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How to start an online business? The step-by-step guide

ONLINE DESK (SAYFUL)
April 14, 2021 5:01 am
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The creation and management of Internet activities remain one of the greatest innovations of our time. Selling online not only allows you to increase your income, gain financial independence but also have flexible working hours. Starting an online business right now can seem like an easy task. However, for this internet business to pay off, there is a process that must be followed. Discover in this article how to create an online business that pays.

Why start an online business?

Several factors can lead you to start an online business.

1. An online business gives you all your freedom

For many, having a fixed, non-flexible schedule is a nightmare. So, many dream of taking on the challenge of self-employment by developing an online sales idea. The creation of an online business offers the possibility of:

  • manage and determine your income yourself;
  • decide on your working hours;
  • automate online business ;
  • work from home;
  • combine online business with other activities;
  • decide your own pace of work.

When it comes to your freedom, online business is a real opportunity. One of the most coveted benefits of online business is that it ensures flexibility in your working hours. E-commerce allows you to cross all barriers relating to time and space and promotes the geographic and financial freedom of your activities.

2. An online business does not require a big investment

The first factor that we fear when starting any business is the lack of capital. Starting an online business does not require a large investment. You can even invest nothing. Setting up an online store costs a lot less compared to setting up a physical store or store. Online business is undoubtedly a market that is growing at an exponential rate. More and more people are sourcing their products or services from the Internet. So, without even having a big capital, you can start e-commerce.

3. An online business offers a lot of possibilities to increase your services and income

You can expand the range of products you sell on the Internet as you wish. It is possible to sell practically everything on the Internet. Online business allows you to live your passions to the fullest. In fact, some products are difficult to sell in a physical store because you will not find enough customers in your area.

Yet, with an online business, as soon as you add a new product or service, it is immediately available to millions of people. You, therefore, have the possibility of adding as many products as you wish to market. Potential customers are available, and you will only have to automate the process, and sales will be spontaneous.

Read also: 30 Great Ideas To Make Money Online

How to start an online business?

To create a profitable online business, there are some rules you need to follow. Certain steps are essential in creating a profitable internet business.

1. Find a good product

Finding the product you want to sell is the first concern as soon as you get the idea of ​​selling online. Indeed, it seems obvious that finding the product to sell is the first step in creating a profitable business. You have to find a product that is suited to the constraints and realities of online commerce.

For a start in e-commerce, it is recommended to promote a product and not a set of products. If you have a whole range of products, you should choose the flagship product to start the online business. The other products will be sold in a complementary way to your main product. Certain characteristics can help you determine the main product to market online.

  • Small and light: A small and light product makes the delivery process easier for you. Preparing customers’ packages is less hassle and speed. Said products take up very little space and facilitate transport. Small and lightweight products reduce your shipping costs and lower the shipping costs to your customers.
  • Timeless: the timelessness of the product is a significant factor. Your product should not lose value over time. Make sure it is timeless. If it loses value over time, it means that it is profitable for a short time and will not stay in stock for long. The consequence of the non-timelessness of the product is that you will be forced at some point to sell it even if it is at a loss.
  • Consumable and additive: having customers is a big challenge. For this, it is important to sell a product that your customers will be able to buy regularly. So you can retain them. If your product is consumable and of good quality, your customers will come back to you. Adding suitable accessory products to the main product also allows you to make more sales.

Also, your product must be attractive, be innovative, have a significant commercial margin, meet needs, provide added value… It must not be too complex, too fragile, seasonal, or difficult to replenish. However, it should be noted that the ideal and perfect product does not exist. It will be a question of analyzing the advantages and disadvantages to know if your product meets the criteria of the right product.

2. Do market research

Market research is important for building a profitable internet business. Indeed, it is inconceivable to start a business in a declining industry. The goal of market research is to obtain as much information as possible on the sector of activity you want to invest in. To do this, carrying out a market study must consider three variables: potential customers, competitors, and products already available in the sector. You then need information on:

  • the sector and the regulations in force: it is necessary to seek to know the tax provisions, the prospects of the sector, the recent innovations in this sector, and the regular or seasonal nature of the market.
  • Demand: information must be obtained here relating to the characteristics of the clientele: their needs, their motivations, their preferences, and their aspirations.
  • The offer: it is about getting an idea of ​​the products already offered by your competitors. It is also necessary to know your competitors (their turnover, commercial policy, and sales strategies).

