There are no limits to who can become a great entrepreneur. You don’t necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money or even business experience to start an online business. However, you do need a strong plan and the drive to see it through. If you are reading this, odds are you already have the drive. Here is a step-by-step plan to start your online business today:
1. Figure out the product you want to sell
If you are starting your first business, don’t get stuck on some idea and spend years developing it. Instead, keep it simple, something you can sell tomorrow, maybe your expertise. Roll it out to market quickly, get feedback on your idea, fail fast, pivot, change. This way, you will know what exactly the market needs.
2. Use online tools
For a start, you don’t have to go fancy or hire expensive developers. Instead, you can build your website or a landing page using simple and inexpensive online tools like Wix or Tilda. One free tool is Mail Chimp for emails marketing, Google Drive for storage, Google Keep for note-taking, another great tool for designing your logo or other pictures is Canva.
3. Start collecting emails
This is how you will build your customer base. Create campaigns, sell something cheaper, up-sell to your existing customers. Tools you can use to create such campaigns are Drip Campaigns and SendGrid.
4. Figure out how you collect payments
There are these simple and secure tools that allow your customers to make payment easily. Stripe is good for US & UK; PayPal is used pretty much everywhere in the world.
5. Pricing your product
Many entrepreneurs underestimate their products and services and end up underpricing their product. You must understand that you are investing your time and efforts on your product that is making life easy for your customers. So, don’t undervalue your product. Although if it’s your first business, you want to grow your customer base, so avoid creating something expensive.
Try creating something that you can sell for around 20-30$
6. How to attract your first customers
Now you have the product in place it’s time for you to be visible to your dream customer and present your product to the world.
For doing this, you can create campaigns, start targeting people who have similar interests, start engaging on FB pages, you already know where your customers are!
If you are maybe building a tool for entrepreneurs, you already know you have to target Garyvee’s followers.
You can also connect with small influencers for collabs. Just DM them and ask for a collab, this is how those influencers make money.
7. Build your community
Build your own community. If you are a professional at something, start sharing your knowledge on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, there are so many platforms. In 6 months, if 1000 people are following you, you already have your potential customers. You can ask them what they need, you then get instant feedback on your product.
Bonus: Have the right mindset
Don’t do it for money, but do it because you love doing it, do it because you want to create an impact, do it because you want to have an influence, do it because you really want to help people. Be willing to do it for free, for first few years you may not make any money at all. You don’t need any extraordinary knowledge for starting your online business. You just need to have the willingness to do whatever it takes.
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An all-round purpose-driven human.
Astha is a former software engineer turned life coach, activist, entrepreneur.