Starting an Online Business: Easy Guide for Beginners
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When you own an online business, you can set your own hours, work from anywhere, and make a living on the Internet. Online businesses can also have low startup costs, making them perfect for a new entrepreneur without a lot of funds. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start an online business, as well as online business ideas for beginners.
How to Start An Online Business In The Philippines: A Comprehensive Guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can start an online business.
- Decide what type of online business you want to start.
The first thing you need to do is to decide what type of online business you want to start. As you’ll learn, there are many options out there, and depending on the type you choose, you’ll have different ways to monetize your business and make profit. Some of the most popular types of online businesses are:
- Websites selling digital products (e.g. online courses, eBooks, etc.)
- eCommerce stores selling physical products (e.g. Shopee, Lazada, etc.)
- Selling Services (e.g. web design, digital marketing agencies, etc.)
- Niche blogs (fashion blogs, travel blogs, etc.)
2. Find your niche.
Now that you’ve got an idea of the different types of online businesses that you can start, the next step is finding your niche. One common path to success for many small businesses is finding a niche market and establishing themselves a dominant figure in that niche. After all, no large retailer can be all things to all people – there will always be sections of the population whose needs for a particular service or product are unmet. This space is where a small business can penetrate a market. Here are some tips to help you find a niche market.
- Reflect on your interests and passions. Running a business isn’t easy, and if you’re working in an area that you don’t care about, your odds of quitting will increase significantly. So, reflect on your interests and passions, and brainstorm ideas to consider for your business’s niche market.
- Identify customers’ needs and problems. Think of the problems faced by your target market – what can you offer to help solve it?
- Research the competition. Before devoting your energy, time, and money in developing a brand new business, you’ll want to research your potential competitors first. You might have a viable product/service idea, but how many other businesses will you have to compete with?
3. Define and understand your target market.
So, you’ve got a great business idea and found your niche. What do you do next? First, know your market. Avoid making the common mistake of first-time entrepreneurs: sourcing their products without doing market research first. Here are some questions that can help you out.
- Who are your target customers?
- What are their needs and problems?
- How will your online business meet their needs and/or solve their problem?
You can find the answers to these questions on the internet – check online communities such as Reddit, Quora, or use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to find out the usual questions people ask related to the service or product you’re planning to offer. Conducting face-to-face surveys is also a great way to get to know your market better.
Also, look into how other online businesses in the same field are addressing customer needs. Check out the websites of your potential customers and see what they’re doing to solve their customer’s problems.
4. Choose your business name.
It’s worth taking some time to choose a memorable, unique name for your online business. A unique business name:
- Makes you more memorable to your customers
- Helps you brand and market your business
- Minimizes the chance that a similarly named company will accuse you of trademark infringement
- Increases the chance that you’ll be able to register a domain name that matches your business name
Once you’ve got a name in mind, you can conduct a Google search to see if any similarly named businesses come up. You can also searched trademarked names at The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). If your desired business name is available, you’re good to go!
5. Register your online business.
Is it necessary to register an online business? When it comes to online business registration in the Philippines, the same regulation rules apply as with traditional business. Before starting an online business, make sure it’s legal to operate and has the required licenses and permits. Make sure to register with these government offices:
- Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC
- Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
- Local government
6. Look for suppliers.
At this point, you’ve decided on your niche market and what products/services you want to sell. Now, it’s time to source your products, equipment, materials, and other things you need to get your online business up and running. Identify and find reputable suppliers and wholesale distributors that sell high-quality products at reasonable prices. This way, you can offer competitive rates to your customers, while still earning a profit. But, how do you find reputable suppliers for your online business? Ask for recommendations from people you know. Attend trade events and bazaars in your industry. Check the internet, particularly buy-and-sell-websites.
7. Build your business website.
Now is the time to build your online storefront. While many online businesses start – and thrive – on having a Facebook page alone, investing in your own website makes your business look more credible and professional in the eyes of your target customers. You can either build a website on your own or hire a professional web designer to do it for you. You can create an online presence of your business in different ways.
- Marketplace or E-Commerce Site.
E-Commerce sites are ideal for online businesses that sell physical goods like clothes, shoes, accessories, and more. An e-commerce site allows you to sell your products directly to customers without a go-between. Some of the popular e-commerce platforms in the Philippines include BigBuybay, Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon.
BigBuyBay.com is a marketplace purposely created and developed to support the Philippines’ Small and Medium Local Merchants. It offers a free product listing, and free sales and customer support.
Fortunately for the merchants who sell products in BigBuyBay.com marketplace, delivery service couriers is no longer an issue.
JAS Intermodal Logistics, Inc. is the dedicated logistic partner of BigBuyBay.com.
All Merchants in BigBuyBay.com marketplace is guaranteed to have a dedicated logistic partner who will pick-up and deliver their products to their respective customers, including the collection of the corresponding payment of the items sold, if the term is Cash-On-Delivery.
- Customized Business Site.
Want your online business to look more credible and professional? Build your own customized business website! You can either build a website on your own or hire a professional web designer to do it for you.
Once you’ve chosen your niche market, established your business name, filed the necessary paperwork, and set up your website, you’re ready to get going with your online business. But remember, the internet is a busy place and you can’t just sit back and wait for customers to come to you. You need to actively promote your business through social media, online advertising, and word-of-mouth.
Online Business Ideas for Beginners
Now that you know how to start an online business, here are some of the best online business ideas that you can try.
- Virtual Assistant
- Social Media Consultant
- Social Media Management
- SEO Consultant
- Web Designer
- Web Developer
- Affiliate Marketer
- Graphic Designer
- Freelance Writer
- Remote Tutor
- Online Advertising Specialist
- Virtual Tech Support
- Marketing Consultant
- Life Coach
- Direct Sales Marketer
- Financial Consultant
- Information Marketer
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Digital Marketing
- Online Video Production
- And more!
Still hesitant about starting an online business in the Philippines? Don’t be afraid!
Starting an online business is no different from that of starting a brick-and-mortar enterprise. You’ll experience the usual trial and errors, ups and downs. But once you make it through the initial struggles, you’ll realize that the time, effort, and money you spent is worth it. Contact us if you are interested to start an online reseller business.
Good luck on your online business journey!