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8 Steps to Starting a Successful Online Business

Whether you sell through your own website, through social media sites or third party marketplaces - now is the time to get into online sales. According to a report from digital research firm eMarketer, online sales are expected to jump 18 percent this year. This is good news for purely online based businesses, those considering adding an online sales component, or a first time business owner.

However, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, “The majority of people starting an online business fail largely due to mistakes that seem obvious in hindsight - such as overestimating profits or trying to be too many things to customers from the onset.”

Here are eight Do’s and Don'ts to help make your business a success:

  • Don’t make the mistake of looking for the product or service first, and it’s market second.

  • Do your market research looking for a need or problem to solve.

  • Don’t build a complicated website. (You only get about 5 seconds to capture attention.)

  • Do make it easy, when building your site, to find and buy your product.

  • Don’t forget to factor all the costs (ie: overhead) into your final costs for doing business.

  • Do create an accurate cost estimate so you can set prices accordingly.

  • Don’t forget to research and choose the right fulfillment company ie: ecommerce platforms like Etsy, Shopify, Amazon etc.

  • Do build an interactive community such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.- Don’t leave out the important step of using search engines to drive traffic to your website.

Want more? Here are some other Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do measure your analytics to find out as much as you can about your customers and their experience with your product.

  • Don’t underestimate your competition.

  • Do take a look at your potential competitors by visiting their websites and social media platforms

  • Don't put off making a financial plan.

  • Do know how much cash you've got to run your business by creating a financial plan.

Your business doesn’t just have to be centered on a product these do’s and don’ts hold true

even if you have a service to offer. By following these simple do’s and don’ts you should be well on your way to starting your own online business.


Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Red Bank, NJ and Westport, CT. We service businesses with marketing strategies, digital marketing, social media and consultations.

Phone: (732) 802-6295 | (203) 429-9671

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