Top 13 Things To Do Before Launching Your Online Startup Business

 27 Jan, 2022

Introduction to Online Startup/business

What is the common entrepreneurship term you hear nowadays? Yes! It is about an online startup business. With many businesses starting up every day, not every venture passes the survival test. Only a handful succeed. 

So, what are the things that make those successful startups stand out in the market? This is one question that should be in the mind of every entrepreneur before they plan to kick start their dream online start-up. There are several concerns one might have in mind regarding the user reaction if they find some errors within the new system or it can be about the brand reputation if the design aspect of the online start-up is not clear. 

Both these issues can happen as a result of quickly beginning the project without introspecting on various aspects of business and customer requirements. Design, Functionality, Revenue Model, Funding, Location are the top most significant things that every beginner entrepreneur should be aware of while going ahead with their online startup business.

Without further delay, let us start exploring the online business startup aspects that include the following:

  • Few Popular Examples Of Startups
  • Top 13 Things to Consider Before Starting the Online Startup
  • 3 Effective Tips To Make Your Online Business Model Successful
  • Top 6 Online Business Startup Ideas

Do online businesses have that reach like the brick-and-mortar store? Let us take a quick look at the importance of online business with some facts and figures.

Let us kick-start our journey!

Why Start an Online Business?

The Covid pandemic presented many brick-and-mortar stores to scale up to the online business. So, having a digital presence is not a choice but has become mandatory to thrive and survive in the competitive marketplace. 

Not only this, many people prefer to do their shopping virtually, instead of visiting the physical stores. The rule of thumb to remember for businesses of any size of nature is to go online. The following stats and figures emphasize this statement:

  • 36% of the small online startup businesses are witnessing increased online sales
  • 70% of SMBs plan to boost their digital visibility with more investments
  • Nearly 1.79 billion people did online shopping last year (2021)
  • 43% of urban people make their purchases online
  • 88% of retailers now have shifted to selling online

If you are proposing a startup, then having online and physical forms helps you connect and fulfill the requirement of both online and offline customers.

Hence the significance of digital presence is proved. Now, you know the importance of an online start-up. It is time to check out the what-to part of our topic.

Things to Consider Before Starting the Online Startup

Things to consider before starting an online startup

What is the first item on the checklist? It is the aesthetic aspect of your digital business. 

#1. Design

The visual appeal of your product or website is extremely important in determining the success or failure of your business. This is one important aspect wherein entrepreneurs spend most of their time to ensure what works best for the customers and site visitors. The better the design, the more convinced would be the customers. This is because customers are able to identify the purpose of the website smoothly and will likely purchase the products owing to the trust and reliability that was generated with the visually appealing design of your product.

Online stores such as eBay began their journey by including the most basic information that might be of use for the site visitors rather than including an appealing design whereas if you take a look at the current design of eBay, it has become a very user-friendly online store to purchase items from.

However, it is not necessary that the same would be applicable for all the online stores. For example, the earlier version of Craigslist was not as impressive as the present website because the design was not as perfect as expected since it was developers who created it instead of designers. The absence of a designer is evident if you take a look at the Craigslist website. Compare Craigslist with Pinterest and you will be able to see how important the design can be for an online start-up. 

#2. Functionality

Functionality is yet another important aspect for an online start-up company. Entrepreneurs will have to decide whether they have to begin their business quickly or wait for everything to be ready so that they do not face hurdles later on. Functionality is the list of additional requirements that can be added to the program so as to provide an enhanced user experience for the site visitors. To be more precise, functionality is an ongoing process that has to be included with respect to time. If you can compare the older Twitter with the latest Twitter, you can see significant changes. When Twitter was introduced, it was a social networking site with a simple wall where users could follow their friends and share the statements. But Twitter now has been substantially modified by means of including features such as photos into the software and thereby adapting easily towards the needs and scope of the users. 

#3. Revenue Model

For generating revenue from the online start-up, businesses will have to first deliver the customer’s needs before starting to monetize the enterprise. A revenue-generating strategy alone cannot do wonders if the online start-up is not preferred by the site visitors and thereby the online start-up will likely incur heavy revenue losses. However if businesses take enough steps to satisfy their customers and if the number of customers increases substantially, then sooner or later businesses will likely generate better profit margins for their online start-up business

#4. Funding

Every online startup business needs initial funding to start things. Regardless of the size and nature of the startup, you can look out for this financial help either from bank microloan, family, friends, capitalists, or good-hearted investors.

