How to Start an Online Business
Starting an online business is easier than ever, with user-friendly tech that lets even the smallest business enjoy smooth payments and admin, and never miss out on a sale. Here’s how to get started with your online venture.
Have an idea
Online ventures need good business ideas, and are about far more than online shopping. Maybe you want to create a directory site for other businesses to list on or sell your services, such as digital design. You should have a fully realised business plan before you take the plunge, once things get moving, poorly constructed business ideas can quickly fall apart.
Find your URL and brand name
Your brand name should reflect your identity. If you’re selling a funky, innovative product, this should be reflected in a name that will catch the interest of your intended audience. In the same way, if you’re offering professional services, you’ll want to keep things more sober and instantly recognisable, for example, if you’re a designer, make this discernible in your name and URL, e.g. johnsmithdesign.com
Finding a free domain name might be tricky, so you may even want take this step first before officially registering as a business and making your brand name final. For example, if JSDesign.com is the only available URL to you, it may be better to consider making this your official brand name for all other media.
Build a website
While it may seem like a daunting task, it’s not as hard as you may think to build a website. With Square’s app partners like Wix and Weebly, you can have a beautiful, fully-fledged website with a Square-supported payments system in just a few clicks! If you prefer to make a site yourself, Square’s API lets you build Square’s easy payments system into your web architecture, for easy sales.
Optimise for SEO
You have a great idea and the perfect domain, but it won’t mean much if people can’t find it. That’s where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. Put in simple terms, SEO helps make your page easier for search engines to find, the easier it is to find, the higher up the search engine results page it goes, so if you have a page with great SEO that is consistently drawing in new readers, you’ll find yourself ranking on page one of Google, Bing and other search engines. Check out our handy guide on how to optimise your site for search engines.
Promote, promote, promote
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter should all be channels you use to promote your newly hatched online business. Make sure you keep your social media accounts up to date with your new products and offers, give an insight into your work or helpful tips based on your expertise. Your content on social media, just as it should be on any blog (also a great addition to any website), should be valuable and useful to your customers, strengthening your identity as a professional brand.
Marketing isn’t a solo task, either, whether through cross-posts, guest blogs or recommendations, try working with other online businesses to help promote one another.
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