Learn how to start an online business by using our 8 step guide even if you’re just starting out as an online entrepreneur.
Starting an online business has never been as easy as it is today.
Thanks to the Internet businesses can reach anyone anywhere at any time.
No matter who you target, your online business can help you reach it.
The Internet and social media go hand in hand when it comes to growing your online business.
They are great tools with tons of different features to help you get started.
The purpose of starting a business is to fulfill a growing demand or having a solution to a true problem (not what you think is a problem). This is why, market research should be at the top of your list when you’re planning to start a new business.
That’s where extensive research can help you. Conduct market research, look for competitors, research your main target audience and identify the demand.
Also, it’s very important to make sure your services or products are high-quality.
You need to make some profit out of what you are selling, that is you’d need to have a good profit ratio (margin) in your sales.
Going online instead of having a physical store is a better solution and it can save you a lot of time and money.
There are costs of registering your business online but they don’t even come close to the costs of having a store or company.
Thanks to algorithms and analytics, you can see which areas of your business you need to improve.
Numbers don’t lie and they are your friend.
You can track everything from visitors on your website or social media, clicks, engagement rates, etc.
That’s something you can’t do if you are not an online business.
Now, that we helped you imagine how your online business would run, we want to help you pick what you would want to sell.
If you haven’t decided yet, don’t worry!
We are here to spark up your imagination. Here are some business ideas that could work for you.
Table of contents:
- Step #1: Find A Need And Fill It
- Step #2 Decide Whether To Use A Third-Party Platform, Marketplace Or Build Your Own Website
- Step #3: Choose A Name And Create A Brand
- Step #4: Create Your Platform
- Step #5: Make A Great Sales Copy
- Step #6: Make It Official
- Step #7: Promote Your Online Business And Get Sales
Which Types Of Online Businesses Can You Start?
#1 Start An Epic Blog
People LOVE stories.
Especially successful stories that will make them feel all warm and cozy inside.
Warm and cozy means engagement and engagement on your website means traffic.
Traffic is something that every company wants because that’s where their audience is.
It’s a simple investment that will require maybe an hour a week and no more than twenty dollars.
There are tons of stories online that could be used for copywriting.
Websites like Facebook, Imgur or Reddit are a great place to look.
Tons of stories are published every day so you won’t run out of ideas.
If you manage to get your website to gain a lot of traffic, you can resell the website for an enormous amount of money.
Take ViralNova.com for example. The guy that invented the website hired several writers to copy write success stories taken from other websites.
The website sold for $100 million and before that, they were making as much as $400k in ad revenue.
Not too shabby, huh?
Of course, you need to start with something small, like $10 or $60 per month.
But, as the traffic grows, the numbers will go up and up!
Just be persistent and find ways to get people to visit your website.
#2 Start an affiliate marketing business
Over the last few years, affiliate marketing has taken its place in the business world.
Affiliate marketing offers you a commission on selling products for other businesses. A commission can mean big bucks with no limit.
This also means that everything will depend on you and how much you want to make.
You don’t have to think about inventing a product or a service.
Your only job would be to promote a link to a certain product.
Let’s take Amazon’s affiliates for an example.
Amazon makes a huge amount of commission for selling other people’s products.
You only need to register as an affiliate and by using your referral link, you earn a commission for each sale with no fuss.
#3 Create an online brand
If you love taking stunning images with your camera, then you never have to worry about inventory.
You will only have to worry about staying inspired.
Upload your creations to websites like CafePress.
There are a lot of companies that need images like yours for their marketing or sales efforts. Usually, companies look for images that can be printed on books, T-shirts, greeting cards, posters or calendars, etc.
Each time your image is downloaded, you earn a chunky commission.
#4 Create an app
People are getting busier and busier.
They rely on apps every day to help them through a fast-paced life.
Whether it’s Apple’s or Google’s market, apps are a hot commodity right now.
That means that there isn’t a better time for app designers.
Building an app from scratch can be challenging but it’s definitely worth the investment.
#5 Become a domain broker (purchase and sell domains)
Buying and selling domain names have worked for a lot of people.
You need to buy a domain at its initial registration price which is usually much cheaper and then resells it at a higher price.
You must be wondering about how to start an online business for $100 or less. Here are the steps you need to follow:
7 Proven Steps To Start An Online Business For A $100 Or Less:
Step #1: Find A Need And Fill It
Market research should be at the top of your list when you’re planning to start an online business. As the founder, you need to be informed about the density of the market.
After you have done the market research, you start working on developing your product or service.
You must develop something that will fill a need in the market.
