Business Online: Your 6-Step Guide to building a digital business
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It is a hard yard! Businesses though easy to imagine are difficult to execute. It takes guile, determination, and persistence to get what you want. Perhaps, the same goes for online businesses.
As much as it is beneficial, online is a deceptive place for someone who is just starting out. It is easy to get carried away with different sets of trends. Besides, the incredible number of success stories these days do make people dreamers and impatient. Hence, making them commit to something that they are not fully aware of.
In the aftermath, the results are well-known. Nevertheless, we are not here for a lecture or two, are we? No! We are here to assert that online is a chamber of success. However, for that, you have to be ready and guarded with appropriate information.
You have to understand the basics of the market, market behaviour, and consuming bandwidth. Apart from that, you also have to cope with numerous factors starting from as basic as niche and the competition that you will face. Besides, there has to be a process that sets you in the right direction.
To ensure that you do that, here are a few steps that might help you and serve as a guide on starting your business online:
Type: Know where to plant your foot!
Among many steps, this is the most important yet basic thing that a young entrepreneur must do. Your market is everything and without a proper understanding of this, the road to success is bleak.
Nonetheless, here are a few markets that you can explore for your products or services:
For starters, Amazon is an online retail store. From a pencil to a treadmill, everything is available online on Amazon. Hence, asserting the fact that a warehouse does not necessarily require a store(Physical).
Perhaps, it is an apt place to sell directly to your consumers. Besides, having an online retail store makes it easy for both parties to form a substantial relationship. However, despite all the promises, one has to be cautious of the fact that quality matters for an online retail store.
Given we have been through a pandemic and people areー now more than everー aware of their needs, it becomes crucial to ensure a smooth and pleasant shopping experience. Be it products, customer service, or payment, you have to be at it! After all, online is the synonym of comfort.
Service as software is not only a medium but also a means! Since the pandemic caused havoc, the gig economy has seen unprecedented growth in the professional sector. Perhaps, the best example of that is Freshworks going from zero to hero in a matter of a day!
True to its nature, affiliate marketing has established itself over the years and the pandemic to become a powerful source of online business. Away from the mundane routine, this form of marketing is like providing ice cream to a crying baby.
It is not about being the best; rather, it is about being right at the right time. To substantiate this, have a look at the fact that 81% of the brands and 84% of the publishers have contributed to the success of affiliate marketing. Besides, an increase of 10.1% in affiliate marketingー numbers crossing $6.8 billionー is enough to justify that one must think of this as a medium of income.
You have everything and nothing at the same time! Dropshipping makes you a businessman/woman without putting you in a tight spot. Your business is just a medium that is acting as a bridge between the seller and your consumer. Here the process is as simple as this:
- You receive/accept order
- You provide the details to the concerned supplier
- Your supplier acknowledges and proceeds with the order
- Your customer receives it and you get the desired payment
It is as hassle-free as you want! Given that you rely on a third party to provide your orders, you will be required to pay the supplier its due share. Moreover, you have to take notice that there may be dealers who depend on you to provide the orders. Hence, asserting the need to have good coordination with your product supplier.
If you have an eye for talent, content, and want, you can definitely gear yourself for starting a subscription-based platform. Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and Spotify have defied the norms and have brought about a revolution in content creation.
However, this content is only for a layman. Apart from easing the need to go to a theatre or an FM, these platforms have shown that the subscription-based model is sustainable and can be replicated with different modifications. Besides, they help in producing an ecosystem that is inclusive and considerate of everyone. Moreover, it helps in covering the entire spectrum of needs that possibly can arise out of a normal routine of homo sapiens.
Plan and know your market:
“Plans are nothing, planning is everything”- Dwight D Eisenhower.
Indeed, you may make thousands of plans but it is the systematic execution of those plans that matters the most. Perhaps, this is the reason why businesses like Amazon and Walmart stay while others perish.
Given that you are coming for a source of income, it is imperative that you have proper planning in place as to what and how you want to achieve. Moreover, you must understand the who, why, what, where, and how of the decision making of your consumer.
For that, you must take some timeー before entering the marketplaceー to understand the various nitty and gritty of your consumer and their placeーstreet, town, state, or country. Moreover, you must have an eye for trends and festivals as these trigger buyers into making those purchasing decisions.
