Being a successful online business owner requires you to implement strategies that differentiate you from other entrepreneurs.
Always be the one who brings new ideas to the industry within which your business operates. Otherwise, you’ll spend your resources on a venture that is meant to fail.
If you’re an aspiring online entrepreneur, take time to study how to use the internet to your advantage and how to stand out from other individuals. Below are some tips on starting an online business in Kenya:
- Decide the products or services to sell
This decision will highly determine whether a customer will approach you to meet their needs or not. You must research extensively to identify gaps in the market and turning these gaps into a profitable venture.
While at it, try to match these opportunities with your interests, as you should concentrate on a business that you are passionate about. Working on something you love is essential, as you will have the strength to withstand challenges.
- List down all the costs of starting a business
After identifying the field you want to concentrate on, determine the amount of money you’re likely to spend.
This way, you’ll compare the said amount with the cash at hand. Failure to forecast costs may mean spending a lot of money and having nothing to fund your basic needs.
Develop a budget and stick to it, regardless of how tempted you are to overspend. If potential costs are more than your savings, consider taking a reasonable loan or adjusting your budget to suit your financial capability.
- Register your business with the appropriate authorities
If you hope to grow your business over time, acquire a certificate of registration. By doing this, your customers will be assured that the online enterprise is legal and that they can hold you accountable to the authorities in case of any misconduct.
Also, this will make it easy for you to request financial assistance from banks or other service providers. Don’t shy away from obtaining legal documentation for fear of paying a fee, as it will put your business at so many risks in the future.
- Choose the best online platform for your business
You can choose to have a website for your enterprise, subscribe to various social media sites, or use both of these methods.
If you plan to run a website, engage an experienced web developer to work on it. Also, hire an individual with SEO-related knowledge or educate yourself on this marketing tool to increase the chances of having as many customers as possible.
When it comes to social media, let your content be attractive to avoid boring your potential customers. This way you’ll have many followers who will at one time become your customers.
- Decide on the best payment method
With an online business, you’ll have to think of a virtual payment method. For instance, MPESA is widely used in Kenya, meaning that most of your potential customers will not have challenges paying you through this method.
Avoid using payment methods that are too technical to comprehend, as doing this may force some clients to choose your competitors over you. Let all your decisions accommodate your potential customer, regardless of how different they are from each other.
Mistakes to avoid when starting an online business in Kenya
Doing things right the first time will save you from a lot of resource wastage in the future. Below are some mistakes to avoid as an entrepreneur.
- Setting unrealistic goals
You should set goals when starting a new venture, but you must ensure they are achievable. Setting high expectations will result in disappointment, as there is no guarantee of good performance.
For example, don’t aim to perform better than a well-established online business, which has been in existence for a long time. Remember that it takes time to penetrate the market and gain the trust of your customers, so patience is essential.
- Low pricing
Setting low prices is a good strategy for market penetration, as it will attract many customers. However, this may mean generating low profits and spending too much money on availing of the products you’re selling to your customers.
Ensure that the price you set will not result in the decline of your business. There are many ways to attract customers, such as providing high-quality products and extensive advertising, so you do not have to put your financial soundness in the line.
- Implementing strategies without analyzing results
As explained earlier, make the right decisions from the onset of your business. Continuously analyze your strategies in terms of the changes in your productivity level.
For example, if a marketing technique is cost-intensive but doesn’t bring many customers to your business, this is your cue to change the strategy. Otherwise, you’ll keep spending money on something that will not grow your business over time.
- Disregarding the need to save money or invest extensively
When starting your business, whether it is online or not, there is no assurance that you will rip massive returns or not.
Avoid directing all your earnings to one venture, all spending all your profits aimlessly. Work towards having a second plan to be ready if your online business idea does not go as well as planned.
During your time as a business owner, understand what works for your enterprise and invest your time in it. Otherwise, you’ll keep trying to be like your competitors and end up achieving nothing at all.