Beginning a business online can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time.
There are so many things to do during the beginning stages of starting your own online business.
One area that we tend to neglect, is some of the things that we should do before we even ever start our online business.
Here are 9 things that you should do before starting an online business.
Select a Niche
One of the most crucial steps, is to select a niche, and stick to it!
Picking a niche for your new online business can be difficult.
But, if done correctly, it can also be one of the most important things you do.
Choosing a niche allows you to focus on creating a product that caters to your audience.
This will help you build trust and loyalty in them, which is the key to growth for any type of business.
In addition, choosing a niche enables you to test the waters before investing any time or money into something that could flop.
On the other hand, choosing the right niche can also hurt your chances of success.
If you try to start a business that nobody in your area knows about, or cares about, you are essentially throwing your business away.
Finding the right niche takes time and effort, but if you are patient and take action, you will discover the perfect niche for your business.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is the cornerstone of your business.
It outlines the activities, resources, budget, and timeline for creating your online business.
When you create a business plan, you have a better chance of succeeding, because you aren't just starting something; you are setting out a framework that you can build upon.
A business plan is more than just a fancy word for a creative vision.
It's a concrete way of thinking about your organization, its purpose, and how you will get there.
It gives others a better sense of what your end goal is, and helps you stay on track no matter how much you grow or change.
By putting together a solid business plan, you ensure there are no misunderstandings ever surrounding your business idea or product development.
Conduct Product Research
Before you can start your online business, you need to research what sort of products or services you're going to sell.
What is the purpose of your business?
Who are you serving?
How will you finance your operations?
These are just some of the questions you need to answer.
When you start researching options, don't get bogged down by the details.
Focus on getting as much information as possible on a product or service and deciding which ones will best serve your needs as an individual or business owner.
Research can be done in many ways: visiting a store, talking to an employee, and asking others who have already started their own business.
To learn more about product research, and market research, I recommend reading this article.
Define Your Target Market
One of the first steps to starting an online business is to define your target market.
What are you going to sell?
Are you going to compete with existing businesses or will you create a whole new business market?
Defining your target market will allow you to research the best companies to work with.
It will also help you find the most effective marketing strategies.
And, it will help you to understand who you need to market your products or services to.
Search Engine Optimization
One of the best ways to kickstart your online venture is to go directly to Google and start searching for keywords related to your industry.
In fact, this is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to get traffic for anything online, including this article.
It’s also one of the easiest, and costs nothing!
Once you find relevant keywords, you need to start creating content that is optimized for search engines.
If you don't understand SEO, you can take an online course, or you can hire an SEO agency to do it for you.
SEO is crucial as optimizing your content, is what will make your web pages rank in Google and other search engines.
This will bring traffic and potential customers to your website!
Increase Website Traffic
Traffic is one of the most important things for starting an online business.
The more people who see your website, the more likely it is that someone will buy from you.
Starting an online business is challenging, but if you take the time to optimize your website and build an effective marketing plan you can tap into an unstoppable source of traffic and business.
Many new businesses ignore this tactic and fall flat on their faces because they don't have a plan.
Start with these tips and you'll be on track to building a solid website in no time!
- Regularly create high-quality niche-specific content
- Optimize your content to rank in search engines
- Create relevant YouTube videos
- Run a paid ad campaign
- Be active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms
Read this article to discover even more tactics that you can use to increase your website's traffic.
Use Your Connections
One of the most important things that you should do before starting an online business is to expand your network, and use your existing connections.
Many people underestimate how valuable advice or help from someone else can be.
Networking is like the third leg of your business, and if you don’t develop it properly you could struggle to grow.
Many entrepreneurs take their first couple of steps in entrepreneurship without knowing what networking is, or how to get in touch with others who can help them grow.
Build a network of people around you, that can help you to prosper.
Create Social Media Pages
When you’re starting an online business of any kind, it’s important to have a presence on all the major platforms.
One of the first things you need to do is register your domain and create social media pages for your business.
When you’re ready to launch, you can promote your new site using social media channels until it has at least a few followers.
Social media pages you should create:
You can use a social media management tool to schedule your content, and view in-depth analytics for your pages, I like to use Buffer for this.
Start an Email List
It may not be used much at the start, but having an email list is crucial to growing an online business.
So, if you're serious about starting an online business, start an email list.
It may sound simple, but too many people miss this step.
An email list, is a list of email addresses from people who have bought a product from you, or subscribed to your newsletter via your website.
Then, when you launch a new product, or just want to send an update to your email list subscribers, you can send them all an email at once by using your email list.
Once you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to start your online business.