You can build an online business in 2018. The startup-bug is not a fad, it’s international, and if you’ve ever considered starting your own business now is the time.
Creating businesses has been the primary way humans have gotten by for centuries. It’s in our blood to be entrepreneurs, as much as your families might tell you to get a job or stay put.
If you feel the need to get out on your own, technology puts the wind at your back as you set sail. Go boldly into the unknown and follow this 4-step approach to finding, implementing, and scaling your business.
Step 1: Online Business Research
If you don’t know what business you want to dive into, the first thing you need to do is figure that out.
First, you should look at what you’re good at, then compare that to what interests you, and finally try to understand what the market is asking for before you research your business idea. If all three of those line up then you have your idea.
Make a list of all three things and see what lines up.
After that, use these free tools to understand the market you’re going to venture into.
This is great for understanding your market from a macro perspective. You can also use trends to find good keywords and phrases to put on your website to cue Google to rank for that terminology. It’s just some mild SEO.
This is the best tool on the internet for finding and testing an audience for your new business, and the best part is it’s free!
Here you can find out what kind of people buy what you’re selling. You can see how old they are, where they’re from, what they do, what their hobbies are, etc. This program goes into extreme depth and it’s reliable, because Facebook has over 2 billion daily active users (DUA).
For more information on Facebook’s Audience Insights, check out our article detailing step-by-step how to Find a Hungry Audience with Facebook Marketing.
Step 2: 10-Day Sprint to Launch
Working at a slow and steady pace is a good idea until you reach a point where you’re about to launch. This is when you need to turn the heat up and get as much done as possible.
In this stage, you need to take all the information you learned in step one and formulate your pitch. You should by now have your product, ideal customer, and business goals already in line.
Let’s say you’re starting an e-commerce store that sells customizable t-shirts. What do you need?
- A website that supports this kind of store, like Shopify (24 hours)
- A source for the products, like AliExpress. (12 hours)
- Payment Collector, Paypal or Stripe. (1-2 hours max)
- A marketing strategy, like email marketing and social media advertisements. (Setup time is 5 hours). I Mailchimp and Get Response for email marketing and Facebook and Instagram Ads for social media advertisements.
It shouldn’t take you more than 10 days to set all this up, especially if you use the website above. There are plenty of tutorials and YouTube videos associated with a business model like this too.
The key is to break up each step into chunks and finish each step as fast as possible. Your goal in Step 2 is to make sure everything is working. Then in steps 3 and 4 starts refining everything.
Step 3: Test, Test, Test
After you have everything set up, you should start running some ads on Facebook and Instagram to direct traffic to your website. If you are unfamiliar with these advertising platforms, you should consult their help guides on each platform.
Advertising on each of these platforms can be tricky so learn as much as you can before and during your ads campaigns.
If the data is favorable with your advertisement initially, you should create another test with different images, videos, and copy. These things can make a huge difference, and the more strategies you employ the better your ads will do.
Video marketing is supremely better for advertisements. If you need help making high-quality videos you should look at our article What You Need To Know About Video Marketing In 2018. It’s your guide to video marketing this year.
Step 4: Scale
How to scale your business is the $1 million question these days. Most savvy business owners won’t even think about building a business unless they know they can scale it to 7-figures.
Focusing too much on scaling is a fallacy and will stop yours from being successful if you pay too much attention to it in the beginning stages.
You should focus most of your thoughts towards providing a needed service to your clients. If you use Google Trends and Audience Insights, you will know whether or not your business will scale. Determining how high it will scale is a different story altogether.
If you follow these steps you can almost ensure your success. The key is to be honest with yourself about what the data you find is telling you in step 1 and step 3.
If the data doesn’t show there is a market for what you’re selling, then you have to let it go and choose another idea. Falling in love with your idea will drain your business and your funding.
For more information about building your business, visit the rest of the Digital Cartel Media blog.