If not now, then when?
This is the consensus embraced by Millennials and Gen Z during the times of COVID lockdown experienced in South Africa and around the world.
A generation of young (and not so young) adults who choose to take their future into their own hands and chart their own course. Choosing to break away from the standard nine to five that has left many of them disenfranchised.
The culmination of standard labor showing massive uncertainty as well as COVID restrictions spawned a series of actions now known as the Great Resignation, which is exactly what it sounds like: generations of people quitting their jobs to start their own project.
A large number of small businesses have been created in 2021, many of which are digital in nature. Research by SCORE has shown that 88% of entrepreneurs believe that online sales are an important source of income. We would tend to agree even without the data.
New business registrations in the South – Source: CIPC
This data correlates with findings from ZA Central Registry showing 73,000 new .co.za domains registered and renewed from March 2020 to February 2021. The next generation of adults don’t play games when it comes to e-commerce solutions for the growing employment problem they face.
So what does this all mean, you ask? This means that transitioning to the digital realm for a viable living solution is more relevant than ever. In the age of the Internet, kilobytes are king.
Realize the importance of an online presence for any business trying to exist in the modern age. Whether it’s a social media account, a website, or a landing page with an intro video, if it’s not online, how much do you really take it seriously ?
Think about it: when was the last time you made a major purchase or used a service that didn’t have an online presence?
This is the power of digital. You’d better venture there before it’s too late, but are you equipped to take the plunge and avoid the pitfalls?
Tricks of the trade for online businesses
If you’ve been thinking about getting your business online for a while but aren’t sure how to go about it, we’ll walk you through the process.
Determine your business needs
First, you will need to determine what your business needs to be online. Is it a simple website, a remote work environment for your employees to have your business in the cloud, or a complete physical server for you?
To give you an overview, you will most likely need a website, no matter what type of operation you are running. If your business is focused on retail products, an e-commerce website would be a better fit for you.
If you need to get your business online quickly, a VPS is a good option. If scalability is your concern, cloud hosting is probably a better choice. Cloud servers scale with your growing business as seamlessly as possible, providing more resources as you scale.
Assuming you need a server but don’t have the manpower to run it yourself, managed servers are a nifty solution. You get all the performance and all the resources without having to worry about maintenance.
A dedicated server is probably out of place for a budding business, but is a great solution for large amounts of process, data storage, and workload needed to keep massive operations running smoothly.
Since most businesses need a website first, we’ve created a brief checklist of what you’ll need to get your website online. If a website isn’t in the cards for you right now, a professional email address can do wonders for your brand. Take a look at the checklist:
- Buy a domain name and hosting
- Obtain a professional email address
- Install an SSL certificate
- Install a CMS
- Create your website
- Create and publish content
We’ve written extensively about each of these steps, so you’ll be able to learn from wherever you are in the process. Again, if a website isn’t part of your current plan, at least a professional email address is imperative.
Along with a fancy website or a professional email address, bringing your business online offers benefits that simply can’t be matched when working strictly offline.
Custom email domain
Having that custom email domain makes all the difference as a startup. It shows clients and correspondents that you mean business.
We have a manager courier network which ensures that your mail delivery is protected. This way, you and your contacts can rest easy knowing that the mail you sent is the mail they will receive.
Most web hosting companies (including us) offer a personalized email address as part of a web hosting package.
In addition to hosting the major top-level domains (TLDs) we offer, we also offer a free service .co.za domain to help you get started locally.
Lots of tools with Softaculous
Automation is one of the biggest benefits of bringing your business online. We all know how time-consuming (and exhausting) administrative tasks can be, but someone has to do them.
In Softaculous Steps, which you get for free with all of our cPanel web hosting packages. Softaculous is a script library that automatically installs the scripts and software you need, with just one click.
The many offers can accommodate any type of business. Whether you’re looking to download CMSs like WordPress, forums like myBB, project management tools, customer support systems, or file management scripts, Softaculous has you covered.
Here are some of the many free scripts that you would probably use as a startup:
– WordPress, HTMLy
- Real Estate Website Templates
– phpBB, myBB
- Project management
– OpenCart, WHMCS, PrestaShop
- Billing tools
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
– osTicket, OpenSupports
– Bootstrap, Laravel, Smarty
These are just a few of the categories with some of the most popular scripts and plugins. Having them at hand will give you the ability to perform certain tasks yourself in a matter of hours. This means you save valuable resources and time on important tasks.
View of the Softaculous app installer.
Recording all your data might have worked when you had single-digit customers, but you would have noticed that as your business grew, the harder it became to keep records and backups of everything.
Paper backups can be helpful, but online backups provide a secure place to keep all of your data and records without taking up valuable office space.
The advantage of online backups is that they can be automated and recovered with just a few clicks. Our Acronis backups of cloud servers and personal devices provide protection coverage for all the data you want to secure.
Secondary online activities – affiliate program and resellers
If things are going a little slower than you would have liked on the business growth side, you can also explore a viable online side business.
If you are a trusted provider in your community, you can help people get their start-ups online by reselling different types of hosting through a trusted hosting company. Our own reseller packages offer VPS, Hosting, LiteSpeed, Acronis Online Backup and Domain resellers.
You’ll essentially act as your own hosting company, taking care of your customers’ online server needs as they arise. This does not necessarily mean that you make their website look pretty. You just give them the boost they need to get their business online and help them keep it online.
It’s a great side hustle option if you’re looking to get into the tech field. Also, if you have a technical problem that you cannot solve, contact our support team and they will help you.
If your word is commitment, you can look for an affiliate program that matches a stellar product that you believe in.
Our own affiliate program offers 5% commissions for each referral service, for the life of that service – in short, residual income. You will also receive payments of R1,000 for successful sales.
Naturally, our products and services sell themselves, but we’ve taken the liberty of paving a way for aspiring kickstarters to, well, start their own businesses with a little cash on the side.
These options are especially useful when trying to navigate your hours of operation to fit an entire workday. Time is money, and if your business is going to thrive, you’d better spend your extra time doing it.
It’s time for your start-up to grow
Times have been tough for small and medium-sized businesses over the past two years. About 43% of respondents to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research mentioned temporary closures for small and medium-sized businesses in America. Along the same lines, 74% of start-ups were negatively impacted in India.
However, the global web hosting services market size exceeded one trillion rand in 2020. It is expected to reach just under four trillion rand by 2028. If this does not indicate an online revolution, nothing ballast.
Domain growth statistics. Source: domainnamestat.com
If there was a time to get started in e-commerce, it would be now. This works especially well since all of our products and services have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
Along with the money back guarantee, our excellent service and quick response times mean you’ll never be out in the cold waiting for an issue to be resolved. Don’t take our word for it, head over to TrustPilot and HelloPeter to check it out for yourself.
Yes, times have been tough, we know that. From our perspective, however, a workable solution to the ever-escalating fight for jobs is a digital remedy – and our antidote is ready.