Help! How to start with my online business?

    Help! How to start with my online business?

    [vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]

    Let’s face it – starting a business online or even something as simple as a blog – has never been easier than now. No need to hire an IT company, a website designer, or rent a server. You can do it all yourself from your couch! So what are you waiting for?

    It’s time to work on your plan B – especially that it’s so easy right now. Are you not sure how to start? Where to look for?

    I guess you’re probably one of that person that have done marketing or PR in the past but things have changed waaaaayyy since then. Yes, you are checking Facebook from time to time, Instagram sounds a bit familiar and WordPress or HTML is totally alien to you.

    [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]

    So shall you still take a deep dive into the wild waters of online marketing? Isn’t it now too late? Wouldn’t it be silly? Do you know what is really silly? THAT YOU’RE NOT TRYING! Just because you’ve found this blog already gives you an answer – you are looking for advice and you genuinely want to take the risk – and that’s great!

    So take a look at this blog post as your base – here is where I explain the foundations of setting up your online business and you need to take off from here. Browse through the categories on this blog – check my Facebook Ads 101 course or the series on Google Analytics. If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to use the comments or the LinkedIn group. We’re all here to learn!

    [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]

    Let’s get down to numbers – according to Internet World Stats:

    The number of users on the Internet just in 10 years increased from 16 million to 3079 million. In 2015 this constitutes 42.4% of the entire world population.

    [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]

    Internet as a sector is about 3% of GDP, or bigger than agriculture or energy, and represents over 20% of economic growth in the past 5 years, and growing. For every job that the Internet destroys, 2.6 new net jobs are created (Business Insider).

    [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]

    And what about blogging? Just browse through different infographics on how blogging is becoming the major tool for content marketing. WordPress is the system to create blogs – 48% of the top 100 world’s websites are managed with WordPress and in the top 10 million websites, every 5th is built in WordPress.

    [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Are you now convinced to go online? Let’s draw down the first steps and what you need to know.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Start with an IDEA or look closely for fields, groups, areas, where there is a NEED

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    Another simple approach is copy the business model of an existing company and apply it in a different industry. At this stage you probably know what it is – you’re just not sure if you have guts to do it. Stand up in front of a board or anything that allows you to brainstorm. Think of different use cases. Talk to your friends to verify your idea. Ask them how would they use it or why would they buy it. Ask yourself why would your idea make an impact on people’s lives.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Choose your target audience

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    Just like in the old marketing days – think about your customers – who would those be? Why would they buy? What are their characteristics, their hobbies, their purchase behaviours? Where would you find them? Don’t go too broad and don’t narrow yourself to a small group of people. Think about how you could reach them and what are the possibilities for growth.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Research, research, research!

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    Are your customers online? Are they using your competitor’s services or products? Make an account yourself and see what the journey is like. Follow them on social media or see what type of content they share and what they like. See which strategies work and which don’t. Start thinking how would you approach them – would there be more new customers or loyal, long-term fans?

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Draw your business model

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    Many say this should be your first step – begin with an idea that turns into business. I would say here is a good time to think about how you’re going to sustain your business – you’ve already collected some information about your market and understand your potential customers. If you don’t have that in place, your methods of generating revenue might not work. There’s a separate blog post on drafting your business model canvas by Osterwalder. It’s a really fun exercise!

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Now think about your online part – that is the website

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    How would it look like? What is the name of the business and website address? What is your logo? For which device would it be targeted? What content do you need basing on what you’ve researched in point 3?

    What are the basic streams of traffic? That means – can you draw a typical journey of your customer on your website? Where would you like him/her to land? What does he/she need to avoid?

    What information will he/she look for?

    Which other areas (apart from making a purchase) allow generating revenue? Can they subscribe to your newsletter? Can they recommend you to a friend?

    Think what functionalities you can add in the following 3-6 months. Remember, you don’t need to work on everything in one release. Just go live, observe, and adapt to your customers.

    If it helps, draw down the site map of your website. There are some great programs out there helping you planning your content online:

    Draw a sitemap with WriteMaps

    A blog post on building a website from scratch is here– make sure to download the checklist that I’ve prepared!

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Draw your online marketing strategy

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    Basing on points 3 and 4, establish the online channels to market your website to. Most marketeers or bloggers start with social media – which networks exactly and with which content? How would you drive attention to your website? Would you use some offline methods too like word of mouth or presentations? Think about SEO from the start – is your site going to be found by Google? Is your template SEO ready?

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

    Think about your social media strategy

    [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

    Does this sound new to you? Don’t worry – I’ve written a separate blog post on what social media is, what are the main networks and metrics you should consider and how to set up a launch plan. Think about your future audience – what sort of people would you like to attract here? Would they also be your customers? Which content is important to them?

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


    This is the basic framework, which in my opinion, is necessary when building your business. Always remember to validate your ideas and don’t assume launching your store or blog once will be “ticked off” and done. That’s the beauty of online – keep on learning, optimizing, testing and improving. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and most of all – get to learn your customers or followers.

    Was this post helpful? Are you still enthusiastic about your new project? Where the steps difficult to understand? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]