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How to start a business online

Three steps to getting your online business off the ground

Article provided by 1-grid

The internet has revolutionised a lot of things but, one thing it has made more tangible and accessible is starting a business. People from all backgrounds are now, more than ever, empowered to make their entrepreneurial ambitions a reality. The global pandemic has had an immense impact on the South African economy and household incomes. Many people are trying to add additional streams of income to recuperate from the financial loss. If you are finding yourself on that boat, then starting a business from home is the way to go.

If you have a business idea that you want to bring to life, we’ll give you some tips to start an online business with little to no money.

1. What are you selling?

When starting an online business in South Africa, decide what you’ll be selling. Are you selling a service or a product? Study yourself and your interests when choosing an industry; choosing something that you’re passionate about or already possess the skillsets for, is ideal.

Your product or service should:

  • Solve a problem
  • Fill a gap in the market
  • Have a unique selling point or point of view

A business plan is essential and will provide a roadmap for your business.

2. Get a website

Once you know your product or service offering, coupled with a cohesive business plan, it’s time to get your website up and running:

Register a domain

You can’t have a website without a domain name. Deciding on a business name and domain can be tricky but, these useful tips should point you to the right domain name.

  • Shorter names are more memorable
  • Make it easy to pronounce
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens
  • Leave room for expansion

When you’ve picked out your business name and are ready to register the domain, use 1-grid domain registration to make it official.

Choose a web hosting package

Your site can’t be live on the internet without web hosting, and we have a variety of hosting options available for small businesses to larger corporations – our shared hosting starts from as little as R99 a month.

Build your website

The DIY Website Builder is a great tool for small businesses because it allows you to build a website in under 10 minutes. The drag-and-drop functionality means that no coding knowledge is required and you can make changes at will from various devices.

3. Market your business

Thanks to social media, marketing doesn’t have to cost you a cent – especially when you’re starting. Create your company’s social media accounts and put together a marketing strategy. Leverage your close circle of friends and family to follow your business accounts, share the content and to spread the word. Word of mouth marketing is still a powerful tool for small businesses. The core function of social media is to make connections and build relationships. In a business context:

  • You want to establish and maintain relationships with your customers
  • Be accessible for customer queries
  • Provide compelling content for your audience
  • Showcase your product or service

Starting a business is no easy feat but, if you keep at it and stay consistent, you’ll start getting results, and your business will grow.

1-grid is a proud Partner of the NSBC