Many books have been written about making money online and most of them just tell you what to do to make the money without giving you the basic help you need to get started. I included this part to prepare you so you can hit the ground running.
Even if you are not a computer geek, with the information included on this website, you will be one computer money geek in no time! With the knowledge you get, you will be able to start an online market, make money, and put other people through this money-making opportunity available online.
The e-commerce business models analyzed on this website are well explained. Setting up an online market will require some skills, time, and money. In this part, I covered the basic information you will need to build a strong foundation for your online business journey.
I strongly advise you to do plenty of research as to which business model will fit into your schedule, as I would not advise you to quit your 9-5 hustle at the start of your business. You will be needing money to buy equipment, acquire software tools, pay designers, and start up your business.
We will be walking through the resources, materials, and tools you will need to set up your online business. I provided a basic guide to buying a computer, a modem, and getting connected to the Internet for your business.
I included information about system security software that will protect you from malicious programs and also provided information about the essential business tools you will need.
The next part covers details on registering your business name, securing a domain name, and hosting your online market.
Get A Computer
You need a computer to start your online business. Should you buy an Apple or a PC? Though Apple’s operating system is easier to use than a personal computer, the personal computer is the most used computer and also has a greater selection of software to choose from, unlike Apple. Eighty percent (80%) of the earth relies on the PC, and that could influence your buying decision.
You can purchase a computer in a brick-and-mortar store or through the Internet in a click-and-mortar store. Systems can be bought for less than $200.
Most computers today come with an inbuilt modem. The memory size affects the price, too. The lower the memory, the lower the price! Visit computer stores in your area and attempt to pick the brains of the staff. You can even decide to get a portable laptop computer if your budget permits.
If you get a laptop, you will save yourself from a lot of stress. A laptop normally comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery, monitor, inbuilt keyboard, mouse, and most times a DVD-ROM drive. If you think this is the best idea, make sure it doesn’t affect your budget negatively. Always remember to check for speed and memory.
Many computers are referred to by their processor part numbers, such as a 386 or a 486. Though this part number stuff is now outdated, some people still have a 486. The Pentium, which is higher or better than a 486, came along and many computers now feature the Pentium, Pentium II, Pentium III, or Pentium IV. One of Intel’s Pentium versions is called “Celeron” and it is just an excellent option for your net needs. The “Centrino” is also a version of Intel. The industry has created higher-capacity memory versions like the “Dual core, and Core 2 Duo.
Intel has also flooded the hardware market with its Hyper-threaded processors popularly known as the core i3, core i5, and core i7. These processors have the capability to run multi-threaded applications.
Software developers around the world are building multi-threaded applications every day and processors that support multi-threaded programs are blazing fast when processing these types of applications.
In other to support new-generation applications, I advise you to go for a core i3 laptop. Make sure it has above four hours of battery life and the RAM is well above 4GB. If you get 8GB RAM, the better. 500GB or 1TB Storage space is more than enough for you.
As a recommendation, you can check out the following websites for affordable laptops or desktop computers.
- Konga.com – Nigeria
- Amazon.com – Global
- Jumia.com.ng – Nigeria
- Walmart.com – Global
- bestbuy.com – Global
Most PCs today come with operating system software preinstalled on them. An operating system is a powerful program that controls and manages the hardware and other software on a computer.
All computers require operating systems, including your laptop, tablet, desktop, smartphone, and smartwatch. Some examples include versions of Microsoft Windows (like Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP), Apple’s macOS (formerly OS X), Chrome OS, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and flavors of the open-source operating system Linux.
Since you are going for a PC, you will be using the latest version of Microsoft Windows operating system as of the time of this blog writing: Windows 11. Check to make sure that this is the Operating system present on the laptop computer you buy.
Get Connected to the Internet
To become connected to the Internet you will need a modem that will connect you from your computer. The modem enables you to “talk” to the Internet.
Modem speed is measured by the number of units of data that pass a certain point in one second in time. The fastest Modems around are measured in Gigabytes per second (GBps).
