Experts in the Media

Tushar Kapadia – Inside Small Business

eCommerce consultant

The five crucial steps to starting an online small business

There are many reasons to start a small business; added income, family-friendly hours, more flexibility, you have something special to offer the world or you have the desire to try something you’re passionate about.

Whatever the reason, starting a small business is an exciting prospect with inexpensive upfront costs and huge potential for growth and benefits. It’s also a surefire way to make sure you love what you do.

While it’s never been easier, there are some crucial things to do first to give your new business the best chance of succeeding. Following these five steps will help make sure you’re on the right path:

1. Build a great product or service offering

  • Have you done your due diligence?
  • What is your differentiator? Why would a customer prefer your product or service over the other?
  • Are you clear on the problem you are solving for customers? Is it something a customer feels is a pain point? Is it something a customer is willing to pay a premium for?

2. Develop a marketing strategy

  • Who is your customer? Have you defined your customer persona?
  • Will your brand resonate with them?
  • Be clear on your marketing strategy?
  • Are you selling on a marketplace or via your website?
  • Are you clear on the differences between the two and the impact it may have on your returns?
  • Don’t try to do too much too quickly!

3. Strong supplier relations

  • In any product or service-based business, your relationship with your suppliers or service providers is key.
  • They will shape lead times, turnaround times and the customer experience.
  • A strong relationship with your supplier can influence how they prioritise and support your business.

4. Keep an eye on things

  • Keep your content dynamic. Write blogs and update imagery and videos.
  • Know your numbers. Keeping an eye on key metrics will help you shape and grow your business. Figures to know: the cost to acquire customers, return rate, organic vs paid leads, cashflow, profit and loss.

5. Use specialists

  • You can’t do everything so try to work with specialists, they can help get things done faster and help you avoid mistakes.
  • They bring a myriad of experience and insights and generally work with a depth of research and other tools to help target the correct opportunities.
  • They keep across the changes that occur on platforms so can help you stay ahead before problems arise.
  • They will be willing to pivot or experiment – work with them and trust their judgement. Consider them an essential part of your team.

Starting your own business is an exciting time. But it’s important to temper that excitement with some solid strategies. Rushing a half-baked idea to market is sure to end in heartbreak and possibly a big financial hit.

So, take a step back and make your way through the above five steps. It will be the best way to make sure you’re on your journey to business success and really loving what you do.