Starting any business requires two primary subjects: “technicality” and “logistics”. The general rule of thumb for launching any business, states that there should be a five to six years financial prognosis of what your business niche stands to achieve, this way it would be easier to weigh the costs, opportunities and risks involved, to enable you understand how to invest wisely. The same rule is also applicable to any online business idea queued for execution.
|Photo Credit from Instagram, with Canva customization.
The six (6) vital answers necessary for starting an online business revolves around the two primary subjects highlighted above. But I urge you to think of them as plans rather than just answers because with such mindset, executing a proper structure for your online business becomes simplified, and it encourages discipline in conducting the right research and analysis.
Here is a bonus tip before starting any online business, spend enough time to determine what niche suites your purpose. This seems casual but, it is the utmost foundation for executing any business idea or setting a goal.
Reflect and ask yourself why you want to start an online business… Do you have a passion or talent that you wish to monetize using various networks or online communities? Or are you simply considering an online business because of the hype that it could make you rich within a month? If your goal is to showcase your passion, and transforming it into an online career, then finding a niche is definitely a no brainer! But for the latter (which sadly, the majority belong to), following the hype is not a solid foundation for launching a successful business career. Having too many expectations is often matched by concrete reality, and if these expectations are not satisfied as imagined, it becomes simple to get frustrated and give up at the early stage of the process.
This is the first technical effort to establish in your online career. Research is productive in comprehending the activities of other rich online authorities specialized in your niche. You want to operate a bit different from your competitors, and you want to think about the added value that can fill up the lacuna in the content they provide, that way your online business would possess uniqueness and ingenuity. We are generally used to hearing about being unique in any line of business, but most times we do not know about the factors that lead to achieving such status, or sometimes we simply take it for guaranteed and just adopt the “crowd mentality”.
Following the crowd is sometimes commendable, especially when trying to make a name at the opening stages of your career, but the common mistake most beginners make is being too obvious that they are copying trends and contents from other top sources, which is not very smart.
Sometimes obvious imitations can negatively affect your service rankings and indexes on notable search engines, such as Google
and it can also reduce organic engagement, because people would notice that your contents or services are merely duplicates.
If at all you choose to imitate in the beginning process of your online career or category, consider these few suggestions:
· Imitate only the top online authorities in your niche (don’t target average or mediocre).
· Try as much as possible to introduce your own value and style to whatever online source you choose to imitate.
· Imitate but don’t plagiarize, this is what I term “stealth-imitation” (imitating, but not actually imitating).
Let us preview some essential guidelines for embarking on competition analysis using an analogy. For instance, let’s assume you are looking to establish a career in online advertising or online marketing:
- Find well-known personalities in these niches, either on social media or their personal websites.
- Review their posts pertaining to anything they are trying to market or sell to their audiences, whether it is a webinar session, or online course, anything that seems like marketing or advertising. Normally posts of high-end personalities (relating to marketing, advertising, etc.) often appear flawless and enticing with advanced media effects, due to some manner of professionalism applied. Therefore, it would be difficult to point out a fault.
- However, the goal is not to point out faults, it is to see how you can adopt the same standards and add your own customizations to make it appear unique.
- These customizations can often task you to put in more effort in making your marketing video or pictures better.
- Here are some ideas: combining cultural pieces with a modern piece can become more appealing to audiences from your nativity, while simultaneously accomodating those who are non-natives. Another aspect of customization to also consider is adding a historical blend to a contemporary trend; this way your content can have a nostalgic feeling that could stir-up people’s emotion towards engaging with your piece, because sometimes people enjoy reminiscing about past events in one way or the other, either through stories or video content.
Uniqueness and ingenuity relies heavily on your customization ability or creativity.
Another point to note is that, less imitation of top authorities in your business niche can eventually enable you to identify a fault in their campaigns, which you can fix or improve.
This may appear advanced, but carrying out basic analysis on your competition before establishing your career does not require you to be an expert in any analytical field, it just pushes you to become more technical, in order to navigate your market easily and engage more with your target audience, without being perceived as a duplicate.
