Whether you’ve been an entrepreneur for some time now or are just starting, launching an online business is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do during these times.
It could be for building wealth or just as a means of extra income.
Regardless, there’s no question about the potential of an online business to help you get out of the rat race and achieve your dreams.
In this post, I’m going to show you the basics of how to build an online business from scratch, and how you can grow that online business.
Deciding On A Product
No matter what kind of business you want to start, the first question you always want to ask yourself is what kind of product or service you’d want to offer people.
There is no limit to the kind of product that you can sell online, but that doesn’t mean you should sell just whatever comes to mind.
When it comes to selling, you’d want to come up with a product that will help solve a problem people are currently facing.
When brainstorming for product ideas, it would make sense to reflect on problems that you face personally.
Your product doesn’t necessarily have to be grand or complicated. It could be very simple, yet effective. If you can invent something, that would be good, too.
But remember that you don’t need to come up with a new product to help people.
There are existing products that may only need improvements in terms of features. There may also be existing products that only need to be introduced to a new market.
As much as possible, you’d want to choose a product that you’re passionate about.
You will have a better chance at delivering a product’s value if you have an emotional investment in it, not to mention that an emotional story will help you stand out.
And don’t forget about branding potential.
There are products that are not that trendy, but they sell because of their branding potential.
If you can create a brand message that resonates with your audience, you can make a huge splash in the eCommerce industry.
It would also be a good idea to be able to serve niche segments.
Audiences in niche segments are highly-engaged and passionate, and you can use this passion and engagement to move your brand forward.
Speaking of niches, there are thousands of niches to choose from, and you will need to be very precise to make sure you don’t end up with a niche you won’t be able to thrive in.
As for me, I am thankful that I had Wealthy Affiliate train me in the past on how to pick a niche that has helped my online business flourish. You can get the same training, too, if you go to this page right now.
Creating Your Website
You can’t run an online business without a website. I know it’s obvious, but this part of the process is usually taken for granted by a lot of people.
The thing about running an online business today is that people now have plenty of options when it comes to building their online store.
For instance, people can now choose between several eCommerce platforms in addition to WordPress.
The question, however, is whether it’s still worthwhile to use WordPress over popular eCommerce platforms today like Shopify and Magento.
- In reality, it all depends on what kind of website user you are.
- The advantage of eCommerce platforms is that they are designed exactly to function as online stores.
- They come with built-in eCommerce features, such as discounts and product tiers.
- They also feature a couple of thousand apps for extending your website.
- WordPress, on the other hand, is not a dedicated eCommerce platform.
This means you will need to download a certain plugin to integrate your online store into it.
The good news is that there are over 50,000 additional plugins that you can use to extend your WordPress website. The Most Profitable Online Business For 2021
The main advantage of eCommerce platforms, however, is that they are easy to build.
They are the perfect choice for people who lack web development skills or the budget to hire someone to build their online store for them.
That’s because eCommerce platforms let you create your very own online store without the need for coding.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who has skills in web design and web development, or if you can afford to hire a developer, then WordPress would be the best option for you.
Some people say that WordPress is more expensive to use.
However, the cost of using premium themes and apps tend to be higher with eCommerce platforms in the long run, and could even reach up to $15,000.
That’s five times the amount you would spend if you used WordPress instead.
But did you know that you can start a website for your online business and receive training at the same time for free?
That’s possible if you sign up with Wealthy Affiliate here.
Doing so will give you access to two free websites, plus some basic training on how to start an online business.
That includes basic training on SEO and digital marketing, too.
Growing Your Online Business
As your online business begins to pick up, it will begin to grow quarter by quarter, and year over year.
You may introduce products in the future, or maybe begin to manage more social media accounts, and work with bloggers and influencers.
- Planning for business growth is crucial if you are to maintain your success, and taking a strategic approach will enable you to always be ahead of the game and ready for what the future may bring.
- No matter what stage your business is at, planning ahead is vital to your success.
- To do so, you need to set realistic goals for business growth.
- These can be yearly goals or quarterly goals.
By planning ahead, you can have time to prepare for more room for growth.
As you plan, you’d want to consider several factors, including your eCommerce platform, you’re shipping process, human resources, and even build out to offline storefronts.
Monitoring the performance of your business also gives you insight into how fast or slow your business is growing.
The first metric you want to analyze when looking to scale is your sales performance.
Check whether the trends are healthy, or whether your sales are growing.
See what factors you can attribute the growth to.
A key indicator of scalability is a strong sales performance because it directly reflects the health of your business.
Measuring Your Success
The success of your business is nothing if you have no way of measuring it.
Be sure to study important metrics, such as conversion rate, average time of visitors on your site, page views, number of visits, and click-through rates.
These factors can provide your business with a wealth of information about your customer behavior, and what areas are working, and which ones are not.
One reason you should monitor your results in real-time.
- A quick glance at your analytics dashboard can already tell you when a particular landing page is not receiving any visitors or when there’s a rush of new visitors.
- By collecting data in real-time, you can easily make adjustments to your website and correct whatever marketing strategy you are using.
- This often helps you fix issues before they become overwhelming.
Generally speaking, there are three sets of KPI or Key Performance Indicators you need to consider when measuring the success of your business.
The first one is eCommerce data.
You need to understand your eCommerce website date because it helps ensure that your platform is performing.
It also helps you understand customer behavior, and learn what site content or merchandise is performing better than anything else.
The second set of KPIs is your marketing success factors.
When rolling out digital marketing campaigns, you’d want to understand how these campaigns are performing.
Campaigns may come in the form of social media marketing, email marketing, paid search, and affiliate marketing.
The third set of KPIs is particularly for small business owners.
As much as possible, you’d want to have a big picture of how your online business is performing.
This is very helpful when you’re pitching to investors or creating a scalable business plan.
Google Analytics is one of the best ways to keep tabs on your chosen KPIs. Most eCommerce platforms also come built with such a tool.
This guide on how to build an online business is just a small part of a large whole, but it should be enough to give you an idea of what it takes to start, build, and maintain an online business.
If you’re wondering how you can start an online business today and learn how to manage and drive it to success, I would highly recommend that you sign up with Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate has been in the industry for over 15 years now helping people build their own online business.
With Wealthy Affiliate, you can start an online business from scratch, learn how to pick the perfect niche and product to pursue, as well as learn the ropes of SEO, digital marketing, and other business strategies to keep your business relevant and growing.
Go to this page to partner with Wealthy Affiliate today.