From Side Hustle to 6-Figure Success: The Journey of Building an Online Business

Before 2018, I sold products on marketplaces like eBay and Etsy; it was a good start for a beginner like me. When the months passed, I began to make good profits, but then they started to change the payment integration and sometimes their policy. After that, I decided to quit the platform and open my brand. I was in my undergrad during the time and wanted to start a side hustle. Then, I began researching, building a successful online business, and gathering information. Here are the nine steps I have applied to grow my e-commerce business.

Step 1: Identifying the niche: The primary purpose of narrowing down is to target only the specific market and segment that interests you the most. In my case, I was more interested in beads of bracelets and malas because I had known them for years. Initially, my target audience was from worldwide as I was selling in the biggest marketplace in the globe. But due to poor logistics international services, I decided to target the Nepalese market and wanted to know if people are interested in buying these kinds of stuff. This product’s target audience is religious and spiritual people and teenagers who wear fashion accessories. So, I created two personas to target and understand their purchasing power better.

Step 2: Registering the business: The second step was registering your business in the government office. I reported it through a lawyer to avoid the hassle. However, you can also research the market before registering your business to know whether the product will work or not. You can ask your family and friends, but do your research before making a massive investment in the business.

Step 3: Building the website: Doing business online means selling on the website without being physically involved. Whether you can make a website on WordPress for free or use a paid platform like Shopify. I have created a website on WordPress on my own and listed the products. You can use the free YouTube tutorials to make the website on your own to avoid investing money in the initial stage.

Step 4: Creating Social Media Channels: To engage the audience, I have created pages and accounts where I post pictures of the products most of the time and designed the educational and meme post through canva.  Social media is all about the audience engagement with your business, which later turned into leads and conversions. So, I organized a free products campaign to grab their attention and get organic engagement. So engage, educate and entertain your audience because they are the potential buyers.

Step 5: Running Facebook and Google Ads: If you can get organic reach, that coverage is excellent, but for instant results, you have to run paid ads to gain a large audience that might be interested in your products. Firstly, I started with organic, but later, I used Facebook and Google ads to achieve more attention for my posts and products. If you can use both organic and ads, the e-commerce business will be more successful.

Step 6: Effective Marketing Strategies: I analyzed each ad after the ads was over to know how they were performing and created many strategies once I received the ad reports. After that, I made the marketing content plans based on the questions asked by the customer and placed the content as well as the product that might solve their problems. Only running ads won’t help, you must focus on your creatives too because they are the ones who make a real difference. So, do A/B testing, make different varieties of campaign, and understand which type of content works the best.

Step 7: Building Community Engagement: After each purchase, I store the data of consumers, and I add them to a WhatsApp group for better future targeting. In that group, people used to share their experiences and solve the issues if they encounter anything about the products. So it’s a group of like-minded people where we used to send them offers and provide knowledge through content. Community engagement is the most crucial factor in this type of business, as the industry is very niche. 

Step 8: The Feedback Loop: To make the business sustainable, you must provide the best customer service as well as innovate the product by working with consumer reviews, whether they’re positive or negative. Providing the best customer service with product improvements is what makes businesses grow. So focus on your customer’s problems and solve them in the best possible manner.

Step 9: Collaborate with reliable logistics partners: Since I started that business, I have changed at least five logistics partners because sometimes the product was lost, deliveries were late, and didn’t make the payment promptly. At last, I found one with the best logistics services. Even though the cost is higher than the other partners, they provide excellent customer support. So the experience should be smooth for customers as it is said people don’t buy product, they buy the experience. 

To run a successful online business, you must identify the gaps in the market and work as a bridge between them. Providing excellent customer service and building customer trust makes the business sustainable. Creating effective marketing strategies will help you know your audience’s behavior so that you can re-target them most efficiently. Whether digital or physical, these are the most critical aspects of any business. 


1 thought on “From Side Hustle to 6-Figure Success: The Journey of Building an Online Business”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *