Step Out Stay In and Build an Online Business
Taking that first step to building an online business is the hardest part. You have an idea and you want to share it with others. Why not run your business from the comfort of your own home? You are ready to be in charge of your own destiny. An online business can help you make that dream become a reality.
Knowing Your Product
I know it seems like I’m stating the obvious when I say that you should know your product, but it is essential that you do know all the ins and outs about it. Knowing your product is an important sales skill and understanding it will allow you to present it in a better way to your customers. When planning an online store, you must decide if you will be manufacturing your product yourself, or if you will be using a supplier. If choosing a supplier, it is important to know if they will be up for the challenge of meeting your production demands.
Knowing Your Market and Researching Your Niche
| A niche in the market is a specific area of marketing which has its own particular requirements, customers, and products. – Collins dictionary
Do your research! Have you ever heard the saying “there’s a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap?” It will be very sad if you’ve gone to all the effort of setting up your beautiful online business, but no-one is interested in buying anything, or there is just not enough awareness and it’s not getting any traffic. Finding space in the market is incredibly important. Unfortunately, these spaces are very often elusive. One can always consider categories like Travel, Parenting, Entertainment Web Development, Clothing Store, and of course, Blogging. Either way, once you know your product, you will know who to target. There are many tools to help with marketing. Social media is a big one.
Choosing Your Domain Name
Choosing a domain name can be lots of fun, but there are many things to consider. Will you be targeting locally or internationally? This will help you decide where to purchase your domain. Go here to find out if the domain name you have chosen is available.
Hosting Your Site
Every domain name needs a home (to be hosted). Because I use WordPress, I personally love SiteGround. SiteGround oversees your installation with optimized managed WordPress hosting, a service that grants your website enhanced security, automated daily backups, page caching, staging, and automatic content management system updates. It also offers one-click installation and a free account transfer. Basically, they offer excellent uptime, excellent service, and strong security.
Create Your Website or Build Your Store
Your online business will be your front office so it’s important that it reflects who you are and what you’re selling. The most important aspect of your site must be ease of use. There is nothing more frustrating than going into a site and trying to figure out what exactly they are trying to sell and how to get back from the jolly checkout because you have accidentally added one too many products. Or you get to the checkout, but the price is misleading and you need to pay for a 3-month subscription instead of one. Everything needs to be upfront and easy to use.
Once you have built that beautiful website or online business, you will need a payment gateway in order to receive payments or even sell affiliate marketing products. Help your customers feel at ease by letting them know that these gateways are secure and that their information will not fall into the wrong hands. This is why you should go with the leaders in payment gateways.
WooCommerce powers over 28% of all online stores worldwide. PayFast is one of the best and safest South African payment gateways available and it is absolutely free! Discover more about the PayFast plugin here.
Launch Your Store
Now for the scary bit – launching that site! Don’t be too worried about things looking perfect. Google is looking for speed, so keep it simple. They are actually not too worried about what it looks like, but more about the written content. Get your site out so that you can start marketing your business.
Market your business
Once your site is live you can check to see if everything is working well and maybe make some tweaks if necessary. Send it to friends and family for some positive criticism. It’s better to get it from the ones you love. Remember to add in those calls to action and promote your website as much as you can. And once again, remember social media!