Online business is popular nowadays because it provides 24/7- and 365-day product, services, and tools accessible for customers, it required minimum upfront cost, you can start it from home, almost all the business operations are digital, easy to manage and anyone can start the online business systematically and transparently.
Part 1 of this series: Internet business models and methods to start an online business
And most important is that you can automate online business through technologies and remote employees.
Following are the things are common to start, manage and grow any type of online business or business:
1. Create the Vision or future steps for your Business:
Vision not only helps to move towards the right growth direction and selection of good business goals, but it will help to get back from the failures.
I saw that if you have a small or bigger, inspiring vision for your business then you will consistently get new ideas to implement to grow your business.
And if in any case, you failed in achieving your business goals then this written vision again will help you to think bigger again and take risks.
You need to imagine, write and create the vision for your business. It’s the 1st step. Your imagination, inspiration, creativity will matter the most in creating the vision for the business.
It can be in one line.
For example, your vision can be entrepreneurship development across the country.
When creating a vision for the business. This is the time to think big and different. You have to ask and answer the following questions to yourself:
You have to ask yourself, what do you want to do?
Environment-friendly Entrepreneurship development in the country.
What change do you want to see?
I want to see a decrease in unemployment, I want to increment in GDP, I want to see, increment in the living standard and thinking of the people.
2. Create and Follow Business Plan:
Planning is the 2nd stage. Where you decide and think, how I can do it best from the current situation and available resources. Now you have to think about the problems of people that you can solve in the market with the current set of skills and products.
For example, you found that most entrepreneurs are struggling to hire experts or talented people in their team. And many are working solo. And they don’t have enough funds to hire more experts.
So, you decided to help entrepreneurs by providing a talented remotely located workforce at less cost. You will interview each person on your own then list them to hire part-time or full-time by businesses owner or entrepreneurs.
Now, this is just an example of a plan.
Similarly, you can think to build an app for the entrepreneur. You can plan to start a Blog in which you will educate them about personal finance. You can also plan to start a YouTube channel where you help them to get information and guidance. You can provide entrepreneurship training services online.
So, whenever you create the plan, think about the future needs of your targeted group of people (such as entrepreneurs) desires, and innovation.
It’s also important that you focus on particular types of entrepreneurs in the beginning. It means to go deep and select the right customer for your business.
For example, there are various types of entrepreneurs and in various stages in the business.
Someone just planning to start an online selling business. And another one is thinking to hire an SEO expert.
It means, do you want to help people to start the business.
Or do you want to help people to manage the business?
Or do you want to help them to make their business profitable?
Or do you want to build a business software that will reduce the operational cost?
In simple words, your plan and product or service selection have to be focused on a particular group of people in the beginning.
For example, Computer courses for college students. Now computer course is a service and it’s focused only on college students.
But the other computer course and syllabus are focused on adults.
In the planning part, you have to think about the product and services. What products you will sell to business owners or your target group of people. What kind of product you will create? What will be the price? How your product or service will be different. And how that product or service will be different, better, and lower in cost than the already existed customers.
You don’t need to make your plan and vision perfect initially. You just have to start with minimum ideas. And you have to remain flexible to make changes as per the progress.
3. Business Goals:
You need to set daily, monthly and yearly goals for the business. Business goals will help you to remain productive, focused and track the progress.
There are various types of business goals and you have to select what is most important for you in the beginning or when you’re working alone or have a small team.
Followings types of goals in business are important:
- Monthly sales goals if it’s an eCommerce Business.
- Monthly traffic goals if it’s a blog website.
- Monthly content creation goals if it’s a digital marketing business.
In the beginning, you not only have to focus on increasing customers, traffic but you also have to focus on the quality.
In any business first 6 months to 1 Year is very crucial. In the beginning, you will not get traffic or customers immediately. It will take time. But till then you will have to pay monthly office rental, internet, and software subscription liabilities.
But if you starting from home, then you will be able to save the money from the office expenses. But instead of thinking to save money in the beginning. You have to invest that money again in the business.
So whatever strategy you use it must have goals. For example, you want to reduce expenses. Then you have decided how much 20% or 30% and after that, you have to decide how will reduce those.
In the business especially in the beginning, you’re your own boss. But you need to set goals for yourself. And then you have to commit yourself to achieve those goals.
So I believe that it’s important to set business goals to achieve on a daily, monthly quarterly, and yearly basis.
If you need to run your business profitable, and you need a minimum of 20 sales per month to run it profitable then your sales goals can be 25 sales per month.
