Building your own online business is a wonderful entrepreneurial pursuit, one that can bless you, your family and even your community for the rest of your life. It can provide financial and personal freedom, while also allowing you to give back to those around you. It opens up endless opportunities.
The best part of building a successful online business is that anyone can do it. What ultimately determines whether or not you achieve your goals is how much planning goes into setting it up. Laying a strong foundation ensures you have what you need from day one, helping you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.
Of course, any worthwhile endeavor will involve some risk. But you can avoid many unnecessary risks simply by developing a strong strategy. Here are a few steps to follow that will greatly increase your chance of success.
- Identify Who You Want to Serve. Most entrepreneurs start out with an idea for a product or service. From there, they build a business plan around that. While important, it’s equally if not more important to know who it is you’re trying to serve. Who is your ideal customer, and what problem or desire are you trying to solve or meet? The answer to this powerful question ensures you are creating a product or service that is both meaningful to you and your target market.
- Develop and evaluate your process. Especially as an online business, you need to know how you will provide those products or services. For example, will you keep the product in stock? Or drop ship orders? Will the services you provide cause any liability issues? If so, do you have adequate insurance coverage in place? What competitive price will you offer that still maintains a good profit? All of these questions will need to be answered before you launch.
- Determine the mediums you will use. You’ll also need to decide which mediums are right for sharing your brand’s values and highlighting your products and services. For example, you might choose to share storefronts with sellers like eBay or Amazon. You might opt to use a simple website and integrate an “add to cart” button through a third party like PayPal. You might also choose to use free social media network sites to promote your products or services. Or use all of the above.
All in all, the key to a successful online venture is to know your target audience, develop products/services that meet their biggest need or solve their greatest challenge and find a medium that puts your brand and product/service where your target audience can find it. The goal should be to meet your customers where they are right now.
Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of best merchant services for ecommerce. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie with ice-cream on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.