In many ways, the internet has leveled the playing field for small business owners everywhere. Online businesses are relatively easy to start, without the kind of up-front costs a brick-and-mortar business demands. However, this relative ease doesn’t mean that you can simply jump in and hang out your shingle.
As with any business, you need to establish a strong footing for your online business. While the steps outlined below don’t necessarily have to be completed in order, their objective is to provide you with a foundation that’s solid enough to bear the weight of your future business growth and success.
1. Market Research & Decide Products
Choose your market niche and business idea
Make sure to answer the following questions while choosing your niche:
Figure out a problem that no one else is solving. A solution for that problem & is affordable for your target market
2. Research the products (Physical / Digital / Services)
Selling physical products involves operational costs. For eg Manufacturing cost, warehouse cost, shipping charges, etc and hence it lowers the overall profit margins. Digital products can help you make high profits if your offer is valuable and rightly priced. By offering services you’re trading your time.
3. Learn about the online commerce laws
What type of business license, if any, is required before you can begin operations?
Which business entity-a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, or a corporation-makes the most sense?
Are you need to pass any inspections?
Is a sales tax license required?
4. Do market research
Market research helps you in determining the breadth, viability, and competitiveness of the chosen business vertical.
You don’t want to launch an offer that no one will be interested in buying. Market research also supports the validity of your product concept, pricing, and demand.
5. Define your target audience
Dive deep into the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. Create a customer avatar. A customer avatar is essentially a description of the ideal client or customer.
You’ll be a lot more successful in marketing to your ideal customer when you know exactly who they are, what they look like, their habits, interests, difficulties, aspirations, and everything else about them.
6. Decide goods/digital products to sell online
Discover a wholesaler who can offer you a selection of goods to buy and curate for your online store. Find someone who permits you to drop ship their goods. Decide on digital products you wish to launch.
7. Assess the viability of products
Is your product financially viable and an investment that makes sense to your business plan?
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