According to a survey, 38% of startups who failed to raise new funds for business their operations eventually cease to exist.

Remember, Amazon and eBay got their funding through family members and investors respectively at the right time, which helped them climb up the business ladder and succeed.

Make sure you figure out the right estimations before planning for crowdfunding.  

#5. Location

What is the success determining factor for your business? Location! It is a significant consideration for any online startup business before entering the commercial world. The entrepreneurs have to decide whether an online store will suffice their goals or is essential to open up a physical store.

For example, many mobile retailers have physical and online stores that cater to the requirement of offline and online customers. So, they open their stores at a prime location to capture the attention and gain visibility.

#6. Legal Structure

Entrepreneurs need to consider the legal structure of their business. That is, they have to decide upon whether their company is going to be:

  • Sole proprietorship : Here the founder is also a climactic employee of that business.
  • Joint ownership : Where numerous people partnerships are legal. An online business startup registered as an LLC can lessen personal liability.

#7. Writing A Concrete Business Plan

The next step is to write up a strong business plan for your startup. What is a business plan? In simple words, it is detailed information about your products or services. It is also crucial to gain your inevitable startup funds from banks. 

A few general components that a business plan should list are

  • An executive summary that tells your vision, mission, what is your company, why it will succeed, employee details, financial details, and location
  • Write a company description that tells how your company be a problem-solver
  • Do market research and figure out the trends that can help you gain insights into the competitors and their strengths and tell how you can do it better than them

#8. Define Your Target Audience

The purpose of starting your online startup business is to provide solutions to your target audience. So, you have to identify and comprehend your target audience and their needs. For this identification process, you have to research your potential audience based on:

  • Demographics : It is the gender, age, and income of the target audience.
  • Psychological traits : The data encompasses traits like opinions, values, beliefs, and interests. When you gather and comprehend these two data types, it will help you figure the needs and interests of the buyers.

#9. Conduct Market And Product Research

After identifying your target audience, it is time to conduct market research that helps you catch up with wants or needs or lacks in the market that you can provide.

This in-depth research helps you identify the competition and profitability of your business. The following steps can be an outline to start your market research:

  • Start With Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) : Google is the best place to kick start your market research. Just check out the different variations of your niche keywords on the SERPs and analyze them. Jot down a few things like
    • The content type of the number one ranking page
    • Type of paid ads business sites/pages that are visible above the organic search results

This analysis will help you evaluate your competitor and serve as essential elements for your digital marketing and SEO techniques.

  • Competitors research (apart from SERPs) : You also have to look at your key competitors’ aspects:
    • Historical ventures in your business vertical
    • Competitors ROIs 
    • Microscopic analysis of their strong and weak points
  • Analyze keywords with high performance : It helps you figure out:
    • The at-the-moment product/ service demand in your niche 
    • The best-ranking content for your niche primary keywords

Some tools that you can deploy for this purpose can be:

    • Semrush (paid)
    • Ahrefs (paid)
    • Google Trends (free)
    • Google Keyword Planner (free)

#10. Product Research 

It is essential to conduct product research for your online business startup. Some of the most common eCom products online are mentioned below:

  • Digital downloads : When a customer purchases and downloads digital products like audiobooks, eBooks, PDFs of online courses, you can have more profits than physical goods. The trick is the pricing part, as it has a lower value than material goods.
  • Physical goods : You have to invest in the manufacturing, storage, and shipping costs before selling. It is profitable, but the margin is low considering all the operational costs.
  • Services : Unlike physical goods, all the remote services are saleable online. It is an expressway to earn profits for your online startup business. In this model, as you sell time, it can limit your earning potential. Once your business turns into an agency, that constraint gets eliminated automatically.

#11. Familiarize With Online Business Laws

Many entrepreneurs believe that traditional business laws do not apply to online businesses, which is not the reality. 

Yes, licenses and permits can be fewer than physical stores. But you need to familiarize yourself with some legal information for your online startup business like:

  • The type of business license needed for your operations
  • The legal structure that suits you the most (LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship)
  • Permits to be procured
  • Pass any inspections
  • The need for a sales tax license
  • Online businesses specific regulations
  • Contractors and staff hiring laws

Make sure you check with your local authorities for your online business startup.

#12. Select The Right Platform

Not all online businesses need a website. Research your niche and target audience preferences to figure out the relevant platform for your vertical. 

