How to Start an Online Business in 2021 (Successfully)
And Really Grow Up
Thursday, September 16, 2021
How to Start an Online Business ? It is now much easier than in the past. In the past, only the most resourceful and successful people were able to create their own companies, of course there are exceptions. It was necessary to start with high capital and it was difficult to get external financing (unless you were born in a family with experience in business).
Certainly, in 2021, that is no longer the case. Anyone, regardless of their professional background or previous business experience, can now start an Internet business from their home or office and grow it.
However, although the barrier to entry has been lowered, it has not been completely removed. Developing a reliable product concept, determining your sourcing or manufacturing strategy, and developing a sales model are all important steps you should keep in mind when making the decision to start your business.
None of the factors mentioned above, however, should stop you from starting an online business!
If you are looking for information on How to Start an Online Business, please read this article to the end. You will find different types of businesses and know what precautions to take when deciding where to host it.
What will you see in this article
- Some reasons to start an online business
- Below are 6 examples for you to start an online business (successfully)
- What You Need to Know About Starting an Online Business in 6 Steps
- Identify your market niche and company concept
- Define your target audience
- Establish your company's brand and image
- Make an online store
- Do a final check
- Get ready to grow
- Frequently Asked Questions
Some Reasons to Start an Online Business
The reason for starting an internet business is not always clear at first glance. After all, why not stick with a traditional store?
Because there are several advantages to starting an internet business.
Here are the most important ones:
Requires less initial investment
Many people want to start a business but put off starting because of the amount of money needed. The capital need of a physical business involves, among other expenses, the rent value, the goods that must compose the initial stock and the employees' salaries. What happens if you put all your money into the business and it doesn't work? This has the potential to destroy your financial situation.
With an Internet business, on the other hand, all you need is:
- Computer. Chances are you already have one.
- A domain name.
- Website hosting company.
- Create a website with a website builder.
- Publicize your business.
- Publicize your business.
In other words, it is possible to start an internet business with very low initial investment. Obviously, the more money you have, the more online business options you have.
However, the point is that you don't have to put your life savings at risk to become a (successful) Internet entrepreneur.
There is significant potential for growth
It is necessary to deal with "real world" restrictions when operating a physical business, be it shop or office. Some disadvantages of renting in key locations include the high cost, the fact that there may not be enough foot traffic for a few days, and local people may not need your goods all the time.
However, guess what? Starting a business online does not have the above restrictions. He has the ability to sell to anyone regardless of where they reside.
Also, over time, your potential customers grow as more people become comfortable with the idea of shopping online. By 2023 it is estimated that global retail sales will represent 22% of total sales.
In addition, the world's Internet population is also expanding. The number of Internet users in the United States is estimated at 88.2% of the population and in Brazil 70.5% of the population (Wikipedia).
It is possible to operate it 24 hours a day
Starting an Online Business has its advantages over traditional businesses, they operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Once your site is up and running, it will always be ready to make sales. Customers can place orders at any time. Since you don't have to be physically present to complete the sale, your business can make money with minimal day-to-day involvement.
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Below are 6 examples for you to start an online business (Successfully)
These days, it can be difficult to decide what kind of online business to start due to the amount of possibilities and definitive guides available. This is natural, as you don't want to take unnecessary risks. Below are some examples that will help you in your assessment.
1. Start an e-commerce
Although online shopping has been around for more than four decades, around 1982 the Boston Computer Exchange launched what we might call the first e-commerce company using BBS (Bulletin Board Based System), there has never been a better time to start an online business. than now.
An estimated one in three US consumers currently receive shipments from Amazon each week, according to "The Future of Retail 2019" report. In Brazil, a study conducted by Neotrust shows an increase of 57.4% compared to 2020 in purchases made over the Internet, reaching 78.5 million purchases. The same study indicates that restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic boosted online sales.
Once you've determined your product categories, choose your ecommerce platform (such as BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce or similar platform), set up your online store and start driving visitors to it. While e-commerce offers all the advantages of online business mentioned above, keep in mind that profit margins in the online commerce environment can be quite slim.
2. Work with dropshipping
Dropshipping is an online fulfillment technique that allows you to sell real products without having to keep your own inventory.
It works like this:
- Suppose a consumer visits your website and purchases a product from it.
- The order is sent to the manufacturer for processing.
- The product is then shipped directly from the manufacturer to the consumer.
