The Complete Guide on How to Start an Online Business and How Proxies Help
Working from home as an entrepreneur is a dream job for many people. With no boss or set schedule, running your own business gives you the freedom to live your life the way you want. However, it’s one thing to think running a business sounds appealing and another thing entirely to start a business from scratch. Whether you’re wondering how to start an online business as a teenager or you’re looking for some extra side cash, there are easy steps you can take to launch your own online business.
Luckily, you don’t need a book on how to start an online business for dummies to get started. You can learn how to start an online business from home just by doing your research. In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of how to start an online business, the most critical factors in beginning a company, ideas for your new business, and the best way to get started with your first online business from home.
The Basics of Starting an Online Business
Starting an online business is both easier and more complicated than you might think. With eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Wix, you can start selling things online in minutes. However, creating an online business that will last and make you money takes more work. After all, an online business is still a company.
If you’ve never started a business before, you may not know how much planning it can take to keep things running. Here’s what you need to do to start an online business from home.
Choose from potential products for your online business
Before you do anything else regarding your business, you need to decide what you want to sell. This will shape the rest of your business decisions, from how you sell to who you choose to market your business to.
Things you can sell online include:
- Graphic design
- Copyediting and writing
- Coding and programming
- Handmade goods and crafts
- Custom built computers
- Used clothing
- Collectors’ items like sneakers
If you’ve never run an online business, learning how to start a resale business from home is the quickest option. Reselling things like proxies is simple, takes minimal startup investment, and won’t leave you holding the bag if your business fails to take off.
Research and select your target audience
Knowing who you’re going to sell to is just as important as knowing what you’re going to sell. There’s a big difference between selling clothes to teenagers and adult professionals or reselling proxies to private users and up-and-coming influencers. You need to research the types of people who buy what you want to sell and identify your specific target market.
Get specific with your target market. You can write a customer persona that describes your ideal customer exactly. When you’re making decisions later, you can tailor them to make your business more appealing to your ideal clients.
A customer persona might look like this: “The target customer for this business is [generic name], a [age] year-old [gender] in [location]. They are struggling with [problem] and want a solution that’s [benefits of your business].”
Filling that in, you might get, “The target customer for this business is Jeff, a 30-year-old man in Australia. He is struggling with getting access to geo-restricted content and wants a solution that’s easy and affordable.” This makes it much easier to shape your marketing, finances, and even the products you offer.
Write a business plan
A business plan is like a blueprint for your company. A good business plan explains:
- How your business is structured
- What you sell
- Who you sell to
- What sets you apart from the competition
- What your goals are for the future
- The schedule you intend to follow while growing your business
It’s a critical reference document that will help your business stay on track no matter what changes come up in the future. You can check back in with your business plan to make sure you’re meeting your goals or help you decide if you should pursue an opportunity.
Business plans are also crucial if you plan on growing your company with loans, investors, or partners. A well-written business plan demonstrates that you’re serious about your company, which reassures potential partners that it’s worth working with you.
Register your business
Depending on where you live, you may need to register your business to sell things. Many countries and states require all companies to register with the local governments for tax purposes. In the U.S., you can reach out to the Small Business Administration. There are equivalent agencies in other countries to learn if and how to register your business correctly.
Set up financial accounts
As a business that plans on making a profit, you need ways to accept and access that money. You can set up an eCommerce storefront through Wix or Shopify to accept client payments and track who bought what. However, you’ll also need to link a bank or PayPal account to that storefront if you want to access it.
You can quickly set up a business PayPal account even if you haven’t officially registered your company with the government. This is the most straightforward option if you’re researching how to start a resale business from home. You can connect your PayPal account to an existing bank account later if you want to store your money somewhere else.
It’s also an excellent idea to set up your accounting methods before making your first sale. You need to track:
- How much you spend on your business
- How much you earn
- Where the money is coming from
A service like QuickBooks Self-Employed tracks that information. It also makes it much easier to pay the appropriate taxes and issue refunds when necessary.
Build a marketing strategy
Once your basic business structure is set up, you can start working on more creative tasks. You know what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. Next comes your marketing strategy, which explains how you’re going to convince your target audience that it’s worth spending money on your products.
The great thing about an online business like reselling proxies is that you can start small. You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on marketing your proxies and getting your business off the ground. Instead, you can develop an initial strategy that looks something like this:
- Set up a free website for your proxy-reselling business, so you have somewhere to send people who want to buy what you’re selling.
- Create social media accounts to talk about your proxies and find potential customers.
- Post listings for your proxies on social media in dedicated locations like subreddits, social media groups, and hashtags.
- Reach out to individuals you find on these who may want to buy your proxies and pitch to them.
Over time, you can expand this strategy to include paid websites and ads, but you can get started with no financial investment.
