How to start a business online?

  • By
  • October 03, 2022
  • 12 Min Read
Step-by-Step-Guide-on-How-to-Start-a-Business-Online (1)

Have a business idea you have been pondering for a while? With the online space abuzz with new business ideas, there is no limit to what you can do. But creating a business right from the comfort of your home is easier said than done.  


Wondering what customers want and how to launch a business online can be a challenge for budding entrepreneurs. Starting a business online requires you to plan at every step. Here we have an in-depth understanding of creating a business online in a systematic and stepwise manner. 


Steps to start a small online business from home


Include more than 7-10 steps (each step 80-100 words)

(add relevant skills from marketing category for internal linking)


Starting your own online business from home can be a daunting task, which is why we help you navigate through the pathways of launching a successful online business from home.


Step 1 – Brainstorm a great and bankable business idea.


Any online business from home requires you to have a fresh flow of business ideas. Here are some intelligent and effective ways to to get your online business started:


#1 Ask yourself what the skills you embody are


Have a session with yourself and analyze the skills, knowledge, and experience you possess or have learned. These few factors will help you chart out a runway on how to start a business online. 


  • The knowledge you have gathered from online, college, school, university, or even at a workshop. 
  •  Whether or not you have the right teaching skills let people know that you have it to impart the skills. Are you capable enough to train new employees about particular systems, software, or skills? 
  • Think about the topics that have made you curious. This can be your work, education, or something that catches your interest, like food or travel. This will give you a fair idea about what you want to do. 
  • What were your favorite subjects, or which class did you look forward to and perform well in either your school or college?


#2 Take an idea from your friends and family about your interests 


This will help you to get an idea as to where to start. Sometimes we are confused as to what exactly we are good at. This is why we can take the help and opinion of friends and family who know us better and have seen us in the past. Their suggestions give us an idea of where we exactly stand. 


#3 Consult your former employees and coworkers


Have a conversation with your colleagues and former fellow workers who have worked with you. Speak to them about what they remember about you and have noticed any particular skills you have seen. 


Step 2 – What should be your product or service of interest for public offering 


Once you are done with multiple ideas about starting a business online, the next step is to figure out what business you can sell online. The digital platform is a great medium to project your business ideas and products to consumers willing to experiment and purchase. This could be a product or service that you have been developing for quite some time. This should revolve around plenty of market research and constant brainstorming. 


#1 Products


This is where your business idea shall be put to the test. Your products are physical objects which are made available to the consumer for use. This is why you need to put a lot of thought into what you are presenting to be top in quality and longevity. Your brand of business should be built around the product. 


Examples of products being sold online these days are sunglasses, jewelry, backpacks, pet beds, snacks, perfumes, cushions, customized wares such as T-shirts and mugs. Online business startup companies venture into innovative products that have uniqueness and demand attached to them. 


Products can be manufactured in-house, or you could source them from a wholesaler or a drop shipper. After all, when you sell products, it is necessary to describe them to appeal to the readers’ eyes. 


#2 Services 


Services are a set of tasks or skills conducted by a professional with expertise and complete knowledge. This can be done solely by an individual or team members to facilitate the work for the client. 


Here are some of the kinds of services that can be provided online:


  • Virtual assistance
  • Teaching a new language via the online medium. For example, Duolingo teaches you all kinds of languages with pronunciation.
  • Architectural services that are provided online
  • Immigration consultation for permanent residency 
  • Consultation for fitness and nutrition
  • Online Doctor consultation 
  • Relationship advice services 
  • Astro services online from experts


Step 3 – Follow the Legal guidelines. 


Make sure you go by the legal rule book to avoid any fines or legal hassles. Check the legal requirements according to the country you want to start your business. Every country has its own set of legal requirements. 


The licenses, permits, or certifications required also depend on the industry and state/country from where you belong. For this, keep a check with the local authorities about the legalities you need to comply with before you set up a business online. 

For getting a business license, you will require:


  • A detailed description of the nature of your business
  • Will it be a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation?
  • Any inspection or permits as per the rules and regulations of the region
  • Sales tax license needed from your state agency


Step 4 – Carry out Extensive Online Market Research


Online market research plays a significant role when it comes to identifying your target audience. You accumulate information about the market and the customers, and define your audience demographics. 


This part is crucial to starting a business online is to understand what your target customers think, feel and want . Your online market research, especially quantitative research is imperative in knowing the internal motivation that drives the customer. 


Another critical factor in determining while doing market research is to find the spending capacity of the target group. Understanding the psyche of the target market is imperative for the success of any small business online.


Here are some ways you can use to conduct online market research:


#1 Scan Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages)


Also known as Search Engine Results Pages, are the pages shown by search engines such as Google or Firefox when you search for a specific item. You can explore top ranking websites that come on the first page of the search results.


