Working from home gives you the freedom to be your own boss, especially if you quit your old job and decide to start an online business.
However, while the idea of becoming financially independent is attractive, there are multiple challenges standing in the way of an aspiring entrepreneur. If you wish to succeed as an online business owner, make sure to prepare a proper strategy and follow it through. Otherwise, your odds of making it are relatively low.
Pick an Idea
Start with market research and picking an idea. Perhaps you have graphic design skills and feel like an on demand printing venture where you sell custom t-shirts, hoodies, and other merchandise might be something up your alley? Or maybe you prefer a more traditional dropshipping business model and believe that it would be better to try that instead?
Regardless of your preference, you will need to research the market to pick a niche that is not too competitive. As a newcomer, you will likely lack the resources to start strong.
Another thing to note about picking a niche is that it is better to focus on an evergreen idea. This means that your products should be in demand throughout the year. For example, skiing equipment is not something that will sell well unless it is winter, right?
Launch a Website
Launching a website should not be too difficult, thanks to Shopify and other platforms that offer a simple setup process. If you have a domain name and a server to host the website, installing it should take a few minutes.
Make sure that your site’s theme is mobile-friendly because mobile ecommerce revenue accounts for over 50% of total U.S. ecommerce revenue. Failing to accommodate shoppers who use smartphones and tablets will mean missing out on potential customers.
An online store should also have proper product pages with descriptions, high-quality pictures, and customer reviews.
Finally, do not forget about simple elements, such as the search bar, social media buttons, contact info, and an FAQ page.
Focus on Productivity
Once the website is up and running, you will need to put a lot of effort into attracting customers. If you are set on creating a successful online business, avoid distractions and focus on your productivity.
If you need, get productivity applications that track your time, send reminders when to take a break, and help you plan your work schedule in advance.
Advertise on Multiple Marketing Channels
A marketing plan is one of the most difficult parts of running an online business. The difficulty increases even more when you lack the necessary resources to invest. Other brands can hire professionals who will do the work for them, but if you are operating alone, you will need to take things slowly and develop a marketing strategy.
When it comes to digital marketing, there are a couple of worthwhile methods that are universal and worth the resources.
- Social media
Advertising a brand on social media with the intent to redirect followers to your website should be the first suggestion. Creating a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most other SM platforms is free.
By publishing regular content and joining social media groups to promote your page, you can expect to attract followers.
If you have some money to invest in social media marketing, it would probably be best to organize a giveaway and hope for the post to go viral or collaborate with an established influencer. A simple shoutout from an A-tier celebrity could make a significant difference.
Keep in mind that even if things are relatively slow, establishing your brand on social media is still worth it.
- Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is the second method. Optimizing your website to attract organic traffic from search engines is a long-term investment. If you are willing to learn SEO yourself, start with the basics and use your website to experiment.
Ranking your site at the top will be a massive challenge, particularly if you are in a competitive niche. Nevertheless, if you are persistent and are willing to work hard to optimize the site, the results should show eventually.
The SEO experience is nice to have because you might consider switching your careers and becoming someone who works with search engine optimization rather than running their own ecommerce store.
To sum it all up, the information in this article should come in quite handy for those who are looking to start an online business from scratch. Keep in mind that the early days might be difficult, especially if you have no prior experience of working on the internet.
Nevertheless, the difficulties should not discourage you. If anything, they ought to work as a source of motivation. After all, most entrepreneurs went through similar challenges before they succeeded. Since there are plenty of success stories, they should be enough to persuade you that your dream of owning a profitable online business can become a reality as well.