Creating an online business has become one of the most popular ways to get extra income in the past few years. There are many benefits to it, such as cost-effectiveness and 24/7/365 availability. On top of everything, it’s easy to set up and requires minimal capital, if any.
However, many people keep putting off turning their business idea into reality. One of the reasons may be that they don’t feel 100% ready.
If you want to establish a business, there has never been a better time to do it than now. In this guide, we’ll share six handy tips to help you get started and build it to success.
1. Find Your Business Niche
Finding a niche is the first step to building a business. The term refers to a specific market where a company will be operating to differentiate itself from its competitors.
As a niche lets business owners focus on a single topic, it can help smoothen their business’s growth in many ways.
For example, an excellent business niche provides clear directions for product development and content creation. A niche also helps identify a business’s ideal customers and determine the most effective marketing approach.
On top of everything, having a niche also helps business owners build authority within the market, resulting in a more trusted website and higher search engine rankings.
However, choosing the right niche is often one of the main blockages when building a business. Here’s a quick, foolproof guide to finding a profitable niche:
- Explore popular topics. Looking into Amazon’s best-selling section is among the easiest ways to do this. Also, check out Reddit’s Popular page to find out what topics are currently trending.
- Identify a problem to solve. When you’ve decided on the topic, reading customer reviews can help figure out what they find frustrating related to the existing products and services within this niche.
- Study the competitors. This process helps forecast if your business can be successful in the niche you’ve chosen. Low-quality website content is one of the signs that a new business may outshine its competitors.
2. Get an Excellent Domain Name
The easier term for a domain name is a website address. Having an excellent domain name is necessary as it represents the whole site. However, coming up with a reflective domain name can be tricky, as most good ones may already be taken.
Let’s look at these handy tips for choosing a brandable domain name:
- Use niche keywords. Tell potential customers and search engines what your site is about by inserting one or two keywords into your domain name.
- Consider the new TLDs. The .com suffix may be the most popular domain extension. However, it may be hard to have a catchy domain name with that TLD. For that reason, the new domain name extensions like .store and .shop are also great options to consider.
- Make it easy to remember. Keeping a domain name under 15 characters will help to keep it simple and memorable. Avoid using numerals and special characters.
- Utilize a domain name generator. When stuck, you may want to go to such a tool for help. With it, all you need to do is input some keywords and press enter. Then, the generator will present you with available domain options.
3. Cover Your Business’s Legal Requirements
All businesses need to follow the regional government’s laws and regulations for business operations. This is a part of the government’s efforts to ensure employee’s wellbeing, orderly tax collection, and appropriate waste management.
To register a business to a government’s database, it needs a legal name. Typically, the name includes the business’s structure, like LLC or Corporation.
Business owners must also prepare some documents, including a sales tax license and a detailing record of their business’s activities. On top of that, a number of business operations require federal-issued permits.
Let’s see if your business falls into one of these categories:
- Agriculture. Get the United States of Agriculture license if your business imports, transits, or releases regulated animal and plant products.
- Alcoholic beverages. Obtaining business permits from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau is the right way to operate legal alcohol businesses.
- Aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration takes care of the regulations for aircraft manufacturers.
- Commercial fisheries. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service provides licenses related to wildlife laws and treaties, especially for importing and exporting activities.
- Firearms and explosives. If your business uses, manufactures, or distributes explosive materials, you need to file a permit request from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
- Maritime transportation. The Federal Marine Commission issues permits for businesses that utilize overseas cargo shipping.
- Radio and cable broadcasting. All businesses requiring broadcasts over satellite and cable services must obtain business licenses from the Federal Communications Commission.
- Transportation and logistics. The Freight Management and Operations provides permits for small businesses needing heavy-duty vehicles to support their operations.
In addition, don’t forget to get your brand and domain name trademarked and protected. This is to help keep your business unique and prevent it from getting into legal trouble.
4. Build Your Website
Two easy ways to create a website include utilizing WordPress and using a website builder.
Powering 42.3% of all websites worldwide, WordPress is a free, beginner-friendly content management system that provides flexible customization. In comparison, a website builder refers to a website building platform that throws away any manual coding and changes it into drag-and-drop functionality.
In this guide, let’s focus on building a business website using WordPress. Here’s how the steps may look like:
- Choose a reliable web host. Server uptime, speed, customer service, scalability, and security are some of the essential factors to check when looking for a web hosting provider.
- Register your domain name. This step is about registering a web address under the business owner’s name. Some web hosting companies offer domain name registration along with the hosting plan purchase. However, buying it separately from a registrar is also possible.
- Set up your WordPress website. Once activated, you may start to configure your website. From giving it a title and creating content categories to adding new users and inserting custom code, this is where you familiarize yourself with the CMS’s interface.
- Install a responsive theme. Such a template allows a website to adjust its layout based on the different device’s screen sizes and resolutions. As a result, it helps boost the site’s user experience.
- Utilize website optimization plugins. SEO, security, and performance optimization plugins are some of the WordPress site must-have plugins.
5. Set Up Payment Methods
As you’re building a business, setting up the payment methods is one of the most crucial things to do. With many payment gateways available, integrating them all separately on your business website can be a little overwhelming.
The good news is that WordPress has lots of all-in-one eCommerce plugins that can help ease this process.
One of the best online store add-ons is the WooCommerce plugin. Apart from providing you with easy configuration for PayPal and Stripe, it also has a wide variety of payment gateways in its extension directory.
6. Publish and Promote Your Online Business
Once all is set, you’re ready to launch your online business. However, your target customers may find it hard to find your website if you don’t promote it.
Let’s look at some popular methods for promoting a website:
- Content marketing with SEO. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to spread the word about a new business. This strategy takes consistency in creating high-quality content and optimizing it for search engines.
- Social media marketing. It refers to the use of social media platforms to market a business. Apart from helping generate traffic to a website, SMM also helps build and retain good relationships with customers.
- Email marketing. By sending newsletters to your email list, you may be surprised at how it helps your business. Email marketing can be a great strategy to generate sales and offer a personalized marketing experience.
- Outreach marketing. It often involves pitching content ideas to other websites or blogs and writing articles for them. In exchange, the business owner can promote their products or services in the blogpost.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. This happens when your customers talk about a company’s product or service to other people. It’s one of the most powerful strategies, as 92 % of consumers trust their family and friends more than advertisements. Thus, focus on making the best products to be on top of people’s lists.
The idea of building an established business website from scratch can seem overwhelming, especially for beginners. However, with the easy steps you’ve learned throughout the article, the process should be easier.
Here’s a short recap of how to build a business website:
- Find a profitable business niche. Doing so will provide you with clearer directions. A business niche will also help identify potential markets and narrow down the competition.
- Get a perfect domain name. As it’s among the most vital branding elements, a domain name should be representative and memorable.
- Prepare the legal documents. Most business industries need to obtain federal-issued licenses to operate. Also, don’t forget to fill out the paperwork for the business’s legal name.
- Build the website. This is where business owners start their research on the perfect web hosting provider for their websites. Installing a responsive theme and optimization plugins is also essential in this step.
- Set up payment methods. To let customers place their orders, business owners ought to give them easy access for completing the payments. Thus, integrating several payment gateways should be on your list.
- Publish and market the website. Advertising a new business shouldn’t be expensive. Some of the best ways to promote it are by conducting content marketing with SEO, SMM, email marketing, and WOM marketing.
By implementing the above steps, you may find that building a business isn’t as complicated as it seems. However, it may take more attempts to finally have a successful business that converts. After all, it’s always learning by doing in the business world. Good luck!