Rules for Starting Your Online Business

The rising boom of internet sites along with the huge growth in social media means only one thing to anyone with a bit of business savvy. If you haven’t tried to create an online business, now is the time to get one up and running. But like everything else, it isn’t quite as simple as building the website and raking in the dough.

It may seem like that to you, but not everyone who has an online payment gateway on their site is making the cash to keep it going. Want an online business and want it to succeed? Here are some basics to point you in the right direction.

Define Your Business

It is hard to start up a business if you aren’t sure what people want, or who would want it. So, before you do anything, take the time to define what this business will be and why you think it will be a success. Most of the time this means defining a niche in the world of business that is a need that has not been filled by another business.

Or if it has been filled, it hasn’t been done well or there is another aspect of it no one is really looking at right now. If you can articulate this in a well thought out business prospectus, then you may have an idea for a business that is worth spending the time and investment to get it up and running.

Find Your Audience

Netflix is a great example of a company that knew the audience was going to be key to its core business. From the beginning founder Reed Hastings knew there was a need for delivering entertainment to our homes. By offering films mailed directly to our homes, at a loss to his business, he built up a core audience that were willing to pay for this service.

By the time the internet had perfected streaming well enough to deliver movies and television shows directly, he had the audience to deliver them to through his mail order business. Who is your audience and what are you willing to do to reach them? Knowing who wants what you have to offer and finding a way to let them know you have a service they need and want is half the battle.

Monetize from the Start

You may have a great service, but are people willing to pay for it? Some businesses fail because they haven’t found a way to make it easy for people to pay for what they have to offer. You may begin with something that is a free service to build your base audience, or one delivered in an off-line way (see above) but sooner or later you have to find a way for it to pay for itself.

You can bundle your offers to make them more reasonable, use social media to make your pitch or even do the good old fashion two for one sale. But you need to monetize what you offer or it is just a hobby.

Testing One Two Three

Finally, test and retest what you have. Refine what you offer, how your site offers it and how you use social media as you go along. Know that this aspect of your business is always going to be there if you plan to not just survive but thrive.