10 Steps to Start an Online Business

10 Steps to Start an Online Business | Part 1 of 7

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Hi everyone!

If you are ready to be a boss or would like to start your own successful online business, then this is for you.

Business 101 series

This is the 1st post of the Business 101 series. I created this series to help you learn how to start and grow and online business. As you can see, there will be more posts as listed below:

  1. 10 Steps to Start an Online Businessthis article
  2. 6 Steps to Choose a Profitable Niche
  3. 3 Steps to Help You Create a Brand for Your Business
  4. 7 Steps to Create a Website for Your Business
  5. 8 Ways to Promote Your Website
  6. 7 Ways to Make Money from Your Website
  7. Winning the Micro Moments That Matter

Would you like to learn how to start and grow an affiliate marketing business? Join my I Love Passive Income community for more tips and useful business information. Simply fill in the details below, and you will receive an email with instructions on how to join this invaluable community.

Watch Video: 10 Steps to Start an Online Business

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Or if you prefer to Read, continue from here.

My Past Career

First, a little back story about how I Started My First Online Business.

For years, I was working long hours at a full-time job. All that time and effort resulted in the success of other people’s businesses.

They were not my businesses. As such, all my time and effort helped others to make lots of money. Many of them made millions of dollars!

In 2014, I decided enough was enough. These companies were making so much money.

Why shouldn’t that be me? Why should I be getting a fixed wage? And a predetermined salary ceiling?

With my own business, no one is going to tell me I can only earn so much a month. It is up to me to work hard, and make as much as possible.

Those hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars that those companies were making. That could and would be mine.

So, I decided to start my own business.

But there was a huge obstacle – the capital to start a business. Sure, I could find investors. I did consider that. But I wanted to start small. And I didn’t want to invite any investors at this point.

I looked at the costs of starting a business. The rental of an office is expensive in Singapore. And so are salaries of staff.

What if I started a business that incurred all these high operating costs, and the sales and revenue were not enough to cover it?

After all, we do business to make money right?

It is known that most businesses take a few years before they finally see profits. I did not have enough capital to tide over a few years.

Then I realized that my forte is in the digital landscape. It dawned upon me that the best option for me is to start an online business.

My Own Online Business

With my online business, costs are lower. And an online business can reach millions of customers from all over the world. These were just a couple of advantages of an online business.

The problem was – while I had years of digital marketing experience, I had no experience in starting an online business.

I realized I needed to learn how to do that. And I needed to find good training programs that are reliable and do not cost a hand and a foot.

With that in mind, I started to do research. To find the ideal training that can help me start my online enterprise.

I spent months and found a few duds. Tried some programs that claim they could help me start an online business easily. Some even claimed they have the get rich formula. Tried them all and ended with nothing.

But I never gave up. I was sure that there must be a legitimate program out there. A program that would work and would help me start my own online business as well as help me succeed.

And I found it!

I followed the training. It helped me start my first online business. Over the years, I learned a few more important points. I share them all here today.

1. Choose a Niche

For a start, I needed to decide what business to be in. As such I needed to Choose A Niche.

There is a lot of information on the Internet about this. And many are so basic or confusing.

Another problem I had with choosing a niche was that I had many interests. I love to travel. I enjoy meditations. I am passionate about digital marketing and making money online.

Should I start with every niche? Or focus on one? And if only one, which one?

I was too eager. I decided to start with all of my interests – travel, meditation and digital marketing with make money online.

And I can tell you, after years of experience, it did not bode well for me and my businesses. After doing them for a few years, I finally decided to focus on one. And yes. It is this niche.

So my advice to all of you. Choose 1 niche.

After the success of one, pursue the others. And again, one at a time.

2. Write a Business Plan

Heard of the saying? Nobody Plans to Fail. But Many Fail to Plan.

I often share this saying in the courses I teach. And it is to drive home the point that it is important to plan. Especially important for your business.

A good business plan can help you achieve your goals. That is to make money, right?

It can help you define what business you are in, what products you are offering, who are your competitors, what are your goals, how to get there, etc. Your business plan will also include finances; for example, budget, expenditures, and even required capital for interested investors.

One thing I’ve learned is that a business plan is a living document. What this means is that you should review and update it when necessary. For example, when the environment and economy changes, you make adjustments and updates.

As mentioned earlier, I used to do a few businesses at the same time. When the pandemic happened, I decided to focus on only 1. As such, the business plans had to be revised.

3. Products to Sell

Some of you started this Entrepreneurial journey with an idea for a product. One that you would like to offer to your target audience. Some of you enter with a niche in mind. And intend to sell products for that niche.

I know. I have been there. I have tried black label and drop shipping before. And what I didn’t like about both these types of businesses was the high costs. Plus, time and effort spent for very little profit.

For black label or your original product, there are the costs manufacture the products. Then the costs for packaging, storage and shipping.

Don’t forget the time and effort to find the right manufacturer that is good and reliable. And also, to deal with inventory, storage, and shipping issues as well as customer complaints.

