Depending on your online business’ mission, costs for programming, web design and other online business tasks can be expensive. Many business can start small, but to grow into a large business to rival Google or Amazon.com requires additional capital, some even take out loans. But before you do anything, here are 6 steps to success for you.
Calculate the amount of money needed to launch and manage your online business. Expenses to consider include computers, web hosting or server fees, programming and web design services, merchant accounts, product inventory, employee salaries, office supplies and marketing materials.
Write a business plan for your online business. The plan should detail all aspects of your online business starting with its products or services, and how they’re unique to other similar online businesses. Include information about your target market and how you’ll market to them. In the financial section, provide details about the businesses current financial status as well as estimated costs to run the business and projected income over the next year. If you will be approaching banks and other lending sources, include an appendix with copies of your website, brochure, business license and other materials that show the value of your business idea.
Use your current assets for the initial investment in the business. Your personal assets can include cash in your bank account, home equity or items of value that can be sold or used for collateral. Some lenders will want to see that you have invested some of your own money before giving you a loan.
Apply for a small business grant through your city, county or state’s economic development office, or at Grants.gov. Grants are usually given to specific types of businesses such as technology or those focused on minority groups. If your online businesses offers something unique, there may be a grant available to help fund it. To receive a grant, you’ll need to create a proposal as outlined by the grant requirements.
Borrow money to start your business. You can use credit cards, but be careful about going too deep into debt. Apply for a business loan at your local bank or visit the Small Business Administration to find out about other small business loans available for online businesses. Research small business p2p lending loans from associations in the industry you’re involved in. Obtaining a loan requires submitting strong business plan, filling out paperwork and proving credit worthiness. If your service is completely online, you’ll want to prepare visual aids or a presentation to show how your site will look and what it provides.
Seek out investors. Investors provide money to small businesses in exchange for a share of the profits or as a loan. To obtain money from investors, use your business plan and put together a presentation to show your business’ potential. Networking with professionals is the best way to find potential investors. Or research angel investors in your area or online. Many areas have angel investor networks.