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How to Start an Online Business

Are you an employee looking for an online side hustle? Or do you want to start an online business but don’t know how to begin? 

Starting an online business can be very confusing because there are so many options. However, there are 2 things to have in mind when starting an online business; you either sell a service or sell a product. Selling a service means trading your expertise and skills while selling a product could be an intangible product like software or a physical item you could sell/deliver.

 Before you start an online business, ask yourself the following questions.

What the profit margin?

The profit margin, which can be high or low, is critical in business. For example, you sell a product for 3,500 naira that costs you 3,000 naira to produce/acquire. You have a 500 naira profit margin. A low-profit margin can be challenging especially if you’re thinking of scaling your business. You’ll have personal bills and expenses, and settling those bills would not give you enough to scale your business. On the other hand, if you buy something for 1,000 naira and sell it for 5,000 naira, here your profit is better. Business is a game of margins and not volume. Just because there are many transactions and volumes doesn’t mean that a good profit is being made. 

Are your clients actively looking for solutions? 

Are your customers looking to buy what you have to offer? Do not assume that they will be interested in it because people around you love it. Check keywords to see if people are looking for your intended product or services online. It’s much easier to sell something for which there is existing demand. 

Is it trending?

For instance CDs; people hardly listen to music on a CD. Maybe on iTunes or mp3, because CDs are no longer on-trend. To start an online business, ensure your intended product or service is on-trend, that a lot of people are searching for it, and also has good profit margins.  Also, seek out good manufacturers where you can buy low and sell high. 

Do you have skills and abilities? 

The truth is that as much as you want to be your boss and start your business, a personal or online business is not for everyone. Some of us are better at white-collar jobs and not created to be business owners; such persons should stick to it. If you have a passion for a certain business, invest in yourself by acquiring the skills needed to run that business. If you have the skills, I advise you to stay up-to-date on the latest trends of the business and the regular demands of clients to avoid being outdated  

After you have gone through all these stages and can find the ideal product or business you’re interested in, start small; pick a couple of products, market them, carry out relevant research, and learn more about the business. As you market better, you gain more experience and begin to expand. 

It does not matter if it’s a service business or a product business; if you’re serious about starting your own online business, you don’t have to get it right from the outset, you just have to get it going.

READ MORE: 7 Proven Ways To Make Money Online In Nigeria

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