In the early 2000s, the internet was still a new concept. In order to access it, you either had to go to an internet café or have your own dialup connection. It was slow but worth the effort as it allowed you to talk to your friends on MSN messenger.
Even in its early days, everyone realized the business opportunities it brought with it. The Silk Road was a land route connecting Asia with Arabia and Europe.
Traders went on there to sell their goods and earn riches. The ones who didn’t trade on it ended up being locked in their small pockets, never getting to the same level of success as their counterparts. The same can be said for the internet. Early adopters were opened to a world of endless possibilities. And some seized it.
The west saw the rise of Amazon and eBay and the East saw the establishment of Alibaba. Traders went online, and people started selling goods from their homes and you could order something from another corner in the world with a click of a button.
However, the internet was still niche. But with the advent of the smartphone along with broadband internet and 3G cellular data, the internet was now in the palm of your hands. It wasn’t just for the rich anymore. It wasn’t just for the tech enthusiasts anymore.
It was for everyone. You, your grandparents, your children, your boss, maid, everyone soon came online. And so did business. In 2019, e-retail sales were 14.1 percent of all retail sales worldwide and by 2023, this figure is expected to be 22 percent.
Online marketplaces saw a surge in popularity. Freelancing allowed individuals at home to offer services to clients easily. Crowdfunding allowed multiple tech startups to establish themselves.
Online advertisements replaced billboards. A business that wasn’t online was missing out on the reach that the Silk Road provided to a global market.
Today, all you need to be a global brand is an internet connection. Once you have the connection, you can take your entire business online whether you’re selling services or goods. You can do it all. Here is how you can get started:
Take up a course
The thought of having your own business setup is exciting for many, however, it is a tiring job. Most entrepreneurs often think that having a brilliant idea is enough to take your business online.
While it may seem like an easy job and commitment may be enough in the initial stages but running a business requires knowledge of the economy and competitor market.
It also requires the skill to sell your product or service. These things develop overtime and require learning. In this era, we are very fortunate to have learning resources at hand. A number of online courses are available to help you learn entrepreneurship.
Sort out your finances
While determination and hard work are the most important ingredients to setting up an online business or bringing an already existing business online, the next big challenge is to work in a budget.
While you need relatively less amount to setup an online store, you still have to manage the finances for it. You may want to research for cost effective options available to set up your business online.
This is also a great exercise to help you work in a budget as effectively as you can because during the initial stages of setting up a business you may not have a lot of financial assistance.
Work out where you could use your prior knowledge to do stuff and where you may learn a thing or new yourself instead of hiring employees.
Build a team
While this may not seem like a big thing but building a team and most importantly, the right team is extremely crucial when you have to set up your business online.
There may be days where you may feel demotivated, disappointed or simply occupied with unforeseen issues. These days you need people who can motivate you, help you out, cheer you up, and come up with new ideas when your mind seems to be blocked out.
A good team is a good support system and very important when you set out on your new venture. You may want to look for the same commitment, hard work, zeal, and passion to make your ideas and dreams a reality.
Make a website
This is the most important step to have an online presence. Just like you rented a space for your existing business you have to rent a space on the internet too.
A website and later social media presence can go a long way to generate sales and attract customers. For instance, you can keep digital world updated with the latest technology updates through your website or blog posts.
A website psychologically impacts your customer as it helps your customer to understand that you have a genuine business and not a scam. A website will also ensure safer transactions and online payments.
Create an online marketplace and inventory
This is going to be the next step after you create a website for your business. Initially, you may not get a lot of customers, so it may be easy to keep track of who is buying your product.
However, with advancement in technology it has become easier to track, manage and keep up with customers. You may want the system to automatically direct emails to a customer once they make a purchase.
You may also want to setup a newsletter, keep a watch on the product stock, or even know which product has greater demand. You may get a lot of options for these issues with a wide variety of plug-ins and apps available.
Learn additional skills
This is something that will always help you in the long run. You may want to learn additional skills to initially give your business a boost. You may be low on budget and not able to afford employee salaries.
You may want to learn a few skills like photography, graphics designing, writing etc. to help you save cost initially. These skills will also give a break from monotonous tasks.
Creativity and a change in routine is very important to run a successful business. It will also allow you to create the kind of image you want to in your customer’s head of your product/service.
If you have been considering about taking your business to the next level by taking it online, then these pointers may be helpful. However, the first thing that you should do is learn more about the internet service options you have and subscribe to a reliable internet bundle such as Spectrum Bundles. It will give you the best speeds and help you avoid unwanted anxiety.
A working and smooth internet connection ensures your employees are always happy as it helps avoid frustration. You may want to explore all the options available in your budget before selecting one.