The Digital Revolution is here and here to stay!
The most common question at the moment is... How to start an online business?
That question alone has many variants... let's dive in and cover what we consider the primary steps and some key tips towards creating a business you enjoy.
Starting with the key question you need to ask yourself in the beginning...
Looking back not too long ago, the idea of having so many opportunities available to us to offer us freedom to live our lives the way we desire, were normally only available to the few who had a professional background in business or were the elite few who were in the limelight as an actor, sports professional or politician to name a few.
Nowadays, thanks to the amazing technology that has been made available to us all we all have the exact same opportunities available to us, the question is, whether we want to take advantage of them.
The freedom that is provided in our life is not only financial freedom, also freedom of time, and creativity that will enable us to live a happier and more fulfilled lifestyle.
Apart from the above mentioned Why, you also need your own Why to ensure you have the focus and determination to continue moving forward regardless of any obstacles and challenges that may arise during the process.
Start by thinking about why is is you want to create an online business? Apart from wanting more money, or become an influencer and be in the limelight, you need to truly dig deep and be crystal clear on why it is you are wanting to create a business online and how you want your new venture to impact your life.
What kind of lifestyle do you want? Really think about the lifestyle changes you want to create and where you see your efforts taking you over the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year to 5 years. Think about it, if you get in your car, you have a general idea where you headed. Think about your direction in your business project as a GPS to your goals and dreams.
Understand that if your direction is not clear, you will be burning energy and time in the search for satisfaction in reaching results you are not really clear on, leaving the risk of passing them by at the drop of a hat if you are not careful.
Remember, we can always work towards earning more money, but we cannot get our time back that we will be wasting if we are not clear on our Why!
On that note about time, actually by creating an online business, it can help you make the most of the time that you have. Think about it... if you are able to generate an income doing what you love, rather than generate an income to just survive, you are now able to live your dream life and enjoy every moment of your life and not just wait for the weekends, holidays or retirement.
The next step in creating your new online business is to identify your target audience/market.
Now that you have discovered your Why... you need to think about what it is you would like to do to generate an income. Think about it as, who is it you want to serve? Who is your target audience that you wish to support, help? Whether you are already supporting this particular audience/market, or you want to get started in doing something as you see there is a high demand.
Either way, when you think about the audience/market, you should narrow down who they are and how you can help them will work in your favor, rather than trying to support and please everyone.
Understand that there are numerous people with specific problems who you can help faster than trying to create a global impact in a short period of time. Think about creating a solution for a very specific group of peoples problems.
Next step to start is to create a road map for your market.
As with a road map to success in reaching your desired destination, think of this as a road map to understand clearly how it is you will be able to help/support your target audience/market.
Once you choose the idea or passion, you should do some research to understand the specific product, or service that will offer the solution your ideal audience/market is looking for.
The reason this is so important is because without doing some type of research to understand the markets demand, you are not going to be really clear on your position when it comes to offering a solution.
Remember, when you are doing the market research, keep in mind that it is key to question your findings and make sure what you discover your going to be best to offer is something that you will be passionate about doing, and not just to do it because you see a market demand. By jumping into a niche/topic that you are not passionate about, you will find it harder to stay consistent when challenges arise or you do not see a ROI as soon as you imagined.
The point I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post was how we are able to create a business and generate and income by doing what we are passionate about. We can create the lifestyle we enjoy whilst moving towards our impact and financial goals.
When creating your market road map, your focus should be on the unmet needs that yo can offer, either with your product or service.
Write up a list of the solutions that currently exist, be that a product or a service, and who is offering them.
Also take note in forums or comments in facebook and other social media platform groups that focus on your niche/market, and highlight the problems you see cropping up most frequently. You may be surprised to discover there are other issues you are overlooking that you know you can serve them better.
You do NOT need to reinvent the wheel!!
If you see where people need support, you can create a better version of something that may already exist. Both online and offline.
Going back to starting small...
Starting small may not sound as attractive as thinking big and going big, yet by starting small, this means you will have less competition and more authority.
Starting small makes it easier to stand out and make a powerful impact from the get go.
It will help you truly understand the specific problems of your audience/market.
When you are able to start getting results for your target market/audience, you will obviously gain more authority faster than trying to compete with those who are already well established in the same or a similar niche/market. The well know saying hits the nail on the head... " If we try to serve everyone, we end up serving no one!"
So, do not be scared to really focus on a narrow demand. A great example would be, if we were in the health niche, and wanted to serve those who were already healthy but wanted to become healthier, and we also wanted to serve those who had no idea about how to eat healthy or incorporate healthy habits into their lives. This is such a different market/audience even though both are connected to wanting to be healthy. While we try to please the all, we will find it difficult to stand out from others who were more specific about how they can help either one or the other.
Community is Key
Many people feel the need for a community to stay accountable for any action steps they need to do in order to reach the results they desire. This is where you can offer a community atmosphere based around the solutions you offer.
Some create offline events or meetups, yet the most convenient especially at the moment would have to be an online community. This will be the "Safe Space" where your members will be able to network with others in similar situations, with similar needs. The human connection is more powerful than many truly appreciate.