Anyone interested in getting into e-commerce without taking the financial risk that comes with keeping inventory will find dropshipping to be a very good alternative. So it's no surprise that the dropshipping industry is expanding. Expected revenue by the year 2025 is $557.9 billion.
Dropshipping offers several advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. Low profit margins, slow shipping speeds and lack of control over the supply chain are just a few of the problems that exist.
3. Sign up for an affiliate program
Consider getting into affiliate marketing if you are interested in starting an online business, but not in producing your own items.
It is a known method of earning money online. Companies spend about $12 billion annually on affiliate marketing, according to SaaS Scout. Over the next few years, the number is projected to increase by 10%.
See how affiliate marketing works:
- The first step is to sign up for an affiliate program.
- Then choose a product from another company to advertise to your target audience. This can include any digital product (eg an e-book, an online course, an app, etc.) as well as tangible products such as clothing.
- After that, you will receive commission for any sales that occur through your affiliate link.
You can advertise products using email marketing and on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
When done correctly, affiliate marketing has the potential to be highly profitable, because commissions are usually quite attractive. It's a fantastic business strategy with a minimal initial investment and a high return on investment. A domain name, website hosting and email marketing software are the only things you'll have to pay for in advance.
Successful online businesses that start by selling affiliate items gradually expand their offerings to include their own products. It's possible to generate a lot more money with the same amount of traffic if you do things that way.
MVMCloud itself has an excellent Affiliate Program, you can advertise MVMCloud's services, Website Hosting, WordPress Hosting, VPS Servers, etc, and earn commission of up to 50% of the sale value on a recurring basis, ie, while the referred customer has the service active and paying for it, you receive your commission. Find out more by clicking on the MVMCloud Affiliate Program, it's free to sign up and win.
4. Offer your customers web design services
Study the fundamentals of web design through eLearning platforms and hands-on experience. So, create the website with your portfolio of services and start recruiting clients. Alternatively, start in a freelance market such as Upwork, Workana or 99Designs. You don't need to work as a full-time freelancer, you can devote part of your time to it.
Freelancing, on the other hand, can be a tough market at times. While you have the benefits of being able to work anywhere and having flexible hours, you will initially have less consistent income, it may be sporadic. Avoid surprises, set aside an emergency fund before you go all-in.
After mastering web design, evaluate producing and selling your own items, this will allow you to earn additional income (eg WordPress templates and themes). This can give you more financial stability as it is an additional market, but related to your core business.
5. Create a blog that people want to read
Do you have a natural talent for writing? In that case, blogging can be an interesting business on the Internet. While it is not a business strategy in itself, it helps you create an audience for your products, services and affiliate products.
A blog that has good traffic opens up the opportunity for Google's affiliate program, Google AdSense. Google ads are displayed on your blog and you get paid when a visitor clicks on your ad.
6. Work with Reseller Hosting
Reseller hosting is a quick way to start an online business and resell website hosting services without having to create all the necessary infrastructure. Your client will see your company offering all services related to hosting and creating websites on the Internet, such as WordPress Hosting plans, Visual Website Builder, Website Hosting, Security Services, VPS Servers, and many others. You have autonomy in setting your own sales prices and promotions, for example Back Friday. This type of business is worth considering because it has the advantage of guaranteeing you recurring income.
MVMCloud offers this type of service through Hosting Reseller Plans. Choose a plan that best meets your needs, define your domain name and your brand, and start selling. If you want to know more, just click on the Reseller Hosting link.
Another type of reseller is the MVMCloud Reseller. It was created with the idea of making it even easier to start your business on the Internet. You get the pre-configured online store with the services of MVMCloud and a billing system based on WHMCS, the most used billing system in the world by website hosting companies
Just like the traditional hosting reseller, you can also define what your selling prices will be, the difference is that the services are all created and you don't need to waste precious time creating them. Another excellent advantage is being able to create, depending on the plan chosen, promotional coupons to increase your sales on commercial commemorative dates. It has many more advantages that you can see by clicking on the MVMCloud Reseller link.
What You Need to Know About STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS in 6 steps
Having established a business concept, let's take a closer look at the operational components of creating a successful Internet business. Here is a step-by-step analysis of the process:
- Identify your market niche and company concept.
- Conduct research on the product/service you want to sell.
- Learn about the laws governing online business.
- Do market research.
- Define your target audience.
- Find salable items on the internet.
