Do you have unique items to sell, found a great wholesale deal on terrific products, or simply wish to make an extra income? Have you considered opening up an e-commerce store? Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to make money online. We help clients every day by explaining how to start an online business. By reading this blog, you can partake in some of our knowledge and how we’ve helped our clients achieve the success they desire.
Benefits of an Online Business
There are so many great benefits to starting an online business. The first advantage is saving money. A physical store entails many processes like signing a multi-year lease, paying rent and utilities, and hiring salespeople, etc. On top of that, you need to invest money into furniture and decor for the store or business and other expenses. With an online business, you don’t need any of that. You can work from anywhere while you start out, even in your own garage.
The second benefit to starting an online business is that you get to work from home. This means you get to spend more time with your family members and have time to pick up your kids from school, if you prefer. You can even make money online while in your pajamas! Furthermore, you don’t have to spend money on gas driving to and from work, lunch at work, and so on.
But perhaps the biggest benefit to starting an online business is that your items will be available to people all over the world. With a physical location, only people in that neighborhood or city will come to shop or use your services. With an online store, there are no boundaries to where your clients can live.
How to Start an Online Business with WordPress
So you want to work from home and make money online? Follow these five steps that will teach you how to start an online business.
1. Create a Website – We are huge fans of WordPress. This free web software allows anyone, whether novice or expert, to create a site for their needs. All you need to do is first find a host that is compatible with WordPress. That is not hard to do, as there are thousands of options to choose from. Then, you can download and sign up for a WordPress account. This will take no more than five minutes.
WordPress has numerous support forums online and countless YouTube videos that explain different features to help you customize your online business website. Thousands of plugins are also compatible with WordPress, some free and some paid, and these are very easy to upload and edit. Read some of our other posts to find out what other steps you can take to customize and improve your site with content writing, search options, shipping options, etc.
2. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is probably the most important thing you can do apart from building a great, easy-to-use website, and offering great products or services, according to Entrepreneur. SEO means doing research to optimize your website to register and come up in Google searches. Say you sell clothes online. How are you going to compete with thousands of other e-commerce stores that sell clothes? You will do so by researching which keywords or terms potential clients are searching for.
Keyword planner from Google Adwords is a great, free tool at your disposal. You need to enter a term that you think your buyers would search for, such as True Religion jeans, and you will see how many monthly searches that term has, and what the competition for that term is. Competition just means how many other sites are optimizing for that same keyword; Google will tell you if the competition is low, medium, or high. You want to pick keywords with the most searches and the least amount of competition.
3. Register your business – Many people don’t know about this crucial step, but if you want to make money online, you need to get a license. The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) is a great resource on the laws and regulations in each state. Remember that there are federal, state and local regulations for businesses, even if you work from home to make money online. “If you are operating your online business in a state that charges a sales tax; or levies a gross receipts or excise tax on businesses you may have to apply for a tax permit or otherwise register with your state revenue agency,” according to the SBA. “Online businesses are responsible for collecting state and local sales taxes from their customers when applicable, and paying these taxes to state and local revenue agencies.”
4. Make a Business Plan – You may just start out selling, say, your collection of baseball memorabilia, but what if your online business truly takes off? What if you run of out merchandise, but have a high demand? What if you need to expand quickly, hire staff, or rent warehouse space? Even though you make money online, you need to have a solid business plan for your website. Small Business BC will guide you how to setup a successful plan.
5. Become an Expert – You may sell products that are available on other websites, or services that others may find elsewhere, but what can set you apart is your expertise. Setting yourself up as an expert is not difficult on your website. Write blogs or articles that have relevance to what you’re offering. If you’re selling green products for example, share important news about alternatives to common products that can promote a green lifestyle. Share your own stories about your experiences and post pictures. Chances are, someone on your website will like what they read, and they will start to follow you. Then, they will be a client for life.
Need Help in Your Online Business?
The Behla Design is dedicated to creating visual experiences that effectively tell our clients’ stories while engaging, exciting, and enticing their customers. Our firm consists of the top web design and development, WordPress, search engine optimization (SEO), and copy writing professionals. Our founder, Andrew Behla, has worked in the graphic, print and web design industry for over twenty years. For more information about how to start an online business, contact Behla Design.