Whether you’ve been planning to start your own online business for a while, or are looking for a new income stream due to changing circumstances, 2020 could be your time to launch your enterprise. Starting your own business has many advantages, giving you control over your destiny while allowing you the freedom to work from home on your own schedule.
However, you may be wondering how to get started, or need some tips to navigate the challenges that come with launching a business. Here is a step-by-step guide to launching your own online business in 2020 to put you on the right track from the start.
1. Find your Niche
A niche is important for any online business, because it helps you to more effectively target your audience. If you go too wide with your product and marketing tactics, and try to please everyone, you are less likely to be effective.
As you prepare to launch your business, start by identifying your niche. This will allow you to focus everything you do so it is perfectly targeted to your specific niche audience. In choosing your niche, go for a market that is not saturated. Best is to find a niche that is under-served, where demand exceeds supply.
2. Conduct Market Research
Once you’ve identified your niche, it is time to dig a little deeper and learn more about your target market. Solid market research helps you to see what your competitors are doing, and your potential customer’s needs and desires.
Other market research could include how to quickly manage your website’s domain if you have one and Hosting Foundry could come in handy.
Conduct market research into current trends, which of your competitors are performing well, and those that are struggling. You should also learn more about your target audience, what they’re looking for and how to best reach them through marketing.
3. Set Goals
In the next stage, you should set goals and objectives for your business. This is important to do as you prepare to launch your business, as it will guide everything you do. It is equally important that these goals are realistic: setting unachievable goals will only set you up for failure.
When setting your goals, follow the SMART rule. That is, goals should be:
Having clear goals allows you to check your progress regularly and make sure you are on track to achieving business success.
When starting an online business, many people skip over the business plan, thinking this is something they don’t need, or that they can do later. Others see a business plan as only necessary for showing investors.
In actual fact, a formal, written business plan is critical because it details everything you are going to do in order to make your online business successful. Launching your business without one is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. It should include not only your goals, but also your budget plan and marketing strategy (more on this later).
5. Take Care of the Paperwork
Launching an online business, like any kind of business, involves a number of legal requirements. It is important to make sure that you take care of all of these comprehensively, in order to avoid getting in trouble with government or tax authorities down the track.
The exact requirements vary depending on the country and jurisdiction you are operating in, but the critical elements usually include registering your business name and applying for a business permit. If you’re not clear on the requirements or processes it is a good idea to consult with an accountant or lawyer – better safe than sorry!
6. Design your Logo
You’re now almost ready to launch your online business, there’s just a couple of things you need to take care of first. One of these is your logo. I strong, eye-catching logo is critical to be able to build your brand and establish a professional presence.
Formalising your logo should be part of creating your broader style guide that includes all the visual elements for your business, such as your brand colours, fonts and graphics. Keeping these on-brand and consistent will help you to build a strong brand.
7. Create your Marketing Plan
The final step before you can launch your online business is to set up a marketing strategy. This is critical because it is how you are going to let people know about your business and sell your products.
In creating your marketing plan, consider a variety of different tactics. A mix of online and offline tactics is the most powerful, as it allows you to reach the highest number of potential customers. Solid online marketing tactics are things like website, SEO and social media, especially using influencers to promote your products. Whereas some great offline marketing tactics include print ads, event sponsorship and promoting your brand with Sticker it stickers.