More and more of Generation Z is abandoning the idea of working for a boss in favor of working for themselves, and this is true for several reasons. For one, job markets everywhere are very volatile. It can be difficult even getting an interview in some industries, leaving many Gen Zers to their own devices to start and grow a career.
While ditching the boss to become the boss might sound like an attractive prospect, it is easier said than done, especially given the costs involved in starting a traditional business. Fortunately, the internet is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs that are not bound to tradition. It doesn’t have to cost much to get an online business up and running.
The only question that remains, then, is: “How do I get started?” Here are six suggestions that we think will provide any novice who barely knows how to write a narrative essay with enough inspiration and confidence to get started on a fast path to success.
Decide What You Want to Do
There is a virtually endless selection of online businesses that can be started by average people with little to no money to invest. First and foremost, it is essential to select a business that meets with your tastes, interests, knowledge, and talents. Some popular online companies that have low startup costs include:
- Online Retailing (E-commerce)
- Professional Blogging and Copywriting
- Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA)
- Graphic Designer
- Website Designer
- Audio and Video Producer/Editor
While some of those things require some prior training and expertise, most have free or inexpensive online resources that will teach you at least the basics. Anything you might have a knack for can be parlayed into a successful online business if there’s a market for it.
Properly Vet The Market
Always do your research to ensure that you aren’t entering into an already over-served niche or saturated market. Even if your product or service is the best there is, it will be difficult to market it if you already have tons of competition.
Invest In Your Site Domain
Any reputable business has its own unique, branded online space. If, for example, you decide to open up a store on Shopify, don’t use the standard myshopify.com domain. Purchase your domain. They cost about $15 a year, on average. The same rule applies in any other industry. The only way to grow a brand is to demonstrate its identity and self-sufficiency online. You must create brand identity and authority for the niche you decide to start doing business in.
Start A Blog
No matter what product you sell or what service you provide, there isn’t an industry or niche out there whose marketing efforts wouldn’t be well-served by maintaining a blog. Through blogging, you have the best opportunity to show people what you know and how good you are at what you do. Again, you are building authority and credibility in your niche. Update your blog regularly, and make sure your potential customers know it’s there.
Promote on Social Media
Social media marketing is an essential marketing strategy. Decide which social platforms best fit your brand and your consumers to begin engaging your audience(s). How do you grow that audience? By being active on channels where your potential customers hang out. Engage in conversations, leave likes and comments, and be sure to follow a few influencers in key niches. If it comes down to it, you can buy paid ads for as little as $1 a day to extend your reach and connect with a more targeted audience.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
If your idea isn’t working, shut it down and try something else. Don’t become so attached to one idea that you aren’t willing to try something different in the interest of making money. Stick with what you know and like, but be sure you know what the current market wants.
We hope the above advice helps put some good ideas in your head and provides the tools needed to get started. These six steps form the framework for a successful first online business venture.