6 Steps to Creating Your Own Online Business
Starting a business can be difficult but with the advent of the Internet, opportunities for business are easier than ever. A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs start a business based on an idea, in the hope that it will give them the freedom that they deserve.
Let me share with you a statistical fact, over 90% of all startups fail. A successful business isn’t simply based on an idea, it is based on a solution for a problem. A lot of them fail because the market doesn’t need a product
Whether you are a brand new startup or a long time business owner looking to open back up, due to the impact of the pandemic, practical solutions have become unique problems as well as everyone has had to adjust to a new normal.
Table of Contents:
Step 1: Identify Your Customers
Let me ask you, who do you want to serve? What kind of people do you want to serve? Who do you think would benefit from your product or service? This is the most important aspect of your business that you must consider.
Most of today’s successful entrepreneurs have a specific customer that they provide their services to; this is what you call your customer avatar.
A “customer avatar” is essentially a profile of what your ideal customer looks like, their career status, age, interests, relationships, religion, and many more. The secret here is to imagine being with someone who not only benefits your service but who you actually enjoy being around with – that is your customer avatar.
Step 2: Create Your Business by Your Customers’ Problems
As any marketing genius would tell you, if you want to sell a product or service well, the customer must see that your product or service solves a problem for them. As the old adage goes, help as many people solve their problems and you’ll get everything you could ever wish for.
The next step is to become a person who solves other people’s problems. Use these 5 steps to turn into a systematic problem solver
1. Definition of the problem! This is very important: you should try to solve the right problem. Identify the right problem by asking the right questions and observing. You can use a cool framework called “Customer Development”. It will help you put together the right questions for your clients.
2. Talk To Your Customers. Now that you have identified who your ideal customer is. You have one of two options, you can either guess what they want for a product or service or you can have a conversation with them. This may seem like such an obvious choice but the sad truth is, many young entrepreneurs always guess what their customers want.
This is why 9 out of 10 startups fail in the first year alone, all just because, they simply did not ask. To prevent this from happening you must do market research. Imagine, all the places where your ideal customer hangs around. Search on Google, Reddit, Quora, Yahoo Answers, Discord, forums, groups, and many more places where you believe your ideal customer hangs around in.
How often does this problem occur? How serious is this? Are there any special circumstances that are present when this happens? What could be causing this problem? Can you rule out any reasons? How long has this been going on? Has it gotten worse? How is this problem affecting other processes or people?
3. Define the criteria for decision-making. How will you and the client make decisions when it’s time to make a decision? How will you evaluate the criteria? Can you identify independent standards that can be used?
4. Develop several solutions. Don’t stop at the first decision you or others make. This may be good, but it can be much better. Evaluate alternative scenarios. Evaluate the pros and cons of each of them as objectively as possible
5. Select the optimal solution. Use the criteria you developed during the third stage of this problem-solving process to choose the best solution. Develop a support base that will allow you to implement the solution. Prepare for unforeseen circumstances.
Step 3: Presell Your Product
At this phase, you need to establish how much you want to charge for your services and how you will incentivize them; with the market research that you have done. If not, please, read this article “How to do market research: the ultimate guide”. Before creating a prototype, and even more so a product, you need to first sell your product or service by creating a landing page and buying ads to see if you can sell your service in the future with the product
A strategy that many entrepreneurs use is beta or early access for their customers. Aside from getting revenue, this strategy makes your customers help you develop your product and customize it.
Step 4: Create Your MVP (Minimum viable product) or RAT (Riskiest Assumption Test)
After you have checked the demand, you need to try to make an MVP or RAT, in order to test your idea, which should bring money, in a short time and at a minimal cost
What is MVP?
A minimum viable product is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development
What is RAT?
RAT – Riskiest Assumption Test. RAT enables you to test whether or not your product and business model are viable, before launching your product, to avoid this common pitfall.
Your MVP or RAT should be essentially your product in its early stages with adequate features to satisfy and lure early adopters. These adopters will help guide you with their feedback in further developing your product. An MVP is comprised of:
- Set Expectations and Benefits
- Potential Pitfalls
- Potential Costs
Step 5: Launch The Business
Now that you have created your customer avatar and you know what your customer wants, it”s time for you to let them know that you exist by “spreading the word”. Here are 6 ways you can spread the word to reach your ideal customer.
1. Craigslist Bulletin Board: sites such as Craigslist in Manila are essentially a bulletin board for jobs, services, products, or employers looking for potential employees to work with them. This is how you will find your first set of clients. The goal here is for you to find testimonials, the jobs that you will find on Craigslist – might not be the biggest pay but it’s enough, to pay the bills, and most of all, the creditability that you gain from doing good work will benefit you tremendously in the future.
2. Use Facebook Ads: there’s a very good reason why Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company, and it’s their ad platform; it is one of the best in the world. You can literally target a demographic so specific that if you were looking for an executive female, who’s 35-45, and who works in X industry, you can. And when you do find your specific target, lead them onto your website’s landing page and/or capture their email.
3. Social Media: here’s something free for you, social media. Each social media platform has its strengths; if you were selling a product for CrossFit athletes, then Instagram is for you. It’s as simple as looking for the top influencers in your niche and utilizing their audience.
Effective Social Media Strategies for a Startup
Support Yourself. Here’s something you must realize, it will be an uphill climb and it will not be easy. You may run out of funds even before you really launch your product or service or have a comfortable stream of income that can support you and your family, so don’t be ashamed to get a part-time job. You have bills, you have priorities – if it takes you working 8 hours in an office and work 3-5 hours in the night to get your dream life, do it. It will all be worth it, the sacrifices that you make today will bless you and your family in the years to come.
Step 6: Scale Your Business
Now that you’ve reached this point, we need to have you start scaling your business; while you can achieve success by marketing your business. We highly recommend that you consider affiliate marketing as well as joint ventures. Affiliate marketing is simply a reference system for products and/or services that you recommend for others to purchase. They buy, you get a commission. But if you really want to scale quickly, do joint ventures.
A joint venture is where you take your existing, successful product and team up with another successful entrepreneur and have him/her sell your product to their list of customers. Essentially, this carries the same idea as affiliate marketing except here, the commissions are larger. If you want to scale even further, please consider the following.
Capitalize on All Available Resources
Business opportunities or resources can in many forms whether you’re looking for local suppliers, skilled workers, new technology, or information – all of these are your tools to use to scale your business.
In your area of business, there will be common products being bought which means there is a supplier nearby for these common products; ask yourself, from which of them can you make money, which of them can I take and make better.
Depending on where your business is located, there will usually be a handful of highly skilled workers; especially in these times of crisis, there are many, out-of-work, highly skilled workers who are willing to cut their fees by 50%. Find out which specialist can help you scale your business.
This is where you study the trends of your market; meaning if you are in construction, you study as many relevant newsletters and magazines, attend conferences, join online groups, forums, and many more – all to study and be updated with all the latest developments, regulations, legislation, elections, competition and which service you can hire to help you scale your business. Need help with your logistics? Then Borzo is for you, with our same-day delivery, we guarantee your customer gets your product fast and safe.
While starting a business during these times of chaos and uncertainty, remember where there is a problem. There will always be an entrepreneur looking to solve that problem and he/she will be rewarded for it. This article was written to give you a quick, sure way to scale your business as fast and as safe as possible. The strategies that you have learned in this article, will boost your sales, lead generation, and help you gain an advantage over your competitors.
Remember in this ever-evolving world, if you want to scale fast, you want a partner who can you with delivery – at Borzo, we’re fast, we’re experts and we are here for you.