Another option could be Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network. Like a digital modem. GSM or CDMA service might be available from your local phone company.
There are many options as to which service provider can get you online in minutes. They charge a daily, weekly, or monthly fee for using their service. There are also flexible plans that allow you to choose the times of the day you want to get internet access.
You should check out CDMA network service providers around your area to get pricing and data plans that suit your budget and timing for your business.
Some service providers like Google and Facebook create Wi-Fi Hubs in different cities and sell network access cards that you can use to log into their online service by connecting to their Wi-Fi Networks. This is very user-friendly and economical. The network is also blazing fast. You can check if this service is available in your location.
Install A Web Browser
You need a vehicle that will take you wherever you need to go on the Internet. A browser is designed to do just that. The most common browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Get the browser you don’t have so as to compare features.
A simple google search for “Mozilla Firefox Browser” will give you links to download Firefox. You can also check for Google Chrome.
Your browser can help you organize your navigation of the net, too. For example, if you have Mozilla Firefox, you will have access to “Bookmarks.” These bookmarks represent your favorite websites and store them in a menu. It is therefore very easy to access your favorite websites with a click.
In Internet Explorer, the marking feature is known as “Favorites.” Note: Microsoft Windows 10 comes with Internet Explorer (Edge).
Start Using Search Engines
It is very possible to get whatever you need with the help of “search engines” once you type in your query, you will be given a list of sites to search out and explore. Most times it is appropriate to conduct more than one search, using different search engines. This referencing several options will ensure that you will find the most information on the topic you need to research.
A search engine is made up of a large database that organizes the content of web pages. It uses the keywords you provide to find and match results. A search engine sends software robots known as worms, spiders, web crawlers, and wanderers out on the web to find new things and bring them into the search engine database.
Some of the most popular search engines, are more sophisticated, specific, limiting, or in–depth than others.
- Google – google.com
- Yahoo – yahoo.com
- Ask – ask.com
Setup An Internet Mailbox
You need a place on the Internet where messages in terms of Information and data can be sent or received.
Email is short for ‘electronic mail’. Similar to a letter, it is sent via the internet to a recipient. An email address is required to receive emails, and all email addresses are unique. An e-mail may contain text, files, images, or other attachments.
There are Internet-based applications that provide free e-mail services. Google provides a free Internet-based email service called Gmail. Yahoo, which stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” also has YahooMail. Head over to gmail.com or mail.yahoo.com to create an email account.
Instant Messaging Software
On the Internet, there is the possibility of sending and receiving messages instantly. Before you can do this, you need Instant Messaging (IM) software. You can meet people online at particular times with this software installed!
IM software includes discussion forums and chat rooms. When Instant Messaging software is installed on your computer, it becomes a bridging gap for the instant exchange of information.
More than seventy percent (70%) of people who are connected to the Internet with their personal computers have IM software.
Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Skype are widely used instant messaging programs. You can download the three for free. Visit yahoomessenger.com to download the latest version of Yahoo Messenger, microsoft.com for MSN messenger, and skype.com for Skype.
You can use search engines to get other IM software. Just type: “Instant Messaging software” into your Google search engine.
If you already have a Google account, you can chat directly with contacts from within your Internet-based mailbox.
– The Internet Babalawo
Setup System Security Software
Over the Internet, there is much malicious software developed to disturb your progress. Malicious software includes worms, Trojans, adware, spyware, ransomware, browser hijackers, keyloggers, and rootkits.
Malicious software also popularly referred to as computer viruses can steal sensitive information, duplicate themselves and make your system run out of processing memory, they can take over the control of your computer and render your files useless.
Computer viruses are a constant threat across all platforms. Statistics show that more than 360,000 new pieces of malware are released daily.
In order to keep your information and data safe, you will surely need antivirus software. Antivirus software is an application or a suite of programs that finds and removes viruses on computers and networks.
