The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Business as a Woman
How do you start a profitable business online? This is an idea most women have been asking themselves recently. How do you make money without any practical or educational experience in business whatsoever?
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the questions women come up with during their entrepreneurial journey. While you have a burning desire to build your entrepreneurial empire, you have to shoulder the burden of responsibilities. Soccer practices, dinners with family, family holidays with everyone, and several other activities are on your mind. The more you think about it, the more you want to walk on your destined path of entrepreneurial success and become a role model for yourself and others in your life.
If you’re a married woman with children of your own, you might find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to starting your own business. But from where we see, moms can make impressive entrepreneurs as well. Some of the reasons moms make the best entrepreneurs are:
- Moms know how to live with and accept uncertainty in their lives. Being a mom with young children means getting used to figuring things out on your very own without any guidance from anyone else around you. Entrepreneurs face uncertainty in their journey as well. There are times when they have to leap of faith and know better about that than mothers!
- Moms are used to multi-tasking and know the required method to manage multiple roles and tasks together. Moms are pros at juggling the responsibilities of their kids, working their shift, making meals, and planning holidays with their significant others. Entrepreneurs also have to juggle several hats. There are times they have to act as a salesperson for their organization. There are other times when they have to wear the cap of the customer. Being a mom prepares you for multi-tasking and managing multiple roles.
- Moms are used to financing and creating budgets. They know how to develop budgets and, more importantly, how to follow them. Budgeting serves you well as an entrepreneur because understanding finance is half the job done as an entrepreneur.
- Moms are also known to be impressive at negotiating. They can deal their way through several things, including putting kids to bed, attending meetings, and finding good bargains.
In short, contrary to popular belief, being a woman or a mom does not put you at a disadvantage. It only enhances your chances of succeeding in business because you are already well aware of the complications most entrepreneurs face.
Start by Describing Skills and Ambitions
As an entrepreneur, you must start your business in an industry or an area that you are exceptionally comfortable with. Entrepreneurs and managers know the ins and outs of their industry and passionately follow the news surrounding it. Why is this so? Because they are passionate about their business and because they have chosen to start their business in a niche they’re well aware of.
The following pointers will help you understand your skills and ambitions.
- What industries do you have working experience in and feel that you are competent in?
- What are some of the complex and soft skills you’ve developed in your career and other experiences as a woman?
- What spheres of your life do your friends consider you to be an expert in, and look up to you for advice?
- What are some of the things that you don’t mind doing on a fine Sunday morning? Besides resting and hanging out with friends.
- Look at the things you read about most on your social media and the internet. Is there a pattern?
- What are some of your most significant and most inspiring personal and professional achievements?
- How much income do you require to feel self-dependent and comfortable?
- How many hours are you willing to work daily?
- Do you prefer working with a team, or do you perform best when working remotely or alone?
Think of a Dream Product or Service
Once you have found something you’re passionate about, you need to think of a dream product or a service. The following pointers will help you out here.
- Think of a problem in the niche you have shortlisted. Think of possible issues that consumers in the niche or industry encounter. The best business ideas solve problems.
- Talk to people around you and mention some of the dream products and services you have in mind. Don’t hesitate and don’t be lazy. Go around friends and family and your general social circles to generate two cents from everywhere.
- What are some of the products and services you use most frequently, and why do you derive so much pleasure from them? Find a pattern in the success of famous products and services. Find the secret sauce; find out what makes them successful.
- Study the latest trends in the industry that you have highlighted and follow those trends. Trends change from time to time, so it is essential to stay current at all times.
Get to Know Your Target Audience
Marketing is a crucial component of starting an online business. Once you have decided on the industry and the product or service to launch in the market, the next step you should take is to identify and get to know your target audience.
Start by studying the demographics of your target audience. Demographics are distributed based on the following factors:
- Marital or family status
Identify the traits and demographics of your target audience based on the factors above. These factors determine just how well you know your audience and the steps you should take to address their needs. Additionally, the social media platform you choose and the marketing method should be dependent on your target audience and their behavioral patterns.
