How to Start a Small Business Online Today

Although many are drawn to the idea of having their own small internet business, many budding entrepreneurs do not know how to start a small business online.

Have a Solid Business Model

The first rule of how to start a small business online is to have a solid business model. There is no secret ‘push-button’ model to generating income online. There are many hyped-up schemes on the internet that promise that you will make millions of dollars for doing very little work by just pushing a few buttons. But these are just not reality. Having a small online business is just like any other business.

However, a small internet business is scalable and enjoys higher margins and lower set up costs than a traditional ‘offline’ business. A solid business model for an online business has the prefect mixture of recurring income, affiliate income and high ticket income.

Take Action

You have to be willing to actually get started. The internet is a great resource and there a many articles, forums and websites that all provide information on how start a small business online. It is important to do research on the best business that suits you, but you have to commit and get started building a list of potential customers. This list of potential customers will become a valuable asset as you start to build a relationship with them. You need to provide valuable and relevant information to them to build their trust so that they will be willing to buy from you.

Provide Value

As mentioned above, one of the keys of how to start a small business online is to provide value. In the business world of the internet, if you give, you will receive. If you provide valuable information to your potential customers for free, they will be grateful for it and want more and will be willing to buy it. If you provide rubbish, they will think that you product is rubbish too.

Generate Traffic

A business online without traffic is like a shop in the back street of a old run-down town with no passers-by and nobody knows that it is there. If you really want to know how to start a small business online, you need practical skills to generate traffic to your website pages. Website traffic can either be free or paid for and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. But, with a skilled combination of both, you can have a long term stream of potential customers coming to your online business.

Invest In Education

As with any business, if you want to know how to start a small business online the most important skill you can learn, is marketing. There are many online business entrepreneurs who have gone before you. If they have had success with a business model that interests you, you can learn from their efforts. It is vital to have access to a community and mentors because learning from someone who’s already successful online will make a big difference to your results.

The internet and the new digital economy has made it possible for many people to discover how to start a small business online. An online business does not require a bricks and mortar premises, staff, stock or large financial investment in inventory to make it a success. If you have a computer and access to the internet you can start straight away. You do not have to buy stock or worry about how to supply it to your customers and your online business can work for you whilst you are sleeping!

Absolute Must Know First Basic Steps to Start Small Business Online and Be Successful

Starting a small business online can be a great way to go into business for yourself. An online business can be started on a shoestring budget. You can start a small online business and earn a full- or part-time income from home or anywhere in the world. Operating your business exclusively online enables you to complete all transactions, provide customer service, and manage the entire business, all from your computer. There are several steps you can follow when you are starting a small business online. Anyone, from beginner to seasoned online marketer, can benefit tremendously from learning and applying the following steps.

Find a need and fill it

The first thing you need to do is to look for a profitable market. Most beginners look for a product first, and then try to find a market. That is a big mistake and will often lead to failure. To increase your chances of success, you need to start with a market. You need to identify a group of people who are desperately searching for a solution to a problem. There are many Internet resources that make it easy to do this kind of market research.

Start by visiting online forums to find out what people want. Spend some time on various popular forums, and read the posts. Pay attention to what questions people keep asking and what problems they are trying to solve.

Another way to find out what people want to buy is to perform keyword research. There are many online tools that help to do this research. The trick is to find keywords have a huge number of searches but low competing websites.

Once you have found out what people are searching for, you can sell a product that provides solution to their problem. So look for a market that already exists, and then cater to their needs.

Set Up Your Website

You need a website to sell products or services online. Once you have found your market and product, and you have nailed down your selling process, it’s time to set up a website your business. Some people build their own website by using website creation software or readymade templates. There are also web design services, and these services can help you set up a website that is designed to run a successful business online.

Drive Targeted Traffic To Your Small Business Online Website

To make sales, you need to get buyers to your website. Potential customers will not know about your product if they can’t find your website. There are several ways to get your website in front of people who are looking for the product you are selling.

Pay-per-click advertising is the quickest and easiest way to drive targeted traffic to a website. When you use this method, you can start generating immediate traffic. You can also use search engine optimization to rank your website high in the organic search results.

