So you want to become an entrepreneur? You’ve finally made the decision that you want to work for yourself and put your 9-5 life behind you. Everyone typically has a desire to quit their day jobs and be their own boss but most people don’t actually create a business plan. This is essential for taking the first step toward creating a successful business!
Choosing Your Niche
Ask yourself – what is it you’re passionate about? Maybe you’re passionate about makeup, fitness, finances, or animals. You could even be passionate about dachshunds or fruit bats, the point is – you want to find something you’re passionate about and find a like-minded audience in that niche. Being successful with an online business is all about how well you can target a specific audience – i.e. through choosing a niche. For example, if you’re passionate about finances ( finance is a broad category) – you need to break “finance” down to a more specific category. If you’re interested in starting a finance company – you could start a business in credit monitoring, credit repair, or budgeting instead of being focused on a broad category such as general finances.
In order to grow a successful online business, you have to have the mentality to become a big fish in a small pond. If you don’t you’ll end up being a small fish in a large pond filled with sharks – heavy competition. The more competition, the more money it will cost you to get your brand off of the ground.
This is the reason why most startups fail, you can’t hop on the bandwagon and expect to stay afloat. There has to be something that sets you apart from the competition. Even in the fitness niche, you’ll notice that there are so many different types of diets ( keto, vegan, vegetarian ) and different types of diet products (supplements, shakes, meal plans) being targeted toward a specific audience.
Find your passion. Specify your audience. Define your audience.
Building Your Brand
Once you choose your niche, it’s time to start building a brand.
What are you going to name your business? You definitely want to pick something catchy and easy to remember. More importantly, you want to make sure that name isn’t taken!
What do you want your logo to look like? It’s important for every single company to have a logo. A logo is something people will recognize and immediately think about your brand – not to mention it will set you apart from your competitors.
Your products are the core of your business. Products change based on the type of business you have.
If you’re into consulting or coaching, you may be offering digital products, videos, or basically selling your own time.
If you’re into e-commerce, you’ll be selling physical products.
Regardless of what you’ll be selling, it’s important to do your research. It’s important to know who you’re demographic is. It’s not enough to create a winning course or find a winning product if you don’t know who’s actually going to make the purchase. You have to break it down and find out who your ideal customer is. What’s their age? What’s their location? What other interest do they have that you’ll be able to target? What problem will your product solve for that individual?
Gaining Brand Recognition and Trust
This is the hardest part of any business. Gaining recognition and trust! With so much competition out there, it will only get harder to market your product or service to paying customers. Most people won’t make a purchase from a brand without that social proof being in place first. Think about it, how often do you make a purchase online with no reviews or from a brand with little to no fans?
It’s important to utilize your social media platforms. You want to make sure you’re active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Youtube if you can manage filming videos.
A huge factor in gaining recognition is using influencer marketing to your advantage! If you’re just starting out and you don’t have any reach, influence, or a large following….use someone elses! Many small businesses have been able to sky rocket sales by using a trusted influencer to promote their brand. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a few influencers and make a deal with them. Some may help promote your brand in exchange for freebies while others may charge per post.
Lastly, there’s always advertising! Facebook ads, Pinterest ads, and Google Ads can be extremely powerful in generating traffic to your business. I would recommend saving up at least $200-$500 to invest in paid advertising (if possible)….otherwise you’ll be taking a gamble if you pay for ads without getting any conversions.
Making Your First Sales
It’s important to test and scale. While you may not see conversions the first time you open your business, it’s important to keep testing and once you find something that works – SCALE! It’s important to show VALUE. You want to sell the value of a product…not necessarily the product itself. If you’re running a consulting agency, try giving a FREE consultation, coming up with a free e-book, or webinar in order to gain trust and show the value of working with your agency.
If you’re a retailer, try hosting a giveaway in an effort to get brand awareness and interest.
Once you attract your audience, try to create impulse buyers out of them. Create scarcity and give them a reason to act now. Getting customers are hard enough but persuading them to make that first purchase is crucial.
Do not get discouraged! It’s very easy to get upset if you don’t notice results right away. Be your own success story, don’t focus on anyone else’s. Keep trying! All large businesses were built based on trial and error. Did you know that 99% of most startups fail? Some fail due to poor planning while the majority of startups fail due to the project being abandoned. Stay motivated, keep trying, and keep testing!