Learn how to Invest Properly
This is another technical aspect for starting an online business. At the initial stages, keep in mind that you don’t want to throw money where it is not needed or necessary, you can easily get scammed or your business can be hijacked, because it is the internet, cybercrime is still possible, so careful thinking is important.
The proper action to take is to learn how you can spend your investment capital on trusted tools or online services that could grow your business and maximize your ROI
Objectively 75% of businesses fail because of careless and extravagant investments procedures and this is often as a consequence of inaccurate research analysis or data.
For the sake of clarity, I am not emphasizing on gathering accurate research data on your online market or niche, which you should already be including in your schedule, owing to my previous explanations. What I am laying emphasis on is learning how business investments actually work in relation to your career choice.
For example, if you want to be an online fitness coach and instructor, conduct research, read trusted articles or e-books about how much capital is needed to actually start-up an online coaching session, and how much profit or ROI
should be expected in the long run. To quickly recap, in the beginning, we mentioned a five to six years financial prognosis every new business owner should consider, this is a very vital approach, because it motivates you to have a vision of what is needed and useful to maintain your business potentiality and posterity.
Having a Standard Computing System and Hardware Accessories
This is the first logistic factor to consider before starting an online business. Appropriate execution of any online business idea functions with a standard computing system. Mobile devices are not effective in providing you a professional online experience, irrespective of the specification or brand.
Let’s assume you already knew this, the question now would be; what other accessories do you need to stand-out as an online business professional? This would depend on your career niche or your online platform.
If you want to start an online business in the Self-improvement
market through YouTube
channels, or through creating Webinars
, then you need to invest in a camera, a tripod, and a microphone for audibility. If you cannot afford a camera at the moment, then ensure your mobile device have a high-quality pixel to capture images and record videos efficiently.
If you want to pursue an online career in affiliate marketing
or online advertising, then a good desktop is practically all you need, it does not have to be high-end, but it should definitely have a good processor of about 2.3 GHz to 3.5 GHz for speed and its RAM should be between 4GB to 8GB with 500GB to 1 TB hard-disk space, to maximize storage of information and software tools needed for your work. These computing specifications are quite basic, but as you advance in your business, there is always room to upgrade your hardware logistics.
Know the Legal Requirements of Each Online Business in Your Location
Employing good technical research about the legalities concerning any online business is very important to ensure that your location or state finds such business reputable or lawfully compliant.
If you are planning to start your online career as a sole proprietor, or a corporation (with a business team), then you can learn more about what laws are applicable. Each law or legal requirement varies from one location to the other, so this is fundamental to know what type of online business or niche is suitable for your state, to avoid being constantly apprehended by security agencies. These legal researches also include; tax laws, and licensing (if you are an e-commerce vendor or seller).
Setting Up a Good Insurance Policy
This is another significant business technicality
to consider when starting an online business. If you plan on setting up your online business from home then your homeowner’s insurance policy needs to be updated to include any equipment or computing tools you would need for your business.
Property insurance can also help to safeguard your home and business inventory in the event of any mishap.
The most important is also getting liability insurance to avoid any unforeseen lawsuit in the future, this is very important when dealing with people online.
Have Essential Online Tools and Software
This is necessary for your business logistics, investing in quality automated tools and software for your online business expands your potential and increases your success. You might not be a computer expert or tech genius, but you can always read articles and reviews on new and updated business tools and services that can be useful in terms of, increasing your organic traffic and engagements, maximizing sales and ROI with automated sales funnel, creating a good auto-responder or e-mail newsletter so you can provide your audience with updated information or services, etc.
Quick Disclaimer, do not invest in any untrusted automated tool or system that is built to manipulate and abnormally increase your targeted audience, or automated robots that perform your duties while you sleep. Such tools are usually harmful and are contrary to the privacy policies of notable social media platforms or online networks. It puts your business website or social media page at risk and it can be easily terminated once flagged.
If you want to know more about good and affordable tools that can help your online business reach thousands of targeted audiences and customers, you can see my review on Audience Toolkit for Online Marketers