With your marketing strategy ready to go, you’re all set — you can start selling and trust that the planning and concrete steps you’ve taken will support you as you begin running your business online.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re starting something relatively simple like an online resale business, you might wonder whether it’s worth writing a business plan. The answer is yes — business plans are always worthwhile. While simple and small companies don’t need business plans that are dozens of pages long, a short outline of how your business works is still valuable. Use your business plan to:
Set goals for your business
There’s so much involved in running a business that it’s easy for things to get lost. Setting goals for yourself is fundamental to ensuring your business is thriving and makes money. Set goals such as:
- How many sales do you want to make per month?
- How many new customers do you want to bring in per month?
- How much money will you spend on the business per month?
- How much money do you want to be making three months, six months, and 12 months into running your business?
Make sure these goals are SMART:
For instance, saying that you want to make $1 million in your first three months of operation is specific, measurable, and timebound, but it’s most likely not realistic or attainable. Instead, try goals like “Bring in 10 new customers a month on average by month six” or “Earn $1000 per month by month 12.” These are specific, relatively simple to accomplish, and help determine your next steps.
Document your assumptions
You probably assume things about your target audience, your products, or the general industry you’re entering.
When writing your business plan, you’ll have to describe your assumptions about the company you’re starting. Writing them down will help you determine which assumptions are realistic and which aren’t. As a result, you’re less likely to make mistakes based on faulty assumptions or a lack of research.
Clearly understand your customers
You’ll need to describe your target audience in your business plan clearly. This is where you’ll write and use customer profiles. List details such as:
- Income level
- Pain points (issues that bother the customer that your product can solve)
The more in-depth you get here, the better.
It’s easier to brand your business to appeal to “Australian college students” than it is to target “Australian people.” It’s even easier to target “Australian college students with limited income who want to access more content with their Netflix subscription.” The details are what make your marketing stand out.
Determine your financial requirements
As you write your business plan, you’re figuring out how your business will be structured. For instance, it will help you decide how to deliver your products to your customers and how you want that process to look. These decisions will shape the financial picture around your business, including how much you need to invest in startup costs.
If you decide you want to handle everything in-house, you’ll have to invest more. Meanwhile, if you choose to work with a reselling partner, you won’t need much startup investment. Play with your business plan until the financial requirements fit within the level of investment you can provide to save yourself money and stress.
Prevent yourself from taking on too much at once
The most important part of a business plan is that it forces you to be realistic. Once you’ve written out the plan, read through it and think about how this new business will fit your life.
- Can you accomplish everything it requires?
- Do you have the time and funds to invest in the current plan?
If not, you can go back and revise it.
The plan will also protect you going forward. Once you’ve developed a realistic business plan, you can refer to it when new opportunities come up to see if they’re worthwhile. If you can’t take the opportunity and still have time to accomplish your new business plan’s goals, it’s not a good fit. This helps you avoid taking on too much and keeps your business on the steady path to success.
How to Set Up Your Online Business
After writing your business plan, it’s time to act on it. You need to create the websites, accounts, and marketing profiles that you’ll use to find customers and sell things. The three most fundamental things you need to do to set up your online business are:
1. Set up a website and online storefront
The most basic requirement for running a long-term successful online business is to have a website. Your website is where people come to learn about your products and make purchases. Many people feel uncomfortable buying anything online from businesses without a website because it feels likely to be a scam.
Use selling platforms
The site should be easy to read and navigate. It doesn’t have to be particularly flashy or creative when you’re just getting started. In fact, your site doesn’t even need to be where you sell things at first.
You can set up an external online storefront on sites like Etsy and eBay to sell items. These sites are designed to help small business owners sell things without paying to host their own online stores.
Your website can remain a landing page that routes people to your chosen online storefront. The important thing is that you have a professional-looking page that can appear in search engine results and that you can link people to.
Plenty of website hosting services offer simple, free sites. You can use Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify to get started. Their templates ensure that your business’s online storefront looks great right away, and they’re easy to upgrade as your business grows.
2. Create social media profiles
A website is still only part of your digital presence. For brand new businesses, social media profiles are just as important. If your website is a digital storefront, social media profiles are like the display windows that convince people to come in and look around.
As you expand, you can also experiment with all sorts of platforms.
3. Set up your marketing tools
If you decide to pay for marketing, you can use social media giants to put your posts in front of hundreds or thousands of potential customers.
Social media services offer ways to promote your posts. You can turn on advertising for your business profiles to use their highly targeted advertising algorithms.
Then advertising is simple:
- Choose a post you want people to see.
- Select the demographics you want to see it.
- Set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on the campaign.
Even if you’re not quite ready to pay for ads, it’s still worth setting up these tools. These social media platforms also offer quick ways to check in on your accounts’ performance, including how many views posts are getting and what kind of people are interacting with them.
