If 2018 is the year when you’re ready to step into your online entrepreneur shoes, your first step is learning how to start a business online. Most aspiring entrepreneurs assume that all they need for a profitable business is the “right” idea and a cool-looking website.
The truth is, if all we needed to build a business was an idea and a website, everyone would be billionaires.
To create a sustainable and growing business (and avoid the expected failure of 80% of entrepreneurs), you need more. You need a foundation. In this blog post, we’ll briefly look at six the essentials of that foundation so you can make sure that your business is in the best shape to make a profit in 2018.
Those six elements are:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Your business needs a plan. It doesn’t need to be a 55-page MBA masterpiece, however. At a minimum, it needs to cover what you sell, who wants your product or services (aka target audience), and how you will deliver and promote to to your target audience.
An Awesome Product Or Service
The world of business is now a globally connected and crowded marketplace. That means, your future business will face a lot of competition. To stand, you need a product or service that is unique in some way compared to everyone else. Find and promote that “special sauce” , whether it’s a lower price, faster service, personalization, or something else.
A Strong Online Presence
Once you have a business up and running, you’ll need to tell your future customers about it. This is where marketing comes in. When you find what makes your business unique, you need to find a unique way to share it. The unique ways you can promote your business are endless and include:
What social media channels you choose
What you say on social media channels
The color of your business logo
The colors on your website
Have fun and experiment with the different options out there and see what resonates with you and your target audience.
Marketing and Sales Pipeline
For a business to survive, you need more than customers. You need a pipeline. A pipeline is a predictable channel for acquiring, connecting, and re-engaging customers. You can develop a pipeline using email newsletters, content marketing, and plenty of other options.
Two of the biggest problems business owners have are cash flow and customers. Both are related and both can be fixed with tracking systems. As a business, you need to keep in charge of more than money and taxes. You need to keep track of who your customers are, who your competitors are, and your online presence. Staying on top of these factors now will help you make critical business decisions later.
A Business Mentor
Lastly, you need a mentor. It doesn’t matter if that person that you’ve met or not. It doesn’t even matter if that person is living or not (though having a mentor that’s alive is definitely helpful). Whoever you choose, you need to learn from the business journey of a person you respect. It will help you immensely. Can’t find anyone around that fits the “mentor” bill? Look for your mentor anywhere and everywhere including books and blogs.
In short, if you’re ready to start your business in 2018, go boldly ahead. If you’re ready to start and maintain your business online, learn how to start a business online first. Once you have the right foundation, where your business goes next is up to your level of awesome.
Need some help building your business foundation for 2018?
Need to sharpen some aspect of your business foundation to reach your dreams?
Reach out to us! At Content Cafe, we offer a full suite of services to help your business grow, no matter what stage of business you’re in.