How to Start Online Business in 8 Simple Steps
With the advent of advanced and affordable online tools, it has never been easier to start online business and generate income. Whether you are looking to establish your new brand or invest in a side hustle, you can quickly get your online business idea off the ground and see if it is doable or not.
If you are thinking of starting your own online business, you have to follow a proven sequence of steps to increase your chances of success.
So without further ado, let's discuss the sequence of steps in detail that goes into creating an online business.
8 Steps to starting an online business
1. Type of online business
The first and foremost step is to decide which type of online business you want to create. There are multiple options to select, and we have laid down a few common types below.
Freelancing: If you possess an in-demand skill or have the potential of acquiring one, you can start with this online business model. You may learn to offer services like Creative writing, Digital Marketing, Website designing, development, and more.
Ecommerce: This online business involves selling physical products, so if you have something physical to sell online, eCommerce will be an appropriate business model.
Digital Products: If you are a chef and can write an ebook on the different types of cuisines; their recipes, you can sell that ebook via this model. The options are not limited to an ebook; it involves plugins, design themes, educational material, and more.
Affiliate Marketing: If you do not have anything to sell, start selling other people's products and get a commission on each sale.
Social Media Influencer: If you have a good following on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, you can collaborate with various brands to market their products and services.
Note: It is essential to identify the business type before you start your online business.
2. Market Research
Irrespective of how unique your idea is, it will not be successful if it cannot fill a need within the market.
You need to do a lot of research in your intended market. The more research you do, the more are the chances for you to be a successful business. Of course, you will keep on learning new things along your entrepreneurial journey. Still, it is recommended to have some good background knowledge of that particular market in which you have intentions of building an online business.
Look out for your competitors, their strategies, which kind of products and services they offer, and the exact market needs they are fulfilling. Doing research this way will give you insights into what you should or should not be doing.
Go to the forums like Quora and look at what type of questions people ask and what kind of response they are getting in return.
You can also conduct customer surveys to get first-hand information on your customer's needs. Use a platform like LinkedIn to get accurate data from the field professionals.
After you collect all the relevant data, you can analyze it and identify all the pain points of your customers – this can help you to devise a strategy that can provide a solution to those pain points
3. Product or Service Development
You need to have something to sell if you are setting up an online business. So, before you proceed further, make sure to put all your resources, effort, and time into developing unique products or services.
This step will be different for every business type
For instance, if you are looking to sell products online, you will have to invest in research and development. Similarly, if that product is a digital one, such as an ebook, you would want to hire a top-notch editor to go through your content and make sure it is up to par before it gets published.
For affiliate marketing, it is about researching for a couple of good affiliate opportunities and making sure that the products that you shortlist are of good quality.
Having the right quality product and the potential of giving excellent services won't do anything till you start telling people about your brand. Effective branding will help you stand out and grab your prospect's attention, so it is crucial to put some serious thoughts into your branding strategy.
Start with the brainstorming; think about your mission and how do you consider yourself different from others? What can you do better than other competitors?
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects and think about what would convince them to approach you.
Once you are done with this phase, it's time to work on some visuals such as Logo, Brand Tagline, and Website Layout.
Note: You may work on digital brochures, flyers, and more as per your business's needs.
5. Website Development
Since you are starting an online business, you cannot ignore the importance of having a well-designed website. A website will provide you a platform to showcase your products and services professionally – also, it allows your customers to get to know your brand as a whole. So, you would certainly want to build a website with a fresh and appealing look to it. And, the first step in website development is to design a prototype.
What is a Website Prototype?
A prototype is the preliminary version of your website design from which the final design will be developed and approved.
How can you make a Prototype?
Wondershare Mockitt is a design prototype tool that allows you to create a web design and share it with your stakeholders.
Irrespective of any business website you are planning to create, Mockitt allows you to design your website prototype in few easy steps
- You can use Mockitt in your web browser without installing it within your system.
- Mockitt works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, so you can use it seamlessly on whichever system you have.
- Without any coding language, Mockiit allows you to create a design prototype using its drag and drop feature.
- Mockitt has a massive library of elements that you can use to design any website, be it eCommerce, affiliate, consultancy, and more.
- You can test various color combinations for each of your web pages, and once finalized, you can share that design with your project team
- You can create links without various design screens you'd prepare.
In short, Mockitt has everything which you can expect from a features-loaded designing software. So use Mockitt to its full potential so that your website stands out in the competition.
Note: Make sure that your design remains simple, responsive, and consistent throughout your website. Your goal should be a great user experience, which comes if you make the purchasing process more straightforward and transparent.
6. Legal Matters
Before you start online business, it is vital to take essential steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant.
Every business is different, and every region has its own rules and regulation, so check them from relevant officials. Make sure the paperwork is complete before you register your business. You may want to apply for a tax identification number if it applies to your business. Set up a Bank account and give tax responsibility to the qualified and experienced account.
Make sure that you make the arrangements for packaging and shipping if that part is applicable – because, in the freelance business model, you are not required to think about these arrangements.
8. Marketing strategy
To keep growing, you need some reliable marketing techniques. You can opt for Advertising, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
There are many free platforms with which you can devise your marketing strategies, such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and more. So, extend your reach as much as you can.
With that being said, we have completed our discussion of how you can start online business in 8 easy to follow steps.
There's so much that goes into building an online business. And, now you have learned all those techniques. So, you must follow this step-by-step approach to make sure that your business grows exponentially!