How To Navigate Online Business - For Beginers

Here is a list of what I think you should consider, so you don't end up making some mistake which I did. In no particular order.

 1. Chose your niche market - This is basically asking you to chose what business you want to start, e.g. fashion/retail, hospitality, or services etc. Once you've made that decision, you'll then decide what particular area of that industry should be your focus. If for example you chose fashion/retail;  Should you concentrate on baby clothing or women's fashion only? Or should you start a mass production of all age and gender line? Who are your target market? Do you want your product or services tailored to high income earners or middle to low income earners? etc.  In some cases you need to decide the gender of your target market if you're in fashion retail, so as to have a better focus of what your delivery will be.  All of these needs to be considered in what ever field or industry you want to enter, as that will help you narrow your target to a more achievable goal.

 2. Improve your niche market - To achieve success in any niche market, you'll need to do some research on areas to improve on similar existing services. No business is new in the market, that we know, but there is always room for improvement. So choose a niche market and improve your service with added benefit to consumers, that will give you an edge over your competitors. Because, when you bring something new and different to the table, consumers are more likely to be  attracted and hopefully embrace your business, than if you're just another shop on the street doing the same thing.

 3. Create a business plan - Every business need a working plan. There has to be some form of reference material to keep you honest about your project, help you track your progress as well give you a clearer understanding of your entire business objective. Business plan is not limited to big cooperation's, or written for the sole purpose of bank loans, No. Every business need to have it, otherwise you're setting yourself up to fail. Like I mentioned earlier, business plan gives you a clearer objective of your business by clarifying the following questions; What do you stand to gain from your venture? Why did your entered into the business, and what will it require? How much do you need to get started? How will you carry out your business practices? How are you going to source for your products and service and so much more.  The need for business plan is endless, so endeavour to create one before you start, don't say '' my business is too small or local'' , and so I don't need a plan. You'll end up like me. When i started my online clothing outfit, I didn't have a business plan, and so I started with way too many products for a new store, and I ended up losing thousands of dollars creating fashion items that wasn't selling. Because I didn't do my research nor have a business plan, as I thought that my designing skill and some revenue at my disposal was all I needed. Big mistake. My advice to you is; create a business plan, start small and branch out as your business grows.

 4. Pick a business name - This is a simple task really, but many people keep worrying about it. choosing  your business name should depend on two factors, (1) what kind of business it is ( 2) The message you want to send through to customers, e.g. Automobile business name will be different to a fashion outfit name, or a restaurant, because they're very different industry, so the name of each business should represent  you and your unique vision as well as the industry you're in. I used my name for my business, because it's a fashion retail store, so my name represents me as a designer and my skills, and the best part is, I don't have to register it, which meant lesser cost for a start-up budget. If you use your name to represent your business, you won't need to register it, you're only required to register a business name if it's different from your name. ( check with your country regulation though ).

 5. Chose a website builder - In this digital age we can't stress enough the importance of online presence for everything we do in regards to business. As entrepreneurs, online platforms presents the most affordable means to market our skills and innovations to the world, but the thought of going through a website building process is very daunting for many. Unfortunately  traditional web-designers are very expensive, and some many of them don't deliver very professional job even after paying them so much. To build a website, use to be very difficult for many start-ups, but not anymore. Thanks to many building platform, specifically targeted towards online business owners, with little to no IT expertise or technical know-how. All you need to do is subscribe, and use their Pre-designed templates to create a unique modern looking website, with no coding skills or even advance computer knowledge required. That's how I started. I spent weeks researching website builders and platform. At the end, I came to the conclusion that I should use a self building platforms, and I can tell you that it have been a blessing, using them have opened my knowledge on website deigning, I have learnt a lot and can now confidently design full functioning websites. So here's is list of some web-builders, they all offer different packages at different prices, some have a free subscription, but if you need to sell online ( which is E commerce ) then you need to upgrade to a paid plan, in other to add payment options to your website. Jimdo.com, Wix.com,  Weebly.com, Shopify.com,  and many more. Although, these are once I have tried, and  found easiest  to use if you don't have coding skills.  My advice is; To thoroughly compare the services to make sure you're picking the right platform for your business as well as your budget. While some offer free SSL protection and 24/7 assistance, others don't, so check before you book.

 6. Social media brand awareness - Each social media platform has a specific audience and usage In mind, so it's important to pick the right social media platform that's most suited to boost and connect your business to the right audience. I'll recommend you create a profile on your preferred social media channel as soon as possible, and start creating a buzz about your business before your actual launch. But don't spread your self too thin in this department. Start with one or two social media channel and work on them, later when you feel the need to branch out to other channels then you can do so. Don't be tempted to start with Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn profile all at once, you'll loose focus, and will not benefit from any of them because you'll barely have time to manage them all. So start small and grow big.

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