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How To Start An Online Business: Best Ideas and Tips For Success. Photo KnowInsiders

Starting an online business isn't easy. There are so many important decisions to make. What should you sell? Who should you sell to? How will you get customers?

If that's not enough, every other week there seems to be a new business trend online. There's chatbots, cryptocurrencies, Facebook ads, Instagram influencers, and many more.

What should you pay attention to? What actually matters?

Why does your business need an online presence?

The growing popularity of eCommerce is the number one reason to start your business online. According to Nasdaq, by 2040, consumers will make 95% of their purchases through the internet. In 2020, the number of digital buyers worldwide has reached two billion people.

Having an online presence increases trust in your business – customers feel more confident when they can connect with a company effortlessly. Meanwhile, the internet is crucial for easy access to a brand.

According to Microsoft research, the share of people who prefer to get in touch with businesses online is growing. In 2017 alone, the number of customers over 35 using social channels to reach brands doubled.

The last point to consider is that an online presence helps you build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers. According to a KPMG report, clients stay loyal to businesses if they provide excellent customer support and personalized experiences.

It’s not a coincidence that the largest online businesses are famous for their aspirations to maintain profound connections with their customers. In the next part, we’ll take a look at the largest businesses on the internet.

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Easy steps to start an online business

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Photo Rlt Show
1.Find a need and fill it.

2.Write copy that sells.

3.Design and build an easy-to-use website.

4.Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.

5.Establish an expert reputation for yourself.

6.Follow up with your customers and subscribers with email.

7.Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.

Step 1: Start a business that fills a need

Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.

To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:

-Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they're trying to solve.

-Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but don't have a ton of competition with other sites.

-Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they're doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you've learned and create a product for a market that already exists -- and do it better than the competition.

Don't Start Building Yet

-When looking to set up a company online, it can be tempting to jump into action.

-So, if you're feeling the urge to build a website, choose a business name, or create a logo, hold off for now.

-If you want to start a successful online business, first, you need a strategy. And steps two, three and four of this article will show you how to create your online business strategy.

Step 2: Write copy that sells

There's a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:

-Arouse interest with a compelling headline.

-Describe the problem your product solves.

-Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.

-Add testimonials from people who have used your product.

-Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.

-Make an offer.

-Make a strong guarantee.

-Create urgency.

-Ask for the sale.

Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able to solve people's problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask "What's in it for me?"

Identify Your Target Market

Next, you need to get clear on your target market. In other words, who are you going to serve?

This step is absolutely vital.

As the marketer Philip Kotler once said, "There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market."

Here's the trick: Make sure you are part of your target audience.

Think about it. If you've been camping your entire life, you'll understand the problems, desires, and language of other campers. As a result, it'd be much easier to sell camping products online.

Plus, your marketing will be more successful because you'll have a better understanding of how to communicate with other campers.

On the other hand, if you've never been camping in your life, you'd probably struggle – a lot – to sell camping products online.

READ MORE: Top 9 Oldest Companies In The World

Step 3: Design and build your website

Once you've got your market and product, and you've nailed down your selling process, now you're ready for your small-business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone's attention -- otherwise, they're gone, never to be seen again. Some important tips to keep in mind:

-Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.

-Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.

-Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.

-Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.

-Make it easy to buy -- no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.

-Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.

Step 4: Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site

Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically.

First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords.

Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.

Step 5: Establish an expert reputation for yourself

People use the internet to find information. Provide that information for free to other sites, and you'll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.

Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.

Include "send to a friend" links on valuable content on your website.

Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.

You'll reach new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings.

How can you find a problem to solve?

Join Facebook groups and online forums and ask people what they need help with.

Use Google Keyword Planner to find out what people are searching for.

Find successful online businesses and identify the problem they solve, then look for ways to do it better.

Step 6: Use the power of email marketing to turn visitors into buyers

When you build an opt-in list, you're creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them an email. That means:

You're giving them something they've asked for.

-You're developing lifetime relationships with them.

-The response is 100 percent measurable.

-Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it's highly targeted.

-Anyone who visits your site and opts into your list is a very hot lead. And there's no better tool than email for following up with those leads.

Step 7: Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling

To start a successful online business, you must first have a certain amount of money and must create a personal budget spreadsheet to spend over a certain period of time.

One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer's lifetime value. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. Closing that first sale is by far the most difficult part -- not to mention the most expensive.

So use back-end selling and upselling to get them to buy again:

-Offer products that complement their original purchase.

-Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.

-Offer related products on your "Thank You" page after they purchase.

-Reward your customers for their loyalty and they'll become even more loyal.

READ MORE: Top 10 Least Trusted Car Company In The United States

Best Online Business Ideas With Low Cost

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Photo Rlt Show

1. Start your own clothing line

If you have some designs in mind and a little bit of time on your hands, you can get your clothing company off the ground.

If you already own a Shopify store, you can set up your own clothing line using Oberlo, Printify, Printful, or a similar product-sourcing app. Each automatically links your store to apparel printers and clothing manufacturers. They also handle every step of the retail fulfillment process for you, giving you the freedom to design and ship a wide range of pieces right out of the gate.

Why start a clothing line?

There’s nothing more satisfying than creating products that people will use every day.

As soon as you build your Shopify store, you’ll be able to start selling instantly. Thanks to print-on-demand apps, the process of designing and delivering your own custom-made clothing has been streamlined and simplified.

You’ll love the feeling of seeing your designs come to life by transforming your creativity into something real and profitable.

2. Become a freelance writer, designer, or developer

Photo: topcv
Photo topcv

Maybe not the most innovative online business idea, freelancing is still a great option with a low barrier to entry. Writers, developers, and graphic designers can start a business based on their talents. As a freelancer, you’ll be able to put your skills to good use by helping people across the world with their projects (while making some money yourself, of course).

Freelancing doesn’t mean committing to months-long projects that eat away at your free time. You can easily pick up bite-sized tasks that fit your schedule.

Why freelance?

When you freelance, you choose which projects you want to work on and set your own schedule and workplace.

Getting paid to do something you’re good at is a rewarding feeling, whether you’re looking to strike out on your own or just want to make some extra cash on the weekend.

If this is a new idea of online business to you and you don’t have much experience writing, designing, or developing, freelancing is an excellent way to build your portfolio and get some real experience in a wide range of industries. You might discover that you have a knack or passion for something you never expected.

3. Flip your thrift store finds

If you love hitting up thrift stores and hunting down great deals, then one great ecommerce business idea is to sell your second-hand treasures online. And that’s exactly what’s next on our list of online biz ideas.

Your potential customers want to buy cool stuff, but they don’t want to dig through old soccer jerseys and braided belts to get their hands on that one amazing find. Take advantage of this by positioning yourself as a trustworthy curator who can go out and uncover those great vintage pieces for others.

Why sell your thrift store finds?

Let’s face it, you’d be combing through thrift store racks anyway, so you might as well make some money while you do it by putting your shopping addiction to work.

The margins are huge. That two-dollar RadioShack ball cap you found over the weekend? You can turn it into a $40 vintage hat.

You’re selling something unique. Nowhere else on the web will people be able to find the vintage collections that you put together.

4. Develop a niche product

If you recognize an opportunity in a certain niche, you might be onto the next of your online biz ideas. Niche products cater to a unique audience. When done well, they serve a specific community.

Niches could be based on industry, demographic, price point, geography, values, product attributes, and more. Really, a niche could be anything specific enough to target a small group of potential customers. For example: Conscious consumers: think vegan, sustainable, and eco-friendly products and brands.

5. Create handmade goods

If you’re particularly crafty, selling handmade products could be the easiest of the best online business ideas for you to start. Whether you start a jewelry business, make and sell picture frames, or offer handmade furniture, one business idea is to monetize your craft skills and sell products online.

While you can use platforms like Craigslist or Etsy, your own online store will give you more control and make it easier to track and fulfill orders.

