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How to Start an Online Business?

The way you start a business has dramatically changed in the last ten years. It mainly concerned the transpiring of the classical form of entrepreneurship to the online forms. Moreover, it is not just about shifting to online from offline; it is also about appearing in new directions and niche due to the extension of Internet commerce.

Have you ever thought about starting your own online business? Since the pandemic, this has been more true than ever. Most companies were forced to shift to an online platform. The thing is that unlike offline, online business can be easier to create and run from a legal standpoint. This material is a guide that walks you through the basic recommendations helping to start an online business.

Doing business online doesn’t generally demand capital investment, using expensive tangible assets, hiring staff, etc. However, you will need a computer, stable internet connection, persistence, and a clear vision of the marketing trends and specifics. The idea of becoming self-employed, having no bosses, losing no time for getting to the office, and having flexible working hours is appealing to many people. That is why there are nearly 40 million home-based enterprises in the USA!

The situation with the risks of Coronavirus caused sky-rocketing the rate of online activity and business. However, the whole thing isn’t as simple as it might seem.

First, to succeed, you need to have something to offer potential clients. These are the steps we believe one shouldn’t pass to set up an online business.

1. What is the big idea? So, the essential thing is what you are going to sell, what product or service.

Here we listed standard directions people choose to do online businesses

Become a consultant or expert
Being good at something allows selling your expertise and competence. Determine the thing you can do to help other people. It might be tutoring – many pupils and students need help preparing for exams, tests, writing compositions, or researching. If you got a degree and can provide education service, well, you already have what to sell to customers.

Besides tutoring providing services in SEO, SMM, Setting Google Ads is in great demand and consultation in business planning and marketing.

If you think you could do online consulting but feel a lack of necessary knowledge, you might consider leveling your skills up via taking educational courses or certifications. It is a reasonable business strategy to invest some money and time to get good skills to earn money with their help afterward.

Start selling hand-made on Etsy.
Being capable of producing craft stuff allows us to turn it into a business model. As there is already a popular platform like Etsy, you don’t need to invest money in creating your web page and promoting it.
This marketplace has united thousands of crafters from around the world. It is easy to operate with, so it won’t take you long to deploy pics of your stuff and start selling.

Dropshipping
Unlike setting your online source for eCommerce, dropshipping doesn’t demand such a significant undertaking and upfront investment. There is no necessity to buy, manage to ship, and store the products.

Just create your website or use a telegram channel or Viber group to sell the products while a third-party wholesaler pays all the other expenditures.

And when a client has bought a product, you create an order with a third party, which is a whole deal. This third party provides delivery of the product to the buyer on your behalf.

Drop-Shipping saves time, money and minimizes your risks.

Freelance
When you have a full-time job, you sell your time, efforts, and skills generally for a lower price than when you do the same but in the freelance basement. But, freelancers often do not have medical insurance or paid vacation time. Meanwhile, since you are only working when needed, you may experience fluctuations in income.
There are many online platforms accumulating orders and executors of the freelance format.
Copywriters, internet marketers, web designers, illustrators, and many specialists in many other fields feel comfortable working as freelancers.

Being a freelancer allows you to regulate the volume of the job you need to do and pick up the orders that you consider the most interesting for you.
The list of the possible ideas for online business is not comprehensive. There might be hundreds of feasible ideas for online entrepreneurship. It is up to you to choose the one from the mentioned or draw up your own.

2. Define your Niche

Great, now that you have worked out a couple of ideas about what business you want to try. The next step is to determine the focused business area of your market. For example, are you selling jeans, coats, or shoes – these are the specialized niches in the fashion market.
Concentrating on a niche has significant benefits.

There are fewer competitors
Easier to start sales
Easier to target and attract clients

Finding a niche is a part of marketing planning which is a crucial part of business planning. The importance of both – business and marketing plans should not be undervalued. These legal documents and plans are better to be worked out by professionals. It will decrease the risks of investing money and time to invest in an online business.

3. Paint a Portrait of your Potential Client

It’s best to define the target audience you plan to sell your products /services to. If you have detected those needs and interests, fears, expectations, and values, you know what product your audience requires and will purchase. Similar needs and interests can virtually group different individuals. Targeting helps segmentation at least on location, demographics, and level of income.
Marketing as science suggests «Customer Matrix» as an instrument of Marketing Planning. You can google it and try to fill such a Matrix of your customers on your own or apply for professional business consultants’ help.

4. Selling

As the idea is ready, you have defined the niche and filled out your customer matrix; it is time to start selling.

Online business engages a broad spectrum of tools. For example, you can use social media, websites, messengers, marketplaces, email marketing, or the whole scope of these instruments simultaneously.
Promoting and attracting target audiences may appear a bit complicated. You can use platforms such as Google advertisement, social media advertisement, copywriting, and other instruments. But, you can either learn how to use them or arrange a freelancer’s help.
The channel you will choose depends on your target audience. For example, different social and demographic groups prefer different ways of searching and purchasing products or services. For instance, Take LinkedIn is most popular among U.S. adults between 25 to 49 years old. On the other hand, Facebook attracts the older generation, while Instagram attracts the younger demographic.

5. Legally Compliance

This is the last checkpoint of our guide and probably the most crucial component. You need to ensure that it is legally compliant with the law when you start an online business.

It’s best to speak with a corporate lawyer on this topic as the licensing, getting permits, certificates vary significantly depending on the specific industry and state in which you choose to conduct your activity.

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