The most profitable in the twenty-first century is starting an online business And you might even become a millionaire!
1. Choose a Product or Service
how to start an online busines? The first step to starting an online business is to figure out what kind of products or services you can offer. The following questions can guide your search:
- What type of problem do people usually ask you for help with?
- What kind of brands do you follow, and why do you like them?
- What is an existing product you like but wish you can improve?
After noting down some answers, focus on the ideas that stick out. Ideally, you want to offer a product or service that you can produce without learning about it from scratch.
If you want to sell a product, consider looking into the equipment and components needed to craft it or whether you have access to the businesses that supply it.
For a service, make sure you have the skillset and knowledge vast enough to be desirable by other people.
2. Conduct Market Research
how to start an online busines? Researching your preferred market will provide insights into whether the products or services are in-demand. There are several ways to do it:
- Check the trends. Websites like Google Trends and Trend Hunter can reveal what’s popular.
- Visit eCommerce marketplaces. Their bestseller lists can hint at what consumers are buying online.
- Use competitive intelligence software. Platforms like Owler can offer data on existing brands that sell similar products or services.
- Open freelancing job portals. These sites usually highlight which professional services are popular.
If the market is competitive, consider looking into gaps within the field. Find out what these businesses have yet to offer and how you can fill in the space to differentiate yourself from other professionals or brands.
3. Create a Business Plan
how to start an online busines
Now that you know what product or service you want to offer let’s create a business plan. Besides serving as a guide for your operations, this document can come in handy for securing funding.
There are several elements to pay attention to in an online business plan:
- Business identity. This aspect includes the name and logo. Ensure that they represent your company or professional values and look distinct enough from other brands.
- Marketing strategy. This section covers everything about the target market, competitor analysis, pricing models, sales channels, and promotional methods.
- Operations plan. It consists of information about inventory management, facilities, and legal requirements. If you sell products, explain how you will produce and deliver the items.
- Financial plan. This segment deals with the business’s budget, expenses, projections, and milestones to aim for.
4. Legally Register Your Business
Before you can officially start a business, it’s good to make sure that you comply with the licensing requirements within your industry and region.
In the US, small businesses are usually registered as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This business structure will separate personal from company liabilities, which can come in handy in case of bankruptcy or lawsuits.
Meanwhile, solo entrepreneurs often choose sole proprietorship. This business structure doesn’t require registration with the government, making it a more affordable option.
5. Sign Up for Web Hosting
Time to create a website for your online business. First, let’s choose a web hosting plan that suits your operational needs.
A freelancer usually starts with shared hosting. This type of plan has more than enough resources for a small professional website or an online resume.
Our Business Shared Hosting plan is the perfect solution for this. The unlimited bandwidth and 100GB storage offers plenty of room for the site to scale along with your operations. Plus, it can handle up to 100,000 monthly visits, which is great for when your online business starts to gain traction.
On the other hand, an online store typically requires a more optimized solution to handle tens to hundreds of product pages and other eCommerce content. Some business owners may also need the flexibility to manage the hosting environment in case of traffic surges.
For this, we recommend using our eCommerce hosting plans. Those running a small business can also look into our WooCommerce and PrestaShop subscriptions.
6. Register a Domain Name
When it comes to choosing the right domain, it’s best to keep it short and memorable. Longer names are usually harder to remember and difficult to pronounce.
Solo entrepreneurs often use their own name for the domain, while eCommerce business owners will utilize their company name.
Despite this being a common practice, there is always a chance that the name has been taken by someone else. If that’s the case, look for alternatives.
One option is to include the type of business you do at the end, such as johnsonconsulting.com or amypalmerseo.com. Be sure to avoid symbols, numbers, and ambiguous characters to maintain the name’s readability.
When it comes to the extension, online businesses generally go for .com due to its popularity and commercial purpose. The price for this TLD starts from $8.99/year.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider .xyz or .online, which costs $0.99/year.
Users can register a domain name using our domain checker.
7. Set Up Your Website or Online Store
For this step, let’s choose a platform for building your site.
WordPress is a popular option due to its user-friendliness and extensibility, making it perfect for any purpose. However, some basic coding knowledge may be necessary to maximize its capabilities.
For a more beginner-friendly option, we recommend a site builder like Zyro. The drag-and-drop builder allows you to insert and move around elements right on the page, making it easy to visualize the final result.
After choosing a platform, begin customizing your site. Here’s a list of steps to complete if you don’t know where to start:
- Choose an appropriate theme for your business
- For an eCommerce site, insert products, enable payment processing, and optimize the checkout procedure
- WordPress users can install plugins that suit their business needs
8. Publish and Promote Your Online Business
Finally, let’s spread the word about your online business. Consider the tips below to help you get the info out:
- Apply the best SEO practices. One way to make a website appear on search engine result pages is to include keywords relevant to your content’s products or services. A site’s user experience is also a significant ranking factor.
- Leverage the right social media channels. Be present on networks your target audience is most active on.
- Send cold email pitches. It’s a great way to reach potential customers directly via a platform they often use. To get the best results, ensure that the content is concise and personal.
Once you’ve made your pick, all that’s left to do is to create a website. With Honeyhost.net , your online business will be in capable hands. Good luck