Everyone aims to have financial freedom. Even the simplest of person still wants to have enough money to free himself or herself from financial obligations. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be wealthy as each of us have the right to live comfortably and well.
Decades ago, only those people who have the right amount of capital and connections can explore business opportunities and startup business ideas. Back then, only a few knew how to start a business successfully, because only a few could actually afford it.
With the emergence of the internet, however, our dream of becoming wealthy is easily within our reach. The internet has become a haven for everyone who wants to make money. Several online business ideas have sprouted like mushrooms over the years, and so many of them have become successful. Your online business idea can be a success story too. In this post, you will learn how to start an online business in four easy steps.
1. Decide on a product or a service.
The most important step in setting up an online business is, of course, choosing the product or service you are going to offer. There are two ways to go about this.
First, you can look around your community (local or global) and look for a need to fill in. For example, if you see that there is a need for more swimming instructors in your locality, then you can decide to fill in that need by studying to become a swimming instructor and getting the required license to become one.
On the other hand, you can start a business about something that you’re passionate about. For example, if you love baking, you can start an online cake and pastries shop. If you love to write, then you can sell books that you yourself have written. If you love reading books, you can set up an online business that sells paperbacks or e-books.
Either way, you need to have a product or a service in order to start an online business. Otherwise, you will join the thousands of scammers that lurk around the internet, those that receive payment from their customers but don’t actually have any products to send back.
2. Choose a domain name.
Once you have decided what product or service you will offer, you need to think of a business name as well. Most of the time – and this is highly recommended – your business name should also be your domain name. The domain name is what your potential customers search for online. This name will become your URL, which will look like www.businessname.com.
The name you will choose can make or break your business, so you really need to put a lot of thought into your domain name, and you really have to do domain investing. Here are a few tips in choosing a business and/or domain name:
a. Keep it short. Domain names should be easily recalled so that your potential customers can find you in any search engine in a matter of seconds. If they can’t recall your name, then they can’t buy from you. The business name The Baking Mom, with URL www.bakingmom.com, can be remembered without difficulty compared to the business name The Mother With An Oven which translates to a URL of www.motherwithanoven.com.
b. Keep it relevant. Your domain name has to be relevant to the product or service you are offering. This way, your customers will automatically know what you have to offer. If you are selling books, for example, your business name should not be Wineglass Inc., with the domain name www.wineglass.com. Your name has to have something to do with the product you are selling or the service you’re providing. Therefore, Haven for Bookworms or www.havenforbookworms.com is more preferable when you’re selling books.
c. Keep it reliable. This is where domain name extensions come in. Choose extensions that are trustworthy such as “.com”, “.net”, and “.org”. People are more comfortable visiting websites with these extensions, as opposed to “.bit” and “.ly”. If your business and/or domain name is reliable, your target customers will have no qualms in visiting your website and will not hesitate in purchasing your products and services.
d. Keep it unique. One of the characteristics of a domain name is that it should be unique. One domain name cannot be owned by two different individuals or businesses. So if www.havenforbookworms.com is already owned by someone else, you cannot use it as your own anymore.
You must also make sure that your domain and business name is not a play on another business name that is more popular. For instance, if you’re selling shoes and other apparels just like Robertson Clothing & Shoes (www.robertsonsclothing.com) , avoid naming your business something like Roberto’s Clothing & Shoes (www.robertosclothing.com). You won’t only look like a copycat, but people will not trust your brand as well.
So now that you have a domain name in mind, the next thing you need to know is whether this domain name is available or not. You can check out the availability of your domain name at www.dnfinder.com.
3. Make your business legal.
There are legal issues that you need to know when engaging in an online business. These legalities are different from the laws that govern physical businesses, and they include the following:
a. Privacy Laws. There are regulations regarding the personal information of your customers. You have to take care of these kinds of information, and cannot just distribute or disseminate these.
b. Intellectual Property Rights. The products you are selling may be under the intellectual property laws and regulation, so you have to research and know your scope.
You also have to register your business, in order to avoid legal repercussions. The requirements differ from country to country and state to state, so it is best to call or visit your local state office. In addition, you need to know about your tax obligations. Once you make your business legal, you will have the peace of mind to operate and not worry about legal issues.
4. Build your website
So now you have a product or a service, a business and domain name, and you have already explored the legalities of the business. It is now time to build your website. If you know how to do this, then you can go ahead and start. However, since you’re reading this, then chances are you have no idea how to create a website. In that case, you need to hire the services of a web designer. There are a lot of freelancers that you can find online.
You also have the choice of using existing e-commerce sites, especially if you’re selling things like books, apparels, and shoes. You can ride on websites such as Amazon, eBay, and the likes, and sell your products there. However, it is still advisable to create your own website because it will make you look more professional and trustworthy.
Creating wealth through online business is not as easy as counting from one to four. Like everything else in life, you need hard work and dedication in order for you to succeed. Following these four steps and the other tips, however, will make it easier for you, as evidenced by the number of people who have followed these steps. Good luck in your business endeavour, and let us know how this post has helped you.