Does really living in India matter? My answer is no. When you are talking about starting an online business, the world is your market place. Having said that, I will deep dive into how you can make the best use of this opportunity living in India!
Thanks to the existence of the internet, today anyone can sit in their pyjamas, and make a fortune while sitting in a living room sofa.
That’s possible if you know how to do online business.
People of western countries are acquainted with the environment of the online business, unlike Asian countries which are currently the best markets to explore and make millions.
Now, India too is evolving as a hub of online entrepreneurs and considered as one of the prominent markets of the world.
If you too want to start an online business, here is everything that you need to kickstart your journey.
How To Start Online Business
Robert H. Schuller has said that “Problems are not stopping signs, they are guidelines.” You can take any successful product of your industry, and you will observe that the product is fundamentally providing the solution to the most prominent problem.
So, thriving business ideas lie in providing real-time solutions to users.
Think about the problems and questions that people have in their routine line and then brainstorm how you can solve their problems and improve their lives.
Merge your passion and skills with the problems that people have while pursuing what you love.
For example, if you love photography and find out that people suffer from affordable camera accessories or struggle in mobile photography.
So, you have found a great business idea on which you can either build an eCommerce store to sell accessories or create an in-depth video course or eBooks to teach mobile photography and help others.
You will automatically gain motivation for work because you are working on something that you love. If you love something, you would automatically provide the best value to others, and your content would be the best in the niche.
If you are only seeking money, eventually your motivation will run out. However, that does not mean you only follow your passion. You must also think about the existing competition and demand for the solutions that you are aspiring to provide.
Think About Your Customers
Always remember that you are doing business. You will be paid in return to the services and products that you offer to people. So, to make more profit, you need to provide solutions that catch the immediate attention of the people. This would make your business skyrocket quickly.
Moreover, always think about the customers while doing business because your products and services will be utilised by human beings who have specific desires and expectations.
Ensure that you are giving products that satisfy the customers, so you need to know everything about them.
You might feel that certain behaviours and psychology of your customers are not aligned with your personal beliefs. However, you must keep going and do what is supposed to be done.
I’m certainly not saying that you break your morals and ethics; my point is to have a practical approach for your work and do what is right for customers and your business.
Understand Your Customers’ Psychology
71% of consumers feel that they would find a better offer online even though the product is not on sale. This shows the trust of people in an online purchase and urges them to check online.
To leverage this user behaviour, you need to understand the thought process of your ideal consumers and provide information as they expect to get.
You need to tap into the consumer psychology and intelligently cover every question or doubts they have related to making your products irresistible, so users cannot help themselves but buy your stuff at the end.
Register Your Company
In India, you have to register a company with a specific name to be able to sell goods and services in the country.
You have to decide on a name for your organisation, and that name would be the identity of your company in the market.
Based on that name, you can request for bank accounts, credit cards and current accounts to get the smoother financial transactions.
You have to go for legal paperwork and register your company.
Get a GST Number
GST stands for Goods and Service Tax, which is levied on almost all the products and services sold across India.
Any business who has a turnover in six figures might have to apply for GST number in India. You can contact your accountant for more information about the GST number.
GST number would be compulsory for Facebook advertisers as the social media giant has confirmed that in the coming weeks, they would ask advertisers to provide GST number for running ads on the platform.
Develop an Online Presence for Your Business
By the end of 2018, at least 45% of small businesses did not have a single web presence, and 47% of online buyers visit a website before making purchasing decisions. These statistics indicate the potential for SMBs to connect with buyers online.
You will need an online presence to do business online. Mostly, Indians may also check your brand’s reputation and recognition online. So be ready to utilise all your skills to make your venture appealing online.
You must have a website to start an online business because a website is one of the essential digital properties to keep entertaining your visitors and bringing more conversions online.
Your website is like a departmental store which is open 24×7 and users can visit your pages, read your content and connect with you to do business.
Also, create social media pages which are mostly free to create. Sign up for the leading social media network like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter today, upload profile and cover photos, write a bio of your business and you are good to go.
Social media platforms are free to use and give you a platform to connect with a vast audience — all you would need a valid email address or phone number to create accounts on leading social networks.
You must also create Google My Business page to make your business presence in local searches. Through your Google My Business page, users can quickly know business details like website, phone number, email address, opening hours, and so on.
