Guest Blog: A Guide to Starting Your Own Online Business



Starting your own business can be a challenging task to undertake, but offers a huge amount of potential to anyone prepared to put the work in.  However, if you’re considering taking the solo route, then there are several important things that you’ll need to consider first.  These tips – brought to you by – should help you get going.

Research the market

Just as you would do when starting any business, it’s vital to ensure that you research your market.  Once you've had that big idea, it’s essential to work out who you feel will be your main target audience, and to find out what they think of the idea and how they would best like to see it developed.  Without this feedback, you run the risk of almost immediate failure.

Develop the idea further

Obtaining this feedback will then give you the opportunity to further develop the idea.  If you’re looking to create an online magazine in order to obtain income from advertising, then the research will enable you to modify your content strategy and bring it in-line with what your audience wants.  If you’re looking to start a social media marketing company, then the same process applies.  Developing your idea means you’re more likely to launch with a product that people actually like.

Build relationships

In almost any sector, relationship building is an absolutely invaluable tool in creating a business.  If you're planning to sell products, then you need to build relationships with suppliers.  If you're selling a service, then you'll need to develop relationships with businesses whose services compliment yours (ie, web designers will need to build relationships with copywriters, photographers with printing studios, etc).  Always be ready to network.  If you're not a marketing firm, then try to build a 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' relationship with one, as good marketing remains an invaluable tool.

Set up the business structure

The structure of your company will depend on the type of business you’re running.  If you've received a lot of investment and you're going to be starting out with a decent number of staff, then it will likely be sensible to start out straight away as a limited company.  However, if you're starting out solo in an industry such as photography or graphic design, then you might be able to operate as a sole trader in the early stages.  Consult an expert if you're unsure.

Obtain capital

Some businesses take more money to set up than others.  If you're starting out as a graphic designer and you're prepared to work from home, your start-up costs will be nothing more than the necessary software, a quality computer and a high-level printer (all things you're likely to have already!).  Obviously, if you're planning to open a shop, you'll need money in order to obtain a lease on a property, as well as to purchase initial stock. There are a range of different funding options, and you can find out more about them here.

Specify where your income will come from

It's surprising how many businesses don't more carefully consider exactly where their money will come from.  Are you offering a B2B service?  Are you offering products through an online shop?  Are you targeting advertising revenue, or affiliate payments?  It’s vital to know where your money will come from.

To find out more, there’s a whole host of information on self-employment here.

Ella Mason is an experienced freelance writer, blogger, and poet. She has written for various websites including Showlands, DailyWaffle and spoken at university events in the UK. She loves to network, and loves to learn in order to expand her horizons.



Comments (2)

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  2. Anonymous says:

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