You spent long days (and nights) thinking about the perfect idea for your future business. The one that will make you rich and famous. Or that will simply bring you the money and flexibility to indulge in your other activities. In any case, it is now time to move on to the realization of your project. So, You will have to follow 10 steps in starting an online business. Again, you have the energy to resell and ideas full of the head. The only shadow on the table: You only have a very limited budget to get started.
But you know it as we do, money is the nerve of war. Fortunately, it is possible to win its first entrepreneurial battles with small means. For this, you will have to go out of the beaten path and above all, apply a rigorous method. The following 10 tips meet this goal. They have proven themselves in all successful companies, from Silicon Valley start-ups to fashionable coffee at the bottom of your home. Your turn to apply them!
10 Steps in Starting an Online Business
All these following steps are actionable and you can achieve your goal in no time by following these steps.
1-Equip yourself with an effective website
In 2016, it is unthinkable to launch your business without having a website. Whether it is an online store, a portfolio or a simple showcase, your presence on the Web must be ensured. This is how your customers will find you – and find you. Thanks to Wix and other platforms like WordPress, the creation of a website has never been so simple and intuitive while remaining very accessible (even free). To get started, you just have to draw the Template that is right for you. Rest assured: With several hundred in reserve, there are really for all needs. Then you just have to personalize it (logos, texts, photos, etc.) without any technical knowledge.
2-Go to Conquer the Web
In parallel with the realization of your site, you will have to invest the social networks. Facebook and Twitter are, of course, indispensable. But there is a whole panel of other platforms that you would be very comfortable to discover, depending on your activity. For example, if you are a cook, designer or makeup artist, it is appropriate to publish photos of your creations on Instagram. To learn all about the topic, check out our small Network guide and their possibilities.
Once your accounts are created, you will be able to feed them with quality content. This is called content marketing, or the art of talking about your business without looking (unlike classic advertising), thanks to texts, videos or images that captivate Internet users. These contents can be exploited on all your media, from your Facebook profile to your in-site via a blog. Not to mention the newsletter, one of the most effective tools to establish a regular link with your (future) customers.
3-Optimize your Offer
There is no question of embarking on a large-scale Coca-Cola program. Because you just started, you only have a small resource to devote to your marketing. It is still possible, with a little work and a hint, to make your company talk. Example? Plan for launch promotions on your products or services, or even offer gifts to your first customers. As you will soon see, generosity ends up paying!
Also, consider developing your offers in the form of formulas: “3 for the price of 2”, “a product purchased, the second offered”, etc. This trick also applies to services. Rather than offering an hourly tariffed benefit, you can design “packages” (Premium, VIP or any other hither name) that combine several of your services. There are many benefits. First, you simplify the lives of your customers. Then you guarantee a minimum income. Finally, this will avoid giving your prospects too much choice, which proves counterproductive (as the consumer psychology explains).
4-Simplify your Cash and Bills
Billing and payment management can take you a long time, or even panic if you hate numbers. But these are also essential activities, which bring precious euros into your bag. There are many plugins and tools in WordPress and Wix which help you make billing and invoices. It allows you to create and send professional bills in a few clicks. Of course, you can personalize them by adding the logo of your company and the legal mentions of your country. Once it’s done, you can track in real time the status of your
Invoices, restart overdue payers and archive (digital) paperwork in a well-ranked file.
5-Communicate intelligently with your customers
As your beloved grandmother used to say, we cannot be in the oven and at the mill. At the beginning of your entrepreneurial adventure, you will have a thousand and one things to manage. In these conditions, difficult to establish an assiduous communication with your customers. Yet, it is precisely when they will have the most desire to bother you to speak.
6-Make Reservations and Payments Easier
Given the work you have to shoot down, a personal assistant would not be too much. He would take the appointments of your customers and make sure that the payments are made well. What if your site could handle all this? Lucky little ones, we looked at the issue and just released WordPress and Wix bookings, an innovative booking application. Your customers block a niche and pay directly to your site – Sports courses, manicure sessions or lawyer appointments: anything is possible. So, all these above-mentioned steps in starting an online business are necessary and beneficial for every businessman. So you can let go of the phone and are finally free to devote yourself to what you do best: your activity.
7-Focus on your Area of Expertise
Why make it complicated when you can make it simple? You certainly have, like everyone else, an area of specialization. Rather than navigating in unfamiliar waters, start with the activity you are already familiar with. The benefits are multiple. You already have the skills, which saves you a crazy time. Plus, you’ll have more fun at work, which will have a positive impact on your efficiency. Finally, the more your concept will be linked to your know-how, the less you will use external consultants and providers.
Nevertheless, it is quite possible that it would be beneficial for you to delegate certain technical tasks. An encrypted example? No problem. Let’s say you charge your services €20 per hour. If you have a computer failure and you try to solve the problem yourself, it will take you two hours, which you will not be able to devote to your customers. or €40 of Lost. If on the other hand, you call on a provider, who deals with the problem for only €15, you can work in parallel and thus win €25. Qed!
The government says it all day long: It’s time for savings. If you want to prosper in the long run, you are going to have to cut right now in the fees. Obviously, no question of not paying your electricity bill or the Internet. But you certainly do, without even realizing it, unnecessary expenses. Are these business cards with 3d effect and fleece texture really necessary? The classic model is half price and will be just as effective. In the same vein, is a trendy iPhone useful, or can you settle for a standard smartphone? You will be surprised to discover the costs you can save on each work tool.
The same goes for your providers. Feel free to negotiate your contracts with poise. You certainly have a room for maneuver with each of your suppliers. Do not be shy but be careful not to go too far – it would be a pity to break your relationship. We have just prepared a little guide for you on how to effectively conduct a negotiation. To be read imperatively. And that’s not negotiable!
9-Work from home or shared space
When you start, renting an office is a difficult option because it is too expensive. A great way to save money is to work from home. Start by creating a defined space, well separated from the “personal” area of your apartment or house. You will stay away from Temptations and show your family that beyond this limit, you don’t want to be disturbed. For the rest, you can read this little article that tells you how to create your home business.
If you miss the company and you need to feel the electric ambiance of a real office, turn to the co-working spaces. They bloom everywhere in France, and elsewhere. So there’s definitely one near you. For a reasonable amount, you can rent a small office and have the services necessary to work efficiently, such as Wi-fi, printer and… the coffee machine! It is also a great way to meet other entrepreneurs and to exchange tips and good practices with them. In other words: The benefits of office life without the disadvantages.
10-Get out of your house
You have now understood: in the digital age, it is necessary to have a website and a presence on social networks to make themselves known. But that does not mean that the good old methods have become obsolete.
Do not hesitate to participate actively in events and conferences related to your business sector. This way you can build a strong network by swapping with professionals of the same trade or complementary activities. Are you a professional makeup artist? Work with a hairdresser, to which you will send your clients – and vice versa. The logic remains the same for all trades: the Union is strong!
There are 10 steps in starting an online business in my mind, if you have other ideas please do comment in the comment section.