The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven't changed at all. If you're just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you've been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there's a step you're neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can't go wrong with the basics.
Figure out the audience for your business plan. A business plan might be read by any number of individuals. Oftentimes, a business plan is written for investors or loan officers who need to quickly and thoroughly understand the nature of your business and your plan for success. This demonstrates that you have thought through key questions such as marketing and financial aspects, which will contribute to your ability to repay a loan or make a venture profitable for an investor.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
I know what you're thinking. How do you start a webinar business? Well, webinars are quite possibly one of the best ways that you can sell anything online. The best part? You don't even need your own product. Webinar guru, Jason Fladlien, co-founder of Rapid Crush, has grossed well north of $100 million in sales via webinars, which goes to show you the sheer power of this medium for selling.
Although OnDeck offers a large easy business loan up to $500,000 without a prepayment penalty, you do not benefit from early repayment like you would with Fundbox and Kabbage. OnDeck’s term loan repayment frequency is weekly or daily and lacks a monthly option. For less frequent payments, consider a line of credit from Kabbage, which offers monthly payments.
Register your business with the Vets First Verification Program to be eligible for special opportunities to do business with the government. Small businesses that are owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans, and verified through the program, may also be given priority when competing for federal contracts. Learn how to apply, and find out which documents you will need to submit. You can also find VA-certified business counselors in your state for free help.
Next, you need to set up and build your YouTube channel. Your YouTube channel is your homebase for all your content. If you already have a Google account for Gmail or Google Drive, then you can use that to log-in to YouTube and start setting up your channel. Pick a username that works for you and is memorable (if you’re using an existing Google account you’ll have to edit your username in Google+).
"A lot of startups tend to spend money on unnecessary things," said Jean Paldan, founder and CEO of Rare Form New Media. "We worked with a startup that had two employees but spent a huge amount on office space that would fit 20 people. They also leased a professional high-end printer that was more suited for a team of 100 (it had keycards to track who was printing what and when). Spend as little as possible when you start and only on the things that are essential for the business to grow and be a success. Luxuries can come when you're established."
The terms of an OnDeck Capital loan make it appealing to business owners who need funding for a large project or planned expenditure. Unlike Fundbox, OnDeck offers borrowers terms from three to 36 months, instead of selecting either 12 or 24 weeks. The $500,000 loan limit is the same as LoanBuilder, and the only option that offers a higher loan amount is BlueVine’s invoice factoring facility.
Social media is an integral part of any business but it’s time-consuming and ever-changing – so really quite difficult to keep up with and, more importantly, capitalize on. Many business owners are willing to outsource this time-intensive task, so it’s a great opportunity for social media fanatics. Bundle together a few interesting offers, such as “Startup social media kit” or “Small Business Social Media Starter Kit” that encompass everything from social media graphics to analytics reports and the seamless experience will bring you more clients than you expect.
Seek professional advice for specific sections. Some of the sections of a business plan may be confusing or you may be unfamiliar with them, such as the financial part or marketing section. Consult someone with expertise in these areas to help you. Even if you are developing a basic business plan, you should have some idea of how to approach elements about which you are unsure. The financial and marketing sections, for example, are often very confusing but are crucial to your overall plan.
Now, making money online should seem like a pleasurable activity. Why wouldn't we do just about anything to see things through, since it would be a major source of pleasure, right? Wrong. In the beginning, like anything else, we might get really excited about it. We might also set our hopes very high. But that all comes crashing down when we begin to fail.