We live in a time where starting a business is easy and more possible than before
Starting your own business and being your own boss is a centuries-long dream, but in the 21st century, the advancement of technology gives anybody an opportunity to start to their own online business. By setting up your online business, you can work from anywhere and set your own hours. In addition, online business startups cost relatively little to launch, which is perfect for novice entrepreneurs. Here are the essential steps you need to take when starting your online business.
Find a gap in the market.
You may have always dreamed of setting up a business that provides a specific service or sells a particular product, but if there are ten businesses nearby who do exactly the same thing as you plan to do, it will be very hard for you to penetrate the market as a newcomer and compete against the established brands. So before jumping ahead, take your time to conduct market research and see what you can bring to the table that nobody else can. Once you have found a product or a service with a unique selling proposition (USP), you can move onto the next step.
Choose your business structure.
There are various business structures to pick from. You can either have a sole proprietorship; you can own a corporation or a limited liability company. The simplest type of business structure is a sole proprietorship, but the downside is that the proprietors are not protected from liabilities for the debts and obligations of the business. This is the reason why many people choose to form a limited liability company.
Pick a name for your brand.
The name you choose for your online business must be unique and memorable. The name and the logo are very important in branding and marketing, so take your time with it. Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of clients now search for businesses online, so once you land on a name, conduct a Google search to make sure that there isn’t any other business with a similar name to yours; otherwise, he will just be driving traffic to their website.
A domain name.
Once you have chosen your name, register a domain name for the business. It is the Internet address that typically has “.com” in the end. You will need to pay an annual fee for your domain name, and there are various companies online that provide domain name registration service.
Set up the website.
If you plan on setting up a very small business, you could probably handle setting up the website by yourself. But over time, as your business grows, you will need to hire a web developer and a web designer to improve the quality of your website. You might also want to consider setting up various social media profiles to promote your business.
Don’t think for a moment that the customers will find you by themselves; you will need to roll up your sleeves and actively promote your business and website via online advertising, social media advertising, and with good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
Sales tax and licensing requirements.
If you’re planning to sell products or services online, you will have to collect and pay sales taxes. The procedure varies from one state to another, so you will need to contact the taxation department in your state or get in touch with a reliable accountant who will sort it out for you. You should also ask your city or county officials if you need a special business license or any other type of business-related registration.