Starting an Online Business: Dos and Don’ts for Success

Owning an online business has its perks. You choose your hours, work from home and make money doing what you love. However, it’s not so easy to become an e-commerce expert, and unprepared entrepreneurs often fail. Follow these tips for the most successful start to your online business.

DO: Pick a short, snappy name for your online business.

Long URLs and generic business names are hard for customers to remember. The ideal business URL is less than 20 characters and contains a keyword for your field (like accounting, art, freelance or construction). The process of picking a punchy name helps you develop your business idea and find your focus.

DO: Create a sustainable business plan.

You’ve got tons of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm right now, and you need to keep that energy going for months or years. Avoid ideas that require an overwhelming time commitment with no promise of profits. Aim to start an online business that fits into your life. Slow and steady growth wins the e-commerce race.

DO: Act professionally in all situations.

Whether it’s on your own website, on social media or at an in-person networking event, be confident and polite. Remember, you’re not only representing yourself, but you’re also representing your brand. Due to the nature of social media, any missteps can be broadcast to hundreds easily and instantly. A polite “No, thank you,” or a timely apology can cement your positive reputation with customers.

DO: Research your market.

Know what you’re up against. Check out competitors’ prices and services to get an idea of the online market and some writing and helping tips for your business. You might find out that you have to refine your idea to have a fighting chance in the online business world.

DON’T: Be a cheapskate.

Low prices for writing, editing, graphic design, and website creation can seem appealing, but there are usually hidden costs. You may end up with an unprofessional product or lose money on fly-by-night freelancers. Though you don’t have to spend thousands on top-of-the-line products, paying a little extra for quality work can save your business, your reputation, and your sanity.

DON’T: Copy what’s already been done.

There are some great ideas for online businesses that have already been done. If you like another business idea, find a way to make it yours. You need to give customers a reason to choose your business and your brand. Accessibility, better pricing, superior products, and personalized service can set your online business apart in a crowded market.

DON’T: Give up too soon.

Running a successful online business takes time, money, dedication, skill and a certain amount of luck. Be aware that overnight success is incredibly unlikely. That’s not a reason to avoid starting an online business; you just need to be prepared for the long haul.

Running your own online business can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Prepare yourself before you start an online business for the best shot at success. You’re selling your product, but you are also selling your ideas, your passion, and your personality. No one else on the market can match that. With the right research and marketing, you can turn that passion into profit.