These could be either informational blogs, e-commerce websites, or educational websites. This exercise will help you determine whether your selected keywords have the right intention for the kind of business offering you have. 


It needs practice and knowledge to go through SERP and a thorough understanding of SEO to understand the true intention of the SERP. But understanding this concept can be an uphill task, so hiring freelancers can help you save time and money. 


#2 Take a Keyword Search 


Researching for keywords can help you get an insight into the search volume and the competition behind particular keywords. Doing this will get your page or website on the top as soon as the customer puts the most searched keyword. . 


Keyword search allows you to explore opportunities for getting organic traffic via Search engine optimization. You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner,  Keyword Tool as well as Ubersuggest. Premium tools like Ahrefs ot SEMRush gives business owners extensive insights. 


You can do this by evaluating whether the target keyword is ranking on the top ten Google search results. Look at the format of the content and use a similar one. Also, while doing research look at the recent consumer trends. For doing this you can use Google Trends. 


Step 5 – Find your niche audience for successful business online


Your business niche is a focused area of business within a broader market. For example, clothing for toddlers or drinks for sportspersons is a specialized niche in a more overall market. Why should you start a business that specializes in a niche business?


You need the niche of audience you will cater to before you start your business online. Look for an area where not no problem-solving has been done enough. Also, assess whether your customer base is willing to pay for the solution to the problem.


Do not select a niche which does not go with the above mentioned parameters. Also, make it a point to identify your passion and interests, because you cannot put your mind and dedication to something you are not interested in. Once you have done this, identify the problem areas in it and find path breaking solutions which you can sell as products or services.


Identify the problem areas by sifting through questions asked by people on Quora or forums where discussions happen related to your niche. This will help you get an idea about what questions people are asking and what are their main problem areas. You can even search for varied keyword combinations 


Step 6 – Take the time to define your target  audience


Your target group is the consumers who have the same characteristics or requirements that your online business startup is typically seeking. You can segregate your audience based on age, gender, income, and the kind of device they use. 


To define a target audience you will be required to identify your typical customer and accordingly design your marketing pitch. Target marketing helps you concentrate your money and brand message on a particular market which is more likely to purchase your product or service. 


Take a look at your existing customer base and what interests and characteristics make them purchase from you. Which of your products or services brings in more business and is profit making. Also, find a niche market that you want to target and which is different from your competitors. 


Assess your product or service and list down the benefits. This will in turn define the professional image of the company.  This will in turn attract the attention of customers as they will view the company as being reliable, credible and trustworthy. Target demographics such as Age, location, income level, gender, educational qualification, marital or family status, occupation as well as ethnic background. 


Step 7 – Source the kind of products you plan to sell online 


Ensure that you put in a lot of thought when you are selling your products online, which is why you have to put in a lot of thought when you source them to customers. You can source them either by making it yourself, to work along with the manufacturer or wholesaler. Also, you can source them with the help of a drop shipper. 


Methods like wholesale, print on demand and customization are some of the ways in which businesses source their products.Either you can DIY your products wherein you craft your own products like handmade jewelry, scented candles and painted mugs or vases. 


Another way is to hire a manufacturer or a seller and partner up with them. If you cannot make your own products then you can employ someone else to do it for you. Also, if you have higher than planned sales, then taking this route is helpful.


Dropshipping is another very viable way to source your products to sell them online. Herein, you purchase the products from the vendor and list their products on your online platform. This is a great way to kick start your online business. It also helps in terms of expanding the product offerings of your business.


Best Online business ideas to start in 2021


List more than seven ideas ( each idea 50-80 words)


You can start your business from home taking cue from these trending online business idea for 2021:


  • Launch your Line of Clothes


You can start your clothing line for the everyday use of customers. For this, you can identify a target audience to whom you can cater. It could be something to do with polka dots or nightwear, or it could cater to toddlers. You can explore a wide range of clothing options and take your pick.


  • Start Your Blog


This is possibly the most popular idea to be roaming the online space. You can turn your personal experience and market it to the world: food and travel blogging, writing reviews of new tech gadgets. You can even make money by using the online platform to publish sponsored posts, host third-party ads, or sell your products.


  • Become an Online Influencer 


As an online influencer, you will have the opportunity to get introduced to various brands. You can do this if you plan to pursue a career as an influencer or an additional business venture. With an active community of over 600 million active users, Influencer marketing has massive potential in marketing, with Instagram leading the game.


  • Start a Dropshipping website


Dropshipping is basically a retail fulfillment method which means that the store does not keep the products which it sells in stock. In this, the store sells products using the model of drop shipping. It buys an item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. 


