Most of us are born with a strong desire to leave a mark in the world, to fulfill our lifelong aspirations and be the creators of our own fate. And the best way to achieve that is to be your own boss. That’s why many people dream of starting their own successful business. The entrepreneurial fire burning inside of them always pushes them to create something new and have a positive impact on the world.
Turning those dreams into reality isn’t as hard as you might think. Anyone can start a business nowadays, and with a good idea and a little bit of effort, turn it into an incredibly fulfilling and successful venture.
But, what’s the starting point? Where do you begin if you want to start from scratch with very few resources on hand? To answer all of your burning questions when it comes to starting an online business, we’ve created a list of 7 easy steps that will help you launch a successful business. Let’s go through them one at a time:
In order to start any business, you need a good idea. You can think of that idea as a rough diamond, just waiting to be cut and polished into perfection. Market research is the tool you’ll use to make that happen.
Start by clearly identifying the problem you’ll be solving. Are you going to offer products or services? Will you offer them to everybody or to a small, selected niche? Make sure you define the reason and the goal of your business early on. That way, you’ll have a sound base for everything that comes up next.
There are all kinds of free marketing tools available online, so use them to your advantage. Run online surveys, look up your competition and use that to add value to your idea. Get to know the market you’ll be getting into and you’ll be two steps ahead of everyone else in it.
A strategy is a general idea of where you want your business to be in the future. A road map, on the other hand, is a detailed set of instructions and milestones you need to reach that end goal. This is a crucial step you shouldn’t skip. A well-made road map is a powerful tool that will keep your business on its course despite the frequent and unexpected changes that will inevitably occur.
While road maps are often used to keep large teams and companies up to date, they can prove to be an invaluable asset to an entrepreneur who’s single-handedly starting a business. You can use a road map software such as Aha!, Planisware or ProdPad to make tracking them easier.
The places where your initiatives, goals and vision overlap are what you should be focused on the most, and will be a major factor in determining the success of your business.
Before you start managing your funds, it’s important you make an outline of the best and worst case scenario your business can face financially speaking. When you know what the best and worst situations you can expect are, managing your budget is much easier.
However, managing a budget requires a bit more than just putting two and two together. The golden rule to running a successful business is to overestimate your expenses and underestimate your revenue. That way, the inevitable deviations from your budget won’t have that much of an impact in the long run. Don’t forget to be realistic and use your road map as a guide through your expenses.
You can’t run a successful business without a strong online presence. People turn to the internet for everything, and your company shouldn’t miss out on it. The easiest way to reap what the internet has to offer is to create a website for your business. Nothing oozes professionalism more than a well-made website that offers its visitors information and value.
Starting a business on your own is hard enough without having to deal with codes and complicated web design tools. Use SITE123 to create a free professional website for your business. Start a blog, make a portfolio of your work, create an online store, or design a landing page for your product. With a wide selection of royalty-free images and amazing layouts to choose from, SITE123 lets you create a website that will be the best advocate for your business.
When you’re done with all the heavy lifting (market research, strategic planning, budgeting and building a free website), it’s time to proceed to the most important aspect of a successful business – marketing. Most people think of expensive TV ads and billboards when they hear marketing, but they forget that the most effective type of advertising is – free. There’s no better or more effective way to market your business than social media.
With 1.28 billion daily active users, Facebook should be your number one advertising stop. Cover the other social media giants – Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Reddit – and you’ve got free marketing more powerful than any paid TV or newspaper ad. Apart from being an incredible marketing tool, social networks also offer small companies the chance to reach out to their clients. One of the main reasons clients choose small businesses over large corporations is the personal touch.
Use the comment sections on your social media posts to communicate with clients and answer any questions they might have. A proactive business is more likely to gain online traction, so use it to your advantage to gain popularity.
The key to running a successful business is keeping track of your progress, always doing new research, being in close contact with your customers and constantly improving your results. You can achieve all of that without spending a lot of money by using external software and third party apps. Most of these programs do all the heavy lifting, saving you a lot of time and effort along the way.
Here are our suggestions:
This project management application is a great way to organize your projects and keep track of their corresponding tasks. It’s great for people on the go as it’s web-based, which means you can access it from any device.
Intercom might look like just a customer messaging platform, but it’s actually much more than that. It’s a powerful tool every online business should use to solve customer problems and send targeted email and in-app messages.
Intercom lets you track and filter customer data, which is crucial to establishing a successful online business. It’s perfectly integrated with your SITE123 website, so you’ll have a complete sales and marketing solution with just a click of your mouse.
An online marketing tool that offers complete search engine metrics for domains, keywords, and ads, SEMrush is an invaluable SEO tool for any online business. Use it to learn from your competitors and improve your SERP ranking. Plan keywords, get SEO boosting ideas, create amazing video ads and find backlinks with the best domain authority.
Buzzsumo is a fantastic free tool you can use to analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Just enter a topic or a domain into their search bar, and you’ll identify content that's performing well in a niche or with an audience. It’s visually compelling, easy to use, and provides you with immediate value. These are our suggestions for free tools and software you can use to amp your website’s SEO and SERP rating. There are many more free tools available online, so feel free to use the ones you think will help you grow your business the most.
Starting your own successful business requires a hard work and dedication. But, with a good plan, the right software, and a few tricks up your sleeve - you can make anything happen. The time and effort you need to put into it are nothing compared with what you’ll be gaining – complete independence, a sense of accomplishment, and complete freedom over your life.
Here at SITE123, we love supporting young entrepreneurs and small businesses. So if you’ve got a business idea you can’t get out of your head, click here and start by creating an amazing website.