Antivirus software is designed to provide protection on all operating systems and all internet-connected devices. This includes desktop and laptop computers running Microsoft Windows and macOS, as well as smartphones running iOS and Android.
There are three major categories for types of antivirus software:
- Standalone Antivirus Software
- Security Software Suites
- Cloud-Based Antivirus Software
Standalone Antivirus Software
Standalone antivirus software is designed to detect and remove certain viruses. It is commonly referred to as portable antivirus software because it can also be installed on a USB drive and used by administrators to run an emergency scan of an infected system.
Standalone antivirus software is not designed to provide real-time protection and does not download new virus definitions daily, which is why it cannot substitute internet security suites that include a variety of additional features.
Security Software Suites
A security software Suite is more than just an antivirus program. It is able to detect and remove viruses, and in addition, equipped to fight all other types of malicious software and provide round-the-clock protection for your computer and files. Most security software suites include anti-spyware, firewalls, and parental control features. Some also include additional functionality like password managers, a VPN, and even a standalone antivirus program bundled with the suite.
Cloud-Based Antivirus Software
Cloud-based antivirus software is an antivirus technology that analyzes your files in the cloud rather than your computer in order to free up your computational resources and allow for a faster response. These programs typically consist of two parts – the client that is installed on your computer and runs periodic virus and malware scans without taking up too much memory and the web service that processes the data gathered by the client and inspects it for matches in its virus and malware database.
Before you decide which antivirus software you will purchase and install, make sure you check out reviews about them on the internet. Get to know what users are talking about. Google is your friend.
Here is a list of antivirus programs you can research about.
- McAfee LiveSafe
Setup Essential Business Tools
There are essential business tools you will need so you can quickly create and process official documents, this includes tools for photo or image editing and office document processing.
Every online market requires images to showcase products and services in a visually appealing manner. A photo or image editing tool is important as it helps with processing images and saving them in acceptable web formats ready for upload into a product catalog.
Photo editing tools are available as both desktop applications and web applications. For example, pixlr.com provides a web application accessible through your browser for photo editing while Photoshop provides a desktop experience for photo editing.
Photoshop has come a long way in the graphics design and photo-editing world. It might cost you a few hundred dollars to purchase Photoshop as it comes with premium photo and image editing capabilities. Visit photoshop.com to get started with Photoshop.
If you are low on cash, the best way to go is to download an open-source alternative like GIMP. It is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows, and more operating systems. It is free and available for download from gimp.org.
Office Document Processing
Document processing is important for every business, whether online or offline. Most document processing tools come as a suite of tools.
Multimedia files, such as digital imagery and video, have become increasingly popular in today’s business world, even though the written word remains as important as ever. Some examples of the documents being produced and circulated within an organization include:
- A marketing plan.
- A memo.
These documents are produced using word processing software. Word processing software can help with the following:
- Creating, editing, saving, and printing documents.
- Copying, pasting, moving, and deleting text within a document.
- Formatting text, such as font type, emphasis, underlining, or italicizing.
- Creating and editing tables.
- Inserting elements from other software, such as illustrations or photographs.
- Correcting spelling and grammar and lots more.
Microsoft Office Suite has word processing software among other tools like Powerpoint, Excel for spreadsheets, Outlook for emails, Access for databases, Calendar for scheduling, Forms for quizzes and polls, Publisher for desktop publishing, and other tools.
The Office Suite is loaded with a lot of tools to get you up and running for business. The software can be purchased from office.com.
Another alternative is open-source software known as Libre Office. It is a powerful office suite – with a clean interface and feature-rich tools to help you unleash your creativity and enhance your productivity. It is free and available for download from libreoffice.org.
Open-source communities build software tools and make them available to you free of charge and is the most preferable route to choose when you are starting out on a low budget.
If there is a premium software design to perform any kind of task, just know there is an open-source version somewhere on the internet waiting for you to download and use them.
Open-source projects rely on donations and volunteers to stay afloat. Once in a while, you can drop some money as donations through the links they provide on their website.