A great way to launch your business idea is to start an internet business, or you start your business online. It’s faster and less expensive, normally, to start an internet business than a street corner shop. And, there are lots of other upsides to an online business over a brick-and-mortar business.
For example, rent for commercial property alone in Accra and surrounding municipal areas can suck-up a massive chunk of startup capital in a short period of time. So, instead of having to pay huge amounts of your money as rent for a business location, you, rather, pay for a domain registration and web hosting, which are comparatively less expensive.
It’s a strategic decision to start your business online. For that reason you should perform a thorough strategic evaluation of your idea and marketing environment before you launch.
Now, whatever your business idea may be, you are going perform certain strategic tasks to start an internet business:
Identify a need and offer a Solution
An essential fact you have to keep in mind and work with is that every kind of business involves exchange of value between two parties: buyer and seller. Another fact you have to work with is that what consumers really buy, or what they are willing to exchange their money for is solution to a need, not just a product or service.
Your first task is to identify the need that your business idea offers a viable solution to. Some questions you should answer to yourself are: What need am I going to provide a solution to? What need am I trying to satisfy? What problem am I trying to solve? What will my product do? What satisfaction would the consumer get from buying and using my product? What’s your target market and who are your target consumers?
This post, for instance, is a product. It is an informational/educational product, as much of this blog is, and it’s offering information or knowledge on how to start an internet business to you. You are reading now because you find it useful as it satisfy a need for you. You may wonder, you’re not paying for reading or consuming this, so how can the writer or blogger earn money for this? Well, the same blog post offers solution to other needs—businesses’ need for advertising medium.
What is your revenue model?
What is your revenue model? You should ask yourself how viably and profitably can your solution be delivered on the internet. How can you serve your market and consumers through the internet? How will your product be delivered?
Then, you must find a good answer to a most important question: How do I make money for offering or selling my solution? How do I intend to make money for offering or selling my solution? You use the outcome of this task to further shape and refine your product offering, pricing and market segmentation, targeting and product positioning.
You’re ready to move on to the next tasks when you’ve got your online business figured out in a viable business plan for a guide.
Get a professional website
It’s important that you go professional with your website if you’re serious about your business idea, and you should go professional if your idea means more than a hobby to you. Fortunately there are very affordable means to launch your business online: by using existing websites and web platforms or by building your own website and buying the tools and applications you need.
Register a domain name:—First, you decide what your domain name is going to be and the TLD (top-level domain) you want for your business. Then you perform a domain name lookup to be sure your preferred domain name is not already taken by someone else. You can do this by performing a Whois lookup.
If your preferred domain name is free, you contact an internet service company that does domain name registration and register it. But if the name you prefer is already taken, you choose another one and and perform another lookup until you get what you want, and go on to register that.
You should keep in mind that your domain name is part of your brand. So you should approach your choice of domain name as you would branding your business and product.
Buy website hosting package:— Your website has to be hosted on a web server, and one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to host your domain is to buy a web hosting package from a web hosting service provider. Usually those service providers offer both domain registration and web hosting services.
Build your website:— Now, you’ve registered your domain and bought a hosting package/account, it’s time to build your website. It’s all well and good if you can build your own website. Indeed, WordPress offers a wide variety of tools, themes and plugins to help you build a website. But if you’re not sure of what to do, you contact a pro website designer to set your business up for you.
Set up a means of payment that’s secure easy-to-use:— A good e-commerce website must have a reliable means for issuing invoices and a means of making payments that’s secure for. Shoppers must have confidence that it’s safe for them to input their personal information into your website.
Use search engines to drive traffic to your website:— You probably found this post from a search you conducted online. That is how most of your target consumers will find your products and business. According to Google, about 70% of shoppers perform a search on a mobile device when making a buying decision. For that reason you should get very good search engine optimisation for your website. SEO ensures that you show up, your website shows up high in search results.
Use other websites:— There are a number of other websites and web platforms you can list your business on, as means of spreading your internet presence and driving traffic to your business website. Again Google has some great inexpensive tools you can use to enhance your presence online.
Produce creative copy that sells:— The copy for your website is your major determinant of whether a visitor to your site remains a visitor or converts to a buyer. So, copy for your site must be persuasive. There are a number of persuasion models you can adopt to create your copy or web content.
Establish expert reputation for yourself:— It’s also essential that you establish expert reputation in your chosen market segment, industry or product line. Expert reputation helps to build brand equity for your business.
Use Social Media to keep followers engaged:— You should keep your customers engaged by informing them regularly of your business and products just as advertisers do.
This short information should get you inspired to get to work on that dream business of yours. If you need further information or assistance, just drop a comment in the comment box below and you’ll surely get a quick response from us at Labone Express.
Enjoy your startup process, and Good Luck!