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How to Start a Business Online (From Scratch)

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

#1: Don't start building just yet.

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a business online.

So, if you're itching to start a website, pick a business name, or design a logo, put it off for now.

You'll need a strategy first if you want to launch a successful online business. And this article's steps two, three, and four will show you how to develop your internet business strategy.

#2: Decide on a business plan

It helps to have some tried-and-true online business models in mind while studying how to start an online business from scratch.

Consider the following six categories of online businesses:

1. Affiliate Marketing: With this passive income strategy, you may promote other businesses' products and services online and earn a fee for each sale you make.

2. Freelancing: Use a skill you have, such as advertising, writing, designing, or programming, to provide a service to other people and businesses.

3. Coaching and Consulting: As a coach or consultant, you can sell your knowledge, counsel, and assistance.

4. Information Products: Create ebooks, workbooks, templates, and online courses to package and market your knowledge.

5. Software as a Service (SaaS): Develop software or an application and charge consumers a monthly subscription fee.

6. Ecommerce: Create a website and sell actual things online using a service like Shopify.

#3: Find out who your target market is.

The next step is to define your target market. To put it another way, who will you serve?

This is a really important phase.

Philip Kotler, a marketer, once observed, "There is only one strategy that works. It is to thoroughly define the target market and target that market with a superior solution."

Here's how it works: Ascertain that you are a member of your intended audience.

Consider that for a moment. You'll understand the problems, desires, and language of other campers if you've been camping your entire life. As a result, selling camping gear on the internet would be considerably easier.

Furthermore, because you will have a greater understanding of how to communicate with other campers, your marketing will be more successful.

On the other hand, if you've never been camping before, you'll probably find it difficult – if not impossible – to sell camping gear online.

So, before deciding on a target audience, consider the following:

What are my interests and hobbies?

Is there anything about which I am particularly knowledgeable?

What do I think about, talk about, and read about the most of the time?

#4: Come up with a problem to solve.

It's critical to remember one thing while learning how to start an online business: every business solves a problem.

Leaky pipes are repaired by plumbers. Boredom, curiosity, interest, and the need to escape and relax are all satisfied by Hollywood films. Clothing brands enable people to express themselves while also making them feel appealing.

The golden rule is that the greater and better the problem you can address, the more money people are prepared to pay.

Take, for instance, healthcare services. They solve a major issue, which is why nearly everyone is ready to spend a significant amount of money on them.

Few people, on the other hand, will pay you to keep their table from shaking. It's not a major issue, and they don't require assistance in resolving it.

To summarize, if you want to learn how to establish an online business, you must first discover a worthwhile problem to tackle.

Here are three examples:

Teenage guys that are fashion savvy are the target market.

Problem: Fashion-conscious people want to stand out without spending a lot of money.

Solution: Design a showy and cost-effective apparel line.

Marketing managers at multinational software businesses are the target market.

Problem: Companies must increase traffic to their websites.

Solution: To increase traffic, write articles that rank on the first page of Google.

Working mothers with young children are the target market.

Problem: Many moms desire to exercise on a daily basis but don't have enough time.

Solution: Make a fitness routine and plan that saves you time.

How do you go about finding a problem to solve?

Ask individuals what they need help with in Facebook groups and online forums.

To find out what people are looking for, use Google Keyword Planner.

Find successful internet businesses, figure out what need they answer, and then figure out how to do it even better.

What is a competitive analysis? Here are some suggestions: Subscribe to the blogs of your competitors.

Purchase a product from them.

Leave a product in their shopping basket unattended.

Join their mailing list and follow them on social media.

Write sure to keep track of your observations and make notes on each technique as you go through these steps. When you need information, you want to be able to find it quickly.

You may find methods used by your competitors to boost sales by examining their customer experience and looking at how they engage customers through content.

#6: Make sure you've covered all of your legal bases

Any business you start in your area must comply with local rules and regulations. When launching a new internet business, make sure to research up on the legal requirements for online businesses.

Some of the legal considerations you'll have to make include:

Organizational structure

For online business, should you form a limited liability company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship? You can do your own research and make your own decisions, but it's also a good idea to seek advice from a tax expert.

