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Monday 23 June 2014

How to Start an Online Business in Malaysia

Starting an online business in Malaysia isn't difficult and can prove to be a highly profitable venture. Due to recent successes of Zalora, and the growing acceptance of Internet use as a medium for service, now is a good chance to consider the Internet as a strong contender among more conventional means when it comes to starting new business ventures.

Among the many benefits of the Internet include:

  1. Accessibility, customers that are not bounded by physical location limitations.
  2. Reduced costs, high rent and high initial commitments were challenges to conventional business models.

Be clear

Before you get ahead of yourself, you have to be clear that starting an online business isn't any different from starting any business. The only thing that is different (or has changed) is the way your product or service is going to be channeled to your customers. Rather than the conventional store front which gives potential to attract only walking-by customers, the Internet opens possibilities to a global audience fairly easily.

Potential stumbling blocks

Although the Internet was created with much thought, your business still needs to be carefully laid out in clear plans. You will need to determine how you are going to transport your goods to your potential International customers, or how you are going to perform a service to another client that is on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Internet does provide a vast opportunity and benefits conventional businesses can't offer, but with it comes certain difficulties like logistics management, customer relationship, reliability of the Internet services you are currently using, and much more.

First things to Identify

"Great ideas rarely come out of thin air." Nick Souter. Often successful businesses arise from a need, so start with your motivations. Find out what it is that drives you, and with that you can drive your business. Are you in it for the money, or are you in it to change the world? Both are examples of valid motivations that have driven some people to achieve great success. 

The next thing to determine is which legal structure suits you?
Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Incorporated.

Each comes with its own perks and some commitments that you must fulfill.
Further Reading: differences between sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation 

Make your business official

All businesses regardless even if it is an Online Business that wishes to conduct business in Malaysia must fulfill these steps:

  1. Register with the Companies Commission of Malaysia
  2. Be aware of the National Initiatives of setting up an Internet business (Malaysian National Budget 2014)
  3. Ensure that if your business requires Personal Information, your business should be compliant with The Personal Data Protection Act 2010.
  4. Be familiar with Malaysian tax (including GST - effective 2015)
  5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits.

Find a suitable host

Choosing the wrong hosting option could cost you:

  1. Loss of Revenue
  2. Negative SEO Impact
  3. Security and Malware attacks

How to choose the best hosting provider?

  1. Understand the different hosting solutions available
  2. Excellent Customer support is mandatory 
  3. Ability to scale
  4. Excellent uptime record
  5. Choose what is best for you and what suits your budget

Stop; breathe.

Starting a business isn't an easy task, but nothing is at the beginning. Over time with enough persistency you and your business should prevail, even through testing times. Here is a toast to your business and for your future success, because at the very core of starting any business is; getting started.

Further reading: Overcoming Procrastination

EVERWORKS is Malaysia's leading Colocation Hosting, Server Colocation Service and Mobile Hosting Provider. EVERWORKS houses over 200 servers over 3 major Internet Datacenters in Malaysia.

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