For drop shipping, your time and effort will be spent on finding good and reliable suppliers, product quality control, shipping issues and any customer complaints.

This is just too much costs, time and effort spent for a small and new business. This is why I decided to do affiliate marketing business. The costs are lower.

Sure, there are time and effort to create content. But it’s mostly done once. And revenue earned after that. That’s really like passive income.

Plus, I don’t deal with any customers. A big plus point!

4. Register the Business

An online business is still a legitimate business. So, you’ll need to register your business.

Every country and city have their unique laws and requirements about registering a business. I suggest you find out from the legal governing body what are the requirements and what needs to be done to register your business and make it official.

Some of you may choose to register later. Again, this all depends on what are the legal requirements in your individual country or city. So, I highly advise that you go find out.

5. Buy a Domain Name

The next thing you need to do is to Create a Website. But first, I highly recommend that you Buy a Domain Name first.

What is a Domain Name?

It is the web address that people will be able to go to in order to visit your business website. The physical world’s equivalent is the actual business address.

The domain name is the online address.

If you have a brand name, that can be your domain name. The same for a business name that can be the domain name.

If you do not have either, and are thinking of a domain name, do go for something short and catchy. A name that is easy for people to remember.

You can buy a domain name direct from the registry or from a hosting company

6. Get Web Hosting Service

Remember that the Domain Name is only the web address. Just like a physical business address, it is only an address.

You will need a piece of land and a building on that land with that address in order for people to find your business and learn more about you. The piece of land in the physical world is like the web hosting service.

Just as you build a business building on that land, you build a website on the hosting service. Together, you have an online property that people can visit and engage in business with you.

There are many web hosting service providers. Some are free.

But if you are serious about running an online business for the long term, I would highly encourage you to consider paying for a good web hosting service.

Choose a web hosting service that provides all the tools and services you need to run a website. You will be less likely to run into any problems in the future.

7. Create Your Business Website

As mentioned above, the domain name and web hosting service set the stage for your website. Your business website is the all-important factor in your online business.

There are many services that can help you create a website. For example, WordPress, SquareSpace, WIX. WordPress is the most popular. In 2021, there are 75 million WordPress sites in the world.

On your website, you can inform visitors about who you are, what is your business about, what product or service you are offering, how to contact you, and most vital of all – what are your products and how to buy them.

There is so much to learn about building and growing a website.

8. Promote & Drive Traffic to Your Website

To get sales, you will need to promote your products. Nowadays, most of the marketing activities are also online.

There are various digital marketing strategies such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing, Content Marketing, and more.

The goal of all these strategies is to gain online visibility and drive traffic to your website. When you get a lot of traffic, you have the opportunity to convert visitors to customers.

And that is when you get profits from sales.

Online visibility is very important. Without that, no one will know of your business. No one will visit your website.

As a result, you don’t get sales. No sales means no revenue earned.

So, it’s very important to learn how to promote and drive traffic to your website.

9. Earn Revenue

As mentioned earlier, the goal of you doing an online business is to make money. And that can only be possible when your business earns revenue.

After you have gone through all the above steps, you are ready to make money. But first, you need to get traffic to your website. This is achieved with the earlier step.

When you get visitors to your website, you must lead them to your product pages, and get them to buy your products. If you are selling your own products or drop shipping products, lead your visitors to the product page.

It is very important to place Call to Action on your Web pages. Call to Action will get your audience to buy your products. Also, remember to make the buying process as easy as possible.

If you are selling products from affiliate programs, there is a different strategy.

10. Grow Your team

You may start as solopreneur. Over time, you will find yourself getting busier and busier. With many tasks to be done.

There are only 24 hours in a day. And you shouldn’t work 24/7. At some point it is time to get some help.

Also, to grow business, you need more people to help you. Start with 1 person when your business begins to make money.

You can start with a part time help, freelancer or virtual assistant. Usually, start with a task that does not need you to it. That is, a task that can be done by another person with the skills and who’s trained to do it.

With a team, your business has the opportunity to grow bigger. And you can earn higher revenue. This can lead to your part time hustle growing into a full-time income.

Would you like to learn how to start and grow an affiliate marketing business? Join my I Love Passive Income community for more tips and useful business information. Simply fill in the details below, and you will receive an email with instructions on how to join this invaluable community.

10 Steps to Start An Online Business

Timotheus Final Word

One of the things about doing business I learned is that it is best not to hesitate or procrastinate. The sooner you start your business, the better for you.

One reason is because it takes time to build and grow a business. The longer you wait, the later you earn.

One thing the pandemic taught us is that it is good to have a side income. So, start now.

Previously, I talked about the 3 essential things you need to succeed in an online business.

Education. Tools. Expert help.

At the same time, I would like to hear from you. Are you thinking of starting an online business? Or have you already started and looking for some guidance today?

Leave your comments below, and tell me. I would love to hear from you.

I look forward to your success.

Digital Marketer, Lecturer, Amazon Bestselling Author & Cancer Survivor

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