Is starting a business easy? Heck no but there are a few steps that could guide you through the process. With the internet as advance as it is right now, online businesses are becoming more common. It may seem as though you can start an online business quick and easy but to become truly successful, there are some steps you have to consider.
Here is a list of 8 tips I believe to be important to start a profitable online business.
1. Develop Skills
Of course right? You have to know what you are selling. The most important thing is self-awareness. Do not try to offer services or teach beyond your skillset. You will not fool anyone. In the end, you will lose credibility and trust which can be very damaging.
One of the best things you can do is perform a SWOT Analysis (strengths, opportunities, weakness, threats) on yourself. I know you have a pretty good grasp on what you do really well but it is nice to see it written down. For myself writing things down make it real.
After you know what you want to go all in on, learn as much about the subject as you can. As a matter of fact, do not stop learning. Through books and the internet, there is no reason why you cannot improve your skills. I block of 30 minutes every day for “study time”. I am reading, listening, or watching something to improve myself.
With the new way of learning with YouTube and educational platforms like Skillshare, you are literally walking around with thousands of classes in your pocket. Unlock that smartphone and learn my friends.
2. Build Your Target
Your users, your audience, your customers, your clients, however, you want to say it. These people are everything to your business. Without them, you have no business. Before you go off and get that logo or try to market your business, figure out your who you will serve.
I am telling you now, your target audience is not everyone. It sounds great to have everyone fall in love with you and give you money but that is unrealistic. The truth is we have different personalities, hobbies, taste. Instead of trying to reach everyone, focus on your core.
Start with creating user profiles. Not just saying “I want to reach women 18 – 34” but really go into detail about who they are. Figure out the challenges, lifestyle, goals that way you can align yourself to become their go-to person. One profile is great but if you can do three, even better.
3. Develop Services/Product
You are feeling confident in your skills, you know the ideal target audience. Now create your services or product to bring value and make a profit.
Before you sell, make sure you brainstorm some ideas. Sometimes things sound good in your head but it is always a good thing to take your time to put enough thought into your business. Take the time now so you will not have to make a lot of changes later.
When you have everything set in stone, come up with pricing. Pricing can be a monster. There is no right answer to “How much should this cost”. What you can do is add up monthly or yearly expenses to get an idea of how much you need to make in order to survive.
4. Create a Brand Identity
The fun part! Time to get creative. Your brand identity is the visuals that represent your brand. These items are a nonverbal way to convey your message. With your target audience in mind, of course, design visuals that will get the attention you want.Get access to the Brand Resource Library to download the Brand Identity Checklist.
There are a couple of ways to create a brand identity:
Hire an agency, the best yet most expensive way. Work with a solopreneur (freelancers), not the cheapest but not the most expenses. The last choice I believe is acceptable is KDIY. Now you probably do not know what that means because I am pretty sure I made it up.
Kinda Do It Yourself opposed to Do It Yourself. This goes back to set one where I talked about skillset. If you are not skilled in design do not try to take on everything. Instead get a coach, attend a workshop, or purchase a webinar. That way your cost is lower but you are getting the proper help.
5. Push Out Content
Yes, content is king and there is no way around this one. People do not like being sold to all of the time. Especial when they do not know or trust you. With businesses all around us, we are hearing sell pitches left and right. Your business can make money using the sell but any means necessary tactic but for longevity, you have to give value.
Think about your ideal customer’s main problem and help them solve it for free. Yes, for free. Now, you do not have to get really detailed but you should provide valuable information regularly without expecting anything in return. This will help you build trust with others.
- Blogging about your industry
- How to videos
- Weekly podcast
- Consistent social media posting
6. Build an Email List
An email list is something you have control over. Social media is important and should be apart of your strategy but it should never replace a website or email list. You have no control over the platforms or algorithm. With your email list, you control the content and the communication.
You are also more likely to make a sell from an email subscriber then a random encounter. They are already comfortable with you and familiar with your content. Most sells are made after coming in contact with the person multiple times. With this list, you can keep the lines of communication open and more people will buy.
There are a few providers out there to host your list. I am using Mailerlite. Super easy to setup and send out newsletters. Make an effort to speak to your subscribers once a week.
7. Diversify Your Income
Do not put all of your eggs in one basket because you might drop it. Translation, do not rely on one form of income. If you really want a profitable online business, multiple income sources is a must.
When you have money coming in from multiple sources, you:
- Lessen the risk of those slow months
- Set yourself up for recurring income
- Bring in more money
- Make passive income
You can do this by selling products such as courses or digital products. There are a plenty of ways to make some extra money in your business. Figure out what fits and start creating.
8. Setup Sales Funnels
Getting customers to buy is a journey. To keep sales consistent, a funnel should be in place and on repeat. From how people find you to what makes them purchase. Do not leave it up to people to find you because you will never be found. Take control of the user journey with a clear path to what you want them to purchase.