The growing popularity of the internet and technological advancements like Web 2.0, cloud computing and social media have made setting up an online business a lucrative option. E-commerce is a $200 billion industry in the US and is expected to expand by 15% every year, according to data compiled by Ubot Studio, a marketing automation software company.
While technology has made it easier to launch online businesses, innovative business ideas, adequate investment and the ability to evolve continue to be the essential components of successful entrepreneurship. Establishment of a successful online business is possible when a businessman combines his traditional business sense with the latest technology and the overall consumer environment.
Essential Skills of Entrepreneurship
While salesmanship, technical knowledge and SEO expertise are essential for a successful online business, an entrepreneur’s ability to evolve and change with the times is also vital. Other skills that play a key role in running a successful online business are commitment and a positive attitude.
Anyone wishing to start a successful online business should dare to be different and be ready to take some risks. The key is to take concrete action to fulfill your dreams, irrespective of the fact that you may be venturing into unknown territory. If you believe in a business idea or a project and have the necessary confidence to arrange the requisite resources, go ahead and venture on the path of entrepreneurship. Amazon.com and Google are examples of successful businesses run by entrepreneurs who dared to be different from the existing players and emerged stronger than them. So, if you have an innovative idea and believe in it, you have already won half the battle. All that now remains is to learn some tips that can maximize chances of success.
Tips for Successful Entrepreneurship
True entrepreneurship requires a person to look at not one but various aspects of starting an online business and ensuring that no loose ends are left. These include developing a successful business idea, arranging the necessary investment, acquiring the infrastructure and manpower, targeting the right segment and finally implementing the business plan. Here are some useful tips on starting a successful online business:
- Identify a Business Idea and Develop a Plan: The first tip is to identify a business idea and prepare a comprehensive plan based on whether you intend to develop a product or service. While building a service based business, such as Instagram or Flickr, is easier, it is difficult to expand due to difficulties in funding such businesses. In contrast, product manufacturing can be expanded as and when the need arises, with easy funding available for it. Whatever type of model you choose, it is advisable to start locally, by making use of your previous experiences and contacts. A great source of ideas for new online businesses is checking out the current successful models and deploying them to new fields, regions or segments.
- Become Tech Savvy and Enhance Your Knowledge: Running an online business is not easy if you are not well versed with the basic technologies used to run it. Knowing how to carry out online transactions is not enough for operating an online business. You also need to learn the basics of web service programs, such as WordPress. Although you can outsource a lot of the work, you need to keep yourself up to date with the latest technology required to run the business.
- Choose a Domain Name and Set up a Website: Getting a domain name is the first step in the process of building your website. Choose a name that represents not only your business but your brand image. This will make it easy for customers to find your website and look it up. Design your website in such a way as to ensure that the targeted customers find it easy to use and navigate through the site.
- Arrange the Necessary Investment: An essential feature of successful entrepreneurship is the ability to arrange the necessary funds for starting and running an online business. While venture capital funding is available, one needs to have the necessary contacts to access this source. A recent but popular mode of funding for new online businesses is crowd funding, wherein entrepreneurs try to convince potential investors by displaying their business plans on online sites like Kickstarter, Cofundos and IndieGoGo.
- Implementation of the Business Plan: Once you have the necessary funding, you need to implement your business plan and this requires the hiring of professional specialists who can make your service operational. These specialists play an important role in the actual development of your business and making your website user friendly. You can even outsource some of your work to expert professionals.
- Know about your Clients and Competition: Be aware of how the industry in which you intend to operate functions. Gather information about your prospective customer base and the various existing players. This will help you develop the right policies and take effective decisions.
During this whole process of developing a business idea and starting an online business, another factor that is important is to remain focused and keep tabs on your expenses. Successful entrepreneurship requires you to limit overheads and other expenses so as to generate adequate profits or at least break even as soon as possible.