  • Sometimes, customized products marketing is possible through social media channels like Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram. You do not have to build a website from scratch. 
  • Another viable option is to choose eCommerce platforms like eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, or others. Many online shoppers prefer these platforms.
  • Choose and build a stand-alone website with a website creator.

#13. Learn about the right Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business

Some effective marketing strategies can boost your online startup business: 

Top 5 Marketing strategies to grow your online startup

1. SEO

Do you search on the second page of Google? No! Likewise, 72% of people searching for your products or services do not click beyond the first page. So, SEO makes your website appear in the top SERPs, which has more visibility, traffic, clicks, conversions than PPC.

SEO best practices for your online startup business:

  • Make your site mobile-responsive as it is the largest source of traffic generation. If your site has good loading speeds across all screens and devices, it can drive more traffic and revenues to your business.
  • Voice-search optimization helps your site cater to this form of content search. To nail this strategy for your business, make sure you do SEO so that your content is adaptive to all user questions. 
  • Adhere to Social Media Marketing that can boost up your website ranking 

2. Email Marketing

This traditional email marketing methodology is effective to date, and it best promotes your online startup business. It helps you with:

  • Boosted sales
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Lead nurturing
  • Establish customer-business strong relationships
  • Best ROIs

Email marketing best practices for your online startup business

  • Personalized emails can earn you 50% better results than before
  • Add GIFs, videos, infographics formats to increase the interactiveness of the email
  • Email automation helps in consistent touch with customers that can heighten the conversion rates

3. Instagram Marketing

There is nothing better to market on the second-best social media platform, Instagram. This medium helps many B2C companies interact directly with their customers. 

Best Instagram marketing practices for your online startup business:

  • Create interesting brand stories with Instagram stories features
  • Expand your customer interactions through contests, polls, and quizzes with Instagram. These tools make your content more reachable and memorable 
  • Use Instagram shop that  is a zero-cost marketing tool

4. Whatsapp Marketing

This popular messaging platform has billions of active users to date. The features like status, product catalogs benefit many small business entrepreneurs with their marketing efforts.

Best Whatsapp marketing practices for your online startup business:

  • You can use group chats to discuss and make any decisions
  • Deploy product catalog feature in Whatsapp. It has more similarities to Instagram shops
  • Utilize broadcast lists that enable you to send specific offers to certain subscriber groups 

5. Web push marketing

As the name suggests, it sends short messages to your customers via a mobile app or a web browser. It increases the audience engagement rate with your brand and makes them reach the bottom of the sales funnel.

As per a recent survey, the response rate for push notifications is over 7.8%

Web push marketing best practices for your online startup business:

  • Many notifications fail as their frequency annoys the customer. So try to plan out your notification frequencies to not more than five times a day and timings based on their time zone.
  • Come up with some criteria like languages, usage of browser, country to segment your subscribers and send them customized notifications accordingly. Segmentation can boost your CTR by more than 200%.
  • Include some multimedia elements to your notification text that can capture user attention 

Are you looking to build websites for your online startup? Then our elegant and functional web designs services can help you.

How will you Analyze Business Performance?

What do successful entrepreneurs do that distinguishes them from the rest? They keep an eye on their KPIs and make strategic changes frequently that make their business model a success.

The following are the three KPIs that you should trace down frequently to make your online startup business a happening one: 

  • Business Data (eCommerce based)

It helps you comprehend your site performance and the customers’ journey with your brand. A few common indicators include

    • Traffic
    • Bounce rate
    • Conversion rate
    • Sales numbers
  • Marketing Performance Indicators

The key metrics that evaluate the success of marketing efforts can include CTR, the open rate for email marketing. The number of followers and SEO rankings for social media platforms. These KPI metrics will differ for each marketing channel.

  • Financial KPIs

It measures the financial performance of your business, and some common indicators include average margin, gross profit, and much more.

If you implement the best marketing strategy, then figuring out and leveraging these success indicators is a breeze for you.

Yes! The online startup business things to consider section comes to an end. Check out the subsequent section that curates the best tips to make your business model successful in the long run.

3 Effective Tips To Make Your Online Business Model Successful

Is it simple to run an online business? Well, to be honest, it is not. So, to help you handle this complex task, our top three tips for you get listed below:

1. Focus On Conversion Rates

Do you want higher conversion rates without spending an extra dime for marketing? Then do focus on CRO strategies to make it happen. It is not a simple process but worth the effort. 

