog (free) or by using a self-hosted blog with either free themes or premium themes. I recently started a WordPress self-hosted blog on fashion (my hobby) using a Premium WordPress theme by StudioPress. You too can do the same, or you can just use a free blog platform to begin with if financing it will be an issue. This is another way of starting a business based on your passion or hobby if there is a market for it.

Note that the key to a very successful blog is the HEADLINE. Research your headline before you write and publish it. This is similar to writing a book. What would attract people to want to read your blog and what benefit will they derive from reading it? Follow the following steps to guarantee your online business success.
Your blog should be in the following structure:

a). Introduction
b). What is the purpose of the blog
c). Why are you writing about it (your passion, expertise, etc)
d). Why should people want to believe in what you are writing
e). If it is about a physical product you are selling, state the benefits to the proposed customers
f). Further description on how to buy the item or service
g). How can you convince them particularly if your product is online and they don’t know you or are not familiar with the product. How can you convince them they are buying the right product / service? This where guarantee come in.
h). Create a scarcity – for example, is there a special offer to buy within 5 days at a reduced price? etc.,
i). Make a sale and repeat the process.

NOTE: Your freedom is limited when using a free blog platform. That is, you can’t install plugins and other cool effects that you might like to see on your website. But using a free blog is a great starting point.

3. Start a YouTube Series To Drive Free Traffic

Be aware that no one is going to notice your blog unless you broadcast it. Drive traffic to your blog by posting a YouTube video once per week and also embedding it on your blog with a summary of what the video is all about. YouTube is free to use, and you can also use your phone to make the video, because most phones have the facilities installed these days.

Create articles that will benefit your customers and share them freely via YouTube and encourage people to share them with their friends.

4. Build Subscribers List

You will need to build your subscribers list using an email provider. There are various ones, some of which are free until your list reaches a certain number. Starting with Mailchimp, iContact, Aweber, GetResponse, etc., some of these email providers will allow you to create sign-up (optin) forms to capture names and emails. Just choose one to start with and you can always change to another one if necessary.
Take advantage of the email lists you have built through your optin forms and market to them regularly most specifically when you are about to launch a new product. Your list should be the first to know about your new launch.

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Your list is the most valuable possession for your business. There is money in the list, so look after your list properly and carefully as it (e-mail marketing) is the cheapest marketing option for any online business. Develop a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.

5. Set Up A Regular Newsletter

Set up a newsletter to go out once a week with your blog updates or any news you have to share with your subscribers using your chosen email provider.

Include in the newsletter new product launch info, if you have one coming soon; online coupons to redeem on next purchase, etc.
In a nutshell, use the newsletter to sell to your list over and over again.

NOTE: A newsletter sent out once a week is ideal, otherwise you will lose your customers if you bombard them with sales every now and then (say, 3 times a week for example)

6. Market Your Product or Service On Facebook

I am assuming you have a Facebook page for your blog, if not, set one up as soon as possible. Send updates to your page four (4) times a day to keep your followers engaged and to attract new followers. Tell your followers to share your product link with their friends on Facebook.

7. Advertise New Product Launch

Send your course / product update to your list via email and social media and ask them to sign-up for the new course. Offer special offer price for early sign ups.

8. Attend Business Network Events And Forum

To enhance your knowledge and to promote your business, network with other businesses in your field to exchange ideas and perhaps collaborate for a good cause. You just need to keep attending network events because that is the way to see people to sell to, learn from and partner with. No one can succeed in isolation.

9. Ask Questions

Always be willing to ask anyone any question whenever you are stuck on any idea, because nobody is perfect. The more open you are with others and are willing to learn, the faster and more successful you will be with your online business.

10. Continuous Improvement

Nobody knows it all. With continuous improvement, you continue to learn new things to share with your audience or subscribers, otherwise, you will lose them to your competitors.
No one said it was ever going to be easy, but with your commitment and persistence, you will make it to your desired level.
Remember that Rome was not built in a day. Start small and aim to go higher; hopefully one day you will look back at your small beginning, laugh at yourself and appreciate every effort.
If you already have an established online business, do a review of your performance and activities to determine where you have gotten it wrong and improve on it. Use these basics to manage a business of your own even if this is the first time of reading about them.

The secret of success is the consistency to pursue
– Harry F. Banks

Years ago, the internet was a sceptical place for businesses; theses days if your business is not online, you may be missing your potential online profits.

Rule of the thumb: don’t ever underestimate the power of your subscribers by treating them shabbily. Value them and their inputs, treat them well and you will earn their loyalty for ever.

Your lists or your customers are the bloodline of your business. Reward them kindly and they will remain loyal to you for time to come.

The people who search online for a product or service are going to be your customers; the item they are searching for will be your product or service.

To Recap:

  • Your customers are people who search online for goods and services.
  • The product / service they have searched for online will be your product / service to sell
  • Their searched criteria will be your blog title or the headline for your post.

Go on, don’t delay or procrastinate the idea of starting your own online business. Starting a small business online is as easy as ABC once you follow the basic principles above.

Do you like this post, let others benefit from it as well.

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