Publish High-quality Blogs
Blogging has multipurpose benefits. Through blogging, you can entertain, educate, pursue and convert your visitors. Through blogging, you can increase your conversions and leads for your business.
In fact, the small business receives 126% more leads through blogging. Furthermore, more than 35% of marketers have also confirmed that blogging is the most valuable form of content marketing in today’s time.
These stats show how blogging can help organisations get more customers by connecting the business to a wider audience.
You can provide solutions through your blog and share your knowledge with your audience. Moreover, you can also promote your products and services through blogging.
Create Video Content
Videos can give you the power of compelling storytelling that could streamline the user experience of your brand.
Textual content still works, but the videos lead the way to be an effective multimedia format through which you can convey powerful messages creatively.
You can publish product description or testimonial videos on your website. In fact, organic visits to a website can rise to 157% when you incorporate videos.
You can re-upload these videos in your YouTube channels to grow your subscribers on the platform. Once you upload videos on YouTube, you can repurpose the video by embedding it anywhere on the web.
Since you are targeting Indian audience, you can publish your videos in regional languages to effectively communicate your message to a specific audience.
Don’t forget to add subtitles to your videos because of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram mute the videos by default. So, if your videos have subtitles, the user might be interested and unmute the video to see more.
You can also try to add subtitles in the local language to give custom communication to your prospects.
Go for Email Marketing
Emails are the casual platform through which marketers and prospects communicate with each other. Whether it is a personal or professional objective, emails can get you connected to anyone anytime and anywhere.
As per a report by Octane, email is one of the top online marketing activities in India. Campaign Monitor has said that Email marketing delivers the highest marketing ROI out of all the other marketing options.
These statistics and user behaviour clearly shows that email dominates all the different channels.
To start your online business in India, you can go for email marketing by announcing your business and providing an early bird offer for your prospects to generate some sales.
Social Media Marketing
Let’s accept it, most of the human beings love to know what is going on the in the lives of others and social media is the brilliant platform that lets you broadcast publicly about your professional and personal activities.
You can put the word out about the upcoming online venture and boost that post.
Through paid social media marketing, you can let people know about your forthcoming online venture so that they can like, comment or follow your social media page to stay updated.
Reviews play a crucial role to become a successful online entrepreneur.
In India, people still feel hesitant in contacting a new service provider they haven’t heard about before.
As per a fact, internet users look for reviews and recommendations online before making any purchase decisions.
So, ensure that your business profiles have good following and reviews so that prospects would trust your business, connect with your brand and become your customers.
You can request your existing consumers to rate your business in Google and write a review where they can share their experience.
They can also share customer experience on the Facebook page as Facebook shows recommendations and ratings to the users.
Leverage the Power of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the best professional social media network to connect, network and grows your network.
LinkedIn will provide you with a platform to connect with your potential clients and talented human resource.
It will streamline your hiring and client on-boarding procedure like none other.
Moreover, if you are dealing with the clients who live outside India, they consider your LinkedIn profile as a credible and trustworthy resource of identity.
So, whenever you are planning to launch your online business in India, nurture your LinkedIn profile by publishing regular updates, write comments and feedback on others’ posts to generate views and impressions for your profile.
You can also publish a blog from your profile to show your expertise and share your point-of-view of your niche.
Collaborate with a Local Influencer
The influencer marketing industry is booming at the moment, and if you can afford to invest some funds, you can get excellent brand outreach for your upcoming online venture.
You can collaborate with local influencer and make an introductory video to let the audience know about your upcoming product or a new company.
However, you may have to research which influencers to contact online. You need to identify the celebrities your customers admire and follow online. Then, contact them and run an influencer marketing platform to advertise your brand.
See how Xiaomi India collaborated with Ranveer Singh to promote their new smartphone to the Indian audience.
The bottom line is this… you have to serve your community online.
Quality service and value-add attract customers for life.
Just like any other markets of the world, the Indian market will require patience and perseverance from you to make your business a successful online venture.
Apply the techniques shared in this article to run a smooth online business in India. Also, keep researching and experimenting with your marketing and advertising activities. The more tests you run, the better you would be able to understand the audience.
If you have already hustled your way and managed to make money online in the Indian market, share your experience in the comments and help others.