- Assess the feasibility of the product.
- Establish your company's brand and image.
- Make an online store.
- Get ready to grow.
Identify your market niche and company concept
A niche market is a term that refers to your "area of focus", which is a market sector and demographic group that you primarily serve. This can include anyone from sports enthusiasts (such as gymnasts) to hobbies (such as stamp collectors) to professionals (such as doctors and software developers).
Choose a specific market niche for your new venture. How to find one? Check if your target audience has the following characteristics:
- A problem that no one else seems to be able to solve well enough.
- The target audience is willing to pay for the solution to the problem.
- The revenue generated is enough to pay the cost of the solution and generate profit.
Avoid niches that don't meet these three requirements. Because starting an internet business is already a difficult task. Going after people who don't need your products, can't buy them, or aren't interested in them only makes things more difficult.
Conduct research on the product/service you want to sell
There are three main categories of ecommerce items that can be sold online. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
1. Physical Goods
This category includes physical goods that must be produced, stored in a warehouse, and then shipped to customers. Selling physical items can be profitable, but if you don't control your operating expenses, your profit margins can be minimal or non-existent.
2. Downloads in digital format
Also offer digital items, which are anything a customer can download to their device, such as music, software programs, e-books, audio lectures, online courses, and other similar materials.
Profit margins on digital items are higher than on physical items. However, pricing them can be difficult due to the fact that they are often seen to have a lower value than physical goods.
Almost all services that can be provided remotely can be marketed online today. Selling services is the fastest method to start an online business (and generate a profit). However, it is a business strategy in which you are essentially selling your time. As a result, your earning potential is restricted due to the fact that there are only so many hours per day. That is, until you decide to expand and become an agency.
Learn about the laws governing online business
Because they operate an Internet business, small business owners may believe that standard business regulations do not apply to their operations. This is not correct. Although an Internet business requires fewer licenses and permits than a traditional operation, you still need to take care of several important legal considerations. Specifically:
- If you want to start an online business, what type of business license (if any) is required?
- Individual partnership, limited liability company or corporation are the legal structures that make the most sense in this situation.
- Is there any kind of permission required?
- Are there any inspections you must pass before proceeding?
- What kind of taxes will you pay?
- Are there laws applicable only to Internet companies specifically?
- What are the rules regarding hiring employees?
Do market research
By conducting market research online, you can learn more about what your target audience wants, needs, and needs. When it comes to starting an online business, market research is an absolute must. It helps determine the breadth, competitiveness and profitability of a given business vertical. After all, the last thing you want is to launch a product that no one is interested in buying. In addition, market research can help you validate your product's idea, price, and demand.
How to start market research, here's what to do:1. Look at the search engine results pages
Considere pesquisar e analisar as variantes das palavras-chave do seu produto / serviço e as páginas de resultados do mecanismo de pesquisa (SERPs) que aparecem para elas. Que tipo de material agora está aparecendo na primeira página dos resultados da pesquisa? Que tipo de empresa está pagando para que seus anúncios apareçam acima dos resultados de pesquisa orgânica?
This will help you make a preliminary assessment of your competitors. In addition, you will receive information for a preliminary SEO and digital marketing plan that will focus on the content your target audience loves to consume.2. Conduct market research on competitors
In-depth analysis of your main competitors is also recommended (in addition to SERPs). What are the most successful competitors in your industry? How much money do they bring in each month? What exactly are its advantages and disadvantages?
By examining other competitors with a critical eye, it is possible to discover competitive advantages over them in a given situation.3. Keep track of the keywords that are producing the best results
By monitoring keywords relevant to your chosen niche, you can see how demand for different products is changing and which content performs best.
Below are some tools that will help you:
- Google Trends - It's a tool that provides information about what people are doing online (free).
- Google Keyword Planner - It is a tool that finds relevant keywords (free).
- Ahrefs (paid).
- Semrush (paid).
- Ubersuggest (Fremium).
Define your target audience
To generate sales and subsequently grow your business, you must have a clear understanding of who your target audience is. Research demographic and behavioral data to better understand your needs and preferences.
To generate sales and subsequently grow your business, you must have a clear understanding of who your target audience is. Research demographic and behavioral data to better understand your needs and preferences.
2. Behavioral Data
A variety of behavioral traits such as values, beliefs, interests and views are included in this information. When taken together, these insights help you develop a comprehensive understanding of your potential buyer's needs, preferences, and purchase triggers.
