How to Start an Online Business in 10 Steps

how to start an online business

Did you get bitten by the Entrepreneurial Bug?

Want to become an entrepreneur and start your own business? But do not have an idea how to start an online business?

Let’s us help you achieve your dream with these 10 important steps to your financial success.

Gone are the days when people needed a lot of money and resources to start a business. Starting an online business today is as easy as it can get. In most countries, Governments are trying hard to help and encourage people to start their own online businesses.

Kids as young as seven-year-old are starting their own online businesses and making huge money by either selling their products or providing services such as web development and app development. And by the time these young kids go to college they are already serial entrepreneurs with a million dollars business to boast about in their resumes.

If you have been struggling with ideas on how to start your own online business, then keep reading this post.

What is Online Business?

A lot of traditional working families do not understand the concept of online business, and when their kids or someone close to them starts or talks about it and they get scared and think that all online businesses are a scam.

The truth is that not all online business are a scam, most online businesses are genuine and perfectly legal.

An online business is a type of business that completely runs using the internet as a business platform. Online business owners can offer their services or sell products online to consumers from around the world.

how to start online business

What kind of businesses can you run online?

There are a lot of businesses that you can start online, and it totally depends on your skills, interests, and passions.

With an online business, you can make something and sell it online, resell something or sell your own services.

Below is a list of online business that you can start without much capital

  • SEO Services and Social Media Consultant
  • Life and Business Coaching
  • Selling products online on your own E-Commerce website or on eBay, Amazon or other such e-commerce sites.
  • Web Design and App development.
  • Content writing service
  • Promoting products as an affiliate
  • Blogging, advertising, and influential marketer

Also, read Small Business Strategies & Ideas That Work (2017)

10 Simple steps to start your own online business

Now that you know what an online business is and what kind of businesses you can do online we hope you are well informed to start your first online business.

Steps to start an online business

  1. Create a business plan
  2. Choose a business structure
  3. Name your business
  4. Get a domain name and Set up your website
  5. Register your company
  6. Set up your finances and taxes
  7. Set up your media kit and marketing material
  8. Hire staff
  9. Train your employees and upgrade their skills, knowledge
  10. Create your product/service
  1. Create a business plan

Everyone wants to start a business. I hear people talking about it at the gym, at the restaurant where I eat, when I speak to my friends that’s all I hear about. People talk about how they want to start their own business, their dream company that would make them filthy rich.

But of all the people who talked about starting their own business guess how many of them actually started a business? That is a very short list, less than 1% of them started a business. Why didn’t all my friends start their businesses?

People think that starting a business is a tough process. They believe that it takes a lot of money and resources to start. People believe in all kinds of myths and end up not chasing their dreams.

The first step to starting an online business is to create a business plan.

how to make online money through online business

Also read What Is the Best Advice for a Young, First-Time Startup CEO?

How to write a business plan

A business plan is your roadmap to how and what you are going to do with your business. It details the steps you need to take to start your business, plan what exactly you want to do and how to do it. It can either be a small single page plan or a long, detailed plan. But for starters, your business plan needs to have the following.

Sample One Page Business Plan

  1. Write down the problem you are planning to solve.
  2. How you are going to address the problem.
  3. How you are going to make money.
  4. Who is your target market?
  5. What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)
  6. How you are going to get funded
  7. How you are going to spend the money.

Your first business plan doesn’t need to be perfect. It is okay to make mistakes but make sure to learn from them and keep learning.

  1. Choose a Business Structure

A Business Structure defines your business. It describes what type of business you are running. Are you running a Sole Proprietorship firm? How many partners does your business have? How big is your team?

The business structure of your business also decides how much taxes you pay. It also determines the future of your business.

Below is a list of most common business structures, you can choose one depending on your business goals.

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Cooperative
  • Corporation
  • Partnership

If this is your first business with limited funding and if you do not have any partners then we would suggest you go for Sole Proprietorship. That means you are the only owner of the business and have no partners.

Most start-ups go for Limited Liability Company, LLC for short. You can hire employees and run a successful business and pay taxes.

10 important factors to start an online business

  1. Name your business

Naming your business is important. Choosing the right name is important but do not stress over it. Never try to be a perfectionist when it comes to naming your business. You can always change the name of your business.

A lot of online resources suggest that you choose the perfect name and many business owners waste a lot of time on it and end up frustrated. If you are an Apple Inc fan, then you will know how Apple was named, and it became a household name within no time.

To help you ease the burden of naming your business, we have shared a few tips on naming your business

  • Choose a name that is unique and easy to pronounce.
  • Choose a name that tells what your core values are.
  • Use a name that can be trademarked; it adds value to your brand name.
  • Choose a name whose .com domain is available.
  1. Get a domain name and Set up your website

Since you are starting an online business, it is important that you register a domain name and setup your site. It is easy to get it done. Even if you start an offline business, you will need to make sure to get a domain name as it is one of the most important ways your customers are going to connect with you.

Also read, How to find a perfect domain name for your business.

Below we have shared some best practices on registering a domain name for your business.

