You can start an online business from home for free using the following 6 steps:
- 1. Find a need to fill
- 2. Make that need your niche
- 3. Register your business
- 4. Register your domain name
- 5. Get a web hosting service
- 6. Create your platform
Want to read the full article? Click to go to How to Start and Run an Online Business Successfully (Part I)
Need a quick read? Click here to see List of ways to start and run an online business successfully
Step 1: Find a Need to Fill
…for success, don’t …look for a product first before trying to find a market for it.
Start with a market first. That is, people who have a particular problem and are searching online for a solution to it. So:
- Visit online forums for questions people are asking to solve problems they have. These will provide clues as to what product to offer them.
- Visit Yahoo! questions to see what questions people are asking most.
- Visit WikiHow to find which things people are trying to find out how to do.
- Do keyword research for search terms that many people are using o find products.
Step 2: Make That Need Your Niche
There is keen competition in the online world. The secret to beating it is to let buyers know what differentiates your product from similar ones. That is, you must look for a niche. To do so:
- Check potential competitors for what they excel at and what they are not doing well or not doing at all to fill the demand. This will reveal a need to be satisfied.
- Offer your own point of differentiation: You offer a particular product, for a particular problem, so do many others. What makes your product different? Stress this to differentiate your product from the others.
- Offer your expertise in an area. Your product need not be forcibly very unique, but your expertise in your product area could be enough as a strong selling point.
Step 3: Register Your Business
You must register your business. You have to choose an official business name and fill out the other details to make your business legal.
- “Before that, YOU SHOULD HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN LAID OUT. This will sort out production costs, advertising costs, shipping costs, running expenses, taxes, web hosting fees, etc.
- Make yourself conversant with the business regulations in your country or state so that you don’t fall foul of the law.
Step 4: Register Your Domain Name
That is the name of your website, e.g.: SecureYourFutureWithUs (Check Register a domain name).
Look for something short and catchy that will be easy for people to remember. It wouldn’t hurt to make it a search term easy to find in an online research.
Step 5: Get a Web Hosting Service
Step 6: Create Your Platform
A brick-and-mortar business needs a geographical location materialized by a street address. An online business however must have a website or a blog and a web address (URL).
You can use Google’s free blogging platform to start with if you are hard on cash. You can also click on this link for the opportunity to create two stunning websites on WordPress free.
Designing and building your website
Keep your online small-business web design simple.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- If you can’t design a good website yourself, entrust it to a professional designer.
- Preferably choose one or two plain fonts on a white background so that your site can load fast. If you have dark background, use light text.
- Make sure your logo at the top of the page always links to the homepage.
- Your navigation should be clear and simple, on every page, please.
- Use only audio, graphics or video if that’s what enhances your message.
- Have an email opt-in campaign to collect subscriber’s e-mail addresses.
Creating Your Online Store
If you are selling online, create a stylish and functional website. The style of your website should indicate what you’re selling. For example, sprawling African savannah with wild animals for someone promoting a safari.
The professional look of your website will earn people’s trust. It should also be engaging.
Here are some extra tips to help you succeed:
- Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer- and user-friendly.
- If selling online, don’t have more than 2 clicks between the buy button and checkout.
- Set up an online portfolio to allow potential clients to evaluate your work.
- If yours is an ecommerce site, the top of every page should display a link to your shopping cart.
- Make buttons large and clear to read and input boxes large and easy for people to enter their information.
- Less can be more. So unless absolutely necessary, don’t be wordy on payment pages.
- Be interactive with the customer. Ask them about the products, offer them post sale service. Offer them discount as returning visitors.
Get ecommerce software
Installing this software on your online store will enable your customers to view your products, enter their information and make a secure purchase.
Most hosted ecommerce shopping cart providers offer free trial periods which you could make use of to build your web store.
It is also recommended to use an all-inclusive ecommerce web service to make it easy to sell your products without huge overhead costs.
Set up a merchant account
Brick-and-mortar businesses use cash or check—setting up an entire credit card processing system.
As an online business, you will use a payment processing service like PayPal so that you can accept virtually any form of credit or debit card for payments.
Which of the six steps (Find a need to fill, Make that need your niche, Register your business, Register your domain name, Get a web hosting service, Create your platform) about How to Start an Online Business Successfully inspires a comment from you? Let us know in the comment box below.
Your personal guide to securing your future online
Now that you know how to successfully launch an online business, it’s time to learn how to market it.
So click here to go to How to Run an Online Business Successfully – Part II