Other methods of generating website traffic include article writing, banner ads, email marketing, and online classified ads. Video marketing is also a great way to distribute information about your website and product. You can also promote your website by participating in social networking sites and forums where your target audience hangs out.

Take Action

Thousands of people have started their one successful businesses by following these steps. Many have amassed great fortunes in their own businesses. And there’s no reason why you cannot do the same. Use these steps to start and grow your own small business online.

Top 5 Advantages of Starting Your Business Online

Starting a business is risky. It’s the reason why everyone doesn’t have one. It can require thousands of dollars of investment just to get off the ground. 9 out of 10 of all new businesses fail in the first year. Before any profit is made, things like product inventory, incorporation, advertising, employees, accounting, insurance, licenses, commercial space etc. have to be paid for.

Enter the internet..

The digital world has taken away a lot of the risk of starting the business of your dreams. There are still start-up expenses involved in the beginning but they are not nearly as high as starting a brick and mortar business. License and incorporation fees are going to have to be paid online or offline but most of the other expenses can be avoided in the early stages by starting with your online presence.

If it can be sold in a store it can be bought online and shipped to the customer’s home. At the very least it will add an additional revenue stream for the business. There are plenty of advantages to starting a business online but here are my top five.

1. There is no immediate need for full-time in-house employees.

What makes online business so powerful is its scalability; meaning you do a little bit of work for a greater result. With automation tools you can have a lot of your tedious data entry tasks done without you even thinking about it. With PayPal you can accept payments online through your website without you even knowing a credit card was entered.

If you are selling digital products that are to be downloaded then there is no need for pre-ordered inventory or commercial space, thus eliminating the cost of rent.

For when you actually need the assistance of a real human, sites like oDesk.com and Elance.com make it possible for you to outsource work to people on a for hire, monthly or even a full-time basis.

Things like insurance and security are needed for online as well as online but securing intellectual property stored online in the cloud is a lot less expensive than doing the same for merchandise in a store that is susceptible to theft or fire

2. You have the freedom to travel.

There is no need for a physical location in most cases so there is no need to stay in one place. If you need to pack up and move your company to another state where there is more opportunity, it can be as simple as packing up your laptop and accessories and leaving. With a physical ‘brick and mortar’ business, it would be a little more difficult to relocate. You will most likely be constrained to whatever lease agreement you may have in place.

As you know, business and tax laws vary from state to state. Having your operation online gives you the freedom to choose where you want your business to be incorporated. You would have to have some sort of address established in the state but it doesn’t have to an actual store. There are a few states who’s laws work best for the traveling internet entrepreneur. *I am not an accountant or a business lawyer so please consult one before getting started.*

3. The whole world has access to what you’ve got to offer.

You aren’t limited to your immediate geographical area anymore. You aren’t limited to ANY geographical area for that matter. Offering your products and services online opens your business offering up to the edges of the world. The internet doesn’t sleep and there are billions of people online looking for solutions to their problems, while YOU are sleeping.

4. You are at the fingertips of a growing online market.

The internet definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as more and more people are gaining access to an internet connection or a smart phone every second. E-commerce is following the same trend as more and more people are becoming comfortable making purchases online and from their mobile devices. From a consumer’s standpoint, making purchases from the comfort of your own home can save you a lot of time, and for certain products, shame or embarrassment.

5. You can inexpensively test your market.

Not every brilliant idea translates into a consumable product or service. And as you know, the failure rate of new businesses is very high. Another advantage of starting a business online is the ability to gauge interest without actually having the product readily available for sale. One example of this that I’ve seen a lot is a preview or ‘beta’ page with a prototype of a product where people can sign up to ‘be the first to know’ when the product is made available. This can be done with a food product, a clothing line, an app, pretty much anything. It’s a great way to gauge interest before you go all in with a final product.

You don’t need $10,000 to start a business anymore..

There are hundreds of ways to make money online and frankly, who can afford NOT to open up shop to the billions of people on the internet. There are still a lot of traditional brick and mortar businesses that are not providing their products and services online, constraining themselves by business hours and management of on premise staff.

All you need is a website, a product or service and consistent potential-buyer traffic to that website. No permits, no city council meetings, no weather constraints and depending on where you live, no off duty police officer.

Recommended reads: ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ & ‘The $100 Startup’