Lydia Dela Vega, Negosentro | According to Statistic Brain, The probability that your online startup will fail increases from 25% the first year in business to a 50% failure rate in the fourth year in business. Businesses ten years old fail at the rate of 71%. Starting an online business may be easier than it sounds. Your goal is to not only start a business but to start a successful online business. Here are 10 things you must do when starting an online business.
You must clearly define your market and your customers
The Small Business Administration states that you should take into account the demographics of your customers including age, income, and other identifying tag. Be able to answer these questions to get a good sense of your market.
- Demand: Is there a desire for your product or service?
- Market size: How many people would be interested in your offering?
- Economic indicators: What is the income range and employment rate?
- Location: Where do your customers live and where can your business reach?
- Market saturation: How many similar options are already available to consumers
- Pricing: What do potential customers pay for these alternatives?
You must determine who your competitors are and what their niche is.
You must develop your product based on a new need you are fulfilling
You must research the keywords or phrases used to search the Internet to find your product or its likeness.
The popularity of certain keywords will show you what is trending.
You must be willing to tweak your product and/or marketing approach
Tweak your product by adding a benefit or advantage that will cause an increase in demand. If your sales have flatten or decreased then redirect your marketing strategy using the audience created in must do 5.
You must build a budget plan
Many startups miscalculate the capital needed to start and run the business.
Your budget needs to include one-time startup costs and recurring monthly expenses.
This is an example of what expenses to take into consideration:.
- Equipment and supplies
- Licenses and permits
- Lawyer and accountant
- Employee salaries
- Advertising and marketing
- Market research
- Printed marketing materials
- Website design
You must set up a website
Decide on the domain name for your website and check with a domain searching site to make sure the domain name URL is available. Pick a good name that has short words, consists of one or two words, and is easy to pronounce and to spell. It’s best if your name has sound appeal. Research the hosts and pick a host who has a good customer support, low down-time and fast upload and downloads. The professional look and use of your website signals whether you are reputable and high quality so hire a professional web designer. This is an expense worth spending top dollar for. The website should excel in function and user-friendliness. Another more affordable way to get a customized web design is to use crowdsourcing.
You must have social media exposure and presence
For online startups, your social media presence is very important especially if your target audience is teenagers. It is best to hire a professional who will create your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep your status current.
You must be technologically current or advanced
An online strategy is a strategy affecting the business’s online assets only.
While only 10% of companies describe themselves as fully digital. Accenture states that every business is a digital business because they have the most of the following characteristics:
- incorporate systems that log sales and inventory
- incorporate the use of barcode scanners
- incorporate offers and promotions for cross-selling
- administer a loyalty program
- process credit cards, debit cards and coupons.
- communication with suppliers and customers using the Internet
- develop an app that customers can download on their cell phone
Starting an online business is more affordable, quicker and easier than
a brick and mortar store. Your online presence should be professional, up-to-date and technically appropriate. Understanding your market and customer will allow you to target and succeed in attracting more customers. Attention to all of the must dos mentioned above will ensure that you succeed past the 10 year mark.