5 Tips for Starting Your Own Online Business

5 Tips for Starting Your Own Online Business

Deciding to become an entrepreneur is a difficult choice to make. You have to commit time, effort and dedication to your endeavor in order to ensure the success of your future business. What’s more, starting and running a business can be quite challenging, especially since the online market is over-saturated and quite competitive. 

Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Starting an online business is a good strategy, mainly because everyone is online these days. In addition, the internet is filled with numerous opportunities you can explore to ensure your business success. However, before you get started, you’ll have to plan well ahead, so that you avoid making some of the most common mistakes that can easily ruin your business right from the start. With that in mind, here are a few tips for starting your own online business.

Conduct thorough market research

The very first step of starting your own business is market research. Without proper research, you’ll basically be improvising and going in blind. Research can help you obtain the necessary information required to make more strategic decisions and develop, as well as grow, your business further. As an example, market research can help you determine the market need for your products or services, identify your target audience, conduct a competitive analysis and identify market trends, among other things. The information you obtain from market research will not only help you get started, but it will also aid you in making future plans. 

A business plan is essential for starting an online business. It will help you determine how to proceed once you’re ready to launch your business on the market. A business plan is an outline of your company and your goals. It’s also a foundation for your business strategies. For instance, a business plan consists of a few things.

•    Executive summary

•    Industry overview

•    Market and competitive analysis

•    Marketing and sales plan

•    Ownership and management plan

•    Financial plan

•    Operating plan

Simply put, a business plan will help you run your business and make executive decisions that will contribute to the overall success of your online endeavor. 

Develop a website

It’s quite obvious that you need a website for your online business, but not just any website will do. As a matter of fact, online consumers pay special attention to details when website design and performance are involved. In order to satisfy their needs and meet their expectations, you’ll have to optimize your website well. That includes ensuring that your website is fast, responsive, secured, easy to navigate, user-friendly and visually pleasing. If you don’t ensure every website factor is properly optimized and performing well, you’ll lose customers simply because you couldn’t provide them with an exceptional and seamless experience.

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Take care of finances

It’s no secret that starting a business requires a hefty investment. What’s more, you must ensure that you have enough funds to support your business until it becomes profitable. Many startups fail because their owners ran out of money midway. That’s why you should make sure you can avoid such an inconvenience.

Therefore, ensure proper funding by having enough capital to begin with, or seek outside funding from friends and family, angel investors, venture capital, crowdfunding and so on. Click To Tweet

In addition, while you wait for profits to start coming in, consider other income sources that will improve your financial status, such as becoming a casino affiliate or getting a side job, to name a few. Simply put, the sooner you ensure proper funding for your business, the sooner you can stop worrying about your finances. 

Focus on marketing

Digital marketing is essential for online businesses. As mentioned before, the online market is over-saturated and competitive, but good marketing can easily level the field for your business. Furthermore, experts suggest that the more you invest in marketing, the more effective it will be. That being said, you need to understand that you don’t have to overspend to get viable results. In fact, you can consider cheaper marketing strategies, such as social media marketing, email and other inbound methods until your business is stable enough financially to explore other marketing strategies and campaigns. 

So, even though starting an online business of your own may be a daunting and a challenging task, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

If you plan ahead and make an effort to research your options, you'll be able to avoid making unnecessary mistakes and ensure your business success. Click To Tweet
How to Choose the Right Computer That Suits Your Freelance Work

How to Choose the Right Computer That Suits Your Freelance Work

It’s no secret that freelancers and virtual assistants enjoy a bit more freedom and flexibility when it comes to work. You get to work from home and set your own pace, which is something many people are envious of. However, being a freelancer means you’re on your own when it comes to obtaining the necessary equipment. Whereas in the office, you’d get what you need. 

Nevertheless, when looking at the bright side, you still get the freedom to choose which equipment you’ll use, instead of having to work with what you get. Without mentioning other necessities, you’ll most definitely need a computer. After all, without the modern computing power and fast Internet speed, freelance work as we all know it wouldn’t even be possible today. That being said, here’s how to choose the right computer that suits your freelance work.

Desktop or Laptop

Deciding between a desktop or a laptop computer manly comes down to a personal choice and your needs. Still, there are a few things you should be aware of to help you make the decision. Desktop computers are stationary, which makes them difficult to move around. However, they’re mostly a lot cheaper than laptops and you can easily upgrade or replace hardware components. As for the laptops, they are light and mobile, which makes it easy to bring them along with you wherever you go. 

For example, if you head to a vacation, but decide to work a bit regardless, a laptop will come in handy. The drawback however, is that laptops generally cost more, components are oftentimes impossible to replace because they’re integrated and you can’t always add hardware as you please. Therefore, if something breaks down, you may have to replace the laptop altogether. Nevertheless, they are a bit more convenient than desktop computers. 

How fast should it be?

As mentioned before, computing power has increased significantly in the past few years. Nowadays, modern computers are easily able to meet your needs based on the hardware they pack. That being said, how fast should your computer actually be? Again, that comes down to your needs and even if the computer is faster than you actually need it to be, it’s always a good thing. 

Therefore, when determining the speed of a computer, you need to focus on the processor (CPU) and working memory (RAM). If your work doesn’t require high-end hardware, a 2 GHz CPU and at least 8 GB of RAM should meet your everyday needs. For instance, a reliable Lenovo X1 Yoga is both a laptop and a touchpad which has enough power to match your requirements. Computers with more than 3 GHz CPU and 16 GB of RAM are considered top-performing machines. 

What about the graphics?

Nowadays, people are generally obsessed with graphics and screen resolution.

The more realistic the imagery is, the more appealing it seems to be. Click To Tweet

However, if you’re not a freelance graphics designer or a game developer, you needn’t worry too much about the graphics card component in your computer (GPU). Laptops often come with integrated GPUs, which are quite suitable for everyday needs. On the other hand, gaming laptops, which can also be used for work and not just games, come with more powerful GPUs. 

If you opt for a desktop computer, you can choose which type of GPU it will have. If you work in a highly visual environment, a strong GPU is a must. Nvidia and AMD are leading GPU manufacturers and they both have unique offers. It comes down to what you need and what you can afford. Basically, a GPU with 2 GB of RAM is sufficient, anything above that is for more demanding work or gaming related tasks. 

Don’t forget the storage space

Storage is an essential feature when choosing a computer. Once again, your needs are a determining factor for choosing a desktop or laptop and choosing a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD). If you opt for a desktop computer, you can always add more storage by adding additional drives. Laptops, however, don’t have the space for more drives and you might have to choose to add external drives instead. 

The difference between HDD and SSD is in performance and price. HDDs are mechanical and they break down eventually. On the other hand, SSDs are electronic and they are much faster than their predecessors. As for the storage, 1TB of space is considered a standard these days. You can always add more or choose a drive with more space if you need to do so.

Working as a freelancer gives you some freedom, but you still need a reliable computer to help you do your work efficiently. Choosing the right computer may be difficult, but make sure you choose the one that will meet your everyday needs.