Opening a business from the kitchen table
Setting up a business online would seem, on the face of it, like something that is actually quite easy to do. You need a website or reliable web developers, a product and a market. Simple. Of course, anybody who has ever undertaken such an endeavour knows that this simplicity is skin deep at best, and that setting up even a simple online business represents a huge amount of struggle, stress and risk.
The first step is the product. Britain has seen quite a sharp rise in the number of people setting up businesses, each with their unique products and USPs to offer. Online businesses ranging from web design to freelance writing require almost no external 'processing', although for that reason they are hotly contested, and when entering a market of that kind, an individual really needs to be sure that they have something unique to offer, which will be noticed and chosen against literally thousands of competitors.
The market comes with the product, or rather, the latter comes with the former. To find your market online requires serious research and an open mind about what you are offering, because if a number of established products are available at a similar cost to yours, the chances of success are slim.
The product and finding people who want it entirely depend on the online presence you create, because online your web presence is your shop window and you are advertising. Business websites at a minimum need to come built with search engine optimisation, workable user interface and, where possible, responsive design built in. More than that, though, your web presence needs to be attractive. Web developers who can use Photoshop and great web design in building a website give their clients a huge advantage. Image and usability, online, are paramount.
Again, though, the days when this would be enough are gone. Good online marketing now requires a social media strategy almost by default and this, as frequent amusing newspaper reports of witty exchanges between large companies and their customers over Twitter shows, is very much the direction of travel for online sales. Having a profile your (potential) customers can share, interact with and even joke with is all par for the course.
All of this may sound like a lot to consider, but it really is only the tip of the iceberg. Building an online business still requires all the work of creating and providing a great product, taking payment and running a marketing campaign. Hardly simple stuff.
At Evoluted we have worked with many kitchen table start ups over the years and have seen them flourish into grown up businesses with warehouses, offices and factories. If you'd like advice on how to the internet can help you achieve success then please do get in touch.
Although, technically speaking, it can still all be done from the kitchen table.