It’s becoming increasingly clear that the future of business will be digital. In fact, a study by Visionary Insights found that 92 percent of respondents believed that the future of business is digital. This means there is a good chance you have some sort of online presence right now — whether it’s a personal blog or a social media profile. But with so much uncertainty about the future and increasing competition for business leads, many people feel as if starting your own business has become more difficult than ever before. Fortunately, this is something you can change if you are dedicated enough to become an entrepreneur. Starting any new venture can be challenging, but starting your own business can be even more overwhelming. However, as long as you have the right mindset and support systems in place, it can be easier than you think. Here are seven steps you should take if you want to start your own online business:
Build a brand before you build a product
Building a brand before you build a product can help you attract potential customers before you even have your product on the market. You can use this time to create the perfect marketing strategy for your brand and reach out to influencers in your industry in order to make sure that your business thrives before you ever produce any products. The goal is to build a brand that people want to be associated with and that motivates them to buy from you.
Research and understand your target audience
The first step to starting your own business is research and understanding your target audience. A study from the Harvard Business Review found that successful entrepreneurs have a thorough understanding of their customers, including their needs, motivations, wants, pains, and frustrations. The key to success in business is being able to match your product with what people want. Understanding this information will allow you to create a product that your audience wants. And if you’re trying to start an online business, it’s important to know who your potential customers are so you can fulfill their needs better than anyone else in the marketplace.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses
The first step to starting your business is assessing your strengths and weaknesses. You should take a moment to think about what you’re good at and what you’re not so great at. This can be anything from creative thinking and design skills to marketing expertise. As you assess your skill sets, make sure to think about the types of businesses that will be able to use them effectively. For example, if you are a highly skilled graphic designer but have no experience in marketing, then it would probably be better for you to pursue a career in design work instead of starting your own business.
Decide on a business model for your venture
It all starts with choosing the right business model for your venture. There are many different options, but most people start with a service-based business model. This allows you to charge per time or per project and still provide a level of quality that will make your customers feel confident in the work you do. Next, decide what type of online presence you want to create. There are many different options, such as blogging, eCommerce, social media, or video content production. Some people prefer one form over the other because they have specific goals they want to achieve with their online venture. If you have a blog and plan on building an eCommerce site as well, it might be easier to start with one business model and then build out the other later on in order to expand your reach. In addition to deciding on a business model for your venture and deciding on an online presence that would suit your needs best, decide what type of digital assets this venture will produce. This could be anything from blog posts to videos or images that people can see on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. What is important is how these assets will help you reach your audience and establish authority in the market. For example, if you were planning on starting a podcast about entrepreneurship related topics and wanted to share them with people who may not know about them yet, having an audio file would be helpful for that purpose.
Hone your skills and develop a résumé
Despite all the digital marketing tools and platforms, having a polished résumé still matters. If you don’t have one, create one today. Use the internet to grow your skillset and develop a well-crafted résumé. In addition, be sure to include links to any online presence that may help demonstrate your skills.
Establish an LLC or corporation in your state
One of the first things you should do is establish a business entity. Doing this will help protect your personal assets and ensure that you are making the right financial decisions for your business. You can also use an LLC or corporation to take advantage of some tax benefits, like a reduced corporate tax rate, so it’s worth looking into.
- Pick a Niche
- Choose your tools
- Create content that speaks to your audience’s needs
- Make an investment in SEO
- Set up social media profiles
- Market your business as much as possible and stay consistent
- Treat it like a business