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Things You Need to Start an Online Business in 2020

Have you been thinking about starting a small online business? Before you move forward, there are four important things you’ll need before anything else.

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Security is a major business objective

In the past months, we have seen the COVID-19 pandemic impact our world in ways we might never have imagined. With several industries furloughing many of their workers, many people have been without a job. As such, many people have been seeking alternative ways of making income.

Even if you’re lucky enough not to have been laid off, you’ve probably also thought about other ways to earn money. And given the need to follow social distancing regulations, you probably want to do business remotely too.

Because of the need to follow social distancing measures, more people have been turning to e-commerce for their shopping and businesses. If you’ve been thinking of starting an online small business, here are just a few of the things you’ll need.

1. Web design and digital marketing tools

If you’re serious about starting a business, you’ll need tools like e-mail marketing, web design, and SEO, apart from just social media.

Perhaps you think you can forgo building a website for your brand because social media exists, and it’s a great marketing tool. You’re mistaken. Social media platforms are great marketing tools, but it wasn’t made for e-commerce.

If you use Instagram, for example, as a makeshift website for your brand, you’ll be limited to the confines of the platform’s interface. But when you design a website for your brand, you’ll have a range of customizable tools for all your needs.

Benefits of Digital Marketing

You’ll also need digital marketing tools. Digital marketing is a way to spread awareness of your brand using the internet. It makes use of tools such as search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

As compared to traditional marketing – such as TV, radio, and print advertisements – digital marketing is cheaper. It also can reach a wider audience, whereas traditional marketing is usually confined to a particular region.

Another great thing about digital marketing is that it’s personalized and measurable. It gathers data about consumers, their demographics, and their shopping habits. Doing this allows you to personalize the content you send to each consumer based on these data.

Through analytics, it will enable you to see whether the marketing content you’re posting is effective – i.e., if it’s getting your brand attention.

2. A niche

The Little Lebowski is a store in New York City dedicated to selling merchandise based on the 1998 cult classic filmThe Big Lebowski. Co-owners Roy Preston and Nicholas Dollak originally intended for their shop to be a children’s bookstore, but that endeavor didn’t do them any favors.

Eventually, they got around to selling the Big Lebowski-themed shirts. Seeing that these sold more than the books, their suppliers sent them more and more Lebowski merchandise. Today, their shop has become a popular destination in Greenwich Village.

Co-owner Roy Preston’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to find their niche. This is a crucial part of starting a business. Focusing on a niche market will pinpoint your target and help you adjust your marketing materials accordingly.

Trying to serve as broad a market as possible may stretch you too thin, especially when you’re just starting. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try to. Instead, focus your efforts on serving a specific group of people.

4 Benefits of Software for Your Online Business

Once you find your niche, do your research. Know the consumers, their habits, and what they want. Then get to know the competition; if you know what kind of products or services you want to sell, check Google Trends. This will help you to see how many people have been googling those keywords.

3. Hire a bookkeeper

Many small business owners will say that they can manage their bookkeeping. Unless you’re a skilled accountant yourself, it’s still best to hire an expert. Having an accountant from the get-go can help you with planning your business. An accountant can help you plot your finances, secure the proper permits and documents, and prepare for your business in both the short and long-term.

Once you’ve started your business, you also have the option to use an accounting software tool such as QuickBooks for your bookkeeping needs.

4. Capital

Of course, you’ll need money to pay for all these things. You have to spend money to make money. Perhaps you have some money saved up that you can use to launch your startup, or maybe you’re thinking of applying for a loan. Take advantage of the e-commerce trend. Find a niche

There are many other things you’ll need when starting an online business, but these four things will give you a good foundation. Even if you’re lucky enough not to have been furloughed – or perhaps you’ve bounced back and found employment – it’s still worth it to look for other avenues of income.

Find a niche market you’d like to serve and study them. Gather some money from your savings or a loan and enlist an accountant to help you plot finances.

