The wonders of the web mean that it’s easier than ever to launch your own business. Armed with a laptop and an internet connection, you can now be an entrepreneur in your pajamas. But, just because the barriers to entry might be a little lower, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do your homework. Far from it.
The sad fact is that the vast majority of start-ups don’t make a success of themselves – and the same tools that make it easy to launch your business are open to everyone else.
So, before you begin your journey, it’s time to get some serious preparatory work done. Here are seven things you need to ‘know’ before you go…
7 Things You Must Know Before Starting Your Online Business
Know The Market
What are the latest trends and developments in your sector? Who are the big players and what makes you think you can offer something different? How are things changing and what might become the ‘next big thing’ in your field? It’s vital to get a feel for the trends in the market.
Know Your Rivals
Once you know the market, it’s important to know more about your direct rivals. What do they offer, what do they do to promote themselves, how much do they charge, and who are their biggest customers?
Know Your Customer
Who is going to be buying your product or service? Try to understand your target customer as thoroughly as possible and build up a ‘persona’ of who they are. How old are they? Where are they? What else do they buy? What do they do with their spare time? Once you have your persona you’ll have a clear vision of who you are selling to and how to communicate with them.
Know The Law
Like it or not, there are rules and regulations that we all have to live by. Take some time to try to understand the relevant legislation in your field and don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance if you need to.
Know How To Run Your Affairs
Your product and service are just one aspect of your business. The back office work on your books – paying your bills and sorting your payroll – is important too.
Know How The Web Works
If you’re launching online, you need to know your way around the internet. Find a provider to host and help you to build your website, and make sure you’ve registered your domain name. Beyond that, work out how you’re going to promote yourself on social media using the platforms that suit your target customer best.
Know What Success Might Look Like
The pace of growth can be an issue for some new businesses. A lack of growth is clearly an issue, but so too is trying to run before you can walk. Using all of the research above, you should draw up a plan that sets short, medium and long-term goals to work towards.
All online businesses should do the seven things outlined above. By doing your research in advance, you can set off into the world of business armed with the knowledge you need to succeed.