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How to Start an Online Business in Nigeria


Starting an internet business has numerous advantages. You can work from the comfort of your home, fix your work hours, focus on a niche that best suits you, and save money for other expected expenses. While beginning an online business may be inconvenient, you must follow a similar procedure to growing and maintaining a traditional firm. Here's our five-step approach for beginning an internet business to assist you to navigate and launch your new business successfully.


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1. Choose a business concept.

This initial step may appear to be self-evident. However, you'd be surprised how many would-be entrepreneurs rush into branding or web development before they have a solid idea.


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Here are some factors to consider when strategizing out how your online business should look like


What is your motivation for doing this?

Is it about exchange of money for a product?


It's a simple question to ask yourself, but the answer could influence whether or not your firm succeeds. Every good company should have a mission and a goal in mind. You must also ensure that you are pursuing the startup intending to sustain it. You can have an exit strategy in mind, but it won't go you very far if you don't have the passion or drive to move your company ahead.


Are you leveraging your strengths?


When asking yourself the first question, ask yourself this same question if you are sure how to handle your new online business. Developing an online business around your niche and passion gives you a certain level of professionalism.


It can help you build professionalism amongst clients and offers familiarity on how to manage and expand your business.


What issue are you attempting to resolve?

Now, just because you enjoy a particular skill set or interest does not necessarily imply that there is a market for it. You should be addressing a real-world issue and ensuring that potential clients are looking for a solution.


Is there already competition solving that problem if there is? If that's the case, how will you set yourself apart to compete? You won't waste your time with a nonexistent or crowded business concept if you conduct a market analysis and validate that an issue exists and that there is an opportunity for your business.



2. Verify the viability of your business concept

After you've decided to establish a business and have a concept in mind, it's time to validate it. This can be as basic as having a conversation with potential clients and asking them questions about their needs and whether or not they'd be interested in your solution. However, there are other strategies you can use to evaluate the market when launching an internet business.


Check out the feedback from previous customers.

Examining competitive reviews is an easy way to gauge current client interest. Check out how people react, what they like and don't like, and the general volume of feedback. It can help you determine the size of the active market and whether your business plan avoids common errors.

You can host a basic teaser landing page to tease your business, product, or service without having to build up a full website. Include an email subscriber signup prompt to begin building out a mailing list, as well as a concise summary of features, pricing, a release window, and so on. Then, to generate traffic to your website, it's as simple as running a few social media or search ads that target your potential clients.

Validation is somewhat up to you in this case. Do you gauge interest based on the number of people who have visited your website? How many people have signed up for the email? What about social media shares? In any case, choose a few of these indicators and set some objectives to measure your progress.

Inquire about potential customers.

As previously stated, connecting with clients is one of the simplest ways to validate your business. If you can't meet with them in person, you can do online surveys instead. To collect replies, you can simply run a few digital ads marketing your survey, similar to generating visitors to a preview page.

If you've already created a landing page and begun building an email list, you can distribute your survey to individuals who have expressed an interest. This may be even more important, as you will be able to ask more specific questions and receive more accurate responses.


3. Begin writing your business plan.

It's time to start constructing your business strategy once you've determined your prospective interest in your company. Fortunately, you've already put out the foundations of your business plan as you've gone through the process of identifying and verifying your idea. However, you must now put it into a structure that you can use to seek investment, forecast financials, and reassess as your company grows.


Planning in a lean manner

Begin with a Lean Business Plan, which can be completed in 30 minutes instead of six weeks. A Lean Plan is shorter and easier to develop than a traditional strategy, and it reduces your plan to the basics. To get you started, here's a free Lean Planning template.

Perform a market analysis.

Through the exploration of your business idea, you've already completed parts of the market analysis. However, to establish the market for your product and identify your competitors, you must undertake a complete market study alongside a SWOT analysis. It can also assist you in determining pricing models, distribution strategies, and other potential competitive advantages as you enter the market.


4. Create a website

Now that you have your company plan, you can focus on getting your website up and operating. This, however, will not be as straightforward as creating a trial landing page. To properly represent your organization, you must make several decisions including hosting, platform, and design. Your website is the most visible image of our company, especially for an internet business, and it must appropriately reflect our products, services, and mission.


5. Make it legal

There are a few steps you’ll have to take to make sure your business is legal. While generally speaking, the same rules apply to online businesses as brick-and-mortar businesses, there are a few subtle differences.

Read up on online business regulations

The most important difference when it comes to participating in an online business in person is online business law. These laws entail the distribution of clients personal data, as well as other private and sensible regulations. The SBA offers a prominent rundown of law based on the specific online business so as to brush you up before kickstarting your online business.

To ensure that your firm is lawful, you'll need to take a few measures. While internet firms follow the same standards as brick-and-mortar enterprises in general, there are a few minor differences.

Check out the rules for doing business online.

When it comes to doing business online vs in person, the most crucial distinction is online business legislation. These laws include the distribution of personal information about your customers, as well as other privacy and intellectual property issues. Make sure you brush up on the specifics of internet business legislation before you start your online business with the help of the SBA.

Create an account for your company.

Decide how you want your company's legal structure to be set up. Many firms choose to incorporate an LLC, but you should do your research to determine which is best for you. State-specific requirements will, of course, differ from one another. For further information on state-level compliance, go to the website of your local secretary of state's office.

Learn about the tax implications of owning and operating an online business.

Do you run a business out of your house? It's very likely if you run an online business. As a result, you may be entitled to tax breaks. You'll also have to pay income tax, so it's a good idea to contact an attorney before starting your online business.

Make sure you understand not only your state's sales tax regulations but also your internet sales tax responsibilities. One of the most important things you can do is ensure that your shopping cart solution is properly configured to collect the appropriate amount of sales tax based on your clients' location.

Keeping your online business running

In the end, beginning an internet business is identical to starting a conventional storefront firm. You'll still need to validate your idea, develop your business, and make sure you understand your tax requirements from the beginning. Just don't overlook the necessity of creating a viable website and launching it.

If you're looking for some ideas for your business plan, have a look at some of our sample plans for online business. You can even get a free business plan format to follow though some business plan samples are different.

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