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Learn how to start an online business in 2023 and start making money from home. No MLMs, no huge startup costs, just a business that will work for you.
Working from home has gained even more popularity over the last few years with more people wanting to stay home and avoid crowds.
While staying at home, playing with kids, and cooking meals for the family, you can still work to ensure your family’s financial stability. Sound like a dream? But nowadays, all these things are possible.
Starting an online business does require work but you are also building something of your own. It’s also a great way to share your passions.
How to Start an Online Business
One reason a lot of online businesses fail is they jump in head first without a plan. Creating a good plan and doing your research can help you have a successful business.
These are some of the steps to take when starting an online business:
- Think about the skills you have to offer, find a need that uses those skills.
- Choose your business name.
- Create a business plan.
- Learn about the legal side of things.
- Create an easy-to-use website.
- Use search engines and social media to drive traffic to your site.
- Grow an email list to keep in touch with your customers.
- Keep up with new trends and continue to grow your business.
Step 1: Find a Need
When it comes to starting an online business, finding a need is a good way to make sure there will be customers for your business. Spend time on it before putting your business on the ground.
Here are some questions to help you choose the right business:
- What are you interested in, or What is your expertise?
- In which field is there less competition? Being a big fish in a small pond is easier than being a small fish in a big pond.
- Is there an industry you feel you can enter with cheap, effective marketing and likely dominate in the future?
While you can change your business down the road, you may want to save money, time, and effort by carefully doing thorough research to have some insight.
Step 2: Choosing Your Business Name
Choosing a business name is a very important step when creating an online business because it’s how people will come to know you and you need to make sure you can use the name within social media space and that it’s not already used.
When you think of a name you will want to check:
- That it’s available to be registered if you that’s something you want to do or need to do for your type of business.
- That you can still get the domain name, it’s best if it’s still available for all endings.
- That the name or a version of the name is available on all social media sites, even if you aren’t sure if you will use that site.
If it’s not available in all of those places it’s a good idea to consider something different. Especially if the name is possibly trademarked.
Another thing to consider is making sure the name is something people can remember and that it’s not terribly long. Long names are harder to remember and sometimes will be too long for social media accounts which can make it hard for people to find you.
Step 3: Create a Business Plan
This step is often ignored by new business owners, especially in the online business world. When I talk to people wanting to start a new online business or have just started one and I ask if they have a business plan most say they do not.
If you plan to get funding for your business this is usually required but even if you are funding it yourself it’s valuable to help you create a roadmap.
Additional Resource: How to Write a Business Plan
Step 4: Learn the Legal Sides of Your Business
No matter what business you are starting there are some legal tasks you will need to take care of. The easiest option is to talk to a lawyer with experience in this area but often you can do the tasks yourself with some research.
You may need to file some paperwork like registering your business name, getting permits and licenses, and following all local tax requirements. This will vary depending on where you live and the type of business.
Step 5: Creating a Website
Creating your own website has a lot of advantages. Some of them are: Booting your brand’s presence online, building credibility, making it more accessible to your thousands of hundreds of target customers.
You can use your website for advertising and selling advertising through programs such as Google’s Adsense. There are even storefronts on Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon websites where you can sell your products.
A good way to decide what you need in your website is to look back at your business plan and also to look at people in a similar niche. See what you like about their sites and what you don’t. Never steal their designs or Ideas but this can help spark your own ideas.
Don’t get too hung up on this step. You can always update and redesign your site in the future.
Step 6: Drive Traffic to Your Site
At the beginning of your journey, when nobody’s ever heard about your business, wisely marketing your brand is crucial. How you drive traffic somewhat depends on your type of business but some ways you can get traffic to websites include:
- Creating content on your site on a blog, even if your business isn’t a blog you can create some helpful content around your niche to bring people to your site. You will see many storefronts and other businesses doing this now.
- Using search engine optimization (SEO). Having content can really help you in this area because you can be found in more searches on sites like Google if you have helpful content people may be looking for.
- Paying for ads on Google or social media. This can be a good way to get traffic but you want to do some research first on how to create good ads on any site you are using to make sure you are getting the most return possible from your ads.
- Using social media. Social media is a great way to get your brand in front of people and get people to your website.
Step 7: Use Email to Stay in Touch with Customers
Email is important for any business. It helps you stay in touch with customers and makes sure they don’t forget to come back.
You can send out helpful emails in your niche, update about sales, share new products/services, give special coupons, the ideas are endless.
I recommend ConvertKit to help you build your email list. It’s not only a great service, and the one I use for this site, but they also have a lot of helpful information to help you get started.
Step 8: Stay Up-to-Date to Grow your Business
Often I see people stuck with their businesses because they refuse to change as the world changes. Find some experts in your field to follow to help you keep up with trends and what is happening in your industry.
You don’t have to jump on board with everything but you should always be looking at ways you can improve and grow.
My biggest piece of advice to leave you with is don’t let perfection be the enemy of done. You can learn and improve your business as you go but if you never start it you can never have a successful business.