Unlike starting a business in the real world, starting an online business does not require a huge capital. In fact, if you have the right business idea and are willing to devote time and work hard, you can start an online business for free or with a very little investment.
But like any business venture, there should be clear plan of action of for starting your online business. I have listed below the steps that will help you convert your online business idea to a full-fledged success story:
1. Find a niche market:
For an online business it’s the market that counts instead of the product. The foremost requirement is to determine which products and services people are ready to buy through online sources. For this purpose, you will need to search the existing markets and activities of online users thoroughly. Take into account the things people discuss on forums, find out which keywords are people searching and finally check out the websites of your potential competitors. Finalize a product or service for which there is already a market.
2. Give your business a face- Create a website:
Once you have decided the product or service that you are going to market, you need a website. Now getting a website created may be very daunting for some people as the general perception is that you need to spend a lot of money for a decent website. But with so many options available nowadays, you can easily create a site for very little money or even for free (minus the domain and hosting costs). Creating a website involves 3 basic steps – Registering a domain, choosing a webhost, designing the website.
Register a Domain Name:
You can easily register a domain name from sites like Godaddy.com. Make sure that the domain name represents your business niche. Having an exact keyword match domain used to be great till recently but due to the recent algorithm changes it is no longer relevant. But still it is a good idea to include a keyword that represents your niche in the domain. Or you can use your brand name as a domain if you want. Make sure to register a .com domain if possible. You can get a .com domain for around $10 per year (INR 500).
Choose a web host:
Once you have selected the domain name, you need a web host for your website. I use Godaddy.com for all my websites and though it is not the most popular option for hosting, I have not got any reasons to complain till now. Hostgator is another popular option. On both these websites, you can get a hosting package for about $60-$80 (INR 3000-INR 4000) per year. Though there are even cheaper options, I won’t recommend going for them as the service may not be good.
Build a website:
Now comes the tough part- building the actual website. If you don’t have a lot of money to spare for your website design, you can go for free website builders or CMS. One of the most popular options these days is WordPress. Creating a WordPress website is really easy and anyone can do it without any HTML or coding knowledge. You can search YouTube for some helpful tutorials. I plan on posting a tutorial creating a WordPress website soon. So you may check that later.
If you are planning on setting up an online store, you can check DIY options like Ecwid. Ecwid has a free WordPress plugin and is really easy to set up. Also if you have a PayPal account, you can easily set up the payment feature too without the hassle of setting up a merchant account. Once your business is established, you can explore other payment options.
Please note that the free DIY shopping sites are ideal for small stores only. When you plan to extend your store and include more functionality, you may need to hire a professional web designer.
Whatever option you choose for creating a website, there are a few things you should take care of. The website should have clear navigation, informative content and should be very user-friendly.
Before you set out to create the website, I suggest you to first work on your website copy. Content is the king may be a cliché but it really is the king. You need an attractive copy to drive visitors to your website as well as for the search engines to rank your website. Also include an opt-in offer to collect email addresses. Add a Facebook “Like” or “share” option on your website as well.
3. Drive traffic to the website:
This is the most important step and is a defining factor for a successful online business. If there are plenty of visitors on your website, the chances of conversion are better. Moreover you can monetize your website through Google Adsense, paid ad slots as well as Affiliate Marketing if you have a decent traffic.
For driving traffic to your website, you must make your website relevant to search engines and that’s where content comes. Content is the king may be a cliché but it really is the king. You need an attractive copy to drive visitors to your website as well as for the search engines to rank your website. You can do a keyword research first and then use the targeted keywords in your content intelligently to make it more searchable. You must keep your website content fresh and up to date. Other ways to drive traffic is to use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter to target the niche market.
Apart from organic traffic, Pay-per-click advertising is an easy way to drive traffic to your new website. The ads show up on the search pages immediately and allow you to test various keywords. Also they have flexible prices, headlines and selling approaches to choose from. You can also find the best keywords through these ads and use them on your website copy and code to increase your ranking on search engines. You can also use Facebook ads to get the attention of users at a low cost.
As you begin to drive traffic on your website, make sales and try to win customer loyalty by providing an excellent service. Establish an expert reputation in your field and keep your customers up-to-date via newsletter as well as social networking websites. There is almost no end to business expansion after the first hard steps but it’s all worth in the long run.
There are many ways of earning money. Some try doing job, some business and so on. However opting for business needs few skills in earning profits. There are various ways to become successful in your business , but being a successful person in a dream project is important.
