Guide to start an online business

Guide to start an online business

This article is meant for the people who want to start an online business. Success in any business depends on proper planning. It involves the following key steps

1. Find a product for which people can pay

2. Build a business plan (to set your goal and target market)

3. Marketing plan (for reaching out to the customers)

Online business needs few extra steps like

4. Purchasing the hardware and software to start business

5. Providing secure environment for shopping and receiving payments online.

Legal requirements should also be taken care of to avoid problems at later stages. All these aspects are discussed below.

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1. Find a product for which people can pay

Anybody will buy something only when they think it is worth spending. Product can be anything like cloths, books, household materials etc. There are always many players for all of these things. To make your presence in the market you have to give something special to your customers. Special may be – in the sense of quality of the product, the way you interact with your customer and/or the way you deliver the product. People will switch to your services only if they will find something extra.

2. Build a business plan

It is very easy to start if you know what you want to sell. If your product is useful, there will always be interested people. Depending on the potential there may be huge demand or very few targeted customers. A business plan is a dry run for your business. It will cover everything that you will do to succeed. The basic component of the business plan will be discussed in later posts.

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3. Build your online business/services

A good website is required to start any online business. This involves – 1) search for a good domain name, 2) find a good web hosting service provider to host your website and 3) buying a good high speed computer (to save time) as you are going to maintain your services online. A software program is required to maintain your website. There are many free and open source software like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal for creating and for maintaining webpages. A graphic design software like adobe packages may be required if graphics are required for the website. Software may also be required to maintain accounts and for security. You can also procure the service related hardware and software. Many times a technical expert is required to improve your website.

Other than your website, the products/services can also be sold through various online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. You should sell your products at many places. These marketplaces provide an easy platform for reaching to customers. The more you spread your presence online, more is the chance of success. Such type of business (though online marketplaces) is possible even without having own website.

4. Marketing strategy

Now you have a ready product (which you can give to the customer). BUT the biggest question now is how the customers will know about your products? There are many way like

a. ask your friends and family member to advertise your products in their social circle.

b. build a team of individuals who will collectively do things for success of the project.

c. Various ways to increase the visibility of your website are discussed at  Blogger’s Magazine.

5. Secure environment for transaction

Hackers are always a problem for the secure transactions. You should provide secure environment to the customers for shopping and receiving payments online. PayPal is one of the widely used secure ways for receiving payments. eBay widely uses PayPal for transactions.

6. Customer care

Success of any business depends on the customers. Comments (positive or negative) of customers should never be ignored. You should always reply positively to customers complaints. This will improve your business in long run.

7. Improve the services

You should regularly update your website and its services to give your customer better experience more often.

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