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STARTUP GUIDE: HOW CAN I START AN ONLINE BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH?

Do you want to start your own online business but you don’t know how? Maybe you are lacking in experience and you’re afraid to make a mistake?

In this article we will try to give some simple recommendations for creating a successful online business – from searching for a team to taking your startup to the next level.

Starting your own business from scratch is not as difficult as it may at first appear. Follow simple instructions, believe in yourself and you will make it.

STEP 1. Searching for a team

As the saying goes: “two heads are better than one”. Before setting about organising your business, take some time to think who may be able to help you to your realise project to the full. Select the very best people for your team- those who can and want to move forward irrespective of trials and tribulations. At the initial stage you will have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to the startup, though the result of your work will not always be noticeable. Therefore it is very important that the founders be well-motivated, not lose faith in their success and work with determination.

Do you want to start your own online business but you don’t know how? Maybe you are lacking in experience and you’re afraid to make a mistake? In this article we will try to give some simple recommendations for creating a successful online business- from searching for a team to taking your startup to the next level.

Starting your own business from scratch is not as difficult as it may at first appear. Follow simple instructions, believe in yourself and you will make it.

Tip. What is the optimal number of founders for successfully developing a startup? 2-3 founders, responsible for different tasks. Preferably one would occupy his/herself with business development, i.e. advertising, marketing and sales, and the second with the technical side. It is ideal if the founders already have previous experience of collaborative work.

Where can I find like-minded co-workers? There are various methods with which to find people for your team, for example:

  1. At specialist events ‒ various IT conferences, startup launches etc. It is recommended to visit such meetings regularly, since it is possible not only to find co-founders and investors, but also to listen to experts’ advice and acquire new knowledge in the field of business development.
  2. Via social media. Join different groups and business communities, join discussions on forums, add interesting people as friends, create your own group and publish interesting content, linked to your startup, on your profile page.
  3. Create a profile on specialised websites.

It is possible to find like-minded co-workers, partners and investors via specialised services and exchange.
Remember that a strong team is one of the most important factors affecting the success of your future business, and therefore we advise to carefully select true professionals for your team, and not people to whom you are bound by friendly or personal links. As is well-known, a “nice guy” is not a profession, and that is why starting a business with friends is one of the most widespread mistakes made by aspiring startuppers.

STEP 2. Come up with a business plan and USP

Creating a business plan which allows you to avoid making a lot of mistakes is the second step on the road to developing a successful online business.

Tip. Try to make your action plan for organising and launching your startup as detailed as possible. Detailed instructions will help you to attract investors and will increase your chances of success exponentially.

Your business plan should be as close as possible to reality and take into account all aspects of your future project’s work:

  • detailed description of the good/service;
  • marketing strategy, market analysis and analysis of competitors;
  • production plan, description of the technical process of creating the product/providing the service;
  • organisational plan with deadlines for carrying out each stage;
  • financial plan and risk assessment;
  • perspectives for development and expected results.

To make it understood to your future clients and investors what you are offering, we advise you to come up with a USP- unique selling point. Try to find the strengths which set you apart from your competitors.

STEP 3. Search for your first clients

It is easiest to find your first clients amongst your friends and relatives. Spread the word about your startup on social media and try to conclude your first transactions with people you know.

Tip.  Ask your first clients to provide feedback- a brief, but honest review which you can use to improve your product (if the review is negative) or to attract new clients (if the review is positive).

To widen your audience and to reach as many potential clients as possible, we advise you to create your own website. If your budget allows, it is better to take advantage of freelancers’ services or those of a professional agency. It is possible to create a website independently with specialised development platforms.

STEP 4. Receive your first profit and analyse the results

So then, you have received your first orders and your first profit. The time has then come to analyse the results and determine the new development horizons for your business.

Tip. At this stage it is best to come up with a new business plan detailing the long-term strategy of the business, taking into account the real situation on the market. Try to develop unique tactics to promote your product, considering both its strong and weak aspects.

STEP 5. Take it to the next level

Your online business has started to bring you a regular income? Congratulations: your product is in-demand, and this means that it’s time to expand. This involves taking the following actions:

  • registering as a legal entity
  • searching for new partners and employees (sales managers, couriers, service specialists- depending on your line of business);
  • developing the technical process behind sales/service;
  • using new advertising media for your business (SMM, contextual advertising and targeting marketing, thematic forums, free notice boards, popular marketplaces, various coupon websites and others);
  • entering a new market (neighbouring communities, large cities etc).

Tip. To not have to worry about the security of your financial operations, we advise you to choose a secure payment system. For example, with the ePayments system you can not only receive payments from your clients, but also make mass transfers to your partners and employees. This payment system offers competitive and transparent conditions of use, instant internal transfers, simple website integration and complete security for all financial transactions.

Remember that the success of any business depends on different factors: the team’s professionalism and its motivation, a clearly thought-out action plan, the extent to which your product is unique and in-demand amongst consumers. The most important thing is to demonstrate persistence, to draw the right conclusions and adjust your development strategies according to reality.

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