Do you want your business to grow? Are you aiming for profits? Want to plan a successful business venture? Then here you go with the best 7 golden rules to plan a business project
1. Business structure: First and foremost to start a business the entrepreneur should begin with a good idea. A plan sheet should be created for all resources, revenues, income estimation, expenditures, profits and loss. All these are to be itemized and should be inventory. The person should have the best business skills and right leadership qualities to run a business.
2. Developing the business plan: Whatever ideas come up during a meeting can be written as a document so that it helps you to utilise the ideas. Take advice from a financial advisor who can help you out in all aspects. Build a plan so that you are ready to launch any kind of business. According to the firm, seek investors and financiers.
3. Location and selection: The location of your firm should be able to grab opportunities and should also be accessible from home or any website. Choose a site where the rent is within the budget, flow of visitors and traffic is more. For example: if you have any cloth franchise, then you would get more business if it is in public display rather than in secluded area where not many would notice it. Consult an attorney before taking the place for lease or signing it.
4. Must and should: Necessary licenses and permits should be taken. Permit should be taken from local municipalities and nearby residents. If starting any medical, small scale industry or any alcoholic businesses then make sure all the permits are taken as it can create a problem if ignored. The chosen business name should be registered by a corporate officer.
5. Purchasing items: Depending upon the firm the equipment’s, goods, tools are purchased. This may include machinery, computers and necessary inventory and supplies. This may be a burden to the investor as the machinery is very expensive. A start-up investor may not have sufficient cash. He can opt for any business loan, personal loan or payday loans. Once he gets profits on his businesses he can repay the money taken.
6. Advertising: This is another major part of the organization were the propaganda should be outlined in order to get profits and good fame. This can be done by paper work, online advertising or any internet marketing. Advertise your company in order to gain customers. Create a good website with related information and contact information. This can be useful for selling goods on internet, sending e-mails and receive feedback.
7. Sharing: Not only investments and profits even the loss should be shared by the partners. The ideas, views and all stuff must be mutually shared. The person should be capable of taking the pitch of an idea.
So these are the 7 golden rules to plan a successful business venture.
This is a Guest post by Michelle, a tech writer from UK. She is into Finance. Catch her @financeport
If you are a small business owner, you probably know how difficult it is to get finance for business, particularly for a first time small business entrepreneur. No need to hold off your dreams just because you are unable to get funds from bank or other sources. If you are unable to get a business loan, yet you are sure your business idea is going to work, you can turn to your friends and family for getting some funds. Taking money from friends or family is always considered a risky business and you have to be very tactful as well as truthful so that you don’t jeopardize your relation with them.
But you need to take the risk and go ahead with your plan if you want your dreams to come true. Here are some tips to help you get some cash for your startup:
1. Seek the right time:
You need to be patient and wait for the right time to ask for money. You cannot exploit a happy family moment to ask for money. Never ask for money when someone had a bad day or a fight, chances are you won’t be helped.
2. Show your faith and passion:
When you ask for money and tell them about your business plans, show optimism and faith in yourself. If you say stuff like that ‘I will try but’ you will end up having no money at all. So just stay upbeat, be very confident and share with them a colorful positive picture of your vision. Remember that no one will believe in you if you won’t believe in yourself.
3. Be Respectful and keep the right attitude:
If you are asking for their input in your dream and the project, they will obviously get involved and give you suggestions. So listen their suggestions, keep them updated about your project details and show respect if they stay around you. No one wants to see their money going down the drain so if you are actually taking their money, you are giving them a right to get involved.
4. Present a complete plan:
Nothing gets the confidence of a person than a neatly written down well sorted plan. If you want to go an extra mile to get the confidence of your family and friends, take the pain of planning out in a well-written format. You will surely impress them with your planning and dedication.
5. Sign an agreement:
Most people overlook this important point while dealing with friends or family, but let me tell you, it will save you in tough times. If they agree to give you some amount of cash, write down the agreement clearly, set down rules and mention the risks. Get it signed in the front of at least one informal witness.
6. Choose someone who can afford to lend:
When approaching a friend for money, make sure they can afford to lend or lose the money. Do not get the money from someone in dire need of cash themselves. Also ask for the minimum amount not the maximum.
Always keep the above points in mind before approaching a friend or family member for a loan for business. We all know how relationships can be ruined if one is not careful and not invested enough in the new business idea. Don’t ever make that mistake!
How important is a business name?
When starting a new business, one of the huge challenges you encounter other than creating a business plan is choosing the right business name. Your business name is very important for your business identity. If you want to create a mark in the market as well as make your customers remember your business, you have to come up with an effective business name. Keep in mind that your business name can play a substantial role in making or breaking your business position.
For every business, the business name is the only one that remains constant over a period of time. And that is one good reason why you have to have it right the first time. Your business name is what is usually remembered by customers and it creates the recall value of the product or services you are offering. As a result it gives value to your business and often the name of your business is an asset in itself.