Find salable items on the Internet
If your products/services are not good, it is impossible to start an online business and run it profitably. If you neglect the quality of your products/services, you will end up being known for the wrong reasons. Avoid this type of problem, spend more time developing your product/service strategy.
1. First, create your own products/services
If you want to offer digital items, this is a much easier choice. The physical manufacture of the product, on the other hand, requires a great deal of effort in terms of design, interactions, material selection, and so on. In addition, the financial costs are also higher. However, manufacturing will always provide a competitive advantage over its competitors in terms of quality, product selection and brand recognition.
2. Find a supplier that works with dropshipping
You can locate a manufacturer that will allow you to dropship your items. Many small business owners enter into dropshipping agreements with foreign manufacturers (mostly based in Asia) to reduce their operating expenses.
3. Work with a wholesaler to get the best price
Another option is to select a wholesaler who will supply a variety of items for your online store. Also, you can find a wholesaler who can distribute your items for you as a service (if you plan to manufacture them).
4. Assess product viability
Before purchasing or manufacturing a large number of products, make a thorough assessment of their feasibility. Ask yourself the following:
- Is there a successful internet business that sells similar products?
- Is there a long-term need that this particular product meets? Or is it temporary?
- What do you think about the cost of creating this product? Is it possible to sell at a profit?
- It's important to remember that it doesn't matter how cool the product looks. What matters is that it is financially viable from a commercial point of view!
Establish your company's brand and image
A brand is your company's overall perception. Every aspect of your business, from your business name to your website design and text, should express a cohesive visual image and set of concepts. The same is true for your off-site presence, which includes social media, an email newsletter, and even your packaging design.
When developing your brand identity, pay close attention to the following:
- The color palette is important;
- Website page layouts;
- Graphic art and photos
Your brand image should be the result of all these factors working together to create it.
Make an online store
Preparing for your company's launch is the next phase of your business strategy. The process of setting up and customizing your website includes the following steps:
1. Choose a website hosting company
Website hosting is essential so that your store can be accessed by people on the Internet, to start an online business. It's where you install all the files that make up its structure. Spend time researching the different providers available, they are varied and offer different features.
Maybe I'm a little lost in the face of the number of companies that offer this type of service. To help you make this choice, consider these points that companies must offer:
- Ease of creating your website - If you choose to create your online store in WordPress/WooCommerce, check if the contracted plan delivers these software already installed.
- Easy-to-use control panel - This is where the administrative/technical management is done, for example, adding a user, controlling access passwords, etc.
- Reliable infrastructure of the provider - Check the guarantee of uptime, time your website will be up and running, security services offered to your website, see below.
- Site security and availability :
- Note if the infrastructure is installed in world-class data centers;
- The data center must have a redundant Internet connection to avoid single point of failure and your site going down;
- Protection against malware on the server, regardless of whether you also have protection installed on your website;
- Protection against DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service Attacks) attacks. Prevents your site from being taken down due to excessive requests;
- Intrusion detection and prevention. Prevents your website from being invaded by hackers;
- Cloud antivirus. This type of antivirus is extremely efficient because it scans all sites on a set of servers and eliminates or isolates any viruses found.
- Automatic Captcha protection. This type of protection identifies when your website is under malicious attack and automatically presents a captcha challenge to the attacker. If you don't know what a captcha is, it's an image presented to the person to click, for example, on all images containing a car. This stops a possible hack before it even gets to your site.
- Adequate support and prepared to answer your questions.
The above items protect your website and keep it up and running. After all, what you least want is to find out that on that busiest day your website was hacked, or is suffering an attack that makes you sluggish or even unresponsive.
You can find all these items and more in MVMCloud services . Build a complete store with WordPress E-Commerce Hosting plan and make sure your business is installed on a top notch infrastructure.
2. Configure your store's products
Once you've decided on a hosting platform and store theme, it's time to start adding products to your inventory. Pay special attention to the items below:
- Product Images - Use high definition images that show the product from a variety of perspectives;
- Product Descriptions - Instead of listing features, focus on the benefits the customer will receive. Catchy descriptions that show how the customer solves their problem sell more.
Images and descriptions have a significant influence on the conversion rates of product pages on your site. So don't be in a hurry and make sure they are perfect!
3. Make a decision on how to ship your products
Fast and free shipping, when possible, is a very important factor in a customer's decision to buy something online. Make sure all your items reach their destinations without any interruption.
