Are you dreaming up your own online platform? Getting ready to start moving toward realizing your dream and creating an actual business out of it? With your head in the clouds and your focus set on perfecting your vision, you may overlook some essential moves that your future online platform will depend on. We've compiled a list of 5 must-do's to help you set yourself up for success.
Make a plan.
You might be spending all your time on the "fun" aspects of developing an online business [planning glamourous photoshoots, editing your Instagram profile for the hundredth time, writing insightful blog posts], but you should really consider sitting down and writing an actual business plan. As old-fashioned and boring as this may sound, building a solid business plan at this stage of the game could help you see the bigger picture (not just the daily hustle) and allow you to chart a strategic course for your business's future. The process of creating a business plan can be a huge eye-opener for you, and will definitely help you transform your amazing ideas into a real-life, money-making business.
Know your field.
Whatever scene you're looking to break into, start to research it now. Know who you're inspired by (they'll be your future competitors), who's at the top of their game (they likely have some good practices/ideas for you to embrace), and who stands out the most (this inventiveness and 'it' factor is what you'll need to strive for). You know the Pablo Picasso quote, "Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist"? It definitely applies here. Know what you're getting yourself into so you can creatively rise above the rest.
You can’t expect to grow your new business by being an inferior version of someone else's [better known] offering. Even if your website, service or product is better than your competition's, you need to remember that “better” is always subjective. Instead of just trying to be better than everyone else, focus on being different. Set yourself apart so that when someone asks why your offering is worth their attention (and money), the answer will be clear.
Buy a domain.
This may seem obvious, but with the online world expanding rapidly and good domains getting scooped up by people wanting to make a profit, be sure to buy your domain before anyone beats you to it. When purchasing your domain, try to stick to .com vs. any other extensions (.co, .net, etc.) if you can. The first URL everyone types in or Googles is www.yourbusiness.com. Always. Also ensure that YOU are the registered owner of the domain (not your friend, web designer, or anyone else). This will prevent potential hassles down the road, like when you are extending your domain registration or making any changes to your website.
Create social media accounts.
Choose which social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) you'd like your business to use. Create your accounts, making your username the same as your actual business name or website (or as close to it as possible!). You don't have to add any friends or create content for these accounts right now, just create them so that you won't have to worry about your preferred names being taken once you're ready to use your accounts. We promise, you'll thank your future self for this!
We hope that reading this has given you some starting points to consider as you create your online business! Trust us - while the process of creating a unique, profitable business is not an easy one, the path of doing what you love and what lights you up is worth the work. Work hard, stay focused, and learn from those who know more than you do. Good luck - this world needs you!