Especially in 2020, we have all been restricted in one way or another when it comes to social gatherings, therefore people are much more open to online communities. the benefits that technology has created for us all from the comfort of our own homes to be able to unite and interact with others from one end of the globe to the other in the matter of seconds, was a futuristic thought not that long ago.
Be aware of how powerful building community around what you are passionate about can actually be.
Before moving on to the next step, let's backtrack to clarify how far we have got...
Now that you have identified the shy behind what you want to do and how you want your business to work in your lifestyles favor.
Being clear on your intentions, your goals and the vision where you see your business going over the next 3,6,12 months to 5 years is key to your vision becoming more powerful when you come up against challenges and obstacles that may seem like setbacks and excuses to throw the towel in, if you do not have these step by step goals and action steps in place. Your vision will become much more realistic as you back track the action steps needed daily in order to reach your desired goals.
There are many more steps to take into consideration when it comes to starting your online business, but without the above mentioned steps, it is like building a house without foundations.
Going back to community...
The benefits of creating an online community that can interact and share their wins and obstacles with each other helps growth through experiences. You need to appreciate the power of interacting together, not only to support each other through any challenges that crop up, but also whilst listening to the interaction amongst your community you will discover other potential problems you can solve. Be that through products or services you can offer. Either way, you will become the "Go To" person for those who gain your trust for creating a hub for solutions.
Creating Your Brand And Your Identity
After you have identified your audience/market and the solutions you can offer them, you now have a hub, website or group community where you have a growing audience of people who are open to listening to what you have to offer.
Now you need to have a Powerful Reason to take "no excuses" action steps daily that flows with the lifestyle you enjoy.
This is when it becomes sustainable and something that you are will to do whatever it takes to see through!
Your Personal Why!
Many, if not all entrepreneurs you speak to will share a part of their life story that really impacted them to the point of no return and encouraged them to take the initial action steps necessary to start their business venture.
Business venture start through powerful experiences that give individuals the courage to step out of their comfort zones and take uncomfortable action steps towards their personal goals and dreams.
If you still feel comfortable and just feel like trying to create a business to see how it goes, chances are, it will not succeed or not really mount to anything. Try asking yourself, if you were in an uncomfortable situation or a loved one needed your help, how far would you go? Would you do whatever it takes?
If you are not willing to get out of your comfort zone and stand out in the crowd of people who possibly do not see the vision you have and shout your goals and dreams from the roof tops, then you possibly need to analyze whether or not you have what it takes to truly succeed in helping others by offering solutions.
It is a hard truth,but it is the truth! Everything we do in life has to be done with such a positive outlook, even when negativity surrounds us. WE have to be the light that guides others in the right direction.
Now We Are Clear On Our Why, We Can Focus On Our Brand And Brand Message
Building your brand is part of building your business.
Now you know who you want to serve, how you want to serve them, the unstoppable power you have within you to accomplish all your wildest dreams regardless of the challenges or obstacles that you come up against... now we move on to building your brand and your brand message. This will be covered in depth in a future Blog Post and Mini course. Be sure to stay subscribed for updates and freebies.
The Rarely Highlighted Points Of Starting Your Online Business...
Apart from the above mentioned points on starting your business online, there are a few points that are rarely mentioned as it can sound more complicated than it needs to be, but they are points that need to be covered sooner or later.
Let's highlight some of them here and will cover each in more depth in future blog posts.
From finances, taxes, business formation and legalities.
As I mentioned, as we go through the process of building your online business, obviously, depending on the type of business you are offering can affect the legalities of it. When you reach this point in your business, I personally recommend investing in legal support, to make sure you are covered both with your services and products and your legal documentation is in order depending on which country you reside and do your business in.
Take Yourself More Seriously
Its not good enough to just identify your ideas as a project or side hustle, you should really be thinking of it as a company!
This in itself will make you take your actions more seriously than doing what you have to do for a hobby or part time business to generate an extra income.
When you call you business a company, not only will you start to take yourself more serious, but others will begin to see you and your efforts through a more professional lens.
This can be a huge energy shift for you. You should start taking your daily action plan as a series of steps that are working towards growing your company.
When you start to see the efforts you are putting into your business as an actual company, you will begin to see the importance in posture, consistency, business formation, always upgrading your skills and resources, contracts, legalities, market research, performance metrics (graphs are more powerful than you can imagine), communications skills, culture building, workflow methodologies, recruitment and retention, compliance safeguards, insurance programs, system automizations, collaborations etc... The list can really go on further...
Your goal should be to create the smoothest, most safe guarded company with systems that provide you with the possibility to live the lifestyle you set out towards in the first place and even whilst growing your empire you do not need to become a slave to your company, or those you hire on your winning team.
I am hoping this has given you a deep dive into the basics of getting started with creating yor amazing business online. As I mentioned, I will be sharing step by step guides, courses, freebies and podcasts interviewing other successful online leaders in all types of niches to give a better understanding as to just what is possible if you are willing to dive in and discover your purpose and how you can share it using the amazing world of social media.