A Guide for Online Startups: Steps and Essential IT Services You Must Know About
Starting an online business has become a go-to solution for people looking to build their wealth today. With more people relying on smart devices and the Internet, it is only natural for both experienced and new business owners to transform their operations into a more online-friendly one.
If you are planning to start an online business after being involved only with the traditional business model, you may feel a bit lost. After all, the way things used to be may no longer apply to the current market.
This article aims to provide guidance for people wanting to launch their online startups, with a special focus on the IT side of things.
How to Start an Online Business: 4 Easy Steps
Starting an online business may seem daunting at first. But with the right method, you can establish your very own company via the Internet. Here’s how:
Step #1: Decide on what to offer
Often, people decide on what to offer first before knowing the market. But this is actually a backward way of thinking. After all, you cannot possibly know what would sell unless you understand the needs of the market.
To increase your chance at success, make sure you research the market first. Find a group of people seeking to solve a problem but don’t see many results. Below are tips on how you can do this online:
- Check online forums and figure out the questions people usually ask. From there, determine the problems they are dealing with.
- Perform keyword research to determine what people are searching for but get fewer results. This will allow you to see what niches have less competition.
- Browse competitors’ websites and take note of how they handle consumer needs. Then, use everything you’ve learned to create an offering that the market is looking for and improve what is already offered by competitors.
Step #2: Write excellent copy
The next step in an online business launch is to pen effective copy. Fortunately, there’s already an existing and tried-and-tested sales copy formula you can use to help your target audience witness the selling process from the point-of-contact to point-of-sale.
First, you must arouse interest with a compelling headline or title. Then, describe the problem your product intends to solve and establish your credibility and authority in doing so. You can add testimonials of people who have already tried using your product.
Next, start talking about the product or service itself and the many benefits it can provide to the user before making an offer. Make a strong guarantee, but don’t forget to create a sense of urgency (e.g., limited stocks or limited offer).
Finally, end with a call-to-action that leads to a sale.
Remember to focus on the product or service USP to solve a problem or improve people’s lives. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask: “What’s in it for me?”
Step #3: Choose your platform
While some online businesses thrive for a couple of years on social media, you need a website of your own if you’re in it for the long run.
If you prefer straight e-commerce, you can choose from an array of e-commerce software providers and platforms to help with more than just setting up a website. Besides web design, they also:
- Assist in tracking and managing inventory
- Provide a means to fulfill and ship orders
- Maintain a database of products
- Monitor sales
- Help promote your products
Basically, these platforms provide a means for business owners to digitize, automate, and track the sales of their products on a website.
Step #4: Get IT help
Information technology is crucial in starting your own online business. Unless you’re a pro at the trade yourself, it may be necessary to seek help from expert IT personnel or even hire a third-party company to provide call out support, web hosting, email hosting, and the other vital services listed below.
3 Essential IT Services You Need for Your Online Startup
Before you can begin enjoying six- or seven-digit sales, you must first set up your online business where it needs to be: the world wide web. In order to do so, you need help from the following IT services:
Web hosting services are responsible for storing a website’s files on servers and delivering information to consumer browsers.
When choosing a web hosting provider, make sure to go with those who can help your website stay secure, load quickly, and go offline less. Of course, reasonable rates and excellent customer support are also important factors to consider.
During your search, look for reliability and uptime metrics for each candidate. Also, compare the service providers’ guarantee on the tech support reaction time and review security policies that go with the service to ensure that your data remains secure.
Besides a server, you’ll also need to have a responsive and user-friendly design for your online business website. How it looks and feels will affect whether customers would stay and shop on your website or head to a competitor.
Some of the basic elements you need for excellent web design include:
- Sticky header navigation
- Hamburger menus
- Parallax scrolling
This is where expert web design comes in. Even if you’re using an e-commerce platform, it would be better to seek help from pro designers, especially if you’re not seriously skilled at website development. This way, you can ensure that your website runs efficiently, looks great, and, ultimately, keeps customers happy while shopping.
Although this technically isn’t pure IT, it still encompasses some specialized knowledge that requires thorough understanding and implementation. For instance, SEO and SEM can be quite challenging to cope with, especially with the constant updates and changing rules of search engines.
Under digital marketing, you may also need staff to power through your email marketing campaigns to boost your sales and revenue.
With a robust opt-in list, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having permission to reach out to your customers via email. This is tantamount to developing lasting relationships with a loyal consumer base. Plus, email responses can give you a clear measurement of success, not to mention it is much more cost-effective in promoting your business than TV, radio, or print.
The Bottom Line
When selling products or services online, you’ll have the advantage of reaching more people compared to the traditional business setup. Make your mark as a startup by following this guide when starting an online business.
Sharon Mallorca is the Sales Manager at Create IT in Dubai. Established by innovative digital agency Create Media Group, Create IT has rapidly become the Middle East's leading IT Support and IT Solutions company, providing the highest quality IT support and services to a growing portfolio of global brands.
Published by markhourany