The opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are always their own. There’s a tested formula you can follow to ensure your financial success when you are opening a business online. I’ve seen millions of people successfully start and develop successful online businesses by doing the following:
Find a great need and fill it. The first step in how to start a business online is finding a niche or area of expertise and filling it with something people want or need. For example, if I were interested in starting an online jewelry business, I would search for jewelry related keywords on popular search engines like Google. I’d find several sites that had jewelry products for sale and some of them looked very lucrative.
Start writing articles and blogs. Many successful entrepreneurs started blogs because it allows them to connect with their customers in a more personal way. Blogs and articles are great tools to build trust with your customers. Connecting with your customers on a personal level is the best way to make your business successful.
Create a great product or service. When I opened a successful online business, the first thing I did was create a very high-quality product. The most important thing to remember when starting an online business is that you have to treat it as a real business, even though you are only working from home. Most successful online businesses started as hobbies before they became full-time ventures.
Get your products to market. Once you have found a niche or target market, it’s time to get your new business in front of the target market. One way to do this is to start promoting your business using free methods like article marketing, social networking, etc. You will need to focus your efforts on getting your new website known to the right target market so you can convert traffic to sales. There are many online business laws you need to follow, but if you don’t start promoting your business immediately, you will never get the results you want.
Start small and build your business. I recommend that anyone wanting to start an online business should start by being very minimalistic and building their business up a bit by bit. Starting with a smaller business will help you become more consistent with your marketing efforts and it will also help you become a smaller target market for search engines. For example, if you want to target the UK market, start your site-local and be very specific about how you want your site to look and function.
Follow eCommerce business laws. The UK government cracked down on eCommerce businesses because many of them were misrepresenting themselves and sending fake customers into spam traps. If you want to start an online business, don’t send people away with a product they aren’t sure of, a service they don’t feel comfortable with, or one they can’t use. Instead, use a hosted website that has a contact form and a shopping cart so you can offer the best customer service possible to each customer. As long as you follow the laws, there should be no problem with marketing your business in the UK.
Use the skills and knowledge you have. Most successful online business entrepreneurs started at the bottom, so it doesn’t hurt to gain some basic knowledge. Whether it’s about web design eCommerce, marketing, accounting, or other business law topics, you will know how to get started. Once you know where to start, you’ll be able to build a strong foundation for your business that will last a lifetime.