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Business

How To Maximize Cloud Computing For Your Business

If you’re a business owner and have been using cloud computing, this article will discuss several methods that will help you maximize cloud computing for your business:

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How To Maximize Cloud Computing For Your Business

As time passes by, technology advances to advance. With everything going digital now, the traditional use of portable hard drives is slowly disappearing. The best example is how businesses continue to take advantage of cloud-based services for convenience and mainly to increase their productivity. If you’re not familiar with cloud computing, it pertains to the delivery of services that stores and access data via the internet. It commonly includes servers, cloud storage services, online databases, and many others.

Most companies turn to cloud computing for security, data synchronization, and convenience. Flexibility and collaboration are also common factors. One advantage of using cloud computing services is that it reduces operating costs. Though it’s not often mentioned, sustainability is another reason why companies switch to cloud computing. Moving to the cloud lessens the usage of physical data centers, thus saving energy and reducing the impact on the environment.

There are many ways of improving your business with cloud computing. However, there are still companies that are yet to discover the full capabilities of cloud computing. If you’re a business owner and have been using cloud computing, this article will discuss several methods that will help you maximize cloud computing for your business:

1. Improve Security

Your chosen cloud provider comes with a security system. Because of this, your files are most likely safer in the cloud. However, essential cloud services only offer basic security, so you still have to be careful. Security breaches can badly affect your business. Hackers make these attacks, but sometimes they could also be caused by an employee.

How To Maximize Cloud Computing For Your Business

One way of improving cloud security is to employ features that help monitor end-user activities. By spotting suspicious usage patterns and activities, you could prevent a security breach. Training your employees and equipping them with security tools is the best way to prevent such attacks. This could be further enhanced by setting up additional security protocols and educating them on cybersecurity. Another way is to restrict access to important files. You can do this by setting passwords on such files.

2. Utilize File Syncing and Organization

The right cloud infrastructure solution for your business will provide your team access to the newest files anywhere. Instant file synchronization is another benefit of using the cloud. The cloud is a virtual location where you and your team can conveniently share files. This is very useful for businesses that allow employees to work remotely. With a stable internet connection, your staff can work from anywhere in the world and access files on any device, allowing flexibility.

Also, cloud data storage has a similar structure to a filing cabinet, where files are stored in folders within the storage (filing cabinet). It’s essential to construct a storage layout and establish a standard labeling system if you’re sharing access with your team. Organize your files from the beginning and as you go. This will make it easy to find and identify files whenever they’re needed.

3. Back-Up Data

Backing up data is another crucial security consideration in businesses. Similar to file syncing, you can update your backup data as you work with the cloud. The cloud can duplicate the data you input into another site (off-site) where they’re secure from threats. This will also enable you to access the backup data when an error occurs conveniently. More importantly, it guarantees business continuity and reliable data recovery.

4. Optimize Communication

Use cloud computing services that offer more features that optimize communication, like calendars and emails. This will help you arrange meetings more efficiently. You can even facilitate more extensive collaborations and set synchronized deadlines for projects.

Cloud computing data center. Storage cloud on computer data center background. 3d illustration

5. Monitor Data Analytics

Look for cloud providers that offer big data analytics. This will enable your cloud service to collect data about your business’ buyers, trends, performance, etc. Then, these data can be calculated to identify growth opportunities. Other data analytic services collect information that may help create solutions to your business’s workflow problems.

6. Stay Up-To-Date

System updates are a must in cloud services to patch up bugs, address technical issues, and adapt to the changing consumer needs. So, when there are system updates, make sure to implement them once you’ve verified compatibility where applicable.

7. Use Social Media

Social media is possibly the most successful platform in digital marketing. However, it is often overlooked as an application of cloud computing. Social networking sites will help you find your customers and easily share data with them through page posts.

Final Thoughts

Although there are numerous ways to maximize cloud computing for businesses, these are the most helpful. With the increased use of cloud computing, companies can quickly improve and boost their productivity and efficiency when these services are maximized to their full potential.

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