Was it one of your goals at the beginning of this year to start building a business online and here you are at the end of the 8th month still confused about how to start? You are not alone! According to a research conducted by the University of Scranton, a whopping 92% of people who set New Year Goals never achieve them.
You may be wondering why such a high percentage and the truth is that talk is cheap. A lot of people “talk the talk” but fail to “walk the talk” for varying degrees of reasons (which we are not going to delve into). Now, that we have about four months left to round up 2019, it’s time to get something started and if starting a business online is one of the things you’d like to achieve but are confused about, this article is for you.
Starting a Business Online
If you are thinking of starting a business online, chances are you’ve probably seen other people already doing what you intend to do. You might have also visited their social media pages or websites for inspiration but you are still confused about how and where to start. The steps below will walk you through the basic steps of jump-starting. Once you start, you’ll begin to gain momentum. Momentum can never be achieved in inertia.
1. Secure the name of your business across all platforms
One of the greatest blessings of the 21st Century is the internet and this is because it has made it possible for anyone to start from scratch and build something phenomenal. As a budding entrepreneur, the internet is your best friend and you should take advantage of it.
As you are thinking of starting your business online, the first thing you should do is to secure the name of your business across all social media platforms. Securing your business name is free and it cost you nothing. Visit Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and lock down the names even when you feel you are not ready.
If you want to take things a step further, secure a domain name for your website. The domain name for your website is very important. This is a paid service but it usually does not cost much. If you can’t afford a domain name immediately, then you should secure a free domain name from WordPress.com.
Doing this will give you the peace of mind knowing that the name you desire for your business is available to you. Also, bear in mind that you do not have to make these platforms known to the public until you are ready. You can work in the background until you feel you are good to go.
Bonus Tip: When choosing the name of your business, be sure to choose the same name across all platforms and avoid choosing names with special characters like hyphens and underscores.
2. Hire a graphic designer or do-it-yourself
Building a business that will stand out online requires that you have exceptional graphics. Do not be lured into thinking you can create an impression by using lackluster graphic designs. The type of graphic designs you display on your online platform will determine whether people will take you seriously on it. Therefore, once you secure the name of your business, the next thing to do is to start talking to a graphic designer. The graphic designer will discuss your needs with you and help you design your logo, business cards, cover photo, brochure, and other digital files to help you get started.[Need to get your business in front of an international audience? Click HERE to learn about how we can help]
If you are working on a low budget and you truly believe that you are creative, you can use free designs from platforms like Canva and Adobe. These platforms are awesome and can help you get something started prior to the time when you’ll be able to afford a professional
Bonus tip: Do not hire a graphic designer until you talk to a coach or until you are 100% sure that the graphic designers understand what BRANDING is.
3. Write down and master three reasons why people should patronize you
One of the ways people fail while trying to build their business is because they have no clear reason why people should patronize them. As an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do to get your business off the ground is to be ready to give convincing reasons why people should dip their hands in their pocket and pay you in exchange for value.
To do this, think about your business and what you are offering. Also, think about your top three competitors and see if there’s something they are currently not focused on that can give you an edge over them. Write those things down.
After writing, there is a high possibility that you come up with more than three reasons why people should patronize you, however, you should narrow it down to three convincing reasons. Once you have the three reasons, be sure to master them such that they become second nature. This is so that wherever you go, you can easily catch people’s attention and remain in the top of their minds long after they’ve had a conversation with you.
Bonus tip: Avoid using the word “quality” when writing down the three reasons you believe people should patronize you. Quality is such an overused word such that most people just tune out as soon as they hear it. Think deep, be creative and above all, make your reasons memorable.
4. Craft a launch day message
Whether you like it or not, the success of your business depends on how well you are able to create a buzz. This is where preparing for launch day and crafting a launch day message comes in handy.
Elements of a great launch day message to your friends, families and well-wishers include your name, background (optional), the name of your business, your story, your “why”, what you are offering, how you want people to support you and most importantly a call-to-action. Do not write a long launch day message and forget to tell people how they can reach you to place an order.
Bonus tip: To make your launch day message highly effective, secure the service of a professional storyteller or at least have someone read through for additional pointers
5. Focus on marketing
If there is anything you should take away from the post, it is that your business cannot “self-market”. This means that no matter how pretty your logo looks or how great your idea is unless you market it to your target audience, it might be hard to get it off the ground.
Gone are the days whereby you launch your business and expect customers to flock to you. These days, you need to actively focus on marketing and come up with a strategy to keep your business fresh in the minds of your target audience. If you do not have a solid marketing strategy in place or you only market your business randomly, then you risk people not knowing about the existence of your business. Also, the fact that you created social media platforms or that you’ve secured your business name does not mean you should go to sleep. You need to develop a concrete marketing strategy that will help you get the word out about your business.
Bonus tip: Hire a verified professional to develop a marketing plan for you. If you need a “done-for-you” marketing plan or a business model that will make you stand out and reach your business goals, contact Onpoint Success HERE.
Things to bear in mind
These five tips are not all that there is to build a profitable brand online. There are many other things you need to do but you are rest assured that if you follow the five steps described above, you’d have moved a step closer to your goal. However, if you are truly serious about making your efforts count, you should do the following
Invest in yourself
From taking relevant free courses to buying business books to hiring a coach or getting a business mentor, you can never go wrong by investing in yourself consistently.
Business is a marathon
No matter how people make it seem online, building a successful business is a marathon. Do not expect overnight success either should you resent failure. Failure, disappointments and setbacks are normal parts of the process
Get in a mastermind group
One of the best gifts you can give yourself as a budding entrepreneur is the gift of association with people who are driven with purpose and are game-changers. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey and no matter how smart you are, you will need to lean on people from time to time. That’s why you should do everything you can to get in a mastermind group. If you are a woman, a great mastermind group that’s fully run online is right here on this platform. Read more details about it HERE and get on board this September.
The success of your business depends on PEOPLE. If there are no people to patronize you, your business won’t succeed and that’s why you need to be intentional about networking. The more people you know, the higher your chances of success.
Thank you for reading. Did you find this useful? Do you have additional questions about getting your business started online? Feel free to ask your questions below and have them answered by our team. Remember to share this article with a friend, too.