  • Make Handmade products


Making your own DIY products is one of the most creative ways to showcase your skill and at the same time market it for sales. You can even do this by bootstrapping your business model. Or even take help for funding from your friends and family. By doing this you can turn your passion into income. 


  • Offer 3-D Printed products


There is no better innovative idea than making your own products using 3-D printing technology. The profits that you receive from 3D printing are many. What is better is that with 3D printing there will not be much competition and there is scope for creating unique products out of the same technology. 


  • Online Courses and Coaching 


If there is a low income investment idea there is nothing better than teaching an online course. You can make a video which explains a subject or a topic in a step by step manner. Here is how you market your knowledge about a topic, educate others via online channels and do passive marketing at the same time. 


  • Social Media Marketing


 You can use the help of social media marketing channels to promote your product or service. Though e-marketing and digital marketing are prevalent in the market, social media marketing is catching up in terms of fast popularity. For practitioners as well as researchers it is beneficial to use social media for active social media websites to boost their customer reach. 


What are the skills required to start a business online?


Starting a business online takes a list of skills, requirements, and knowledge of the online domain. Every business needs funding to start, which is what every entrepreneur thinks about. You can either source funds from external sources like angel investors or someone willing to invest in your business idea. 


Another way is via bootstrapping or utilizing funds from your savings. But before you do that, ensure that you have all the skills required to start a successful business from home. Here are some of the skills you need to have:


Technical skills you need to have for starting an online business


  • Extensive planning and research
  • Digital marketing skills
  • Copywriting 
  • Graphic designing 
  • Knowledge about web design and development
  • Being able to manage social media
  • The Art of Networking
  • Knowing how to work around Pricing


Soft Skills required for starting online business

  • Understanding of finance and accounting
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Analysis of Business and ability to research
  • Ability to adapt your skills
  • Business development
  • Time as well as Project management
  • Knowledge of the scope as well as limitations of the products and services
  • Top class Client servicing 
  • Smart communication skills
  • Risk management 


To start a business online, you need to design your website in a manner that is user-friendly and speaks about your product or service. Also, ensure that the navigation is simple from one page to another and does not confuse the user. Doing this can take a lot of time, energy, and money since bootstrapping business involves a lot of your investment. 


One of the best ways to do this is to start a small business which involves minimum cost. For example your handmade pottery or earrings made from unique materials. For this we can take help from our friends, family, with some banks even offering loans as investment. 


You can do this, or you can opt for bootstrapping your business. In this model, you pour in funds from your own personal savings. Since it is your money, it is a good idea as you will learn to manage, budget and allocate your money in the right manner. 


Is bootstrapping suitable for an online business startup (100 words)


Bootstrapping means a lot of your business is within your control without the external stress. When you invest in your dream project from your pocket, you lessen the risk of taking loans or interference from outside investors. 


Since it is an online business startup, there could be highs and lows which you can better understand, and since it is your hard-earned money, you utilize it wisely without any frivolous expenses. 


In Bootstrapping, you are responsible for your survival in the online domain full of competitors. Putting in your funds will help you take responsibility more seriously and ensure that every penny is wisely spent on the business development aspect. 


Pros & cons of bootstrapping an online business




  1. You are the sole owner of your own business, giving it your seal and identity. Even with a co-founder, your equity share will be much more compared to fundraising. 
  2. When you take external help in the form of funds, there is pressure on you to update every little ongoing development constantly. 
  3. Bootstrapping is a good idea if you want to establish a business that carries for generations to come.
  4. When you bootstrap, there is a sense of accomplishment and achievement as an entrepreneur. 
  5. These days there is  risk involved in business. To make sure you are delving into safe waters, you can hire bootstrap experts to help you minimize risk. 



  1. Cash deficits are a primary reason for business failure at its early stages. Hiring freelance digital marketers can help you save on unnecessary expenses.
  2. When entrepreneurs look to scale their business big and fast, they require outside funds. But this drive for visibility can stunt their growth potential in the longer run. 
  3. When you enroll others to give you top-level help for your startup you get access to top-level assistance. 
  4. With a bootstrapped startup, you need to work doubly hard.You can  hire freelancers who can do the same work at half the wages. 
  5. Don’t forget the details when you look at the big picture. Do not bail out on basics.


Take it one step at a time when you start a business online.


Starting an online business from home can be quite a challenge, but you will be on the right track with the right tools and direction. Follow these steps and create your own business without any external help or assistance. 


All you have to do is find your unique business idea and convert it into a money-making venture. You either take outside help for funding your business or do bootstrap. The idea is to make your business idea a reality. Let the world see what you can do via the online medium in this new era where all businesses have taken this platform by storm. 


Since you pour in all your investment from your savings, you might as well save. Instead of hiring full-time employees who do the research, design, and market research, you can hire freelancers who get the job done for you.

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