Every online startup needs to start somewhere. That starting point actually comes quite a long way before the launch of your new business. It might begin with an idea, but that idea will need development and research to determine its viability. Once you’ve convinced yourself that it’s an idea worth pursuing, you might have to convince an investor or two as well.
Whether you need funding or not, you definitely need a plan of action to get your idea into the marketplace and selling.
How To Develop A Plan
A plan can be made on any scrap bit of paper, but if you want it to be useful, it’s worth creating a formal document. Start by actually writing out in two or three sentences what your business is. What do you do? What is unique about it? Who does it help and why? Clarifying your thoughts about your intentions starts with your reason for being. That spark of ingenuity that led to that big idea happened for a reason. Who else will benefit?
How Long And How Much?
Next, decide how much time each week you can realistically devote to your business. All the intentions in the world won’t create more than twenty-four hours in a day. Be sensible. A burn-out is a real possibility. Give yourself time to be creative, relaxed, asleep and with friends. Start setting out a schedule that fits that timetable. You might choose to start with your company website.
Service Or Products?
If you’re planning to sell your products or services online, then you need to start an ecommerce website. There is a very comprehensive guide to getting going with this. In a nutshell, you need to choose the right host, the right security package, and the right marketing approach. If other people sell what you sell, you must differentiate yourself. A lot of this comes from your branding. Position yourself so you can reach a neglected corner of the market.
By now you’ve probably done a little bit of research on your competitors. Have you done any research on the marketplace? How big is it? What demographic can you reach? How can you reach them? Once you’ve researched your market, you need to do your marketing research. How do your competitors reach their customers? What campaigns are they currently running? Who are the influencers that could help you? Develop your own strategy and create a marketing plan that can work with your resources for your target customers.
What Does It Take To Launch?
There are two types of launch. A soft launch is where you set everything in motion and effectively check it works. Your website will go live, your first customers might turn up, and you’ll soon iron out the bumps. The formal launch might involve a press release and some PR. There will be promotions running, and you’ll set up a lot of hype to generate excitement and interest in your products or services. The big day might see a large event and extra discounts. This is a lot of work but could see a rapid surge in sales. Now, of course, the real work begins!