So you have been toying with an idea of starting a small online business but you think the steps you need to take, to get started, are not that simple or easy? You are dead wrong. We over complicate our thought process and don’t focus on enough on the power of getting the ball rolling. By the way, online business is about to start booming BIG TIME. If you are not using online as a side hustle, now is a better time than ever to start. PS you don’t need money to start anything. You just need to start.
Don’t worry, people much more “average” than what you think you are, has done it successfully. All they needed was a kick in the ass to start (Just like you). So where do you start? Well, if you are going to look at the 100 things you need to do to get started you will definitely never get started so start using the 5 steps just to get you going.
Get an Idea
Incubating an idea is much easier than what is portrayed and I think. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel, or develop disposable diapers. It can be a small solution to a small problem that people have. If there are many people doing the same thing then the market is probably already too saturated and you should think of something else. Write down 10 ideas or problems you can solve for other people, and what other people would be willing to pay for you to solve. It can be a product, a service, advice, content, a skill think wide and even if it’s seemingly silly, then write down 10 of those pearlers. Then in the column next to it, write one thing you can do today, using what you have, to start the process. The next few steps are my recommendations for online specific businesses;
Register the URL and Email
Make sure that you register a URL which is short but also says what the business is about or the name of your business. If you want to avoid later issues with hosting and support, make sure you avoid international hosting platforms and stick to local platforms where you can get on the ground support which is just a phone call away. Get an email address set up as the general email address which you will always keep. For example info@mywebiste or hello@mywebsite are both good options. You can always think of something cool and witty such as thebrain@mywebsite etc. Different is good, people are tired of “the same”
Start Building Your Website
If you have money get it built by someone who knows how to do it then go that route if you please. If you don’t have money (like I didn’t have when I started my online clothing range www.Lovu.co.za) and you don’t know how to do it, learning is an incredibly rewarding process. I have zero formal education in website building or digital marketing. Everything I have learned was from the Harvard School of Pulling Your Finger Out, and Doing Some Research. There is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING you can’t learn on Google. This method is what I used and I am so freaken grateful that I didn’t have money at the time to “get it done”. I have learned so much from being forced to do it all from scratch that I know how to build, immediately improve, how to better it, how to grow it and how to see when someone is doing it wrong. (very NB business tip, learn how to do everything in your company, its a phenomenal business trait to have, knowing what and how things are done.
Visually Showcase Your Products of Service
Never underestimate the power of visually showcasing your products. A Picture is worth a 1000 words. You don’t need to have a professional photographer or expensive equipment. An iPhone takes better photos than most professional camera’s. Keep it simple and learn how to use your phone’s camera. Take photographs of your work, product, you conducting your service and start using these images on your social media website etc. I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to use guidelines from simple posts online on how to take great images. A bit of research can put you MILES above your competitors. There are also amazing free tools that I will elaborate on next time. By the way, having a rocking social media presence is SUPER NB.
Get 10 Super Fan’s
When you have started and you have a little something to show. Tell 10 friends and get them to support your business. Word of mouth is potentially the most important marketing tool you will ever have. If you can’t find at least 10 people who gets excited about your business and project, abandon ship and abort mission.
These are 5 steps I would have given a close friend who asked how to start. There is no right or wrong there are many ways to get your ass in gear but these are the ways that worked for me. If you are stuck with ideas keep going. Write down 10 a day and keep pushing you will eventually find one.