While you’ll naturally be dealing with the associated problems that come with starting up as a business which operates in its entirety online, starting an online business is indeed still the quickest, best and easiest way to get into business. Make no mistake about it though – as easy as it is to get started, actually making a profit or merely surviving by breaking even, at the very least, is far from easy.
This is why the customer-first approach to running your online business is required, but I’ll get back to that in a bit.
The challenges you’ll face running an online business
It’s perhaps common knowledge that depending on the array of skills you have which have anything to do with computer literacy and the web, the absolute lowest capital to get started via your web presence can be as low as paying for your domain name and the monthly web hosting thereof. If you’re not any kind of web designer and you’d rather pay someone else to set up something like a free WordPress template for you, then these start-up costs go up accordingly, but they can be kept well, well below £100.
Meanwhile, on the other hand there is virtually unlimited upside potential, because everything you make beyond that initial tiny investment is all pure profits. Of course there’ll be other factors that come into play, such how much money or even how much time you might need to spend on the marketing of your newly-minted and growing online operation. Marketing brings into focus one of the challenges, which is that of an extremely tough competitive environment, because as easily as you could have had your website erected, someone else who is perhaps even better at it could have one just like yours up within a matter of mere hours.
So it’s all about focussing on what matters the most, getting paying clients to make the whole exercise a worthwhile and profitable one, which is where the customer-first approach comes into effect.
What is the customer-first approach to running an online business?
The customer-first or client-first approach to running your online business operation does not refer to treating the customer like royalty, although that is a good practice as a general rule of thumb in business. In this particular context, the customer-first approach refers to getting clients first before putting together the product or service which is on offer.
The logic behind this is that you want to test the real market and see if it really has some business to offer.
An example of this in action would be putting together a website which offers something like party celebration gaming booths which can be rented out in a specific region. This would be done before you have the physical infrastructure and once an order comes in you can then acquire that infrastructure, funding that acquisition through something like payday loans if needs be.
So offer the service first and then if you have to, outsource the difference in the skills or inventory you’d have to account for in order to deliver that service, all the while making sure your retail value is higher than the cost of putting everything together, of course.