Having an online business is the goal for many folks because of the freedom, but also for all the little things, too. The power to eliminate a long daily commute is a big benefit, for example!
Who wouldn’t want to make a living on the internet and create a flexible schedule?! Many assume that forming a company and building an online business is expensive and difficult, but that's not always the case. Many people have build successful, profitable online businesses; they just learned to deal with some of the surprises ahead of time.
We're hosting a free training session this week about the the #1 simplest business model around, so this is the perfect time to talk about a few of those surprises, and more importantly, how to handle them with ease!
Before you read below, make sure you register for the session, since it's a time-limited event. Click here to register & then come right back.
Determine Where to Form Your Company
Medium recommends deciding where to form your company and filling out the paperwork from the very beginning. That way you’ll be all set up and ready to get your online business rolling.
If you choose to form a corporation or an LLC, you would have to file the paperwork with the state. For many of these small businesses, it is beneficial to submit the formation documentations in the state in which you are located. With the help of this, you would be avoiding the additional amount for registering to do business in your own state and even the cost for hiring a registered agent that is out of state.
Nonetheless, in case your company would have an unusual nationwide activity, or if you wait to draw venture capital, that is when you might have to contemplate incorporating in Delaware. This is the only and right way how to start an online business in the USA.
According to Entrepreneur, staying focused is one of the most critical steps you must take when forming a business. Focus on how you’re going to build your business and also, how you’re going to make it succeed.
When I say focus, the first thought that comes to your mind is probably “niche.” While figuring out a profitable niche is important, it’s not the end all be all. Focus means figuring out who you want to serve and how you will deliver value to that group.
It means you stop following the gurus and focus on what will help you where you are. There is an abundance of free information online, almost too much. Many entrepreneurs fall victim to information overload. I’m guessing that if you applied 10 percent of the knowledge you currently have, you would make progress building your business. Turn off the constant learning and focus on 20 percent strategies. Use a service like Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unnecessary emails lists that take all your time.
Huffington Post reiterates why it’s important to stay focused because if you’re not, you may run into problems when you launch your website. If you already have a fan base, you need to make sure your site can handle the traffic and how to solve any problems that may arise.
If you have prepared properly, you shouldn’t have a problem with the launch. Your servers should be sturdy enough to handle large amounts of traffic, and every element of your website should have been checked to ensure it works properly under pressure. You should also be able to respond to emails and social media comments in a timely manner to ensure that you don’t lose sales.
Delivery High-Quality Content
High-quality content paves the way to a profitable blog, and it’s in your best interest if you regularly push out content that your audience identifies with. Entrepreneur also mentions keeping a regular content schedule and sticking with it. Consistency is everything.
High-quality content is described as relevant and engaging information that encourages site visitors to return in the future. Content should reflect the given brand in tone and style, and include the company’s mission statement, services and policies. It should also offer industry education and urge interaction with consumers. This may take the form of asking questions, answers to which can be provided in online comment sections. Interaction can also take place via surveys and contests.
Build a Website That Attracts Visitors
Not only do you need to select a niche you’re passionate about, but you also need to develop a website where you can drive traffic. Solving a problem for your audience, as Business Insider suggests, is a vital step to take to make a profit hopefully.
Here's a quick tip to come up with a great business idea: Combine one of your ideas/hobbies/skills to find something that you care about and figure out how that can be used to solve another person's problem. I've written extensively about how to come up with a good idea and then validate it, so I'm not going to belabor the point here.
Here's what to do: Create a simple website for pennies using WordPress or Squarespace that advertises what you do, and/or the product you're offering. You don't need any web or tech skills to make this happen. Both resources have ready-to-install templates. You just need to know how to use the internet!
Use regular tools (like Facebook, Instagram, a blog, etc) to start driving people to your website. Nothing secret or tricky here. Just talk to your friends, family, and accessible networks and try to start solving their problems. Identify their pain points and then go about actively solving them. This will help you finetune your idea.
Huffington Post also sheds some light on what steps to take at the beginning stages of forming your business, which includes selecting a business name and securing a domain name.
The first thing you will want to do is choose a business name, but before you go telling everyone, make sure the domain name is actually available. If you can’t get the domain name your after you’ll have to look at alternatives.
Thankfully, new domain extensions are becoming available, so if the .com for your business name is already taken, there are now over 1,000 top level domains available to help you find one to suit your business. For example, if you’re an online coffee seller and the domain name yourbusinessname.com is taken, you could register yourbusinessname.coffee instead.
Adding to these thoughts, Medium discusses the registering domain name process, which Huffington Post touched on. These steps provide a little bit more detail on how to do that:
The next step in how to start an online business includes registering a domain name. And this should take place once you have chosen the name for your business. The domain name here would be the address on the Internet that would reach to your business website, and it would end with a “.com.”
To check if your domain name to start a successful online business has been used by someone else or not, just type in your desired domain name in your browser and click search to check if someone is using it or not. If a web page opens, it means that it has been taken and if it comes as “cannot find the page,” you are lucky since the domain can be bought.
A lot of the businesses provide the domain name registration service, and the process is very straight forward. All you need to do is make an account on the website that offers the service, search for the domain that you want to register and then pay the annual fee for it to purchase it. That is all, and you have the business domain with you.
Research Business Models
Have you thought about a business model that works for you? Ecommerce CEO has some thoughts on what type of business structure may work for you and what to consider when deciding on a business model.
There isn’t a single business structure that works for everyone. Service-based business, software, digital product sales, and physical products are just the tip of the iceberg.
Before you can decide on what to sell online, you need to understand the different business models available.
How will you source products?
It’s not rocket science, but it does impact your business structure.
My focus is on physical products, but that doesn’t imply a need for you to invest heavily or fill your garage with products. How will you source products and inventory management?
If you want to turn a profit without touching your product or investing heavily at the start, dropshipping is a smart choice.
If you like the idea of having your own warehouse full of goodies, you’re investing more up front and working with a wholesaling or warehousing model. Have a business idea for the perfect product idea or a favorite product you wish you could sell under your brand? Look into white labeling and manufacturing.
And then there are subscriptions, where you carefully curate a set of products or a single product to be delivered at regular intervals to your customers.
The business model that attracts me the most is a single product category that you supplement with affiliate marketing. You can control the marketing and branding on a focused product and focus the rest of your energy on driving sales by monetizing traffic.
With some of those basics in mind you're ready to step up and attend our free webinar training to learn more about how you can turn your business into a profitable powerhouse. There are techniques to apply on the web to connect with an audience and make some money along the way. We reveal what some of the best practices are and how to make a business succeed.