List of Things Needed to Start an Online Business
Technological improvements have made it possible for people to run their businesses through the internet, with no need to leave their houses. As long as they hire the right people to set up everything that’s needed for the business to succeed, having a physical business is not necessary.
However, the same level of commitment that one would direct to a physical enterprise should go to the online venture. Otherwise, it will be impossible to attain the set goals. If you’re an entrepreneur aspiring to operate your business virtually, below is a list of things you need to invest in:
You need a clear sense of direction to achieve business success. If you run a business without determining where you hope to be in a few months or years, there is a chance you’ll never get to your competitor’s level. Be specific about the growth you anticipate, set clear timelines, and ensure that your goals are attainable.
There is no need of hoping to be the most sought-after business person within two months of starting the business, as this may be impossible.
Develop a website
A website will create a platform for your customers to learn more about your business and even reach out to you for any orders or questions. You must ensure that this site is easy to navigate and pleasing to all your visitors’ eyes. This way, they won’t move to a different site even before obtaining information on how your enterprise can serve their needs.
You can choose to develop the site yourself or contract a knowledgeable web developer to do it for you. If you’re not educated on this field, the best thing would be to engage a second party to avoid making mistakes that could cost you a lot of money.
Choose a host for your website
When running a physical store, you may need to rent space and pay the landlord. The same rationale applies in websites, where you have to get a host to hold your site. Before choosing a webhost, ensure their customer support team is available 24/7.
This way, you’ll not get stranded if an abnormality happens during the night. Also, ensure that the storage capacity you’re getting for a particular amount of money is worthy. Examples of webhosts include, TrueHost Cloud, Bluehost, NameCheap, Ipage, and SiteGround.
Open social media accounts
Apart from using a business, you can opt to run your business solely through social media or even use it to market your products and services to your target market. Like you’d do on a website, include your contact details and information about your products and services. Ensure that your prospects are always aware of what new there is from your business.
Set up the payment method
Seeing that you’ll be running an online business, you might want to adopt an internet-based payment method, so that your customers can do so from wherever they are.
For instance, you can decide to use PayPal, which allows for global money transfers or M-Pesa (Kenya). The best thing about online payments is that you can access statements that stipulate the amount of money that has been sent to your account and the amount you’ve spent. You do not have to maintain physical ledgers.
Determine the delivery mode
Being an online entrepreneur means that you’ll handle most of your processes through the internet. Regardless, if you’re dealing with physical goods, you’ll have to devise a way to ensure that your customers receive their orders.
For instance, you can choose to consolidate orders placed within a certain period and have them delivered by one person at the same time, to save time and transport costs. Also, you can choose to choose to start a drop shipping business, where the suppliers will be in charge of availing the products to your clients, but be careful not to engage vendors with a bad image.
Get a store for your products
Unless you’re running a drop shipping business, you’ll need items in stock for when customers place their requests. Otherwise, you’ll not be in a position to satisfy them as expected. If you have enough room in your house, you do not need to rent a warehouse, as this option means using more money. Only rent storage space if you have many stock items and if the extra cost will not affect your budget.
Choose suppliers for your business
If you’re dealing with tangible goods and aren’t the manufacturer, you’ll need to source the goods from various vendors. Therefore, you’re left with the task of distinguishing the good vendors from the bad ones.
Engaging suppliers who are known for their bad customer service will result in your business’s poor reputation, as potential customers will assume you’ve assumed the mannerisms of your partners.
Consider factors such as their image, experience level, existence period, availability, agility, and cost. This way, you’ll increase the chances of settling on the best supplier.
Open a bank account
You must be discipline enough to monitor your transactions. One way to do this is have a bank account to hold all the money earned from the business. This way, you’ll not spend cash on luxuries and end up compromising the future of your start-up enterprise.
With a bank account, you can get monthly statements, showing the deposits and withdrawals you have made so that you can analyse whether the expenses match your earnings or not. Even if you’re not making a lot of money, don’t downplay the importance of visiting your preferred bank for an account.