A successful online business is one that is able to hold the pulse of the market. Likewise, they are able to implement their planning right; because if you do that, you will certainly garner a consumer base that will reap profits for ages!
Once you have sorted your market and the place where you want to ply your trade, it is time to identify the potential resources that will make your business visible. For a business, their product is their identity and a pain-reliever for the market. It is everything!
Hence, it is important to ensure that you stick to your niche and the requirements of your market. Besides, the quality of your product is also something that needs to be regulated time-to-time. You would not want an unhappy customer dishing out negative comments on your website.
Regulations for business online:
What does Facebookーnow Metaー and Amazon have in common; they both were sued for not abiding by the online business laws and regulations. Though the latter safely and gracefully navigated its way out of the tunnel, the former is yet to find a peaceful ground from various sources.
Nevertheless, to ensure you don’t end up in a pool of lawsuits, here are a few laws that you must abide by:
- The Distance Selling Act 2000: This act includes directions regarding VAT, order confirmation, and cancellation and returns policies.
- The Data Protection Act 1998: It is very important to ensure that you abide by this law and safeguard the data of your usersーpresent and futureーand employees.
- Cookie Law: Do go through this law and if there is a part that your online business satisfies in this law, do let your audience know about thisー as a general warningー when they first visit your website.
- The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002: Conduct is everything. In a place where people are losing their trust and are prone to exposed data, it becomes important that you lay some guidelines while conducting any sort of commercial communication with your customer.
Website Hosting, Name, and Tools of support:
We are talking about online business and this comes as a basic step that one should take before anything!
Before anything, you should agree upon a name that is quirky and relevant. Your name should reflect the cause that your business is set to undertake. It should not be something that showcases eggs and sells baseball bats. Your name sums up everything that you stand for!
For a pro tip, do try to include the main keyword in your name to garner more visitors.
Online business requires a lot of attention. Thus, making it crucial for an entrepreneur to develop a site that can provide effortless crawling to the visitors. Besides, you also have to be serious with this particular aspect.
A strong web hosting platform is quintessential in building a good online presence. Given that you might expect a high volume audience, you will need to have a domain and a server that can sustain that.
A good way of ensuring that is to buy a domain from established platforms like WordPress, Shopify, GoDaddy, Blogger, or Wix. These platforms ensure proper backup services and security certificates. Besides, allows you built-in plug-ins to allow your website to access features like
- SEO tools and online marketing
- Secure payments like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc
- Mailing lists like MailChimp
- Appropriate tools for Social media presence
- Analytical Tools to gauge progress and traffic
- Tools for creating and running promotions and offers
Capital Investment for business online: To seek or not to seek?
Perhaps, this is a question that an entrepreneur needs to confront once in a while. However, the answer is pleasantly surprising. In the initial stages, one must make a rule to begin from inside. Yes, you don’t need to seek external support!
You have a family, relative, and various other assets that can be used as an initial source of investment. To ensure you have a backup plan, do ensure that you keep your savings intact. These will help you overcome obstacles in moments like pandemics.
Moreover, you can also opt for capital financing firms that lend capital at the speed of light. All you have to do is to present your business idea and follow a few steps to get your hands on the vital vitamin-M! In a nutshell, it is best to bootstrap then seek someone who can dominate instead of cooperating.
Online business is a sure way to get success. However, it comes with its share of risks and potential threats. To ensure you navigate your wayーwithout causing much casualtyーyou must do the right thing at the right time. Moreover, you must be flexible to ensure you dodge situations like this pandemic.
Rest assured, if you feel that you want to open an online business and need expert consultancy; we are here to help! We, at CedCommerce, have been doing this for the past 10 years and have successfully integrated digital solutions into struggling businesses. The result is there for the world to see!
From Google Ads to writing case studies, we have managed to cover the entire gamut of setting up an online business and would strive to do that. This is our kick, our cause, our calling…
So, if you feel you want help or even a minor call to clear your doubt; be assured that we are there!
Also, we are dishing out content that may help you directly or indirectly. Please do give it a read!
Happy Reading and Days Ahead!