Starting your own service-based business from home comes with plenty of benefits and perks. When you’re a business owner, you can avoid the 9-5 work-life and be your own boss, while working on something you’re passionate about or skilled at. 

Service-based businesses make up the majority of profitable businesses: they require low investment and can allow for high profits and ROI. The trick is to find the knowledge and skill set that you have that others will pay for. 

The Benefits of Starting a Business Online

In a lot of ways, the internet has leveled out the playing field for small businesses around the world. Generally speaking, creating an online business is straightforward and easy, and can have many benefits. We break them down below:

Lower Overhead Costs

Cost reduction is one of the top benefits of starting an online business, however, this can also depend on your business model, your target market and industry, and any other specific business requirements. Some initial costs for brick and mortar stores include: rent, inventory, layout design, renovations, labour, and more. 

Affordable Marketing Options

With the help of digital marketing, you can reach more potential customers globally. Compared to traditional marketing (billboards, TV commercials, physical marketing pamphlets and brochures), digital marketing is more cost-effective and you can use multiple platforms to boost your brand awareness and credibility. For example, you can use Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, online newsletter or website to help make your business scalable. A lot of these digital marketing platforms have free versions, so starting your marketing strategy isn’t too challenging. 

Multiple Payment Methods

A lot of online businesses offer a variety of different payment methods to their customers that aren’t always available at physical stores. The more options you have, the more likely you are to retain current customers and attract new ones. For instance, online customers can use PayPal, Afterpay, e-wallets and different types of credit cards (Amex, MasterCard, Visa). This eliminates the need for cash and cheques, which reduces the workload of your business. 

Customers Around the World

When you move your business online, you’ll no longer have any physical or geographical boundaries. Your customers can find you no matter where they are in the world. However, in order to reach a global scale, you have to plan strategically and with intention. One of the best things you can do is scale your business organically and pinpoint who your target demographic is. Make sure to create digital marketing campaigns and content they want to see, so you can build brand trust. 

How to Start Your Online Business

Now that most businesses have some form of online presence and website, it’s important, now more than ever, to move your company online or start it digitally. Today, roughly 76% of Americans purchase their products online. We’ll break down the steps you need to take to get your online business started.

Conduct Market Research

In order to have a successful online business, it’s important you do your research and find the gaps in your specific field and market. Based on these gaps and data, you can build a business that will reach your target demographic and fulfill their needs. 

First thing’s first, make sure you figure out who your audience is. Ask yourself: How old is my target market? Are they male or female? What do they like to do in their spare time? Get into the nitty gritty and from there, you can develop your products and services accordingly.

From there, it’s important you dissect your competitors and find out what they’re doing and how you can do it better. How do they price their products? What makes them different? Do a full competitor analysis, so you can find the gaps pertaining to your business. 

Plan Your Business

Creating a business plan is essential for all business owners. Depending on your services or products, it may be important to secure additional funding. If so, your investors will want to know where exactly their money is going. It’s imperative you have your business goals and objectives explained in your business plan.

To write a business plan, incorporate the following sections:

  • Executive summary 
  • Market research and competitor analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Services or product line/inventory
  • Marketing strategies and sales
  • Funding requirements
  • Financial projections

Your business plan should clarify how you’ll put everything into action, who you are, and what you offer to your customers. 

Create a Marketing and Promotion Strategy

Marketing and promotion are essential for getting word out about your business. As the digital landscape evolves, it’s important you adapt to it and have an effective strategy that aligns with your audience. Here are some types of marketing strategies you can incorporate into your plan:

  • Newsletter and email marketing
  • Paid advertising 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing (social media)
  • Influencer partnerships

Build Out a Website

Getting your business online is the next step. Your website will be the home-base of your online presence, so it’s essential that it reflects your business and its values to its core. First, you’ll want to register your domain and find it in the form of your “business”.

Next, you’ll want a cohesive and well-designed website. You can do your DIY version with Mailchimp or Squarespace, or, you can work with a website developer and they can build it for you. You can choose templates, customize your landing pages, and choose that theme that represents your business and brand. 

It’s key that your website is easy to use and doesn’t cause your users confusion. So, make sure you have appropriate CTAs, legible text, and buttons that are intuitive. 

Use a Co-working Space for Your Clients

If you have an online business where you need to meet with clients, but don’t have your own office space, you can use a coworking space. With a virtual office set up, you have all the benefits and amenities of a traditional office without the overhead of a lease. 

At Telsec, we’re located in the heart of Toronto where you’ll find a plethora of amenities, personal desk and phone service, and tons, and many conference and meeting rooms available. If you ever need to meet a client in person, Telsec is a great option for you. 

Contact us and book a tour today!