A home internet business is one that is conducted out of your home, using a website in order to attract and interact with customers. Starting such a business can be an exciting and relatively low-cost way to make extra money or launch a new career. But the question is “how to start online business from home?” What are the necessary steps needed to make online business a success?
How To Start Online Business From Home?
1. Plan Your Business
- Choose what service or product your business will provide.To choose on a product or service, look to your unique abilities, training, or experience. Ask yourself how you can utilize these things to create a product or service that creates value better for customers than your possible competition.
- Do market research.Once you’ve decided on what you would like to offer as a product or service, find out if there is a demand. Look at the number of potential competitors, conduct customer surveys by phone or personal visits, and find out if there is a market need that is not being met.
- Select a business that can work online.Not all business models are fully fit for an online or home-based based format. For example, if your business idea involves extensive inventory, staffing, or production/manufacturing, a home-based operation may not be ideal.
- Study the costs of starting a business.The costs of starting your business will vary vividly depending on the specific type of business being offered. For example, if you are running a small, home-based online book store, you will need to fund inventory. If your online business is service-based, however, your costs may be lower and would be limited to the capital you need to provide your service.
- Create a business plan. A business plan is your entire business planning process reflected in one document.
- Legally Establishing Your Business
- Define the legal structure of your business.This will have effects for how you file taxes and how much you will need to pay. Most small businesses are sole proprietorships which are the easiest to set up and require the least paperwork. If you are considering another legal structure, you may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in internet law and who can help you pick the structure best for you.
- Register your business name with your state government, if necessary.A DBA (Doing Business As) is needed whenever you are doing business under a name other than your own. If you are working as an independent contractor under your own name, you don’t need one.
- Determine if you need to get a tax identification number for your business. Corporations that must file tax returns will need one, as well as partnerships, which don’t file taxes, but do have to file business information annually with the IRS.
- Obtain the necessary licenses and permits to run your business. For example, if you are offering accounting for financial services, you will need a license in most states. Check https://www.sba.gov/content/what-federal-licenses-and-permits-does-your-business-need to see if your business needs any federal permits or licenses, and https://www.sba.gov/content/what-state-licenses-and-permits-does-your-business-need to see if it needs a state permit or license.
3. Creating Your Website
- Choose whether to use a professional web designer.If your business is exclusively online or an e-commerce business, you will probably want to hire a professional to create a polished website. On the other hand, if your site is more of a marketing tool for a business that mostly takes place, then a simpler do-it yourself site will likely do.
- Register your domain name with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).Your domain name is the web address of your online business. Once you choose it, you will need to select a registrar from http://www.internic.net/regist.html and pay a registration fee in order to register your name for a year. You will need to renew it annually at the same cost. Most web-hosts will do this for you.
- Decide how you will build your website if doing it yourself.There are multiple options available for creating a website, and the option you choose will vary based on your web-design abilities, time, and level of quality demanded.
- Organize your site and provide content. Create the content that fills the site. This includes pictures, descriptions, business value statement, business history, personal bio, and blogs. The main purpose of your website is to provide a one-stop destination for information regarding your business and serve as a marketing tool to clearly identify why your business is a greater choice.
- Improve your website’s placing in searches with search engine optimization (SEO).Search engine optimization will help your website to show up near the top of searches. You can hire a company to do it for you, or on your own.
- Decide whether you want to install e-commerce software on your site or have your transactions handled by a third party.Hosted e-commerce solutions are much easier to set up and provide more technical support. Or, you can install an e-commerce platform directly on your website. These services are more powerful and customizable, but also require much more time and technical know-how.
- Choose a web-host.The web-host provides the space and support services necessary to run your website. They own the physical servers that your site exists on.
4. Marketing Your Business
- Explore pay-per-click advertising.Purchasing traffic is the quickest way to bring people to your site, and vendors will allow you to target specific geographical areas with keyword searches. Make sure you are targeting the right audience.
- Create contacts and establish affiliate sites.Find quality sites related to your business and ask if you can advertise on their site, in return for their advertising on yours. Affiliate sites bring high quality traffic.
- Make a social media presence.Start by focusing on the platform your customers are most likely to be on and build a presence there.
- Publish an e-newsletter.A weekly or monthly newsletter is one of the best ways to use your email list. Make sure to provide value-added content that people want to read, instead of intrusive sales pitches.
- Use press releases.A quality press will be picked up by major search engines and hundreds of websites and posting one is relatively inexpensive.
- Promote your website in the real world.Mention your site to customers and friends, and make sure your web address is printed on everything, including your letterhead, business card, and any brochures you might have.
- Keep up with reviews on sites like Yelp and Kudzu.Good reviews are a great way to get business, and the best way to get them is to provide friendly, quality service and great products.