3. Find your ideal client

After finding a product and doing the market research, you must now define and understand your ideal customer. To achieve this, you must:

  • determine your main target;
  • identify secondary targets;
  • choose the age group;
  • determine their geographic location;
  • determine the social networks that your targets use the most;
  • identify their areas of interest;
  • identify their consumption habits;
  • clearly identify the added value that your product represents for them.

It is according to these different points that you can set up the appropriate design. The latter must be in perfect harmony with the culture, habits, and needs of your ideal client. The various points listed above will also allow you to anticipate a suitable web marketing strategy. Identifying the ideal customer may seem trivial, but if it is flawed, the product can be misdirected.

4. Find out why customers will prefer to buy from you

At this stage of creating your online business, it will be a question of defining an important competitive advantage. To do this, all you have to do is answer the following question: “why will prospects choose to pay with me to the detriment of my competitors?”. ”

Since you have carried out market research beforehand, you know who your main competitors are. Then study and analyze their advantages and weaknesses. So, it is a question for you to find the good strategies to surpass them. It is not a question of having a single advantage over your competitors because consumers are more and more demanding.

It is important to note that selling your product for less is not a competitive advantage. On the other hand, it is often proof that you are worthless to your competitors. Instead, work on making your products or services more practical and reliable. Quality is, therefore, the first criterion that interests and guides the customer.

5. Find the ideal supplier

To find the ideal supplier, you must first determine the type of supplier suitable for the product you want to sell. There are mainly three types of providers.

  • A manufacturer: this type of supplier manufactures the product or article that interests you. It can materialize an article resulting from the fruit of your imagination;
  • A supplier: it is also the wholesaler or the distributor. He buys the existing products and delivers them to you;
  • The drop shipper: supplies the products and ensures the management of the stock and the delivery of the products to the customers.

Your suppliers can be nationals and/or foreigners. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you the most.

6. Find the legal status

To run an online business, you need to start a legal business. Depending on your personal choices and the realities of your business, you must therefore define a legal status for your business. However, note each legal status has its advantages and disadvantages. There are several legal statuses, including auto-enterprise, sole proprietorship, SARL, SAS, EURL… The future web entrepreneur must carefully analyze each legal status to choose the best suits his project.

7. Define a budget in time and money

In an online business, it is first necessary to define a financial budget capable of covering the marketing component, creating the site, and, if necessary, the purchase of the stock. Being new to the field, you will certainly have a hard time estimating costs. You just have to determine the capital you are willing to invest. The second step is to establish a budget. On the one hand, determine in advance the date on which your store will be operational and, on the other hand, the time you will devote to your business per day.

How to create an online store to sell quickly?

As soon as you design a solid 2018 online business project, you have to think about creating an online store. For that, you need :

  • choose a domain name (internet address): the domain name must be easy to remember. This is what will allow Internet users to find your site. Indeed, it represents your business. You have to think carefully before choosing the domain name because it will follow your business for life.
  • Choose a good payment method: there are several payment methods, but they are not suitable for your target. Choose payment methods that best suit your customers to make it easier for them.
  • Choose a good delivery person: If your courier delivers broken or late products, your customers will be unhappy and will probably no longer use your store. To retain your customers and make your business profitable, it is imperative to choose a good delivery person.
  • Choose a good service provider: the search for the service provider who will create your site will be based on specifications.
  • Keep specifications: this is important to maintain a good relationship with your service provider.
  • Create a captivating logo: it’s a logo that Internet users will remember.
  • create a visual capable of reassuring your customers;
  • write captivating sales sheets;
  • test and have your new site tested to make the final adjustments;
  • open the doors of your store.

Ultimately, building a profitable and automated online business is painstaking and methodical work. Respecting certain steps is essential at the risk of setting up a business doomed to failure.