Over recent years, the habits of customers and the way they spend money has changed rather dramatically. More people than ever before now shop online, as it becomes the norm for people around the world, including in the United Kingdom. This has been propelled by the recent Coronavirus pandemic, which led to everyone being stuck indoors and making purchases from their homes online.
In the past, businesses have often used online counterparts to generate additional revenue, but as time has gone on it has become a far more viable area in which to generate the main portion of a company’s profits.
In 2020, 87% of UK internet users made online purchases up from 78% in 2018. The online shopping penetration in the UK is quite high when compared to other countries. The penetration has also been steadily increasing over time. In 2008, only a decade ago, online shopping penetration in the UK was only 53%.
Starting an online business venture
With any small business, the initial steps to beginning to exchange online includes conducting market research to distinguish your target market, survey interest, analyse the competition and response to your costs from potential customers. You likewise need to develop and deliver a detailed business plan.
Assuming that sales are likely going to surpass £85,000 in any year time frame, you should become VAT-registered. You’ll likewise have to pay tax, as per your status as a sole broker, restricted organisation, and so forth Online brokers should likewise observe data security regulation, obviously, while putting away significant data about clients.
Marketing will generally decide your business site’s prosperity and search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial to this. Fundamentally, it implies utilising words on your website that guarantee high placing in results on search engines (e.g., Google) results pages. You could likewise use paid-for advertising services like Google Adwords, for which you’re charged on a pay-per-click basis.
Choose your online business model
Once you have established what your online business is going to be all about, you’re now able to think about how you’re going to make money from it.
If you’re starting an online shop or otherwise selling products, downloads or services on your site, you’ll operate on an ecommerce business model, making revenue from sales.
If you’re starting your own ecommerce website, you might also want to take a look at our step-by-step guide to starting an ecommerce business.
However, if your website is to have a different purpose – for example, to provide on-site entertainment or informational resources to visitors – there are three main ways to go about monetising it:
- Advertising. Businesses pay you to advertise on your site (usually via visual ads or sponsored content). The more traffic you attract, the more you can charge clients. The content on such websites tends to be free for customers to access.
- Subscription. These sites tend to be ad-free, and instead make money by having the customer pay a one-off charge or a regular subscription fee in order to access the online service or website’s content.
- Fremium. This business model involves giving the customer access to a basic version of your online service for free, but asking that they pay for additional premium features and privileges.
The model that works best for you will depend on what your online business is doing, and what you aim to achieve with it. With this in mind you can of course, base your site around a combination of these.
How to start an online business with no money
starting you business with no money is not simple, but you can start an online venture in your spare time, we look at ways you can get an online business up and running without no or a little amount of money.
Creating a business website
All businesses that exist in the digital age which we are all currently living in need a website. There aren’t really any other ways to look at it; if you want to achieve a high level of success, you’re going to need to have an online presence.
The easiest way for people to find your company will be through a search engine such as Google, that’s how most people will attempt to find out more about your venture. Therefore, when people search for your company on Google and fail to find a legitimate website attached to the business, they’ll stop searching immediately and look elsewhere for other similar firms. You do not want to let this happen, so you’re going to have to build a website.
What you should include on your website
Your business’ website must include the following:
- your address and contact details
- terms and conditions
- exchange and refund policy
- quality commitment
- information about delivery and payment
Stock availability and pricing ought to be updated consistently and you should state the VAT and postage and packaging per item bought.
To gather payments, you want to incorporate a shopping basket feature, just as a protected means by which customers can enter their credit card details when completing a transaction. Most online specialists give a shopping basket capacity and payment facility as a feature of their service. Online site building bundles will provide this service, as well.
You additionally need a merchant account to gather payments. Suppliers, for example, PayPal are well known, however you ought to likewise enquire at your bank. You pay a service charge on every transaction, a set-up and month to month administration expense.
Test and secure your website
You should always thoroughly test your website before publishing it live to the public. You don’t want to launch the face of your business with several problems, or things can turn out ugly and get you off to a bad start. Ask your friends and family members what they think to it before setting it to go live.
Also, try to remember that running a business online does not mean you are starting your own company minus the risk element attached to physical premises. You will need funding to make your business dreams a reality and consequences will arrive at your door if the whole thing goes wrong.
We can help you get things off to the best possible start
As a leading provider of revenue-based financing, we offer a product called – Merchant cash advance for E-commerce. These are also known as business cash advance; it offers a quick and flexible way of obtaining working capital for your e-commerce online business. The total amount of money you are offered via your loan will be based on your average monthly card sales. This means that the more money you make each month, the more money you will be able to borrow.