Starting a Small Business Online: A Complete Guide

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In 2020, e-commerce retail revenue hit $2.86 trillion, and it’s expected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2025. If you’re planning on starting a small business online, now is a good time to jump in.

That said, it’s vital that you plan carefully to avoid a business disaster. Here are some tips to help any entrepreneur get started.

Define Your Business Plan

A business plan is essentially the roadmap you need to help you achieve your goals. It describes your objectives in detail and also how you plan on meeting those objectives.

A well-defined business plan is especially important when starting a small business online. It can help you attract investors and keep you on track to reaching your goals.

Choose Your Name and Register It

When starting an online business, you’ll need a business name and a domain name for the website. It’s a good idea to choose these at the same to ensure they match. You want the name to be fairly short, as this will help your customers to remember it.

Register your domain name with a hosting company.

Create a Website

These days, it’s fairly simple to create your own website. There’s nothing wrong with using a template, especially if you’re just starting out, but you might want to invest in a website designer.

With so many types of online businesses out there, you want your website to stand out. It also needs to be mobile-friendly, search engine optimized, and designed around the user experience. Not all templates can achieve this well.

Of course, it depends on what kind of business you’re starting. If you’re selling your artwork online, you might want a custom-designed website that showcases your work. If you’re selling beads and craft supplies, the focus would be more on the products and less on the website.

Get Financial Help

There’s no way around it; running an online business is an expensive undertaking. While you might not have to worry about the costs of leasing a space like brick-and-mortar stores, you still have to think about website hosting fees, advertising costs, material costs, and so on.

Thankfully, you can get financial help. For instance, you could take out a small business loan. The SBA helps small businesses get started.

You’ll want to make sure you take the right steps when applying for an SBA loan to increase your chances of acquiring one.

Decide How to Make Money

You can’t just create an online business and expect the rest to handle itself. Running an online business involves analyzing your competitors, advertising your goods and services, promoting your brand, and much more.

Next, decide how you want to make money.

You can monetize your website using ads, sell products or services, invest in CPC (cost per click) ads, sell ebooks or patterns for a fee, use affiliate marketing, try dropshipping, and so on.

Maybe you want to bring in money in a few different ways. You might sell products and also choose to monetize your website. Find what works for you.

The Basics of Starting a Small Business Online

These are the basics of starting a small business online. You shouldn’t stop researching here, as there’s a lot to learn if you want to become a successful business owner.

To get started, check out some of our other business articles before you go.

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