  • Select a domain name with your company name in it.
  • Keep the domain name relevant to the firm, something that represents your brand.
  • Try to register a .com domain.
  • Try to keep the domain name short and straightforward.
  • Register the domain name for at least 5 years. If you lose your domain name once it’s hard to get back.

online money making

Also, read How To Advertise A Local Business

Tips on setting up your website

  • Get a reliable hosting. If you are going to run an e-commerce site, then it needs a dedicated server with large memory and storage.
  • Make sure to select a hosting plan that is easy to upgrade to more storage and memory because as your consumer base grows your server needs to be big enough to handle all the demand.
  • Design a website that is simple to use. User Experience is as important as the User Interface.
  • Use safe eye colors and avoid flashy aminations.
  • If you have payment methods available on your website, then make sure you get your site verified by Norton or McAfee and other such services that will help you build trust with your consumers.
  • If you have the budget, then hire a good freelance web developer rather than trying to do everything on your own.
  1. Register your company

Registering your business is one of the most important steps in starting your online business. Registering your business requires a lot of paperwork, and some fees need to be paid. Make sure you have enough funds before you plan to register.

Registering your company is important because it makes things official and it means that you are taking the right steps towards fulfilling your dreams.

Below we have shared few important points to be taken into consideration before you registry your company.

  • Makes sure you have all the required documents with you before you register your company.
  • If you are not sure about something, then get professional help. A Chartered Accountant or a company registering agent would help you register your online company for a small fee.
  • Select the country, state or city where you want to register your online company because different countries and different states have different tax policies and tax benefits for future entrepreneurs.
  • Depending on the country or state you are registering your business in, you will get a Business Identification number.
  1. Set up your finances and taxes

Once you have registered your business, you will need to obtain tax ID number from the Revenue department. If you are starting a service based online business, then you will have to register for Value Added Tax and other taxes to ship your goods to other states and countries.

Also read Here’s How To Get An Internship At The White House

Setting Up Your Finances

To run a successful business, you need to have a strong hold on your finances and bookkeeping. Below we have shared few tips on managing your finances

  • Get a business bank account also known as a current account that will allow you to transfer a huge amount of money to and from other businesses that you are dealing with.
  • Get Employee Identification Number from the Department of Employment so that you can pay your employees their salaries.
  • Appoint an accountant or a bookkeeper. This is one of the most important aspects of running an online business.
  • Register for all the taxes that apply to your business.
  • Get invoicing software.
  • Get a company Credit Card so that you will not have to use your personal credit card for business expenses.
  • Learn about bank and cheque processing fees and interest on loans.
  • Since you are running an online business, you will receive payments on your Paypal account, and you need to invoice each and every payment that you receive so that all incoming and outgoing payments are recorded.

Managing taxes and finances might look a bit complicated in the beginning but as your business grows you will find it easy and exciting.

  1. Set up your media kit and marketing material

Since you are an online business, you will need a media kit to send it to media houses, blogs and other places where you can market your business.

A media kit can contain the following information

  • Information about you and your business.
  • Contact details
  • A press release if you have released a new product or a service.
  • A few Images of your business including company logos, pictures of your workplace and workshops.
  • The annual report so that you can show how successful your business is. If you have just started out, then you can showcase your client base and employee profiles.
  • Collect a few Testimonials from your customers. It is a known fact that testimonials improve trust base and increase sales.
  • You can share few samples of your products if you are a product based company.
  • Newspaper cuttings of recent news coverage of your online business.

You must always be read with a Media kid and marketing material and send them to every journalist who reports news related to your niche. This will increase your brand coverage and in turn, bring in more clients and profits.

MAKING MONEY

  1. Hire staff

Most internet based businesses are one man army kind of companies where the founder runs the complete operations of the firm. But as your business progresses you will need to delegate your tasks to other people. You can either go with hiring remote freelancers or hire in-house full-time employees.

  1. Train your staff and upgrade their skills, knowledge

Running a successful business takes a lot effort from all the stakeholders in the firm. Today the industry is moving forward so fast that it becomes a little difficult to learn everything and still keep up with the latest advancements in technology.

The best way is to train your staff and help them upgrade their skills once in a while. You can train your staff by hiring a skills consultancy, or you can go and enrol yourself and your employees on any good online self-learning portal like Udemy and Coursera.

  1. Create your Product/Service

The last step in the journey of starting your own online business is to build your product or service. But it is one of the most important aspects of your business so make sure you create the best product and give the best service the industry has ever seen.

Below we have shared few tips on Creating your own product and services

  • The best products and services solve one problem that the consumers are facing.
  • Keep the solution simple
  • Get enough beta testers and get as much as valuable feedback.
  • Try to provide long-term value to your consumers rather than thinking of short term fixes.
  • Ask the industry experts and influencers to beta test your products and services and hope for a positive testimonial.
  • Keep the product and service affordable and not expensive.
  • Be creative in packaging your products.
  • Create interesting and entertaining commercials that attract your target consumers.
Also read, FOUR CAREERS THAT WILL FOREVER ASSURE YOU OF EMPLOYMENT

Conclusion

So these were the 10 steps to starting your own online business. Although starting a business looks terrible and impossible, but in reality, it is much easier and fun to start a business than you think. And always remember failure is not the end of the world, but it is just another step in your success.

We hope you all the best with your online business.