How to start an online business from home and deliver product to market as quickly as possible
May 6, 2020
The pandemic changed the rules of the game without giving the opportunity to prepare. Business is forced to adapt to changing conditions on the go, and to survive in the truest sense of the word.
But in fact, surviving and finding new opportunities are synonyms. The difference is only in the verbal wording and in your attitude to the situation.
In this article, we decided to tell you how to start an online business from home, give your customers what they need, and stay afloat during and after quarantine.
Your business can be saved by bringing it online
Most businesses have long strengthened their online presence. Therefore, it would be more correct to say that your company can be saved by changing the business model to remote services.
A couple of months ago, remote work and online services were just a strong trend. Today, it has become an urgent need to comply with the confines of quarantine, safety rules, and common sense. And we will tell you even more.
Our “new normal” has every chance of becoming “completely normal” after the situation stabilizes. Thus, making the first steps to starting an online business, as well as changing your business model to remote work and provision of services, a very serious investment in the future success of your company.
Let's see how to start an online business from home in practice. Below we have collected several niche site ideas, the work of which can be organized from home with minimal cost and with sufficiently large efficiency, if done correctly.
Proper nutrition, a beautiful figure, and an active sport as a way of life is one of the strongest trends. Even the pandemic was not able to change the views of most users in this regard. Retailers note increased demand for fitness products, and according to a new Business Insider study , fitness trainers have every chance of becoming famous influencers on social networks.
You should jump on the trend if you are a fitness coach, yoga trainer, or specialist in healthy eating. Here are possible steps to starting an online business.
- Analyze your social media profiles and develop a strong social media strategy, taking into account the changed situation. You definitely need to give users motivating content, as well as practical instructions on how to maintain their physical and mental health in a lockdown environment.
- Create a professional website, think through SEO and content strategy as well. By analogy with social media, you definitely need to include “from home tips” queries in the semantic core.
- Register in aggregators or create your own application so that your customers can easily book personal fitness sessions online.
And now an unpleasant fact, proved by the experience of the lockdown in China. Constantly staying with our family and children in an enclosed space revealed problems in relationships (and in ourselves) that we did not know about or did not want to know about.
Research suggests that a global divorce wave is coming as soon as the situation stabilizes. Moreover, now a large number of people are suffering from depression, panic attacks, and the inability to accept the situation.
The help of a psychologist can be a reasonable solution for those who are having an especially difficult time — as well as a way to stay afloat for professionals from this field.
One of the first steps to starting an online business is to strengthen your online presence since many people find it easier to open their soul to a psychologist virtually than to have the courage to meet in person.
Here is how to start an online business from home.
- Take a fresh look at your target audience and identify a list of problems that they may have and that you can solve.
- Research niche site ideas and decide on starting a psychology blog or personal website, or two-in-one solution.
- Create a professional website, develop an SEO and content strategy.
- Think about the possibilities of advertising on social networks and Google Adwords using thorough user segmentation.
Food, drinks and product delivery
The physical need for food is not subject to any global crisis. Therefore, if your business operates in the field of catering, you have the best chance of survival. All you need to do is adapt a little and give your customers a more engaging experience.
For example, if you previously had a good site, now is the time to turn it into a mobile application so that users can order delivery in one click using a smartphone. And rest assured, they will do the same after the lockdown as well.
Yes, the volume of production and sales of clothing sagged, but many retailers are already preparing plans to exit the lockdown . However, it is impossible to say for sure when we can go shopping physically again.
That is why it now makes sense to invest in more advanced technologies of clothing retail, which will be in demand after the end of the pandemic.
For example, it can be an interactive chatbot (as H&M has) that selects images based on user requests and purchase history, or virtual fitting rooms created combining artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
It would seem that the tourism business ceased to exist at this time. This is partly true. While the borders are closed, you can neither sell nor give any guarantees. However, you can offer an awesome user experience that will give you a chance to make great profits after the industry comes back to life.
So, how do you start an online business from home even in the worst conditions ever? For example, you can also create a full site, and take into account the main problems of your users. Here are a few features that will be useful to most tourists.
- Build a competent search system for package tours, airline tickets, hotels, and excursions with instant synchronization. That is, at the moment when the supplier changes the price, your system should also show all updates.
- Immediately show tourists all hidden surcharges for luggage, tourist tax, transportation of animals and children, depending on age.
- Add a search-based recommendation section, comparison lists, wish lists, and booking history for each user.
And much more — it’s best to ask your tourists what they need most.
How to get your solution done in minimal time but with top-notch quality
So, it has already become clear what your steps to starting an online business can be. Now you have to understand how to do this in practice. Here is our plan.
Do more research
Market and niche site ideas research is the very first and perhaps the most necessary step before creating a website or application. At this stage, you need to do an analysis of your target audience again, clearly identify and formulate their problem, understand how you will solve it, and most importantly, validate your idea.
In simple words, as part of market research, you need to look at your competitors’ niche site ideas, find out what they are doing, and on this basis, either make sure that your idea is better or come up with another idea that will also be better.
Get professional advice on development methodology, design, technologies and cost
It is not a good idea to create a makeshift application or website at a time when technology is the only way to meet each other.
That is why you should get professional advice from developers to understand which technologies are most suitable for your solution, how many team members you need, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
Decide on MVP
MVP is a low-cost way to test your website or application in real life. At this stage, you need to highlight the most critical functions of your solution to create and run the first prototype.
After that, it is necessary to analyze the response of your target audience, their real interest in your application, their complaints and wishes, and move on with first-hand insights.
Think about marketing channels
Work on a website or application for business does not end when it is launched on the market. The most fun is yet to come.
Now you need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, think through channels to attract and interact with new users, plus look to the future.
That is, it is worth immediately thinking about how and whether you will change your marketing after the lockdown is over.
Get it done with us
This step-by-step plan sounded simple enough, but in practice, it means a little more work than just reading this article.
We, at Mentalstack, are ready to help you right now. Do not make your target audience wait for a meeting with you online — let's discuss your idea today so that tomorrow it goes into the development stage.