There are a lot of free ways you can research the market.
Those questions can help you develop a product or service that will be the solution to the problem. Look for competitors in the same field and see what they are doing. Always strive to be original.
Step #2 Decide Whether To Use A Third-Party Platform, Marketplace Or Build Your Own Website
This part is important because it will set the tone for your business in the future.
If you want to start an eCommerce site, then you are choosing the most direct form of online business.
Other businesses use third-party services like Amazon, Aliexpress, Alibaba, etc.
You will have full control if you go for the direct eCommerce option.
You can control and edit every aspect of the website.
Also, you won’t depend on somebody to do the job for you.
When you are designing your eCommerce website, it’s important to see it in the eye of the customer.
You’d need to make sure everything works smoothly including the design, layout, landing pages, shopping carts, etc.
Test everything several times until you are 100% sure your website is ready to take in a large number of customers.
If you want to opt for a third-party eCommerce marketplace, there are tons of different choices right now.
The most popular are eBay, Amazon, Fiverr, etc.
Depending on what you’re going to sell, you should choose the right marketplace for you.
Of course, this comes at a price.
Usually, some websites take a commission on each sale but there are other offers for you to consider.
Step #3: Choose A Name And Create A Brand
Branding is also a major step to create any kind of business.
Your name will represent your company everywhere.
That’s why you must create a name that will make you stand out.
The name should be short and effective so that people remember it better.
Once you have found the perfect name for your brand, it’s time to see if the name is taken or trademarked.
Companies that have a similar name to yours have the right to sue you if the name is similar.
Step #4: Create Your Platform
The platform will be the place where you sell your services or products.
If you don’t know how to build a website, there are a lot of websites that offer website design and creation for free.
These companies offer a DIY website design service that is simple to use by everyone.
If you need additional help, you can always register on freelance websites like Fiverr or Upwork to hire the best talent for your problems.
Step #5: Make A Great Sales Copy
You don’t have to be a genius to write great sales copy.
The Internet is full of helpful advice to inspire you.
Also, there is a well-known formula designed to move the visitor from the beginning to the end of the sale process, the purchase.
Here is the step-by-step formula:
- Write a great headline that will attract visitors to click on it
- Write about the problem and make them connect with it
- Make them trust you to solve the problem
- Add case studies about your product/service with previous customers quotes
- Now, talk about what you are selling and what are the benefits of the product
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse
- Assure them that it will work
- Urge them to buy the product/service
- Tell them how much it costs and ask them to buy it
When you write the sale copy, imagine yourself as the customer and what the customer would want to see in the copy.
Step #6: Make It Official
Now that everything is in place, it’s time to make the business official.
Making your business legal requires several steps.
First, you need to read online business regulations carefully because they differ from general business regulations.
The online business laws take customer’s personal information, privacy, and intellectual property regulation into consideration.
The second step is to register your business.
Deciding on what kind of legal structure your company might have is important too.
Ask for legal help if you’re not sure what to choose.
You can also use this guide to help you choose the best legal entity for you.
Once you register your business, there are some tax regulations you need to consider.
Research your state sales requirements and online sales tax obligations.
The shopping cart option on your website should calculate the exact amount of sales tax depending on the location the sale is being made.
Step #7: Promote Your Online Business And Get Sales
Marketing can help you lift your business from the ground if it’s done the right way. Nowadays, with the expansion of social media, marketing has never been easier.
First, you need to be promoting your business 24/7 because of the high competition.
Giveaways are fantastic to get your product out there in the market.
Yes, you might have to ‘sacrifice’ a few bucks in the beginning but it will all be worth it once the great reviews start coming.
People love reading reviews about products and they want to be sure that their money is not ‘wasted’.
Also, the sales copy can sell instead of you.
Join groups relevant to what you’re selling and promote your products.
Don’t try to oversell though, it might sound desperate.
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Always believe in your product and your business.
Make sure you pour your heart and soul into what you are selling because people pick up on that.
A lot of businesses fail because the owners failed to create a high-quality product or the owners are in it only for the money.
Imagine what you can do with your business once it starts making serious money.
Think of ways how you can make a change in the world with your product.
Give back to the community.
Be honest and real with your customers.
If somebody has a bad experience with your product, make sure you fix it and apologize.
Your customers would love your company for your integrity and sincerity.
Those two words can bring you more money than any salesperson or paid ad.
And lastly, always do your best.
There are going to be hurdles in the way and challenges that might make you quit but never forget the vision you have in your mind.
No obstacle is bigger than your dream.
Comment down below about your experience on how it is to start an online business.