What’s Your Business?
Today, many people are deciding to work for themselves or start their own business (who can blame them right?). From candle creators, popcorn lovers to bow makers, and pet photographers; peoples’ hobbies are quickly turning into small enterprises. Even though many people are successful in starting their business, they are often not a success. There are many reasons why this happens: marketing, poor visibility and demand or just drowning in the competition. From our many years in this industry, we’ve seen first hand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to starting an online business. Below are a few simple steps that can get you started in the right direction.
Our simple steps
1) Find your Mission
What is it you want to do? What are you good at that is worth starting a whole business for? Ask yourself these questions. Do you want to do this everyday? Could you continue to grow this as the years go on? Question yourself truthfully and honestly as possible for these are the seeds you will plant to grow your future.
2) Find your Market
Who is going to buy your product or service? Is there even a demand for it? If so, is it locally or nationwide? How will you reach these people to sell to? What is the competition like? Are there 1000 other business just like this? If there are, what is going to make YOU stand out so your chance of success is higher?
The more you nail these things down, and find your place in your industry, the more you’ll be able to discover your niche. Nailing down one thing and selling it is much easier then spreading yourself (and your company) too thin.
3) Build a strategy
Do you have a business plan? If not, make one. Putting things down on paper will help you see the validity of your mission. Once you have your plan, and are still confident you want to do it, go get legit. Find your states Secretary of States office and register your business name and apply for a business license or file for corporation status. You can find some resources for that here (for GA residents) _link_ . After you have your business license, you can set up a business bank account so you can start collecting profits from your business.
4) Get out there!1) A great website that has all the functioning you need to sell (that’s where we come in of course)2) A strong online presence and SEO (add your company to as many online directories as you can, so you come up a lot on searches, make sure your content is highly rated and have your best SEO practices in-line)3) Social Media Accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc)4) Sales and Customer data tools (Salesforce, Mailchimp etc)5)Promotional Materials (business card, brochures and handout, samples, signs etc).
At this point you’re at the infant stages of business owner, you’ve done all your prep work and are ready to sell. But how? How are you going to sell? As an online business your outlet is purely virtual. So you’ll need these things:
Go to a trade show ( if they have one for your industry), try to create a viral campaign (make a wacky video or stunt to get your brand some attention, hopefully good attention). Do some probono work or hand out free samples to bloggers / reviewers that can direct their fan base to your company.
5) Follow through
You’ve done the time and hard work, your name is out there, people are talking about your company. Now what? FOLLOW THROUGH. Follow up with customers, sales and reviews. People today (especially Millenials) love individual attention or knowing they have a connection, or a voice with companies they buy from is somewhat important. Be transparent with your customer base and offer them a reason to support your brand. This will keep people talking about how great you are and keep referrals and customers coming your way. Also, keep up and maintain your social media outlets and continue to grow your email list, dont stop activity. The more active you are the better.
All of these things will get you started in the right direction. We’re not promising you’ll be millionaires within a year of launch, but these are the trends that are working (and have been working for quite some time). Starting an online business can be intimidating, stressful and a lot of work, but us at Major Web Pros are in the business-making business and are here to help with our resources and experience. If you have any thoughts or questions on this blog feel free to let us know.