Do a final check
Finally, when your e-commerce store is up and running, test every aspect of it three times. Check if:
- All pages appear well on all devices (desktop, tablet, mobile);
- The site is accessible by a variety of browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.);
- All buttons are clickable and are linked to the appropriate features.
If you have the resources, hire a quality assurance professional to conduct the test and report the results. It can see errors you might not see.
Get ready to grow
After the setup process is complete, it's time to start generating traffic to your e-commerce website. Prioritize the following channels in order of importance:
- Paid Ads - Set a budget for PPC (pay-per-click) ads on social media platforms and in search engine results. This is the most efficient method of increasing brand awareness for a new store.
- Digital influencers - Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that uses other people's opinions to promote a product or service. To market your items, use social media influencers. This is an efficient method to increase your online store visits.
- Social Media Marketing - Build audiences on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook in addition to sponsored ads with organic traffic.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Is the process of improving a website's visibility in search results (SEO). Make sure every page on your site is optimized for search engines. Next, you must develop a content marketing plan for your website.
- Email marketing - It is a form of direct marketing. Create an email list by capturing the email addresses of people who visit your online business. You can build a relationship with them by informing them from time to time about your promotions and releases.
Starting an online business doesn't have to be difficult. Take it one step at a time. First, choose an online niche and popular products. Next, determine your business concept and service plan.
Then you can start your internet business. Select a hosting platform, customize your store and start adding products to your catalog. Focus on increasing traffic to your online store.
Once your business is up and running, collect as much data as possible. Data must be analyzed to better understand what works and what doesn't. Make the necessary changes to your company plan.
And don't worry if you don't know everything about online business. Nobody knows everything. The important thing is to learn from the positive results, and also from the mistakes!
FAQ about STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS
1. What is the best type of online business to start?
It depends on your professional background as well as your personal preferences. Internet service-based businesses and product-based online businesses such as online stores are among the most common alternatives. Both require the least amount of start-up capital and can grow efficiently over a period of time.
2. Which online business would be best to start from home?
Online services, digital product deals, reseller website hosting services and dropshipping companies are among the top four ways to get started at home. They can be successfully managed from a home office with little or no additional equipment.
3. What is the best way to start small business online?
To start a small Internet business, you must first identify the type of business you want to run - B2B or B2C, services or products - and then choose a domain name. After that, create a website. You can create a simple one with little investment using a website builder, which is available on the Internet (no programming skills required). Populate your site with relevant information, photos and items, link a payment method and start selling right away.
4: What types of internet businesses are most profitable?
E-commerce is one of the most successful forms of internet business as it has virtually infinite possibilities for expansion. You can start with a small specialized business and expand to serve customers everywhere.
Selling digital products or services is also a good option, whether you are creating the product or signing up for an affiliate program. See the MVMCloud Affiliate Program to get an idea of the possibilities.
5. Is it possible to start an internet business without any money?
The short answer is no. However, the money you will need to invest may be little, there will be some upfront costs such as a domain registration, a website builder/platform and website content production. It is possible to start an internet business without spending a lot of money if you design and configure your website yourself.
6. Do I need to hire a marketing service to help launch my business?
When starting an internet business, you don't absolutely need to have "marketing" as a business function. But you will need to be directly involved in outreach during the initial stages of operation. Unless you are pitching to a pre-warmed audience that has already been recruited, you should avoid doing so (for example, your existing fans on social media or blog readers). Hiring, if you have the resources, a well-planned digital marketing service for the launch will pay off quickly.
7. Is dropshipping a viable online business opportunity?
Dropshipping is a fantastic online business concept for first-time entrepreneurs who don't want (or don't have the resources) to invest in inventory or handle shipping and logistics. A dropshipping partner is responsible for this, allowing you to focus on marketing and brand growth. The downside of dropshipping is that profit margins are often smaller, and distinguishing your items from those of your competitors is more difficult.
9. Do I need to create a business strategy for my Internet venture?
No doubt! But, not a formal, super-detailed business plan. A small online business needs to have defined key stages before launch, such as key competitors, target audience, products and services to be sold, pricing analysis, etc.
Note however that the Internet environment is extremely dynamic, if you make a traditional, super detailed business plan this will take time and the scenario may not be the same when you are done.
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How to Start an Online Business in 2021 (Successfully)
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