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Tips for Starting an Online Business Straight Out of College

If you’ve just graduated from college, chances are everyone keeps telling you that the world is your oyster – but if you know anything about oysters, they can be super tricky to open. You have a degree now and possibly a few months of experience from an internship – but that’s it.

Starting an online business is a popular choice for young people – with almost 20% of college graduates running their own businesses in college and over 40% of them planning to do so just after graduation.

5 Tips For Starting An Online Business Straight Out Of College

If you’ve been considering this exciting career path, below are five tips to help you succeed:

1. Solve Problems

To better understand your addressable market, you need to know who your competitors are. There are around two and a half million online retailers in the United States – which means that unless you’re solving a problem or offering something people want, you will be dead in the water.

Find a problem that you can solve and then turn that into a business.

2. Fill A Gap

If you can’t solve a problem, fill a gap. Find or create something that no one else does – just make sure it’s something valuable or marketable. In other words, don’t try to market toenail clipping jewelry – but do think of something cool, legal, and interesting to sell or offer your future customers.

3. Choose Your Business Model

The most common types of e-commerce business models are B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), and C2C (consumer-to-consumer). Each of these has its own unique benefits and a specific set of challenges that come with them.

Research and carefully consider each option until you find the one that is most suited to your online business requirements. Once you know what model you’ll be going with, start checking out e-commerce fulfillment solutions – that will be the next crucial step to plan.

4. Identify Your Target Audience

This is easily one of the most painfully overlooked parts of most online businesses. Your desired target market is never going to be anyone with a pulse – you must narrow down your selection to people who are likely to engage with your company.

Many business owners make the mistake of marketing their service or offerings to anyone in the general area – which is not the smartest plan or the most effective use of an advertising budget. 

For example, a food delivery company can market to everyone in their delivery area, but they are better suited to marketing to single parents, working parents, and executives – thereby targeting people who regularly don’t have time to cook.

5. Create The Perfect E-Commerce Website

Your website design needs to be simple to understand, easy to use, and intuitive of your customer’s needs. Create an uncomplicated navigation menu that makes sense and doesn’t frustrate a browser.

Pay careful attention to the adaptive nature of the site – most people prefer to shop from their phones, but there are still people out there who shop from their laptops or desktop. Larger item purchases tend to be easier to view when browsing from a desktop – but your site must be adaptive to both the web and mobile.

By following these five steps, your online shop will be insanely successful, and you’ll become a legend in your industry!

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