And when you automate this part of the business, then you can set product development goals, business expansion goals, and your own infrastructure development goals.
In your entire business journey, you just have to focus on the customers and their problems.
4. Quality Product/Services at delivering faster than the competitors:
Speed in the decision-making, execution of plans, and creativity is the most important thing in business. Not only you need a better-quality product, services, features, and content better and best but you also have to deliver this faster than competitors.
If your target audience or customer expects the product or service delivery faster and if you can provide that then it can help you to get more customers. Any customer segment prefers faster services and product delivery these days.
For example, if a client needs to make changes to the website urgently within 2 to 3 hours, but you’re unable to deliver that then definitely you will lose the business.
So, you have to decide and target your customer effectively. And you also have to deliver the service or product as per your promise.
It’s not easy to compete online with other companies, but with creativity and customer-centric strategies you will be able to do it.
You need a small or bigger team to achieve your business goals. The team will help you to automate your business. The team will make you free to take new risks and enter into new markets or work on new business ideas. The team will help you to think and focus on revenue-generating activities and innovation.
Else without a team, you can keep running the business and use your funds in monthly or yearly infrastructure liabilities. But you will not be able to build the business and unable to achieve growth. Running a business or surviving is one thing, but building a business is another big thing. So you have to focus also on building not just running.
Teamwork divides the workload. In the team, each person plays their role with 80% to 100% perfection. That will help to deliver good quality products and services.
Else if you’re working solo, then you will not be able to handle too many clients and product deliveries.
It’s very easy to work as a freelancer, YouTuber, and blogger from home. These businesses don’t need a team in the beginning. You can do all the works on your own. But you can do that on a certain level.
So no matter you’re starting a new business, or running a YouTube channel, or working as a freelancer then always think to build the team. Save some money to invest in the people or pay them a salary.
Try to hire experts, but if not possible, then train anyone or find someone in your area and locality or online to help you in your business development and day to day to day business activities.
And always remember, you’re the 1st employee or team member in your team. You have to guide and need to set rules for yourself. 1st you have to follow the same rules that you want to see in your employees.
How you think and the mindset you have will impact your other team members. That’s why you need to build the mindset of the leaders and focus on business growth opportunities.
This will not only help you to grow the business, but it will also help you to attract more talented and skilled people to join you. That will help you to build the business.
I haven’t seen anyone who is successful in business without a team. The team can be a group of 2 people or 20 people. Team matters in the growth and success of the business. A team of a similar mindset, different skillset, and talented people is the strength and foundation behind the vision of a successful company.
6. Promotion and Marketing:
You need marketing strategies even before the finalization of your product. It’s important that you build unique marketing strategies to promote the products and increase sales.
Promoting tour packages is different than promoting an eCommerce store.
And you also have a need to select the right platform and methods to promote your market your business.
For example, you can choose blogging on your business website as a long-term marketing strategy.
And search engine advertising or google ads for quick sales.
And for the branding, you can choose YouTube.
It’s important to first define your customers as per the products. You need to research and understand your customers. The more you understand and think about your customer, the better you will be able to market and promote your business, services, and products.
7. Focus on Momentum than too much management in the beginning:
Obviously, it’s important to build processes and systems in the business. But for that, you need to hire people and need to invest money. And after that, you have to manage those people as well. Everything related to the management of employees, clients, websites, social media, and personal obligations takes more time. So you need to be careful about where you will invest your time.
It’s important to invest your time in revenue-generating activities more than management activities. For management, you can hire someone who is good at this. But don’t become a manager.
Instead of management, I believe in the beginning you need to focus on the following goals:
- You have to focus on the tasks that will help you get more customers and sales.
- You have to focus on the conversion of website traffic into paid customers.
- If you’re running a blog as a business and display advertising is your revenue-generating stream then you have to focus on getting more traffic.
- If you’re running a YouTube channel, then you have to focus on increasing page views.
- If facing cash flow problems then you have to work to solve that problem.
In the beginning, you have to hire those people who not only listen and follow your ideas but also bring new ideas to the table to grow the business. You need people with creativity, leadership, and a competitive mindset to work with you.
Don’t hire people with dull and lazy mindsets especially if you’re hiring your 1st team member. You need leaders who can take challenges and are ready to learn.
I know it’s tough to find perfect employees. But at least it’s important that they have basic skills to work with you.
Else your half of the time and money will be wasted on those people that don’t want to grow in life or don’t have needs or desires.
So, hire dreamers, leaders, and tigers. Hire those who will challenge you and your attitude. And have clarity for their work and career.