2. CRM Tools For Storing Customer Data

Data leaks are a common problem in any online business. Even large corporations had hardships with customer data leaks. You have to face public outrage, which is justifiable. Hence, as a business owner, you have to safeguard this confidential information.

Many organizations have started integrating CRM tools into their existing system to store their information with added safety features. 

3. Automated Customer Support

What earns loyal customers to businesses? It is unmatched customer service. To make this happen, you need to have a team of fast, friendly, and active customer support representatives. 

As many customers expect a quick response from the company, automating a few redundant tasks can lessen the burden of the customer support team. Chatbots is an instance that many businesses use to earn new prospects and retain existing customers. 

The what-to-do and how-to-do sections of this article end here. Let us move with a few online business startup ideas.

Online Business Startup Ideas

Every great thing starts with an idea! So, to help you with this process, we have researched and curated the best ones for your convenient start:

  • Affiliate marketing

When you recommend a product or service on blogs or websites, it is known as affiliate marketing. For every conversion through the related links, you earn a commission.

Marketplace like Amazon and Shopify offers an affiliate marketing opportunity for you. Find the one that matches your niche and audience.

  • Try handmade goods

If you are good at creating handmade items, invest and monetize from them.

You can either use Etsy or Craiglist or build a store that gives you control of your business.

  • Influencer marketing

This category has boomed in recent years and has many opportunities to explore if you wish. Try to become a micro-influencer first with a smaller number of followers initially. Remember earning millions of followers overnight cannot happen overnight. Even with a few thousand subscribers, you can earn enough.

  • Virtual Assistant (VA)

Do you have OCD? Then you are up for starting a VA business. 

As a VA, you help other business people stay organized with their professional and personal lives by managing their emails, scheduling appointments, and much more.

  • Open your clothing Line

Do you have the knack for creating wow designs? Do you also have some spare time? Then it is the best time to open up your clothing line with plenty of website builders like Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce, Oberlo to make it happen.

  • Start conducting online courses

Do you love teaching? Then tutoring for online courses is a good source of passive income that requires low investment. First, create a video tutorial of the subjects you are an expert at, and then post and host it on your website.

 Initially, it needs your commitments. If your teaching videos provide value, you earn numerous enrollments and monetize.

Few Popular Examples Of Startups

 Amazing things come first! Yes, I am talking about Amazon.

Amazon

This eCom giant started its journey in 1994 when its founder Jeff Bezos decided to quit his job and start this internet business. With a few thousand dollars as an investment from his parents, he opened up his startup.

It was a platform that initially sold books online at cost-effective prices than the retail booksellers that eventually opened a competition and opportunity to land their feet in this domain. The company earned a good customer response and started expanding its retail business. 

Today, Amazon has more than 36 categories, from gadgets to personal care products. You name it, and they have it! 

So, what online startup business lessons you can learn from them:

  • Provide a personalized shopping experience for each customer like going through customer purchase history and showing new product purchase suggestions based on it
  • Run frequent feature testing every month to offer its customers a better service.
  • Offer reviews for every product separately.
  • Deliver excellent customer services like free shipping and express delivery 

eBay

Pierre Omidyar listed his laser printer for $1 and sold it a $14 on one fine weekend. This historical transaction laid the foundation for the start of eCom giant eBay. Pierre’s weekend hobby started gaining a large number of user-buyer attention after the first sale. It, in turn, forced him to create a business account.

Later in 1997, the company received its $6.7 million funding from Benchmark Capital and created history with $4.7 million revenue within a year. With its efficient management workforce, eBay perfected its business model and withstood its competitors like Disney, Pepsi, General Motors. 

So, what are the takeaways from eBay that can help you with your online startup business:

  • Best user reviews. The users can send messages or post a comment about the seller. It automatically gets linked to their profile. Thus it helps the other buyers to make a better purchase decision.
  • Global market, Kudos to the internet reach! Where people can buy their products from eBay that are not available in the local market
  • Good bargains! It is what many tend to relate eBay with
  • Earn money, as it is a free online selling platform, people who put their products for sale get their best prices and earn more. 

With a few inspirations drawn from the above business models, a brief of things to consider can help make your smooth start.

Conclusion

Whoa! It was a lengthy discussion that lists everything you need to do before starting your online business. Right from startup inspirations, marketing strategies, tips, and online business ideas, we have profiled the best. We hope it helped you with a great learning time. 

If you feel that we have left out any information, do let us know in the comment section below.

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