Starting an online business in 2022 is easier than ever. Anyone can create one regardless of their entrepreneurship skills or background. But starting and maintaining an online business is still a lot of work even with a low entry bar. you must first look for a viable product or service to sell, then the technicalities of coming up with a sales plan, a manufacturing source, and how your customers will get a hold of the product.
But even with some challenges, starting an online business is worth it.
REASONS TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS
Online businesses have a lot of advantages and if you were wondering whether to start an online business or not, here are four major reasons to start one.
It is extremely inexpensive
A lot of successful online businesses have started with nothing but a smartphone, a few products, and a free website hosting service. You can start an online business with less than Kshs 5000 since you forego the price of rent, a large starting stock, and employees.
So if you are just starting out your entrepreneurial career and you don’t want to risk all your life savings, starting an online business is the smart move.
The business can run 24/7
With an online business, you are not bound by your salary, you can choose the hours you want to work, and the success of your business is not dependent on the hours you work but instead on your productivity. This is perfect for people who have a job already and are looking for another source of income since they can run their businesses even after hours.
The freedom to work on your own time, allows you to be able to focus on other things like your family and friends and also even be able to focus on other forms of income.
You can work from anywhere
Online businesses are not tied to any location or physical shop. This allows you to travel and work at the same time. As long as you have your phone or laptop and a stable internet connection your business will run smoothly even when you are not necessarily available.
Major growth and potential
The sky is the limit when it comes to online businesses since you are not bound to a location your reach is endless, and you can sell your products to a consumer who does not live in your area. When you focucomess on your customer reach and building your website you can grow your business exponentially.
HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS
After identifying the reasons why starting an online business will always be a good idea, let’s now dive into how to start and maintain an online business.
Identify your product.
There are three types of e-commerce products one can sell online each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Almost any service can be sold online, from recently you can consult a doctor online without having to go to the hospital. Services have a higher demand but since it’s a business that will be heavily reliant on your time your earning potential is limited.
These are products that clients can download on their devices. They include audio books, online courses, audio courses, etc
As the name suggests these are tangible goods that are manufactured,
stored, and shipped to customers. There are a lot of tangible goods to choose
from, some more profitable than others.
Find your niche
A business niche is your market or your target audience. This can consist of which gender you want to cater to, their financial status, and geographic location. Identifying these things helps you market your product following your client’s needs. This also helps you identify if your business is viable or not, since having a product that your target audience doesn’t need or can’t afford only makes the process of having an online business even harder.
Identify your competitors
To make your launch into the online business world, you must analyze what your competitors are doing and use it as a blueprint of some sort to steer your business in the right direction.
Learn online business laws
Online businesses may assume that traditional business laws do not apply to them, but this is far from true. Even though online businesses require fewer licenses there are some legal technicalities you have to sort out.
Source products to sell
A business’s identity is reliant on its products one you have settled on the type
of e-commerce product you want to sell, you now have the task of finding
manufacturers and suppliers of your chosen product. You can choose between making
your products, or finding an online supplier from sites like alibaba.com.
Evaluate your product viability
No matter how cool, innovative, or unique you think your product is, what matters is the viability of the product from a business standpoint. It is best to evaluate your products before making a large order. And to do so you must ask yourself these three questions ;
Is there any other online business selling the product?
Is the demand for the product sustainable or is it temporary?
What is the profit margin?
Define your brand image and identity.
Your brand is the overall essence of your business, you want your business name,
website, and logo to be consistent with the same color palette, visual ideas, and images
This presents a more professional and put-together look
So as your work on your brand image and identity, you should focus on the following ;
Graphics and photos
Build your online store
The shopping experience is one of the most important factors that make or break an
Online store, the easier and more accessible it is, the more likely for customers to come
back. To create the ideal shopping experience for your customers, you can check out
Some e-commerce platforms like Jiji, Jumia, etc
Once you have already set up your online store, it is now time to spread the word and
inform your target audience of your existence. Some marketing methods have a higher
return on investment than others. But no matter what marketing method you use to push
traffic to your online store as long as you ensure that you are adding value and
implementing effective marketing habits. Some of the marketing methods you can use
i. Create an email list consisting of your customers and potential customers.
ii. Create a blog post and post high-quality content regularly
iii. Market your content on Quora.
iv. Use Facebook ads.
v. Leverage the power of Instagram influencers
vi. Give out free products or services to customers
vii . Use business listing sites like Google local.
vii. Optimize your website for SEO.
Grow your business
Now that everything has been set up it is now time to use your marketing tools and organically grow your online business. Use your time and resources wisely, and learn from your experiences and mistakes and those of others who made them.
We have gone through reasons why you should start an online business and the steps on how. So you have all you need to start optimizing your idea and start that business!