When you start an online business, hundreds of different questions arise.
How much money do you need to start a business online? How to register your business? How to create a website? How to choose a target audience? What promotion tactics should you use?
Choosing a business idea is one of the easiest tasks. But its implementation is something that you really have to work on.
Everyone wants to attract more visitors, leads and customers. But don’t hope that as soon as you launch your project, “they will come”. In order for a business to be successful, you need to develop a business plan, find money, go through the state registration procedure, choose partners, find the best tools and systems … and solve many other problems.
Don’t worry, we’ll help you figure it out. In this article, you’ll find a guide to starting your own business online with helpful tips and advice. Let’s start!
1. Company registration
Any aspiring entrepreneur will first have to plunge into the world of bureaucracy in order to officially register their business. At this stage, it is necessary to determine the form of ownership of the future business, give the company a name and go through the registration procedure.
The most popular organizational and legal forms of small businesses are individual entrepreneurs and LLCs.
This is the simplest and most accessible form of ownership.
- Registration will take no more than a week.
- All the money earned by the SP is his own money, he can freely dispose of it.
- Individual entrepreneurs do not need to maintain full-fledged accounting records.
- It will take no more than a week to close the IP.
- An individual entrepreneur is not obliged to draw up cash documents.
- An individual entrepreneur can operate in any region, regardless of the place of registration.
- Insurance premiums to be paid even when there is no activity.
- The individual entrepreneur is responsible for the debts with his personal property.
- An individual entrepreneur cannot engage in some activities.
- An individual entrepreneur cannot divide or sell his business.
Limited Liability Company
If you decide to open an LLC, get ready for more responsibility and a lengthy document preparation process.
- Liability is limited only to the amount of the contribution, the founder does not risk personal property.
- An LLC can be sold or bought.
- The amount of insurance premiums depends on the profit.
- Complicated registration procedure.
- Obligatory registration of a current account and a seal.
- Full-fledged bookkeeping and reporting.
- The profit can not be used immediately.
- Higher fines and state fees.
- To operate in other regions, the LLC needs to create branches.
Choosing And Registering a Company Name
The name of the organization is given during the registration of the form of ownership. To register a name as a trademark, you must submit an application to the FIPS, be verified and obtain a certificate.
It is worth paying special attention to the fact that individual entrepreneurs cannot give a name to their business. It will be built according to the template “IP + full name of the entrepreneur”. For example, “IP Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich”. In this case, you can use a commercial definition, which will replace the name of the company for an individual entrepreneur.
To register an individual entrepreneur, you must:
- Collect a package of documents: an application, a copy of the passport, a receipt for payment of the state duty.
- Submit documents for consideration to the tax office at the place of registration.
- Obtain documents on state registration.
To register an LLC, you must:
- Prepare a package of documents: application, charter, agreement on establishment, protocol on establishment, receipt of payment of state duty, document to the legal address.
- Submit documents for consideration to the tax office at the place of registration of the director or manager.
- Obtain documents on state registration: record sheet and a copy of the charter with a mark of the registering authority.
You can choose from the following taxation systems:
1. General system of taxation
An organization that has chosen this system will have to maintain full-fledged accounting, as well as pay all general taxes and submit reports on them:
- Income tax – for LLC 20% of the difference between income and expenses, for individual income tax individual 13%
- Real estate tax, if the organization has it
- VAT – 18% on goods and services sold and reduced by VAT, which is paid to suppliers
2. Simplified taxation system
Ideal for individual entrepreneurs and small companies. Instead of three taxes, you will have to pay only once and once a quarter, and submit reports only once a year. In this case, you can select the object of taxation:
- Income – rate from 1% to 6%
- Income minus expenses – rate from 5% to 15%
The advantage of such a system is that it is possible to keep tax records without involving an accountant.
2. Marketing and sales
So, you registered your business and completed all the documents. What’s next? Now you need to attract customers.
Before you can get significant funding, you need to establish an online presence and start promoting your business to sell products and services. But just attracting customers is not enough, you still need to keep them.
Small Business Marketing
You need to start creating audience interest in the brand proposal even before launching the project. What platforms and tricks to choose for this? Here are some things to watch out for:
- Buyers’ personas. It all depends on your potential customers. Without sufficient knowledge about the target audience, it is impossible to effectively sell a product. Ask yourself the question: Who is interested in what I have to offer? Study these people, determine what messages will appeal to them. Take into account their interests, lifestyle, environment, goals and problems, their age, preferences in choosing social platforms, etc. Creating buyer personas can help you improve business performance.
- Brand identity. A strong brand identity should also be considered before starting a business . It will express the values, concepts, approach to communications and emotions that will arise when interacting with your company. Identity will make your business look more professional and help attract new customers.
- Online presence. Now you can start creating the main marketing elements of your business – website, blog, email tool, conversion tool, and social media accounts.
- Generation and development of leads. After building an online presence and building brand awareness, you can start generating leads and converting them into customers. Leads are users who have shared their personal information with you. A successful lead generation engine will allow you to regularly fill your sales funnel without putting in much effort.
Selling Products And Services
Once you’ve started building interest in your offering, there are two questions to answer: What will your sales process look like? and Who will sell your offer?
When you start a business, you may only have one or two salespeople on your team. You may need to take over this direction first. To develop faster, follow these tips:
- Establish a sales infrastructure. Start with CRM – a central database of all customers.
- Choose your sales goals. Determine how much income you need to generate for the business to survive. How many products do you need to sell to reach your goal?
- Hire a sales person. Hiring a specialist will allow your business to grow faster.
- Improve sales performance. Automate the sales process and apply cutting-edge technologies and strategies to optimize your efforts .
Strengthening Customer Loyalty
Attracting new customers is important, but retaining them is even more important. Offer them an amazing experience and turn them into true fans of the brand .
The idea of creating a customer success model should be central to your organization. Keep a close eye on consumer feedback, create a brand style guide, and adhere to uniform communication guidelines. Follow these guidelines:
- Respond quickly. Users expect a quick response, which is why it is very important to regularly offer excellent service and convenient support . Always try to justify the credibility of the brand.
- Track the touchpoints of each customer. Don’t forget about the context of each client, consider the specifics of their experience and the history of interaction with the company.
- Ask for feedback. After you close your very first deal, start actively collecting customer feedback. This is very valuable information that will help build trust in your brand with potential buyers.
- Create a page with answers to frequently asked questions. Let users find the answers to their own questions.
3. Financing small businesses
From the moment you set up your business to the day you can generate significant profits, you need to continually fund operations and development. Some entrepreneurs have sufficient financial resources or support from family and friends. This approach to financing gives owners an enviable flexibility, but all risks will have to be answered with their own wallet.
Many entrepreneurs have to look for additional sources of funding. Here are the options:
- Lending. One of the most common business financing options. Apply to the bank and wait for approval.
- Investment. This option is more suitable for large projects. To implement it, you need to find investors and convince them of the prospects of your business. In this case, the investor will receive a part of the company’s profit.
- Technoparks and business incubators. These are platforms for introducing scientific developments into production. They offer preferential rentals, expert advice and financial support.
- Grants. In this case, financing is carried out at the expense of public funds. To receive a grant, you must submit an application and pass a competitive selection.
- Crowdfunding. This promising option for obtaining financing implies an appeal not to potential co-owners, but to potential clients. Create a description of your business on special services and offer rewards for donations. Now any user can contribute to your business.
It’s up to you
We hope this guide has helped you better understand how to start your own online business, from formalizing your business to marketing and selling your products. Now it’s up to you. Good luck!