Where to Find Your Target Audience
Finding your target audience is just as important as setting up a business plan. You can have the greatest product and most effective monetization strategy, but it won’t matter if you don’t get in contact with your prospective customers. Here’s how to find your target audience and get their eyes on your business.
1. Find the spaces your target audience visits online
Researching how your ideal customer experiences the internet is critical to your success. You need to know where they’re going before starting any marketing campaign. This is easy if you’re selling something that you would use and marketing it to people like you. You can begin your marketing efforts on the platforms and websites you use and expand from there.
2. Explore social media
Social media sites are some of the best places to start your marketing efforts if you don’t know where else to go. Poke around these sites and look for groups and people dedicated to your specific products. Once you’ve found a social media platform with a thriving community around your type of product, you can enter the community with your business’s social media accounts.
3. Try targeted advertisement
Social media platforms also allow you to pay for targeted ads. If you’re interested in investing in your marketing campaigns, the different platforms will let you target people on narrow demographic traits like:
- Other interests
You’ll be able to get more eyes on your products and trust that they’re the kind of people most likely to care about and click your ads.
4. Optimize your website
Your website is a fundamental part of your marketing efforts. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can get more traffic from people looking to buy products like your own. This search engine optimization (SEO) can help you target your audience more narrowly and encourage potential customers to come to you.
The Costs of Setting Up an Online Business
The costs of setting up an online business can vary wildly depending on what you’re planning on selling. While online companies have much lower costs than brick-and-mortar stores, it’s still possible to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars just getting everything running.
A few of the most common expenses you may run into include:
- Stock: You need to have something to sell before starting a business. This cost is negligible if you provide a service like copyediting or an intangible product like proxies. However, physical products require you to buy stock or materials to make your inventory, which is a significant startup cost.
- Storage: Physical items need to be stored somewhere until you sell them online. If you don’t have a spare room in your home, this may mean paying for an off-site storage facility. Similarly, intangible products need to be hosted somewhere until you can transfer them to your customers. This may be as simple as getting an extra hard drive or as complex as setting up a server farm if you do it on your own.
- Storefront: If you sell your products through your own website, you’ll probably need to pay a monthly subscription fee for the hosting service. The exact cost depends on how many things you sell and how much traffic you get.
- Marketing: If you choose to pay for marketing, this will naturally increase the costs of getting your business set up.
- Administration: If you need any licenses, permits, or insurance to run your business, you’ll need to pay for them before making your first sale.
If you’re interested in learning how to start a resale business online for free, it should be obvious that your product choice makes all the difference.
Why You Should Resell Proxies
If you’re still wondering how to start an online resale business, you’re probably stuck on a simple question: What should you resell? Luckily, there’s a simple answer: Proxies. Whether you want to learn how to start an online business as a budding entrepreneur or want to make some extra income on the side, reselling proxies is an easy, low-investment, low-administration solution.
Why Rayobyte proxies are a great choice for online businesses
New online resellers find proxies to be some of the best possible products because they have many benefits. Rayobyte proxies are ideal for reselling because they:
- Restock quickly: If you run out of proxies to sell customers, restocking is as easy as buying more or increasing your residential proxy subscription from Rayobyte.
- Retain high resale value: Most individuals don’t need proxies in bulk — they just need one or two at a time.
- Appeal to a wide variety of potential customers: There are dozens of potential use cases for proxies, which means there are hundreds of possibilities for marketing them. You can easily find a niche to market proxies without worrying about too much competition when reselling.
Proxies from Rayobyte are cost-effective and easy to resell, making them perfect for anyone starting an online business for the first time.
Use cases and potential audiences for resold proxies
One of the most important factors to consider in an online resale business is how big a market your chosen product has. As a proxy reseller, you have access to a variety of potential target markets. Common use cases for proxies include:
1. Helping people access geo-restricted content
Proxies are ideal for helping people access content in other countries. Copyright laws prevent certain content from being accessible across international borders. With the correct proxy, though, anyone can access content worldwide.
You can market your proxies to people who want to see this kind of geo-restricted content. For instance, you can focus on people in places where they frequently run into these restrictions.
By clarifying how your proxies will help them access content worldwide, you can grab their attention and win loyal customers who want to see the entire web.
2. Allowing people to protect their internet privacy
On the other side of the coin, some people care less about accessing a greater range of content and more about cruising the web without supervision. Proxies help users protect their privacy by preventing websites from tracking their activity. The proxies act as a layer between the user and the site, assisting users in staying anonymous.
Marketing proxies to these privacy-minded people is an excellent way to resell proxies. You can guarantee your customers an extra layer of privacy and help them avoid being tracked by advertising algorithms or sites that want to sell their data.
