10 Steps To Start An Online Business In Nigeria
With an increasing global uneployment rate and a dire need for people to have at least one alternative source of income, the online business space is getting more attention than ever. The ease of growing a business online without a physical office has made it more affordable and lucrative to new and existing entrepreneurs.
What then does it take to start an online business? How are the successful few online businesses doing it? What does it take to play a big part in the internet space?
If you’re thinking of how to start an online business or trying to know what it takes, here are 10 steps to start an online business in Nigeria, Kenya, or anywhere else in the world:
1). Find A Problem, And Address It:
The first step to starting an online business is to identify a problem people face everyday, and find creative ways to fill the need. It could be that people find it difficult viewing and comparing thousands of hotel rooms and prices, viewing and comparing thousands of event centres at a go, buying items online from the comfort of their homes instead of the troubles of a market, searching for information on the internet, and much more.
When you identify a problem people face offline and would love to find the easiest & most cost effective solution, you can then proceed to build a plan around bringing it to fruition.
2). Write A Business Plan:
After spotting an obvious problem, you need to structure a plan on how you’re going to execute it. Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. Planning and execution is everything when it comes to ensuring the success of any new business.
The first way to get around the planning phase is to write a business plan. This is especially important if you’re going to seek a bank loan or meet with investors. While some may require a business plan, others may require a business model canvas.
Irrespective of what criteria investors, banks, or you require to start-off your business, having and working with a plan is crucial to your success.
3). Register Your Domain Name:
After you’ve identified a good online business idea and have a plan to back it up, you should proceed to pick a great name for your new startup.
Picking the right name is a very important step. It must be one that is preferably short, can be easily spelt, and has some relatable meaning. All this is important; especially when you’re bootstrapping. When you have a lot of money to run a business, an aggressive promotion could stamp any name you choose on the minds of people who consistently see your brand’s advert, but when you have a little to no startup capital, the name you choose must be carefully selected.
Examples of businesses with great domain names are www.apple.com, www.microsoft.com, www.facebook.com, and several others.
4). Register Your Business:
After registering a domain name, you should proceed to register your business within the country you intend to run it from. Doing this ensures you have all the required licences to run such an online venture, and are not breaking any local laws; especially trying to covertly evade tax payments.
5). Build A Functional Website:
After or during your business registration, you should employ the services of a professional web developer to bring your ideas to life.
If it’s an e-commerce startup, you could use WordPress, BigCommerce, or Shopify to easily set it up yourself. For more complex ideas, a web developer that fully understands what you want to achieve should be commissioned to handle the project.
Although professional web development prices vary, you should pick a developer with some professional web development experience, especially in custom web application development, and that offers you the most affordable pricing for good results.
6). Pay For Web Hosting:
The next step is to host your website online. A great place to do this is Bluehost or Godaddy. They provide a highly robust environment for web developers to upload the contents of any website.
By hosting your website online, your domain name would be accessible from anywhere in the world.
7). Register A Merchant Account:
You should then setup an online merchant account. By doing this, you’d be able to integrate online payment services on your website. Some great platforms to setup a merchant account on are Interswitch, Paga, Paypal, and a host of others.
When the account is setup, your web developer can integrate the payment gateway on your platform and have you receiving payments as soon as your startup launches.
8). Setup Your Social Media Channels:
After registering your merchant account and having a functional website online, the next step is to setup your social media accounts. This involves creating your brand profiles on facebook, twitter, instagram, and a couple of others. Doing this brings you closer to your fans and helps you build a better relationship when you’re not trying to sell anything to them.
9). Add Valuable Content:
If you’re setting up an online store, a blog, or any internet startup at all, you need to have great content people would find highly valuable.
If it’s an eCommerce store, you need to have great looking products at good prices in all the right categories, so people don’t think your website is empty or a scam.
Same with any other startup; ensure you have the right items in the right places throughout the whole website.
10). Monetize Your Online Business:
This is where you determine how you intend to make money from your online business. It could be through selling services or products online, affiliate marketing, putting up ads, and much more.
Defining and executing your revenue model is crucial to keeping the lights on, till your online business scales.
What are your thoughts on this article about how to start an online business in Nigeria, Kenya, or anywhere else in the world? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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