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How to Start an Online Business? A Step-by-step Guide

Many have the urge to start their own business venture and yet they don’t know how. If you’re finding yourself in a similar predicament, then we have exactly what you need! We’re here to guide you on how to start an online business through these 10 steps. By the end, you’ll have a general idea of what to do and what to prepare for.

Decide on your niche

One of the best things for any business is that it fills a need and solves problems. Any product or service (like graphic design) you offer potential customers and the market falls under a specific niche. Even better, be aware of any problems and issues that people might be having already, and build and later offer a product around that problem. 

Conduct market research

For any idea that you have about making a business out of it, you have to first do some market research for whatever it is you’re selling – if there even is one. Doing market research also involves you researching on your potential customer base, which can save up time and resources. A few things you can research on are:

  • Keywords 
  • Market size
  • Potential competitors

Choose a business name

Think of a business name. Something catchy and something fun and memorable. Or whatever name you think would fit the business you’re setting up or that reflects your products/services, values, etc. remember that having an online business also means you’re going to have a website with a domain so your business name has to suit that too. Being memorable is what every successful brand is.

Choose a platform to build your website

Woman using her laptop

What makes setting up an online business nowadays is the convenience and ease of doing so, especially when you have so many options for ecommerce and non-ecommerce platforms online that can act as a platform to build your business’ website. A professional web designer could set you back some thousands from your budget, which is fine if you have that big of a finance pool. But if you’re thinking of saving, then you can just build a website yourself with the help of so many online website builders that already have the tools ready for you.

Build your online store

Then, you’re going to need a place where people can come and shop. Your customers need a place that’s easy to navigate, simple to use, aesthetically pleasing, easily accessible and always accessible. For this, you don’t have to worry much. There are a plethora of companies and websites out there that offer you a platform to build your online store. They have various advantages and disadvantages, price ranges and features. Choose one that suits your business best. 

Determine your pricing structure

There are 2 types of pricing that you have to consider for your products/services:

  • Cost-based pricing – you set the price of what you offer by adding up the cost to make your product – from manpower, resources, shipping, and others – and then adding to this manufacturing cost a markup percentage – which is how much you want to profit from one product unit.

  • Value-based pricing – your product’s/service’s price is determined by the value that your potential customers and the market perceive it to be. This can be based on other similar products from other businesses or general estimates.

Identify your staffing needs

Colleagues looking into business statistics

If the size of your inventory that you intend to sell is big enough, you might need some help running your business. This to help ease your mind on things like orders, packaging, deliveries, etc. or maybe you don’t need staff (at least to begin with). Starting small, which we recommend, won’t force you to be in need of a big staff, if any. You can just run your business by yourself. 

Register your business

Obviously, any business you have absolutely needs to be legal. Every country, even in some instances varying states, have different processes on how to do so. But these are easy enough to find on government websites.

Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Of course, with your business registration, you’ll have to obtain permits to run a business and also a license that proves you’re legally allowed to run it. 

Set up a business bank account & credit card

We highly recommend you don’t mix business with personal financials. Set up a separate bank account and maybe even a credit card for your business. Sometimes banks even have different perks for businesses and their bank accounts so you could take a look at those if there are any. Separating your finances gives you a clearer view of what money you need to set aside for your business’ budgets every month and how much you can take home for yourself.

Your starting point

And there you have it! How to start an online business from us. so far what we’ve given you here is the basics on starting an online business. If you want to learn more, then stick around with us where we have more tips and guides on everything related to business and for your entrepreneurial ambitions ahead!

Aiman Ammar

East Coast boy. Writing friendly reads and providing a gentle hand to guide readers through learning new things.

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