3. Supporting social media influencers
Many social media influencers put a lot of time and effort into tracking how their accounts perform and how other people see their profiles. However, it can be difficult for influencers to get an unbiased view of their accounts. Algorithms pay attention to what people look at most, so they are more likely to show influencers their own posts — even when they’re logged out of their accounts.
You can market proxies to influencers to help them perform better research.
Social media sites can’t connect a logged-out user to a specific account or IP address with a proxy. That means they can’t use any data to alter what’s presented to fit the visitor’s preferences. Influencers can use this to properly understand what the average person sees when searching specific hashtags or visiting their profiles.
4. Helping sneakerheads and other collectors get deals
Proxies can help collectors get better deals on online auctions and limited-run sales. A great example of this is in the world of sneakers. Many sneaker makers produce extremely limited quantities of specific high-profile models. To make sales as fair as possible, they limit sales to one pair per person. Most companies only allow one purchase per IP address and block data center IP addresses entirely.
Sneakerheads find this limiting. They can’t get a pair to wear and a pair to keep — they’re stuck with just one pair.
That’s why you can market your proxies to them. With a residential proxy or ISP proxy, sneakerheads can hide their IP and buy more than one pair of their favorite new release.
5. Integrating proxies into software or programs you offer
You don’t have to resell proxies on their own. If you’re a programmer, you can add proxies to the software you write to increase its value significantly. For instance, you could write bots to help sneakerheads buy shoes before they sell out.
Integrating proxies into these kinds of software automatically makes the programs more appealing.
How much does it cost to start an online business reselling proxies?
The exact cost of setting up an online proxy reselling business depends on how much you want to invest.
Starting small reselling proxies
When you’re first getting started, it’s a good idea to start small.
Starting small means starting with a reasonable number of proxies. This helps you avoid wasting money on proxies that you don’t have enough of a customer base to sell.
Consider buying proxies in batches that make sense with your budget. That way it is large enough that you always have stock on hand but not so large that you’re spending hundreds — or thousands — that you won’t get back for months. You can always buy more with the right proxy wholesaler if demand increases.
How to scale your proxy reselling business
Starting slow: If you’re willing to grow your business slowly, you can start an online proxy resale business for nothing more than the cost of your initial proxy block. You can do the rest of the tasks yourself for free, including setting up a website and marketing your proxies on social media.
Quicker growth: If you’re willing to invest more in paid marketing and a professional online storefront, you can grow more quickly. These items can help you win customers more rapidly and access the higher profit margins you can achieve by buying proxies in bulk. Plus, as an entrepreneur, you’re directly controlling how much you invest. You can decide what processes and items are worth spending money on and which aren’t, so you are the one to determine how your business grows.
The benefits of reselling proxies with Rayobyte
If you’re still curious about how to start a resale business online for free, you might be wondering if proxies are right for you. By nature, resale businesses involve some investment. You need to have a product to resell, after all. However, Rayobyte can help you start a resale business with minimal upfront investment.
Rayobyte is an excellent reselling partner from start to finish. When you choose to resell Rayobyte proxies, you have access to benefits such as:
Back-end support and infrastructure
Many traditional reselling businesses need to spend significant time and resources on serious back-end concerns like where products will be stored or hosted and how they should be shipped to customers. Setting up appropriate infrastructure is often a significant investment, and it needs to be handled before you even start selling.
That’s not the case with proxies. Reselling proxies lets you make money without investing much time or capital into developing your own delivery system or purchasing expensive IP blocks. Rayobyte handles:
- Vetting proxy sources
- And even delivery
You only need to worry about selling.
High-quality, developer-friendly API
Rayobyte saves you time and effort handling back-end infrastructure with a simple, powerful, developer-friendly API for the proxies you sell. The Rayobyte API is easy to integrate into any existing software you may offer.
You can perform tasks through the API, like adding new customers and checking customer usage. There’s no need to set up an entire interface between you and your clients since Rayobyte already provides that support.
Easy-to-use dashboard to monitor clients
With Rayobyte, you can even automate user management. Rayobyte proxies come with free access to Proxy Pilot, which is also connected to the API.
You can check in on your customers with a glance and trust that the API is handling basic administrative tasks like rotating proxies on your behalf. When you resell Rayobyte proxies, you can focus on running your business.
Learn More About How to Start an Online Resale Business With Rayobyte Proxies
If you’ve been wondering how to start a resale business online, there’s never been a better time to get started. Rayobyte is here to help you make your dreams a reality. By partnering with Rayobyte to resell residential, data center, & ISP proxies, you can sell items with high resale value and get the highest return on your investment possible.
Get in touch to set up your proxy reselling partnership today. You can start earning money from home online by beginning a proxy resale business with minimal investment. Let Rayobyte help you become the entrepreneur you’ve always wanted to be.
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