Choosing the Right name for your Business
Creating a name for your business is actually not as easy as giving a name to a child or a pet. Proper consideration is needed to make it as effective for your business as possible. Before starting a new business, you have to come up with a business name that says more about your company’s expertise, products or services you offer and its distinctiveness from others. Creating a business name definitely needs several days of brainstorming. There are many factors that should be considered before selecting a right and an effective name for your business.
Your business name should be direct to the point and not just a charming one-liner which only you or your partners can understand. Make it short and easy to be remembered and be understood by customers. Customers should be able to distinguish the name of your business from your other competitors. Make it short and concise. If you need to think outside the box, then do so. With the many rising new businesses today, no doubt almost all words in the dictionary have been trademarked. So it has become a big challenge to come up with a unique name for your business. But with some innovations like tweaking of original words and spelling, you can create a name that is meaningful, unique and appealing to customers.
Getting the experts’ help
If you are a new entrepreneur and just starting a new business, turning to experts is also a good idea. You can always seek an expert’s advice in naming your business. It is very important especially if you are in the line of business that has a wide range of competitors. It makes your business name much more crucial in influencing your success. Getting around with some trademark laws is an important of creating a name. And having a business naming expert will make the process easier for you.
Naming a new business requires great effort on your part. The name of your business carries a potential for success in your company. It influences how your potential and existing customers will remember you. Since a name can prove a lot for your success, take your time in choosing one. And after choosing the right one, get on to your business and make that name be known.
India is expanding its borders for investors and providing maximum opportunities for business ventures in all fields. With the ever rising GDP rate, now is a high time for anyone to take the cue of rising financial horizons and dig into the business world for a shining future.
If you are one of those future optimistic persons, it is the right time for you to setup a business in India. India offers flexibility to set up different types of business entities Like Private corporations, Public Corporations, Unlimited Company, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Joint venture, Branch office, Joint Venture Company, Subsidiary Company, Sole Proprietorship and Liaison Office. You can start any of the ventures confidently by following some simple steps and procedures. The first brick that you lay on venturing a business in India is to incorporate it. This process of registering your company is under the charge of Registrars of Companies (ROC) appointed under the section 609 of the Companies Act. Their main duty is to register the companies in their respective States and territories.
For preparing to incorporate your Private limited company or Public Limited company in India, the steps are as follows:
- The first step is to select a list of names that will show the objectives of your company. Also make sure that your name is not resembling any other business entity in India or Violating the Emblem and Names law. You may want to check whether a name already exists on the MCA website here.
- You also need to apply for Director Identification Nubmer (DIN) (http://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/Din.html). No one can be appointed as a Director unless they have been allotted a DIN. Also every document prescribed under the Companies Act, 1956 need to be signed digitally with a Digital Signature of the Director., so it is compulsory to apply for and obtain digital signatures of atleast one Director.
- Then you need to apply your chosen company names to the concerned ROC of your State to ensure that your selected name doesn’t already exist. For this you will have to apply in the General Rules and Forms with Rs.500 Fee.
- Then you need to arrange for Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. Also arrange to stamp your Memorandum and Articles. Make sure your documents are dated after the stamp dates.
- Get both these documents signed by at least two subscribers or more, in front of a witness.
- You also need to get three additional forms and fill them accordingly. These forms include the Declaration of Compliance, Notice of the Office location of registered company and information about the director and managers of the company.
With the following documents prepared and filled, next step is to present them to the ROC with a registration fee. The exact provisions include:
- 3 copies of Stamped and signed Memorandum and Articles
- Three additional forms
- If you have agreement regarding Memorandum and Articles, present it
- If you have any agreement with the prospected director or manager, include it.
- The Company name availability letter, which was issued by ROC
- Power of Attorney by subscribers given to a particular person for correcting errors in the given documents and papers
- The registration fee
After you submit these documents, your documents will be processed and you will be awarded with the Certificate of Incorporation by ROC.
For a public limited company formation, the procedure is the same with some additional steps listed below:
- Submission of Form No.29 which is basically a Consent to act as a Director
- Arrangement for payment of application and allotment money on shares already taken or agreed to be taken by the Directors.
- Filing of the Statement in Lieu of Prospectus with the ROC in schedule-iv of the Companies Act.
- Filing a declaration in Form-20
- And finally obtaining the Certificate of Commencement of Business.
The process of registering a company in India takes around 40 days. If the steps seem daunting, you may even take help of professional CA’s and lawyers who can help you with all the procedures. You can do a research on Google to find reliable professionals for this important task.
You can find more information about the various process, rules and forms involved in incorporating a company on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website.