How to Start an Online Business

By Kerry CroccoJune 17, 2020

The internet has successfully leveled the playing field. When you sit behind that computer screen and log onto the internet, no one knows the amount of experience you have. The greatest advantage of using the internet is that it puts us all on the same level. Think about this from a business point of view; with a computer and internet connection, you can run an online business without any formal education. This process is made even simpler by the fact that plenty of tools available on the internet are either free or very affordable. You can use these tools to create a money-making platform on the web.

Having and operating an online business means that you can decide when you work and when to take time off. Since little capital is required to start, it's possible to have as many businesses as your ability and creativity allows. For instance, bloggers can set up free accounts using Word Press while those who want to sell items can use affiliate links from platforms like eBay and Amazon.

Have you been thinking about starting an online business but don't know how or where to begin? Follow this guide and you will be on your way to making a sustainable income in no time.

Online Business

Decide on the Type of Online Business

Some people will simply copy what others are doing and ride on their coattails. It is not that simple. Think about which type of business will suit you by considering your strengths and skill set. For instance, are you a good writer? You can consider creative writing, freelancing, or blogging. Getting your content out there is such a fulfilling experience especially for those who have expertise about certain subjects.

The fact that there are people who have been writing and blogging for a while means that it can be done. Think of it this way; you will gain experience once you start a business. Learn from other's achievements and mistakes to point you in the right direction.

Identify Your Niche

The best performing businesses solve a specific human need. What complaints do people have in your community? You can use their gripes as an opportunity to write about that topic or provide a service to solve their problem. For instance, if you notice many young people traveling to foreign countries or moving and they have no idea where to begin, you can start a blog that offers advice on how to settle in a new place.

While it's a necessary chore, most people consider shopping for groceries to be an inconvenience. This is a current need and opportunity for you. Start an online retail or food delivery business that assists people with ordering food and products. The number of people turning to the internet for answers has increased. Consumers are seeking online merchants ready to satisfy their needs.

The easiest way to identify a need is to conduct a Google search on what people are looking for.

Conduct Competitive Research

Competitive research means sourcing for information about how others in the online business space are doing. This applies to those who are involved in the same type of business that you are planning to start. Which platforms do those in the same line of business use and what is their activity level? How much traffic do they generate each month and how is that traffic generated? What products are best-sellers? What do customer reviews say about the entire service/business?

You could go one step further and find out who their distributors are if you have the resources to do it. The best approach to this step is to have a checklist of the issues you want to find out then prioritize them.

Study the Target Audience

It's alright to start an online business with a specific idea of how to help other people. But, knowing and understanding what your target audience wants is essential. Some key pieces of information to know are where they live, their marital status, their jobs, and what they use as sources to get news and information.

As you can imagine, starting an online business takes time, energy, and resources. The topics we just covered are meant to inform you on what you'll need to know in the process. Hang around online communities of like-minded people to learn more.

About the Author - Kerry Crocco

Marketing Coordinator for Franchise Solutions and Franchise.com; conduct email marketing campaigns, web page management and trade show coordination. Mother of two, wife and Young Living Essential Oils representative.
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