How to Start A Booming Online Business In 4 Crucial Steps

If starting a booming online business were easy, everybody would do it. And everybody would make a lot of money.

But it’s not easy. Anyone who says differently is probably trying to make a quick buck off you.

To build an online business that actually generates an income, you can’t just “wing it”; there are steps you need to follow. Setting up shop requires not only skill, but also patience and tenacity.

This article will arm you with the steps needed to start a booming (in time) online business.

Step 1: Choose Your Target Audience

Smallbiztrends reports that a lack of marketing is one of the primary reasons small businesses flop in the first two to five years of existence.

Many entrepreneurs have decided to sell what may be considered the most needed product on the planet, but failed to make money. It figures that if nobody knows what you’re selling, and how it would benefit them, you won’t make money.

In essence, marketing is what will make or break your online business.

Which leads us to the crux of the matter: your marketing success is based on how well you understand the people you are serving, so it makes sense that the first step to starting a booming online business is to identify which group of people you’re going to target.

While most entrepreneurs ignore this step, it’s to their detriment. It’s recommended that you first identify the people you want to serve, and work from there.

Questions to consider when choosing an audience:

  1. What audience do you represent yourself? Let’s say you’ve been an accountant in the corporate world for the last 7 years. It’s almost a certainty you’d understand accountants, what their pain points are, what’s important to them, and so on. You may therefore want to focus your efforts on accountants.
  2. What kind of people do you understand the most? For instance, maybe you spent years learning at university and as a result, have an intimate understanding of millennials and their needs.

Once you identify the group of people you understand most, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Uncover the Most Profitable Pain Points

This step should prove easier since you now know who your target audience is.

Think about the pain points of the people you aim to serve. When you can positively check off the ABC’s on the following simple formula, your idea becomes viable:

a) Match what you already know to
b) Your prospect’s most profitable (for you) pain points, and
c) Know whether it would be easy to sell (there are some solutions to pain points that are harder to sell, so you’d want to avoid those if possible)

Providing a solution to the pain points of the people in your target audience is the niche you should go for.

To get started, brainstorm the above ABC formula to match ideas.

This ultimate online business ideas guide by Oberlo lists online researching as a viable money-making idea, so if you apply the ABC formula, you:

a) Would be good at finding things on the Internet, and you
b) Understand the people who work for companies that require research services, plus you
c) Know that the companies who need this service understand how your offering would make their lives easier

Then you may want to consider charging companies for a research service.

In another example of the ABC formula, if you’re:

a) Into creating delectable food dishes, and
b) You understand the audience that would be interested in your recipes, and
c) You know that your audience is interested in these particular recipes

Starting a food blog that can be monetized would be a good idea.

Or perhaps you’re a man who grew up with five sisters and a single mom, giving you superior understanding of what makes women tick; starting an online dating coaching business may work well for you if you understand the kind of questions women are asking about men, dating and relationships.

Step 3: Research Essential Tools

When you’ve nailed the target audience and niche, you’ll have a good idea of what online tools you’ll need to set up shop. For example, each of the three examples we used in the previous section, will need different “tools” to work.

If you were to offer a research service, you may want to start by registering on freelance sites like Upwork, Guru and PeoplePerHour. To carry out this service, you’d need a computer, access to the Internet and Google Docs or Google Sheets.

If you went with the food blog idea, the aim would be to build as much traffic as possible, so you’d need a WordPress website with a food recipes theme, instead of using a free website builder which would not sufficiently serve the purpose of building your search engine traffic.

If you decided on the dating coaching business, you’d need your own self-hosted website and a training or membership plugin. Alternatively, you could scrap the self-hosted website idea and opt for a coaching platform that’s easier to set up. You may also need to have good writing skills, or be able to create quality videos.

Step 4: Promote Your Business

Now that you’re all set up and ready for business, you need to let others know about how you can help them. Of course, if you don’t promote your business, it won’t generate any money.

The most basic ways of marketing your business will vary depending on what your business is about, but if you were to go all-out, you would do – on differing scales – what any successful business would do:

  • Direct marketing by telephone or email.
  • Paid advertising on social media and on search engines.
  • Content marketing if you have your own website and want to attract traffic to it.

As with all methods of promotion, there are techniques and best practices to making them work, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them.

Most entrepreneurs throw in the towel because they think their marketing is “not working”, but online marketing does not work only for the following reasons:

  • The service you provide or the product you’re selling is not easy to sell, or is not needed.
  • You don’t offer value in the first stages of your marketing funnel.
  • Your marketing initiatives are “spammy”.
  • You don’t follow best practices or use suggested techniques.
  • You expect results too soon.

Find out more about how to successfully promote a start up business.

Summary

Starting an online business is not for sissies and does not always work out.

But when you follow these particular steps, it has a much higher chance of success:

  1. Understanding your target audience, as well as the pain points you can provide solutions for.
  2. Using the right tools.
  3. Letting people know how you can help them.

The last word is a wise and old proverb:

‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.’