Steps To Start A Small Online Business - Win The Wealth Game

Steps To Start A Small Online Business

By Dr. Daleen Smal | Online Business

Feb 03
Steps To Start A Small Business

Are you tired of working for someone else? One can’t help but feel a sting while making money for someone else. If you’re wondering how to start a small online business, you’ve come to the right place.

The American Dream is going through a rough patch in recent years. By the looks of it, more entrepreneurs are now looking to start out on their own. In the USA, venture capital investment in startups has surged to $148 billion. This is great news if you’re planning a startup.

I’m going to take a look at the various steps to start a small online business. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

By the looks of it, more entrepreneurs are now looking to start out on their own. In the USA, venture capital investment in startups has surged to $148 billion. This is great news if you’re planning a startup.

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1. Research, Research and Research

This is where you take out the microscope. It may be time-consuming, but it pays in the end. It’s the smart thing to do if you’re starting a business. The importance of researching the market you plan to move into can never be overstated.

Nowadays, entrepreneurs can use Google to find all the information they need. You will be surprised how much you will be able to learn by spending a few hours searching the internet. Do your homework before jumping into the business. You must do research to gauge the viability of your business idea.

Whether you’re starting a business online or opening a brick-and-mortar shop, the scope of the market research you undertake will be defined by your objectives. Market research covers the areas;

  • Identifying your customer base.
  • Discovering the quality of a similar product or service provided by competitors in your niche.
  • Understanding the different channels of communication that your competitors use.
  • Noticing the effectiveness of their sales strategies, and
  • General information that you will need before you start.

Research is a crucial part of starting a business since 8 out of 10 startups fail within the first 18 months. Keeping that little statistic in mind, you would be smart to give yourself better odds for your business to survive and thrive.

Key Points:

  • The importance of researching the market you plan to move into can never be overstated.
  • You must do research to gauge the viability of your business idea.
  • Doing your homework is a crucial part of starting a business since 8 out of 10 startups fail within the first 18 months. 

2. Be Honest With Yourself

If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you will need to be honest with yourself. You will enter a market where there is competition. Competition is a sign there is money in that market. No competition is a sign nobody makes money in that area. It will be like drilling for water in the middle of the desert. The message is short: don’t go there. 

With all this competition, you will need to answer a very important question, “Can I do it better or cheaper?” Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the difficult questions, and get advice from others if you have to. Having a mentor usually helps in this area.

Research the market, the competition, and the customers, and validate your main value proposition. Engage your initial customers on social media to get real feedback. More often than not, entrepreneurs make the mistake of going with the idea that they think will work. If you want to be successful, you need to know what works and what won’t and potential customer input is vital.

While honesty is not always seen as an important trait for entrepreneurs, it does help entrepreneurs along the way to success. The truth is, the launch of your startup will be the most important time for you. You must establish a strong and stable company culture and the foundation of your business. Doing that by lying to yourself or your customers is the wrong way to go.

It really doesn’t matter if there have been others before you, as long as you come up with the main value proposition that’s better. A good example here is Google, which started out in 1998. Were they the first search engine? Certainly not, there were at least a dozen search engines up and running at the time.

That didn’t stop Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. Two things that Google was better at right from the start was that it was 10X faster and had a much deeper index (meaning more relevant results) as compared to their competitors. That was their main value proposition. So, what’s yours?

Key Points:

  • If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you will need to be honest with yourself.
  • Competition is a sign there is money in that market. No competition is a sign nobody makes money in that area.
  • If you want to be successful, you need to know what works and what won’t and potential customer input is vital.
  • While honesty is not always seen as an important trait for entrepreneurs, it does help entrepreneurs along the way to success.
  • You must establish a strong and stable company culture and the foundation of your business. 

3. Create A Killer Business Plan

You can’t call yourself serious about your startup unless you have a plan. A plan will help you map the future of your business. A good business plan does not have to be page after page of meticulous details. It should contain the most important factors that will be relevant to your business and reflect your ideas. Try to describe what your product or service is as clear as possible. 

Decide on ways in which you wish to market your new product or service, the pricing model you will follow, the areas you’re good at, and your competitors. Your business plan could also assess future opportunities or provide detailed alternative scenarios that could arise in the future. Write down your goals and the resources that will be required to achieving them.

Key Points:

  • You can’t call yourself serious about your startup unless you have a plan.
  • Your plan only needs to contain the most important factors that will be relevant to your business and reflect your ideas.  
  • Write down your goals and the resources that will be required to achieving them.

4. Know Your Product

To make your product or service worthy of your customer’s attention, you will have to distinguish it from the rest. There’s only one way of doing that. Knowing your product means being able to answer two fundamental questions about your product. “What does your product consist of?” and “What are its benefits to the customer?”

