What You Need to Start an Online Business
I had none of the things recommended in the contributed post below when I first started out and believe me, I would dearly love to have every one of them. But I started my business with next to nothing. And this has caused many a frustration.
The only investment I have made so far is in Training and Online Tools. Perhaps in 2018, my 3rd year of blogging, the year I start to make money, I can consider getting myself properly set up. If you’ve got some cash, these are great suggestions.
Six Essential Investments to Start Your Online Business
In case you want to get more flexibility, job satisfaction, and control of your working life, setting up your online business might be the right option for you. However, if you think that simply sitting with your laptop on the corner of the sofa will do, and you can blog away for money or run a serious enterprise, you will be in for a surprise.
You need to invest in your technology, working space, and self-development to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
Find a list of six important investments you need to make before you can become a Mompreneur.
1. Home Office or Office Space
You cannot run a business long term from the sofa, or your bed. You want to focus on putting everything in place in the beginning, so your enterprise works like a well-oiled machine.
This means you will either need to turn a spare room into an office or rent some space.
The last thing you want to do is being distracted by kids while you are trying hard to finish an urgent project.
If you opt for a home office, make sure you clearly separate your work and home life, so you learn how to stop.
2. Reliable Computer for Multitasking
A computer or laptop that is able to test your website or handle graphic design work is important as well.
Your home office computer needs to be reliable and serviced regularly by a professional.
If you are a freelance writer, blogger, or a designer, your computer is your livelihood. Don’t go for a cheap model that is designed for occasional use: get one that can keep up with your speed and workload, so you can get more done in less time.
3. Collaboration Software
Running your business from home has its challenges.
One of them is that you need to stay in touch with clients, without them being able to drop into your office. You will find plenty of free or cheap collaboration systems and cloud software, such as G Suite that will allow you to safely send your work or designs to your customers, and create, share, comment on proposals.
You might want to get a Bluetooth speaker in your office that is connected to your computer, so you can talk to business partners and customers without having to leave your desk.
4. Ergonomic Office Furniture
Image via Pexels
Chances are that in the first few months you will spend long hours sitting at your computer, working on your business plan, proposals, and marketing materials.
If you are not used to sitting down for a long period, you might develop lower back pain, and even wrist injuries. Research the market for ergonomic office desks, chairs, and keyboards.
Look after your eyesight, and take a break from the screen whenever you can. Get an eye test regularly, and before you start your business, so you can wear glasses for screens to prevent eye strains and problems.
5. Data Encryption and Security
Your website and all your files need to be secured. As a minimum, you need a spyware, virus, and malware protection software installed on your computer. However, you should not forget about your mobile devices, either.
If you have a web designer to create your pages, ask them to put encryption on your pages and software that protects your files on the server from hackers.
Keep your data backed up on the cloud or an external hard drive, to avoid frustration and extra work.
6. Shopping Cart Software
Your website needs to be appealing to customers, and also user-friendly. If you have a payment processing software subscription, find out how you can integrate it with your accounting software.
To improve your customers’ satisfaction level, you might even talk to professional software development companies, to explore your options.
Try to differentiate yourself in the market by offering something different or better customer service than your competition.
Investing in your own software can pay off long term, as it will make your job easier, and improve your customers’ experience.
Whether you are just thinking about getting your first online business up and running, or have already started the design process and business plan, you need to consider the essential investments mentioned above that will help you achieve your dreams and succeed in your venture.
Invest in your infrastructure, workspace, and software, and you will have a smooth start.
Continue improving your work practices, protect your customers’ interest, and look after your health.
Don’t forget to take a break sometimes, though, or running your business will take over your life.
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons
I would add to this list, Training, Tools and a great data connection.
What did you have when you started your online business? Are you setting up on the cheap like I did? Or are you in a position to get a few of the above? You will save yourself a heap of frustration if you can set yourself up properly from the get-go.