Do you want to start an online business? Have you got that zest to make it happen? If yes, then read this step by step guide to make your dream come true.
Heads Up: If you don’t believe in your own dream or if you are looking for something that doesn’t require any efforts and hard work then please don’t read this any further. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. Although, getting rich is comparatively easier as compared to old times because of the availability of the Internet and a plethora of free resources.
However, when we start getting information without any efforts, we tend to swim in and reach nowhere. A Lot of information on the same subject can make you get puzzled.
Thus, don’t just eat the information, process it, and make it happen. You need to execute it. Yes, you may fail. So what? You will get experience and that’s something that you can’t buy.
Failure is equally important, however, it should not be the prime motive behind starting anything including your online business.
I believe this much heads-up is enough for now. If you are in a proper mindset to start your own online business, then let’s get started.
7 steps to start an Online Business
Finalize your product/services
Though this might sound like a no brainer, it is very crucial to have a firm idea in place. Every business needs to have a mission and a purpose. So if you are developing a business around a hobby, skill, or side hustle, you need to know it inside out so that you have a level of expertise. Your product or service needs to solve a real-world problem for potential customers who are looking for a solution. Your product/services should be able to resolve questions like –
- What is your product/service?
- How will your product/services can make difference in others life?
- How your product/services is different from the existing one?
- What is the connection between your product/service and the potential users?
- Will the product/service set you apart from other businesses in the marketplace?
So if your product or service brings in that unique aspect, with physical shipping and distribution, if needed, then you should be able to solely operate your business online.
Select the name for your online business
Now that step 1 is complete; the next stage is to select a name for your online business. It is important to have the right name for your online business to make it stand apart from the crowd. Here are a few ways to help you select a name for your business.
When choosing a name for your business, ensure that it is not too generic. The name of your business should be descriptive enough to raise curiosity. It should be something that people will remember your business by when they come across that name.
Choose a name that can be used across social media.
With social media platforms and websites on the rise of popularity, it is important that your business has an online presence on those platforms. So the name of your business should be the same and usable across all the sites. This will help improve your visibility and make it easy for your customers to find you.
Don’t copy from competitors.
Imitating a business name can lead to greater consequences. When you copy from your competitor, you will confuse your customers and can also receive a legal lawsuit from your competitors. This will only ruin your online business.
Ensure the availability of the domain name
Once you have chosen the name you want to go with, you must check the domain availability. I highly recommend you to choose the .com domain, but that could be quite difficult. You can, however, always make changes to get the name that suits your brands and fits in the desired domain.
Buy a domain and hosting
Now that you have selected the name of your business, it is very important to buy that domain name and host your website from a reliable hosting provider. Many online businesses fail to do this the right way and then face the brunt in the long run. I recommend using Bluehost, which is among the best hosting service providers in the market. Apart from that, it’s the most affordable yet professional one. Affordability is the prime concern of any business starting up.
So here are a few easy steps to help you get started with the Bluehost. If you will follow these steps you will get a free
Step 1: Get started with Bluehost
Clicking on the ‘get started’ tab will lead you to the pricing page wherein you can choose from the various packages – basic, plus, and prime. Choose the pricing plan based on your purpose of usage. And click on ‘select.’
After selecting your pricing plan, you can choose a free domain name or set up your existing domain name. To keep it simple, enter the domain name you wish to buy in the ‘new domain’ field, and your domain will be activated. Once done, click on ‘next.’
Step 2: Enter your details.
Now enter your details – name, email address, etc. You must enter the correct information as the login and hosting confirmations will be sent to the email address you enter.
Step 3: Select your package.
This is a very crucial step, and you should be careful not to include add-ons that you do not need. If you are satisfied with the payment details, then click on the ‘next’ tab.
Step 4: Complete the purchase
Go ahead and make a purchase for your desired domain. You will then receive your order receipt along with an option to create your password. Click on ‘create’ and choose your desired password.
You will receive information for the same in your email address. Simply head over to Bluehost and login with your new credentials. Your new domain is ready to go!
Design and Develop your website or portal
I have designed and developed websites for many online businesses from the past 3 years. Now I do have my own website, where I provide professional digital services. After serving a lot of clients now I know how and what works for whom. You can design and develop your own website from scratch by using pro theme and page builders. Personally, I love the Astra theme and Elementor Pro.
But wait, the above recommendations are only for those who want to start a service-based online business.
Suppose you are good at creating logos and you want to set up your website to showcase your work and attract clients you can use the above two recommendations. Or even if you are planning to start your own legal firm, you can use the above two to get started. These are some of the examples of what services you can provide.
On the other hand, if you are creating an innovative product, then you must hire a developer. Or if you are the techie guy or girl, then what are you waiting for go design, develop, test, and deploy.
Create social media pages
There are many social media platforms that let you network and connect with potential customers across the globe. You need to understand what each channel does and how it can change the game of your online business.
Social media presence can have benefits for your business, like performing customer services, generating leads, expanding your audience, and gaining feedback. But you can only gain such a huge audience base when you share high-quality content that is relevant. You should prioritize videos, images, and other types of visual content that can be easily created with Canva. All you have to do is choose the right dimensions and craft your design from thousands of templates available in the library.
Staying active and sharing creatives frequently is very crucial for your business’s social media engagement. You can design pro-quality social media posts using Canva pro. I have written an exclusive review of Canva. They also came up with a new feature, where you can design and schedule your post on go. No need for any additional scheduling tool.
However, there are plenty of automation tools available that let you schedule and publish posts automatically up to a month in advance. It saves you time by allowing you to plan and schedule batches of posts at once. It also makes it easier for you to monetize your engagement and respond quickly.
Increase visibility with digital marketing
Digital marketing, when done right, helps you get found in a crowded marketplace. Here are a few digital marketing activities that you should implement
Write Informative and Promotional Blog Posts
Blogs help increase your digital footprint and give your website an opportunity to rank for a particular keyword or phrase. You should blog as often as possible to increase visibility and rank your website in the search engine results.
Understand SEO basics
When you create content and follow the SEO best practices, you help your content rank higher in the search engine results. Some of these best practices include –
- Using descriptive page and post titles
- Using anchor text while linking internally
- Creating unique titles using relevant keywords
- Writing descriptive alt tags for images using focus keywords
Pay Per Click advertising (PPC)
Another great way to increase the visibility of your product or service is through PPC advertising. When people look for your products or services, they appear in the Google search results as an ad.
Sending product promotions on emails is the new norm. It is easier to send across offers, discounts, and other benefits to a user via email. This is why it is imperative that you build an email list.
Like we discussed above, email marketing has a high impact on delivering your message to your existing customers and prospects. And so you must build a strong email list. You can build your list in many ways. Some of these are listed below:
- Host an event
- Optimize website for opt-ins
- Create an online community
- Create special offers for ‘email only.’
- Encourage customers with daily deals
- Giveaway downloadable freebies
There are many tools that help build email lists, and Constant Contact is one such tool. Constant Contact lets you build your email list in the following ways –
- The sign-up sheet helps you upload contacts regularly to your email list.
- The List builder tablet app lets you digitally collect contacts at events.
- Text-to-join features make it easier for you to create custom keywords that prompt customers to enter their email address.
Don’t forget to take actions.
You must validate your idea and business strategies on a very small scale.
If you like this step by step guide on how to start an online business, please please do share with your friends and family. And yeah do let me know your views, concerns, and queries in the comment section.
Signup for my Newsletter and get access to the freebies.