8 Proven Steps to Start an Online Business
Looking for ways to start an online business? Here’s a simple yet detailed step-by-step guide for you to start making money online today.
If you’re a student, freelance, non internet savvy, small business owner, or even an executive working in a large corporation looking to create a website that generates revenue/earn money online, this is a must read blog post for you.
Here’s a brief summary on how to start an online business:-
1- Register for a domain name & look for a hosting provider
A domain name is the address where Internet users access your website. In simple words, a domain name is like your house address. With your house address, it makes it easier for someone to know where your house is located. Same goes to your domain name, all your visitors have to do is to type your domain name on the browser when they want to visit your website.
Here’s an example of how a domain name looks like:-
What is Domain Extension?
In general, domain extensions are the last part of domain names. Typically, domain extensions such as .com, .sg, and .com.sg are some of the domain extensions preferred by e-commerce owners in Singapore.
So here comes the question, which domain extensions should you choose?
Here are some simple questions you should ask yourself before choosing:-
1- What is the purpose of your website?
First, identify what you’d like to do with your website. If you are planning to create an e-commerce website, the best domain extension you can consider is .com, .sg, and .com.sg.
2- Who is your target audience?
Identify the group of potential customers you want to target. If you’re targeting the international market for your online business, .com is the best choice for you. But if you’re focusing on the Singapore market, .sg and .com.sg are the best options for your website.
3- Is your business registered?
Next, if your business or company is registered under ACRA and you’re only targeting the Singapore market, consider .com.sg. This is because only a registered company can register for this domain extension. With a .com.sg domain, it helps in gaining your online customer trust easier.
Now you know which domain extension you should choose, it’s time to check your domain name availability to see whether it’s taken or not.
What is a hosting provider and why do I need one?
A hosting provider is a company that stores all your website data on their data center. Whether you want to create a website using WordPress from scratch, or other website builder tools, you would need to get your website hosted so that it can be up and running. When you’re ready to get your website hosted, consider Exabytes Singapore, the largest and most reliable hosting company in Singapore. In fact, if you choose Exabytes as your hosting provider, you will be entitled for a free domain.
2- Choose your Payment Gateway
When doing business online, payment gateway definitely deserves your attention as it would affect your profit margin and liquidity.
Here are some of the payment gateways to consider if you’re selling products online.
Whenever you’re searching for a digital payment gateway, include PayPal as an alternative payment method on your website as it can help you every step of the way.
2- MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide has been in business for more than 50 years, giving them the ability to use their technology and expertise to create a safer, smarter, and simpler payment.
According to Stripe, they are the best payment gateway for operating an online business. Every year, they deal with billions of dollars from forward-thinking companies worldwide.
3. Design and Publish Your Website
There are a few ways you can design your website: by hiring a web designer to do the hard job for you, or do it yourself with WordPress.
In our previous blog post, we shared some of the proven tips for you to design your website faster and easier.
1- Install CMS (Content Management Solution)
2- Use a wire frame
3- Install a professionally built Theme
4- Hire a Professional Web Designer
From my experience, even though creating a stunning website is very important, the process should not take too much of your time. Many entrepreneurs out there are still struggling to earn their first income online because they take too much time to design their website. Remember, in the online world, speed is everything.
I certainly do not hope the same would happen to you. Do what you do best, focus on your core business to generate revenue. So, come out with a design for your website and publish it even though you are not fully satisfied with the design.
In fact, many websites out there do not look the same as they were a few years back. So, publish it once your website is done. You still have plenty of time to make changes to your website in the future.
4- Make your website appear on the first page of Google
Surprisingly, it is actually possible for your website to appear on the first page of Google.
Here are some of the simple steps for your e-commerce website to rank on the first page of Google:-
a) Come out with a list of keywords that are related to what you are offering
For example, if you are a personal fitness trainer in Singapore trying to sell protein powder and supplements online, these are some of the keywords that might be related to your business.
– your own brand name
– protein powder, protein powder in singapore, best supplements for weight gain, best supplements for weight loss
b) Install YoastSEO or RankMath if you’re using WordPress
With Yoast SEO or Rank Math, the keywords that you wish your website to show on the first page of Google will now be optimised. This process is known as SEO, Search Engine Optimisation. These tools will show you the actions you can take to increase the possibility of your website being listed on the first page.
In our previous blog post, we mentioned in detail some of the WordPress SEO tips for beginners.
If you feel that this might not be an expertise of yours, well, let the experts do it for you so that you can have a higher chance of getting your online business ranked on the first page of Google.
5- Build your list of email subscribers
When more and more visitors start to visit your online business, one of the main things you should do is to collect as many email subscribers as possible. In general, a person that subscribes to your newsletter are more likely to purchase from you as compared with non-subscribers.
Once you have a list of subscribers, make good use of it by sending weekly newsletters to them. You can do so by signing up for an email marketing solution from Exabytes.
Remember you should ensure that the newsletters sent to your subscribers do bring value to them. Otherwise, they might unsubscribe from the list.
6- Get traffic by advertising in Google AdWords & Facebook Ads
Once your products and payment gateway are all set up, it’s time to get more people to know and purchase products from your online business. One of the fastest ways to see immediate results is through advertising with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
If you’re new to advertising and interested to advertise with Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, the best way to start is by learning how these platforms operate and how you can utilise these platforms to generate more sales for your online business.
To learn more about Google AdWords, go to Google Academy for Ads, a platform created by Google.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Ads, go to Facebook Blueprint, a platform created by Facebook.
7- Optimise your website performance
Once your website starts to receive more and more traffic, there are certain tools you can use to track how your visitors interact with your website.
With Google Analytics, you can track how people visit your website — from social media, advertising, or from organic search. You can track it using Google Analytics. In addition, you can even see some of the important website performance metrics such as traffic, bounce rate, session duration, and also conversion rate.
With Freshmarketer, you can track how your visitors interact with your website, including which button has the highest number of clicks, and how they read your website. It is a clear record on how each visitor interact with your website.
If you’re interested in learning more on FreshMarketer, click here.
With tools set up for your online business, it will be much easier for you to understand how you can enhance your website performance to generate more revenue online.
8- Scale your online business
Everyone wants to scale their online business, but how can we do so? Before you can scale your online business, here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
1- What is my current CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)?
2- What is my ARPU (Average Revenue per User)?
CPA, or Cost Per Acquisition is the cost you need to acquire one new customer. If your CPA is S$30, this means that it takes S$30 to acquire one new customer for your business.
As for ARPU, or Average Revenue Per User, it is the average revenue that you can get from a customer.
Let’s say if your ARPU is S$40 and your CPA is S$30, this means that you are earning a profit of S$10 for every S$30 spent. If you can earn an additional S$10 for every S$30 spent, how many S$30 would you want to spend?
To learn how to scale your business effectively, contact experts in this field.
I hope this blog post gives you a clear understanding on how to start an online business.
If you’re still unsure on how to start an online business, please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help take your business to the next level.
Grow your Business Online Today with Exabytes.