6. Drop Shipping

The basic idea behind an online drop shipping business is that, as a small business owner, you don’t have to maintain a large inventory (or any inventory whatsoever) of products or handle any delivery to your customers. That eliminates the financial cost and risk of having a warehouse full of stuff you might not sell, and the hassle of arranging to send orders all over the country or the world. In fact, you don't have to manufacture or store any products at all.

The only thing you have to focus on is marketing and advertising to find the customers and make the sales. Once the sale is made the rest is handled by others. Your only cost is the expense of marketing and advertising to acquire a new customer.

Once that is done, you'll work with a company that specializes in drop shipping. Here’s how it works:

You list products for sale on your website or a platform like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.

When one of your customers makes a purchase, you purchase the product from a third-party company (the drop shipper, usually a manufacturer or wholesaler) for a lower price. This process is as simple as forwarding the order from your customer, a process that can actually be completely automated. (Remember you don't have any risk here of buying inventory because the sale has already been made).

Your drop shipper then sends the product to the customer.

7. Online Video

Have you watched a YouTube video lately? Of course you have! This is one of the world’s most popular websites, with more than 2 billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours of video each day.12 And it’s not all cats doing funny things, by any means.

You can leverage YouTube’s reach to make money online. No, you’re not trying to create a viral video, so to speak, although if it does go worldwide and is seen by millions, that’s a good thing.

Instead, you’ll be following a proven strategy for maximizing views of multiple videos on a regular basis. You’ll be creating useful content—something engaging that people want to watch. And it works in many, many different niches. It could be a how-to video or a talking-head video on a topic of interest for people in your niche—the sky is the limit.

You make money with ad revenue. Your first step is to create a YouTube account and start uploading videos. Then you enable monetization on your YouTube settings.13 Basically, this gives Google the go-ahead to include short AdSense ads with your videos, which you've seen if you’ve watched a YouTube video.

When viewers click on those ads, you get paid.

Top 10 Online Businesses

Online is a complex realm that encompasses both tiny startups and businesses with whopping market capitalization.

Here are the Top-10 online companies worldwide:

Amazon – an American internet-based retailer of a wide swath of products;

Alphabet Inc. (Google) – an internet search giant leading in search, contextual advertising, and other online offerings;

Facebook – the world's most popular social network.

Tencent Holdings – an Asian online tech giant best-known for its messaging service WeChat;

Alibaba – a Chinese e-commerce giant;

Netflix – an American video streaming company;

Salesforce.com – the most well-known CRM system provider;

JD.com – a Chinese e-commerce company;

Booking.com – an online travel company that lets users book reservations for restaurants, hotels, rental cars, airline tickets, safaris, cruises, and other travel services;

Baidu – a Chinese search engine.

Tips for a Successful Online Business

Photo: Startup Sarvant
Photo Startup Sarvant

-Handling an online business is a complicated task. No wonder you can get disoriented with it once in a while. Let our simple tips guide you in these difficult times.

-Work on improving your conversion rates. Work on conversion rate improvement may seem too arduous or time-consuming, but avoid striking it off your list. Better conversion is key to higher profits without additional investment. To soar your conversion rates, follow our comprehensive guide on conversion rate optimization.

-Maintain customer data safely. Even leading online businesses have had hard times after user data leaks. The public outrage in these cases is whopping, but understandable – it’s a business’ duty to keep its customers’ information safe. To avoid pitfalls with your customers’ data, consider storing it in a CRM system – most of them have advanced data safety features. To choose the best option for you, follow our tips.

-Offer great service. High-quality service is the name of the game for most businesses, both online and offline. 96% of customers believe the quality of service underlies their loyalty to a brand. To nail this part of your business, make sure your representatives are friendly, quick, and proactive. 32% of people expect a company to respond to a message on social media within 30 minutes. To automate the processing of repetitive requests and take the load off of your support team, create a chatbot using 13chats. After registration, a big free plan is already available to you, and there is a detailed guide in the knowledge base on creating a chatbot.

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