How to Set Up, Maintain a Successful Online Business

  • An image of a business logo sign
    An image of a business logo sign
  • Majority of Nairobi residents are self employed. This is according to a report by research firm Tifa, which put the number of those who are self employed or work as casuals or on part time basis at 41 per cent.

    This is against 13 per cent who are employed on a full time basis. Consequently, most have resorted to starting up businesses to make ends meet. 

    While some prefer to run physical shops around the city, the lions share have gravitated towards doing business virtually. But how does one run and sustain a successful online business despite the increase in numbers against the same market? embarked on a research and has come up with the following steps and tips to help you set up, maintain and run a successful online business:

    File image of a wines and spirits retail shop
    File image of a wines and spirits retail shop


    At the back of having a successful online business is a well thought out and executed plan. The goal of every business is not only to generate income, but also to have the business sustain itself over time.

    Whether the business involves goods or services, have an idea on what you want to sell to the client. Experts advice that all prospective business owners should carry out extensive market research.

    This will help identify gaps in the market including what is missing or how differently you can deliver it to the target market. Get leads, consult individuals who have been in the business to get insights and intrigues on how to go about the business.

    Establish your profit model. This is a layout of how the business intends to make profit and factoring in all expenses. Without it, the business will be operating blindly and may not generate profit.

    Prospective business owners are also advised to establish a valid and reliable contact list. Remember, your network is your net-worth. This will also help you in generating a recurring passive income.

    Audience Visibility

    The key to a successful business is actually based on visibility. Make your presence known and felt to your target market. Building market visibility entails establishing a fan base that will remain loyal to you.

    This can be established through giving your clients value for their money. Achieving visibility may at times mean being seen all the time, but in a way that does not become a bother to the market. The goal is to be seen as much as possible and make an impression.

    Business owners can also gain market dominance by paying for their products to be pushed by popular websites or individuals which in turn increases discoverability.


    Automate all activities of your businesses. This not only ensures organization but also provides for accountability. It is essential in stalk taking, monitoring and evaluation.

    Needless to say, it also increases reliability and improves customer experience. Business owners should also ensure automation of the feedback process from the clientele.


    Establish a product or service that will be a powerhouse in the market. Create  a product that will ensure that the customer has a feeling of fulfilment - a good product will ensure customer loyalty.

    Always focus on creating market driven products. These are products driven by trends in the market place. It could be physical trends or those that appeal to the emotion of the market.
    Market dominance

    Strive for market domination. Create a product or experience that will sell itself even without engaging in extensive marketing activities. A product that other sellers would want to associate themselves with and would go as far as paying for the same.

    Residents and traders go about their business in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
    Residents and traders go about their business in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
    The Standard