Identify Your Competition
Even in the online niche, there are bound to be several big players with the lion’s share of the total market output. Once you step in to market your product online, you need to identify your potential competition and understand their selling strategies.
There are three competitive levels present in any online niche. These include:
- Direct competitors are direct or main rivals to the product or service you offer online. Most of your time here should be spent understanding your direct competition. They provide similar products to yours and operate in the same niche.
- Indirect competitors sell different products than yours in the same industry. While you can look at their strategies for inspiration, there is little need to feel threatened by them. However, they might translate into direct competition in the future.
- Substitute competitors are a danger for not only you but also your industry. They offer alternative products. For instance, retailers offering wired earphones online might find a wireless Bluetooth earbud provider as a substitute competitor. This competitor is the most dangerous because they can reduce demand for your product ultimately.
Understanding competition within your industry will help you unearth ways to reach out to your audience and service them in a way that your current industry players aren’t able to.
At-Home Online Business Ideas for Women
Women entrepreneurs often feel restricted when it comes to the avenues they can pick up for their startup. Since some women entrepreneurs also happen to be moms within a family-oriented setup, they have to manage their online business from home.
If you’re starting your own online business, there is no better resource than a list of online business options for women entrepreneurs:
Do you have an education in business? Are you good at giving business-related advice to companies? Do you have previous experience related to this field? If yes, then you can start your own online consulting business to leverage your skills and experience. A business consultant is tasked with providing expert business advice to companies in numerous industries.
Consulting is known to be a $250 billion industry with massive potential. Companies hire consultants for everything, starting from emotional intelligence in management to tax preparation – pick your niche accordingly.
Do you love taking photos of people? Do you have professional quality photography equipment with you? Well, you can start marketing yourself online and catch photography gigs in your surrounding areas. Photography is a $10 billion industry, and several women entrepreneurs have started their photography firms.
Web Design and Content Solutions
Women with current or previous experience in web designing and digital marketing, in general, can leverage that to provide web design and content solutions to users online. It is, however, necessary that you be extremely good at designing and digital marketing for this business to succeed. Web design is a $38.3 billion industry in the United States alone and is a preferred choice for women due to the lack of client interaction and the increased use of creative measures.
Do you have what it takes to motivate people and drive teams to victory? Well, personal coaching should be your new business venture if you do. Private coaching is currently a $1 billion industry with several professionals stepping in. People hire coaches for many things, including musical instrument sessions, relationship advice, and much more. Pick a niche that you’re good at, complement your skills with certification, and step into the coaching industry to get a share of the pie.
Most women running their businesses have eCommerce stores that they can manage from home. You can adopt a private label or practice drop shipping methods to absolve yourself from the responsibility of warehousing goods.
The eCommerce revolution on Amazon has significantly improved the profits on offer for such businesses. While you start your journey from Amazon, you can proceed to other avenues with time and maybe even set up your website and store. Remember that the business will finance its growth, wait for the right time and moment.
Register Your Business Legally
The first thing you want to do for your online business is to set it up with your business name. This should be done for two reasons; firstly, it is required by the law, and secondly, it protects you from competitors picking up your name.
The two most common and recommended ways to register your online business include:
- Using a DBA: Filling a DBA, which is also known as the ‘Doing Business As’ form, is the most common technique to register a business. You can fill the form by paying a small fee to your state or county clerks. Just make sure that no one else uses the same name within your state or town because the council will not register duplicate names.
- Create Your Business Structure: The second and perhaps more complicated manner to register your business is through a formal business structure in the form of an LLC or a corporation. The rules for an LLC or a corporation vary from state to state, which is why you should check out the best structure for your business based on laws within your state.
Once you register your business in your state, you should head online and find a website hosting platform like Bluehost or GoDaddy to host your website. With all of this done, you’d be good to go and take your business forward.