Permits and licenses

You may require a license to operate your business, depending on the type of business you start. This changes based on where you reside, so check with your state government for more information.

Obligations in terms of taxes

The majority of online business operators must pay income tax. Additionally, if you sell products to consumers in some countries, you may be subject to sales tax duties. So, before you start your business, talk to an attorney about the taxes that apply and the list of online business documents that you'll need to file them.

Copyright, patents, and trademarks are all protected by the law.

To avoid difficulty down the line, you'll want to cover these legal aspects. Registering your trademark, for example, will prevent others from using your brand name, saving you the time and money of rebranding.

#7: Choose a Sourcing Strategy

If you want to start an online ecommerce firm, you'll need to identify dependable and trustworthy inventory providers.

There are numerous options for doing so:

Use websites like Alibaba or directories like Kompass, Sourcify, and ThomasNet to find goods producers.

On Handshake, you may find goods wholesalers in or around your state.

On platforms like Oberlo, you may find dropshipping suppliers.

The final option is quite affordable and allows you to start your business without a large initial cost.

Your product supplier ships and fulfills an order only after a consumer has made a purchase using dropshipping; they handle the storage and logistics while you handle marketing and customer service.

#8: Configure Your Payment Options

You've almost made it! Now is the moment to decide how your company will accept payments and how you will be paid as a business owner.

You have a number of alternatives for making payments online. Accepting credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are among the most popular.

If you want to create an online business with Shopify, you may use the provider's integrated payment system, Shopify Payments. It allows you to accept all major payment ways and has no additional transaction fees.

Transferwise, Payoneer, Stripe, and 2Checkout are all good options for a service-based web business like freelance writing.

You should be able to set your payout timeline regardless of payment type. Depending on your cash preferences, you can choose to receive your money daily, weekly, or monthly.

#9: Create a Sales Platform

It's time to develop your platform after you've identified your business idea and secured your legal grounds.


If you want to create an ecommerce business, start with Shopify and then use Oberlo to identify things to sell.

If you want to start freelancing, coaching, or consulting, Shopify allows you to integrate with a variety of popular tools such as Digital Downloads for selling digital products online, ReCharge for selling subscriptions online, and SendOwl for selling videos online.

Keep things as simple as possible.

Your company is still in the realm of theory at this time. So don't spend too much money, time, or effort on creating the perfect website.

Instead, test your business idea to ensure it is viable before investing.

"We must understand what customers really want, not what they claim they want or what we think they should want," stated Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup.

#10: Select a Marketing Strategy

You must choose a marketing method when you are ready to begin promoting your online business.

There are numerous online marketing strategies available. However, some are better than others when it comes to learning how to establish an online business.

Here are four online marketing strategies that will help you close deals quickly:

Use social media to develop and share content, engage with your target audience, and drive visitors to your website in order to generate sales.

Direct Approach: Make direct contact with individuals at businesses to pitch your services.

Paid Advertising: To raise brand awareness and boost sales, advertise on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.

Influencer marketing: Collaborate with influencers to promote your items to their already-existing audiences.

Summary: What is the Best Way to Start an Online Business?

Are you trying to figure out how to launch an online business in 2022? The following are ten steps to launching an online business:

Before you start creating anything, make sure you have a solid business strategy in place.

Select an online business model that is appropriate for your talents, interests, and preferences.

Determine who your target market is and make sure you're a part of it.

Identify a problem that your target audience is experiencing and come up with a solution.

Examine your competitors to see where you may make improvements.

Comply with the law, which includes obtaining a business license.

Choose a sourcing approach that will make order fulfillment go more smoothly.

To collect and receive payments, set up your payment gateway and payouts.

To test your company idea, create a rudimentary sales platform.

Select a marketing strategy and begin promoting your company.

Finally, learning how to successfully establish an online business can take some time. So don't get discouraged if your first online business doesn't succeed right away. Many of the world's most successful entrepreneurs failed several times before succeeding.

"I'm persuaded that approximately half of what differentiates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful entrepreneurs is plain endurance," remarked Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder.

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