During the late 1960s, Richard Branson was a teenager with a hunger to create a Business business. He created an office out of his high school phone booth, yet he didn’t even have the money to use the phone. However, his mother managed to sell a necklace for $1900, and with that money, Branson finally had the money to call potential advertisers.
Photo by Austin Distel
The rest, as they say, is history. The $1900 eventually grew into the multi-billion dollar Virgin Group, a brand operating in industries ranging from aerospace to communications. It makes me wonder – with all the technology at the fingertips of entrepreneurs – what better way is there to create a business from scratch today?
This article will give you seven steps you can take to ensure success when starting a business online.
Start a business that fulfills a need
Most people who are just starting often make the same mistakes. First, they look for a product than for a market. To increase your chances of success, start with the right market. Here is how you can do your market research to create a business:
- Visit online forums to find out what questions people are asking and what problems they are trying to solve.
- I do that with Google search “site:reddit.com my question here”
- Conduct keyword research to find the keywords that many people are using.
- Check your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking into account what they are doing to meet the demand.
- Use the knowledge gained and create a product for an existing market, making sure it is better than your competitors.
Another way to look at that is to try things based on your personal strengths (duh).
Here are a couple of examples:
- If you know how the Internet works and good with sales – consider finding a white label partner to deliver the services.
Similar, I am testing a few landing pages now to sell hosting. Will I provide the service myself if the traffic kicks in? Nope. At least not in the beginning. I’d use something like DigitalOcean Solutions Partner Program
- Draw up a business plan that sells
When drawing up a business plan, you should focus on how your product or service can uniquely solve people’s problems or make their lives better. Think from the customer’s point of view.
You should also follow the following process to get visitors to the point of buying your product:
- Arouse interest by having compelling headlines.
- Describe the problem your product solves.
- Establish your credibility as a solution to the problem.
- Add feedback from the people who have already used your product.
- Tell us about the product and how it benefits the user.
- Make suggestions.
- Offer a good warranty.
Design and build your website
Once you have discovered your market and product, you are now ready to design your website. Here are your options:
- Google something like “design agency + city” and find a local company like Fort Worth Web Design.
- Use websites like Upwork or Dribbble.com to find independent artists to help you start a business.
- For tech-savvy people: WordPress + a premium theme from a website like ThemeForest
- Order a custom theme and do the rest
Don’t forget that you have less than five seconds to attract someone’s attention; otherwise, they will disappear, and you will never be seen again.
Few things to keep in mind here:
- Choose simple fonts on a white background.
- Make sure your navigation is simple and understandable.
- Use graphics, sound, or video only if they improve your advertising to build a business.
- Include a “subscription” option so you can collect email addresses.
- Make it easy to buy.
- Your site is a showcase for your online store, so make it convenient for your customers.
- Keep adjusting the price to build a business
You should know your market and your competition well. That can be easier said than done. If this is done manually, it may take several months to sift through the data and develop a good sales strategy to start a business.
However, there are useful automation tools on the market, like Amazon repricers, which focus on your selling price and the success of your competitors. Some people have become million-dollar sellers with automation tools in less than a year.
When it comes to advertising, here are your options:
- Paid social – works best if your product or service targets a specific demographic, rather than a need
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – virtually free, because you can convert your time into content and learn how to promote it, but takes a lot of time and wit.
- Pay-per-click (mostly it’s Google Ads) – works best when you want to target customers by need, e.g., show your offer for queries like “roofer in my area.”
If you have a budget to play with and not overly competitive niche (price per click on “lawyer in New York” is over $100 today) – PPC advertising immediately appears on the search pages. Secondly, PPC advertising allows you to check various keywords, as well as titles, prices, and different sales approaches.
Not only do you get people coming to your site, but you can also use PPC ads to find the best, most convertible keywords. You can then distribute these keywords throughout your site, which will help you to take your place in organic search results.
Establish an expert reputation for yourself
People use the Internet to find information. Provide this information free of charge to other sites, and you will see more people visiting your website as well as receiving better ratings – just include a link to your site with every piece of information.
Publish expert content like articles, videos, or any other content that can be useful to people.
You will meet new readers. But it’s even better than every site that posts your content will link to yours. Search engines love links from the relevant websites and will reward you in the rankings.
Use the power of email marketing to turn visitors into buyers
When you create a list of subscribers, you create one of the most valuable assets of your business online. Your customers and subscribers have permitted you to send them emails.
The benefits of sending them emails:
- You give them what they asked for.
- You are building a better relationship with them.
- E-marketing is cheaper and more efficient than printing, television, or radio advertising because it directly targets your target audience.
Anyone who visits your website and enters your list is a very hot lead.
Increase sales through back-end sales and upselling
At least 36% of customers who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up.
Closing the first sale is the hardest part. Therefore, use back-end sales and upselling to get them to buy again:
- Offer products that complement their original purchase.
- Send electronic loyalty coupons that they can exchange during their next visit.
- Offer related products on the “thank you” page, once they have finished purchasing their product.
- Thank your customers for their loyalty, and they will become even more loyal.
To sum it up
The Internet is changing so fast that one year online is about five years in the real world.
And of course, we highly suggest you contact Pixel Clear so we can build you a custom one of a kind website that will attract visitors and build an audience to engage and develop sales or relationships.
If you’re just starting to create a business, you should follow these steps. If you’ve had an online business for a long time, take a quick look and see if there’s a step you’ve neglected, or have never really considered. Either way, these steps can guide you to build a successful online business.
Author Dmitrii B. is the CEO and founder of GRIN tech – full-service & white-label agency.