The most frequently asked question by budding entrepreneurs is; where do I even start? Well, we think you should begin precisely where you are – at home. Starting your own business takes a lot of work, sacrifice and courage; all of this can feel overwhelming but starting small allows you to grow with your business. We advise entrepreneurs to ideally, start online and gradually move to brick and mortar (if that’s what your business requires).

E-commerce allows you to start your business from where you are with what you have. Here are a few reasons why starting an online business is the way to go in 2020:

  • Low overhead costs
  • The flexibility of working from anywhere and anytime
  • The speed of getting your business up and running in no time
  • Companies need to be online anyway, starting online is the best way to go

We are giving you a few tips to start your online business from the comfort of your home:

What are you selling? 

This question is the biggest puzzle you have to answer when starting a business of any kind. First, you need to figure out what the product you are selling is; this means you need to know the nitty-gritty of your product. From start to finish; how are you going to get the product into the hands of the customer? You need to find relevant suppliers and figure out how you are going to fulfil customer orders, logistically.

Part of knowing your product is also going beyond the physical product and also figuring out what value the customer gets from your product. Marketing genius Neil Patel’s blog has an excellent example with Apple computers. People do want the latest technology and a computer that can fulfil all their tasks, but they also are buying a fashion item; Apple fuses technology with fashion, and THAT is why most enthusiasts enjoy their machines. Same with your brand, find the value that your product brings to people, and that is what you sell.

Domain registration

Conduct a domain search on our domain search bar and select the domains that you want to register; add to cart and checkout. Registering domains in South Africa is seamless. Consider registering a .STORE domain extension for your online shop. Attaching your business name to a .STORE extension for as little as R299 a year can yield the following benefits:

  • The .STORE extension was created specifically for e-commerce and retail; it makes it clear that your online store sells something
  • .STORE is a keyword for online stores and having a keyword-rich domain helps your website SEO
  • It also helps with branding and visibility
  • .STORE will also help with making your business memorable to customers

Build your website

This part is where your vision comes to life. Build your online store and in under 10 minutes with a DIY website builder.

A web builder is tailored for the needs of small online businesses; jam-packed with features that will streamline your business operations and make reaching your goals conducive. Features include:

  • Easy drag-and-drop features to build your store in minutes 
  • Reliable payment gateways 
  • Receive orders to your inbox 
  • Add products, specs, and prices with ease
  • Free professional email accounts for your business 

Market your business

To people who are new to online marketing, it could be a bit intimidating doing everything yourself; if you have the funds for our Social Media Marketing packages (from R399 a month) by all means do that. But for young the entrepreneurs who may be low on financial resources, it’s more than okay to do it yourself.

Following these easy instructions from The Small Business Development Corporation will ensure that you have a cohesive marketing strategy:

  • Do your market research: understand your market, customers and competitors
  • Outline your target market: geo, demographic, behaviour and lifestyle
  • Identify your USP’s (unique selling points): identify the value that customers get from your product
  • Develop your business brand and identity: articulate your brand voice and identity clearly
  • Set up your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business)
  • Set your goals and budget: determine what you’re prepared to spend on marketing
  • Engage with your loyal customers: listen and engage to your customers
  • Monitor your engagement and leads: Regularly monitor your channels and respond promptly to customer queries  
  • Report and review: reporting is essential to keep abreast of your progress