Did you know it is possible to start a business in less than seven days? It may sound fake, but it is possible. Every business starts from the bottom up, and some of the most successful people started out with little more than nothing.
All you need is a computer, a reliable internet connection, and an open mind. Start small but think big, and you are well on your way to success. There is no right or wrong way to do things, but there are guiding factors you need to consider. Here is how to start an online business from scratch, and in less than a week.
Day 1: Research
Find out what the best search engine in the world is, and start researching. Find out which people know about different topics. Settle on a niche and focus on finding out everything you can about it. Find out what people would like to know about your niche. Add a twist to what you must offer. You are just reinventing the wheel, but with a difference, so make it count!
Research on what has not been written. Be creative. Think outside the box and approach it from a different angle. Make people interested. What do you have that would make people want to choose you to provide their goods or services? Read up on what the competition offers. Be better. Better does not necessarily mean cheaper. Depending on how you market yourself, the price may not matter if it’s a few dollars more than your competitor. Researching the demographics of your market will be of great help.
Day 2: Write a business Plan
Some people may argue writing a business plan doesn’t matter. If you intend your business to be long term, it is crucial. Write a business plan that highlights your business strategies and lays out the organizational structure of the firm. It acts as a management tool that you should refer to on a regular basis. It makes sure that the company stays on course, and meets its intended goals.
You need to set out what your business goals are, and what you hope to achieve in a particular time frame. Create a business model that will be the actual mechanism that helps the company realize its profits. The difference between a business model and plan is that the business plan is a more theoretical approach, while a model is an actual mechanism. A business plan is fluid and gives you the option of rethinking the model if it does not work the first time.
Day 3: Build a website
The next course of action is to create a website. In today’s world, technology has taken over almost every aspect of the business. Most people prefer to shop online. The modern version of window shopping is to browse the web.
It is easy to create a website with easy to follow instructions from the internet. There are several steps you need to follow.
- Settle on one website platform. You can settle for WordPress, for example, which is very beginner friendly. It can handle any size of website and even internationals like eBay and Reuters use it. Your platform must be responsive, meaning mobile-friendly.
- Choose a domain name and host. A domain name and hosting will cost very little. Depending on the host, it can be anything from $2 to $5. Owning your very own domain name portrays you as a professional.
- Design and format/tweak it any way you please. Once you have done the above, it is time to design your website! Always feel free to add and edit the content.
All this information is free on the internet, and all you need is to do your homework well. You have the option of choosing a free website. It is recommended you go for a paid domain. It loads a lot faster, and you certainly do not want a site that takes forever to load. Consumers have no patience for slow pages and will move on to the next one, resulting in you losing your business.
Day 4: Get registered on networks
With all the research you have been doing, you will have discovered that there are networks on which you can register. To be visible, you must create a strong online presence. Find out what other networks, like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, exist and join those too. Facebook and Instagram are popular with lots of people. Hit the ground running and post as much as you can. LinkedIn is superb for networking with like-minded individuals. It is one of the best networking sites around. Introduce yourself and ask to link with other business people. You may be surprised at how many business contacts you can make there.
Introduce yourself in these networks and make sure people get to know your business. Introduce and market your product/service. Let people know there is a new kid on the block. The internet is awash with firms that crop up and die every day. Be different, think outside the box and get creative ways of positioning yourself in the business world.
Day 5: Implement suggestions
Clients’ feedback is crucial to business, especially a start-up. Take every comment with an open mind, especially the negative. The negative critique helps you grow. Make changes and improvements. Most online businesses fail for lack of client appreciation. Answer any queries and reply to comments.
Create a feeling of well-being and your clients will appreciate that by coming back. Remember that you need to have more repeat clients than one-off clients.
Day 6: Keep marketing
Marketing is the only way you will get known. Even as an online business, a physical presence must be felt. Print pamphlets that describe what you do, and have your website link and phone number listed. Print some professional-looking business cards. Distribute them everywhere, and talk to potential customers. Be friendly and answer questions patiently.
Visit businesses that might use your products or services and introduce your business. Print a company profile, and bind it nicely. Leave the profile in every business you visit. You never know when they might need your services and give you a call. Make sure if you sell products, you have a delivery service. People who shop online are in it for the convenience it affords. Integrate your delivery costs into the product price. Keep a look out for competitors’ prices too.
Day 7: Register the business and open a business account
Register the business. It comes across as professional, and you do not also want to get in trouble with the law. You must create a distinction between your business money and your personal money if you are to succeed. Any money that comes in must be channelled back to the business. Go to the bank, and open a business account.
Any money that comes in automatically goes into this account. You have to set boundaries and treat the business as a separate entity. You have to be professional from the get go if you want to do business that will grow in leaps and bounds.
Business is about tact and persistence. You cannot expect to grow a business from zero to millions overnight. It is a painstaking job that requires time and perseverance. You must be ready to work day and night to get the business off the ground. Creativity and innovation has a major role to play in the success of business.
You will probably be offering a service or selling a product that millions of others are. What is your edge? What differentiates you from the rest? Answer those questions and you’ll be all set.
What tactics did you follow when opening your start-up? Let us know in the comments below.