How to Start an Online Business Many people dream of starting their own business but the sad truth is: it can be seriously challenging to start one, due to numerous factors. One of the most common factors that keep people from pursuing the idea of starting their own business is lack of capital. The good news is it does not always have to be that way. Internet technology has opened up the opportunity for anyone to conduct his/her business online without necessarily having to pay for rent or ‘shelling’ out huge amounts of capital to set up brick and mortar structures. Furthermore, online businesses have the potential to be equally successful as their non-online business counterparts because of the open and accessible landscape the internet now provides. If you are aspiring to establish your own online business and wondering how to start, you have to note the following tips: 1. Know What Product or Service you are Going to Offer You cannot start a business if you do not have any idea of what you want to sell to your future customers. However, simply deciding to sell bags or perfume online is not enough. You should also expect tight competition because it is very likely that other people from around the world already have considered selling the same product or service that you just thought of selling. And the only edge that you can gain against competition is identifying what makes your product or service different from its competitors. If you are selling cosmetic products online, what characteristics of your product should give it an advantage over its competitors? Do you offer free shipping when compared to your competitors? Does your product smell better or does it have less inorganic ingredients? The other thing you need to think about is how do you want to sell your own product? Today, many entrepreneurs are doing exceptionally well because they have maximized their advantage by creating their own info product. I like this most! Creating your own info product is one of the easiest ways to start your own online business. Info products are basically those products that you can obtain digitally, such as a video or audio course that’s centered on a particular topic or niche. Another great way to start an online business is through selling other people’s products. This is also known as affiliate marketing. You don’t have to ship the products and you don’t have to package them. All you do is sell other people’s products online and get a percentage of each sale. Pretty cool, huh? There are thousands of entrepreneurs who are making a killing using this model. 2. Find a Good Domain Name and Web Hosting Company When registering for a domain name, try to think of something simple and ‘catchy’. The main idea is to make it easy for people to remember the name of your online store. Try checking the availability of a domain name at domain name registration websites. Also look for free hosting services, though you have the option of finding hosting services that offer the best services for a price. Find the best one that suits your style. If you want a hosting service that provides you a “hands-on” experience, then go for those that allow you to personalize your program. On the other hand, there are those hosting services that do not have such options but are easier to navigate. I prefer Bluehost because they provide unlimited of storage and allow you to create as many websites and obtain as many domains as you like, on one account. They also have great customer service. 3. Build a Great Website You have to make your website easy to navigate and design it in such a way that it is easy to read. Keep in mind that your website’s design should match the theme of the product or service that you are selling. Refrain from putting too much design ideas on your website because it may distract potential clients than attract them. If you think you do not have the skill to design a functional website, you always have the option of having experts accomplish the job for you. As a general rule, customers should not go beyond 2 or 3 clicks to find or purchase the product they want. The best platform, in my opinion, to build a website is WordPress. More and more entrepreneurs use WordPress and have built million-dollar companies from it. The beauty of WordPress is that it’s free! It’s easy to set up and there are a number of YouTube videos that will show how to set it up. Bluehost even provides videos, as well, to help you to set up your WordPress site. The only money you will spend on your site is, maybe, for your theme (the template) and the different plug-ins. These are a few basic tips that you should consider if you have plans of starting your online business. There are many types of online businesses you can invest in and whatever types of products or services you offer, it is always important that you can provide your customer needs. If you don’t meet their needs you won’t have a business for very long.