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Throughout the pandemic, you might have thought more and more about starting a small business. Something that you’ve always wanted to do, it could be the time to take the leap and follow your dream. However, starting an online business isn’t easy – and takes thorough research into the market, your competitors, etc.
So before you start operating, it’s important that you follow several key steps. To help guide you with this, here is 5 examples of steps you can take towards becoming a profitable and successful small business:
What Will You Sell?
Ok, so this might sound like an obvious one. But it’s important that you decide on the type of business model you want as soon as possible. There are so many types of online businesses out there, so you’ll need to consider which one would work best for your skills, lifestyle and goals.
For example, freelancing is a great way to make money online. Whether you opt to blog, specialise in web design or take on another role, there are so many opportunities to choose from. Alternatively, you could opt to sell paintings or other items you create online – through your own online shop alongside selling them on a site such as Etsy.
Know Your Competitors
Another key step you should take is to research into what competition you have out there. No matter what you’re selling, you need to know how you can differ your products or services so that it draws in customers. So spend some time looking at what they offer and determine what gaps your business can fill. This is essential for long term success, no matter what industry you’re specialising in.
Create a Website
To operate successfully online, you need a business website that has customers in awe the moment they click onto it. You can either create this yourself, or opt to hire a professional to do this for you. The choice you make will depend on your budget and personal preferences.
However, not only do you need to ensure that it’s aesthetically pleasing for when your customers are on it, but that it’s fully functional. You don’t want your customers to become frustrated because it isn’t working how it should or that it’s not accessible on multiple devices. So make sure that this is a top priority from the start of the process.
Consider How You’ll Market it
When your website is set up, you’ll want to have a think about how you’ll promote your new business. Although it’s primarily online, there are various methods you can use for this, including:
- Promoting your products/services through social media – from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram. You’ll want to know how to create a theme for your instagram feed to ensure that customers are enticed to click on each related link you put out too.
- Advertising what you have to offer in your local newspaper/news sites.
Look into The Legalities
To guarantee that your online business is fully compliant with UK law, you’ll want to research into the legalities you need to follow. There are particular online business regulations including how you use a customer’s information – so make sure you brush up on this before you start to operate.
Alongside this, you’ll want to register your business and learn about what tax obligations you need to follow.
So, there you go! Those are 5 steps you should take when starting a small online business. Of course, every small business is different – so the path that you take might include various other steps. So it’s a good idea to fully research the process beforehand so that you’re never kept in the dark.