In this guide, I will take you through setting up an online business in 2018. As you might know, online businesses are the future of retail, events, tourism and let’s just say every business on land has a future online.
With the advancement in technology the laying down of fibre optic cable across different countries, the cost of starting an online business is becoming cheaper and cheaper every day.
Setting up an Online Business Requirements
Setting up an Online business requires the following:
- Business Idea or an already established business
- Domain name
- Driving relevant traffic (customers) to your website
Starting an online business is cheaper than starting a traditional business and if you are in business already it is much cheaper.
How to set up an Online Business
The process of starting an online business has been simplified because you might not need to be so knowledgeable in this field or to find a knowledgeable IT person to get you through to starting your online business.
There is a simple process that I am going to highlight here and if you follow it, you will be on the way to set up your online business.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Research
Question: What will you be researching about? Definitely about the kind of business you wish to start, get to know what a website is and what a blog is; know the difference.
If you are new to business get to know what kind of business you will be running online, time and tools needed to run this business this little research will help you decide if you want to set up a website or a blog.
You might also need to research about WordPress a popular CMS that we will use to set up your online business. I have explained the kind of tools you will need to set up your business.
Step 2: Know your Competitors
This is still part of the research, getting to know your competitors it is not only an online business affair but generally, in the business we do this.
E-commerce is a very competitive industry there is obviously someone doing the same business that you want to set up, get to know these people by visiting their websites, know the prices and what they offer and this will help you make yours unique and successful.
You might be required to register your business with the local authorities, but there is intense debate on the issue as local laws are not clear about online business and for this I recommend you get advice from a lawyer, otherwise make sure you read on Business Registration in Kenya for more insight on how to register a business.
Would I need a Business Licence?
This is a debatable question if you will be operating online why need a licence? Well, I have been asked that same question over and over again so I will answer it here. You definitely need a licence or registration of your online business from the local authorities.
If you will be operating completely online like running a blog you can register the name of your blog as a business name.
If you will be running an online store that delivers goods to clients then you need to register the company with the local authorities. There are many reasons as to why you will need to register and acquire a licence for your online business. One being able to brand yourself and build credibility and trust.
Step 3: Design your Website
Nabaleka Digital Solution is one of the best website design company, We will guide you through the process of setting your online store or online business and we develop highly effective websites.
How to build a Business Website
For a business website, you will need the following:
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting account
- Professional email
- Content for the website
- Logo and graphics
Registering a Domain Name
The first step to building a business website it to get a domain name for your online business. this will be the address for your online business. Get a good .com or .net domain head over to Godaddy.com or Namecheap.com and buy your .com or .net domain.
The cost will be about 10-$20/year depending on the company you use and the domain name selected. If you need a country-specific domain, then visit a local domain name registrar.
After getting your domain the next step is finding someplace where you will host your website, this is like your store, it will host all your files and website, someone will use your domain (address) to find your host (store/blog).
A good hosting plan will cost you between $3-15/month. With hosting, I will recommend the following company that I have personally used and helped some clients to set up hosting with them.
Make Sure You Read Good Hosting Services to Host Your Website
- BlueHost – Bluehost is one of the world best hosting company you will ever find, they are cheaper compared to others, but their services are excellent. I have used Bluehost on my several blogs and won’t hesitate to recommend the hosting platform to anybody anywhere. Signing up is easy just head over to BlueHost and start by creating an account and follow the instructions.
NOTE: It is advisable you don’t get hosting from your domain registrars like Godaddy and Namecheap, they are good with domain registration only not hosting.
Creating your website is now easier than before, most of the Hosting providers will offer free templates and themes for your WordPress site, however, these free templates are limited in their functionality and many of them require you to have their designer’s links on your site.
However to make things easier for you, just contact us and we will make a beautiful website for you. But if you want to do it yourself just head over to Themeforest and get a customized theme but again you will need some technical skills to set up one.
Now you can begin selling or blogging about your business, with this kind of site and website you can start any kind of business, you can sell your own products, you can have an online supermarket, and you can also advertise your services and boost your market.
You can also monetize your website to get extra earnings, like use affiliate links, join AdSense on your site the opportunities are endless.
So if you have ever thought of starting an online business feel free to share your thoughts and ask any questions.
Must-Have Tools for an Online Business
Email Marketing Program
A good business person values customers and creates a good relationship with them, you will find the need to communicate with your customers from time to time, and you may want to notify them of a product release or build a relationship by wishing them a happy anniversary or a birthday. One such good and most respected Email Marketing program is Aweber and it goes for as little as $1.
You definitely want your customers to view your products, compare prices and make payments just like a traditional store huh? Then such a good E-commerce Software will make your work easy secure and automated and the right software for this is WooCommerce. Just as the name suggests this is an online shop for you. WooCommerce is a WordPress Plugin and easy to set up.
You’ll need to set up an account with a bank financial institution so that your customers can pay with credit cards. Going to a bank can be expensive; so many small online store owners go with PayPal for a less expensive option.
online business is like any other business but on a different level you have to treat it as you would your local business, you have to invest in the business to reap results. Note you have to learn from your failures but also the success of others. Be a willing and eager student and always experiment new ideas and chose what works best for you.
Find and read resources from good seasoned online businessmen and women. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need further clarifications about the above. I am also available for blog installation and configuration just use the contact form to reach me.