Are you playing with an idea, that you may start selling digital products online? Global market sounds really tempting, right? But as any other business, it comes with opportunities and threats. Before you even start something, answer on following questions:
Why do you want to start a digital business?
The answer you get, will help you to persist, when hard times come. Reason why you are starting a business should be bigger and motivating. You may think "Of course money. Why are you asking me this stupid question?" Yes, money are a reason to start a business. If you are not making money, you have hobby, not a business. But the reason why are you doing it, should be bigger. When you are starting something, money comes slowly. High expectations and not satisfying income could make you loose motivation to continue.
What do you want to sell?
Perhaps you already have a business idea, but maybe you just want to jump on wave of business and start something of your own. Be clear what you are going to sell. There are zillions of bloggers out there who want to live from their blog. Many of them are failing, because they are not selling or they do not know what to sell. Previously I was writing a lot about websites and I got to know some companies whose products I mentioned in my blogs. I asked one of them - 8theme, premium templates seller on themeforest.net, what did they find the most challenging when they were starting their business. This is the answer:
"E-commerce business is a diverse and competitive sphere. The most difficult was to choose the right niche where we could full fill our potential. From the very beginning we staked on the theme development for Magento. We had all the necessary components for that: ambitiousness of the young team and sufficient operational experience with this CMS. When we saw that we became successful on this field, we decided to move on and conquer also WordPress."
For any business, whether digital or offline, you need to be clear what is your niche and what are gonna be your products. Even established and successful companies, such as 8theme, found this step challenging.
Who are your customers?
And sub-question: "where are they?" You shouldn't expect them to dig in the ocean of internet trying to find you and buy your products. First of all, describe in details who your customers are. Country or city, gender, age group, behaviour, income etc. And when you know who are you selling to, find out where they are. Maybe you are selling hand made shawls and you want to find people who like original things. Of course you can create your own e-shop and advertise it on social media, where your potential clients spend their time. But who knows, maybe there is already market place, where people, who are selling this stuff and people who are eager to buy, meet.
What are your goals?
Remember, without a goal you will get lost. Take your time and think what are your goals for upcoming month, year, 5 years etc. Set your direction. Your goal should be SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. So you can evaluate if you achieved it or not. Write your goals on paper. It helps you to stay focused and it will change your attitude towards them. It is different to have some goal just as an idea in your mind and have it written on the paper.
Wise words at the end
I asked guys from 8theme for advice they would give someone who wants to start some online business. Answer was not very surprising for me, since every successful company out there is sticking to the same - QUALITY. The key is to provide high quality service and even to over deliver, so you do not just satisfy your client, but you surprise him.
"It is necessary to work hard, even on the smallest details, so the client see all the efforts we applied to our products. Our success depends on our customers success!"
I know this is a huge topic and all the stuff I mentioned in blog is just a base. But the base is the most important, since it is holding whole business. It is hard to see how many companies are failing, because they are forgetting why they are on the market. They are spending money on marketing and not bothering to find out, if their customers are really out there. Or they are just lost and do not know where they are actually heading. But it is life. Not every business succeed, but I believe that if you make your "homework" honestly and answer on all questions above, you may be among the companies who will make it!