You will need to know all the components that make up your product in detail. Even if you are offering a service, it will be made up of something you provide customers. If you are starting a web designing service, then you need to describe what types of website design you offer. Do you offer hosting services? And what about after-sales maintenance? There are plenty of questions you can come up with once you start thinking about what your business is made of.

The second important question to answer is what are the benefits of your new product or service. The benefits are the most important to customers but you must also describe the features. 

There has to be a difference between the products that are already available in the market and the product you offer. Why should a customer buy your product if they can get the same thing from someone else?

Fortunately, buyers are often motivated to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. Your personality and character become the distinguishing factor. The question then often becomes how do you make yourself an attractive character to your audience. 

To find out what the features and benefits are of your brand, you need to understand everything there is to know about it and what makes it unique. While you’re at it, try to answer these questions:

  • What makes your product unique?
  • Is your price competitive?
  • What are the delivery mechanisms?
  • How is your product packaged?
  • How will it benefit your customers?

The point is, the more you know about your product or service, and how it benefits your customer, the better you will be able to explain it to your target audience. 

Key Points:

  • Knowing your product means being able to answer two fundamental questions about your product. “What does your product consist of?” and “What are its benefits?”
  • There has to be a difference between the products that are already available in the market and the product you offer. 
  • Your personality and character become the distinguishing factor. 
  • The more you know about how the product will benefit your customer, the better you will be able to explain it to your target audience. 

5. Write Down Your Marketing Plan

During your research phase, you should be able to come up with a few ideas and get some insights on how your competition is doing their marketing. Once you’ve answered the question of how to start your own business, you need to get started with your marketing plan.

Create a persona of your ideal customer. This will include the demographics and importantly, the psychographics of your target audience. What is their interest? What problems do they want to be solved? What are their desires? If you don’t target a tightly defined audience, it will confuse your marketing efforts and lead to poor results because you speak to too broad an audience with no real connection. A big mistake is to try and be all things to everyone.

Remember, these questions need to be answered in relation to the product you want to sell. The better you understand your customer and what they want to achieve, the better your marketing plan will be. There is a saying: He who understands his customer best wins.

When it’s time to decide on the different social media channels to use, going with popular outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will be a good place to start. These platforms are currently ruling the landscape in terms of engagement levels.

Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform with over 68% of adults in the US using the social platform. Other popular social media sites that can be used in your marketing efforts are LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

While using social media outlets for marketing, you would want to be using the same social media outlets as your target audience. Find out which social media platform your target audience uses the most and create your presence there. It’s important to start with only one platform and focus on it until you’ve become a master in that platform. Rather do one thing exceptionally well than many things mediocre. 

Key Points:

  • Create a persona of your ideal customer.
  • A big mistake is to try and be all things to everyone.
  • The better you understand your customer and what they want to achieve, the better your marketing plan will be. 
  • Find out which social media platform your target audience uses the most and create your presence there. 
  • It’s important to start with only one platform and focus on it until you’ve become a master in that platform. 

6. Do Financial Planning 

One of the questions that most entrepreneurs who are starting often ask themselves is, “do I need financial projections?” The short answer is yes, you do. Making financial projections is an important factor in starting up a business. You have to decide on a price for your product or service. Will you charge a monthly subscription fee and if yes, how much? What are your monthly costs to run the business? Will you even be able to make a profit? When will you break even?

As a rule of thumb, always put your finances first. Hire an accountant, or offer a barter with a bookkeeper since you will need to have someone watching over your finances from day one. He who doesn’t keep an eye on his money will lose it.  

Key Points:

  • Making financial projections is an important factor in starting up a business. 
  • As a rule of thumb, always put your finances first, even if you have to hire someone.
  • He who doesn’t keep an eye on his money will lose it.  

Conclusion

Once you’ve got your big idea, remember, it is all about taking action. Your ideas are worth nothing without taking action. Procrastination is not going to help your ambition. You won’t need to re-invent the wheel. Be prepared to get your hands dirty with hard work and don’t be afraid to test your potential. You’ll be surprised to discover how far you can push yourself.

Learn More

Do you want to learn more about how to start your own online business?

In our learn-on-demand course How To Start An Online Business That Actually Succeed you can get your online business off the ground fast.

Many people talk about starting a business, but few make it past the dreaming stage. And even fewer get their business launched and earning enough to reach their financial goals.

In this course, you'll go step-by-step through the critical steps for getting a new business off the ground.

Head over to our course to learn more about the course and then decide if you want to sign up.

Start An Online Business That Actually Succeed

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