How to Start an Online Business: 5 Essential Must Haves
During the era of COVID-19, we have seen an increase in online business owners. People are taking their passions and abilities and marketing them from the comfort of their own homes. However, starting a business can be challenging and if you don't know where to start, can seem nearly impossible. That's why I have created a list of 5 essentials you need to get your business up and off the ground.
- We all have an idea. Some of us have more than we know what to do with (guilty). A great foundation to starting any business is to create a set of blueprints so you know the direction you want to head in. Get a clear focus on what your product/service is, who your audience is, your selling point, etc. Think of it as a way to get all of your business goals and ideas down so you aren't starting with no sense of direction.
2. Develop a Strong Brand
- If you are in the creative industry, sometimes we can handle this on our own, but if you are not I highly recommend investing in a brand identity from a designer. Having a strong brand will create trust, a competitive voice, and a visual representation of who you and your brand are. Often times, as new business owners, we feel that this can put aside until later in our business because we think it isn't as important. However, a well designed and beautiful brand identity will propel your business forward more than you can imagine.
3. Put Systems into Place
- Systems, systems, systems. These are so important! When I say a system, what I mean is a way of collecting, sending, or showcasing any and all data, invoices, portfolios, etc. Creating these systems and ensuring you have all of your ducks in a row before you get too ahead in selling your products/services will set you up for success. A CRM (customer relationship management) is a great tool that will help you keep all of this information in one place. I highly recommend HoneyBook for any service related businesses. However, do your research on which CRM platform might work best for you!
4. Set up a Bank Account
- Separating your personal account from your business account is a huge thing that needs to be done before you start bringing in a lot of income. Now a days, this can easily be done online through any bank of your choice. A lot of banks also offer incentives for business accounts, so see which ones are available in your area and what will work best for you. Separating your accounts has many benefits. During tax time, it will be much easier for you or your bookkeeper to see what has been spent, what income was brought in, what has been set aside for the business, etc. There are also many legal factors that play into it, as well. If you have more questions regarding business bank accounts, reach out to your local branch and see what information they have to offer you.
- Now I'm sure this will not come as a surprise to anyone, but building a social media presence will be crucial in developing engagement from your potential customers/clients. Showcasing your brand via Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or any other platform will open more doors to elevating your business. Create a strong social media plan, or hire a social media manager to get you started on the right track. Research what hashtags are popular in your area and which ones your target audience respond well to. Respond to any questions/feedback/comments you get as soon as you can. Build your brand presence and your ideal audience will follow.
Creating a business can be daunting, but don't let that hold you back! We all have so much potential and if you follow these steps, I am confident you will be on the right track.