12 Steps To Start An Online Business In 2022

12 Steps To Start An Online Business

In the previous post, we looked at what is an online business. And to continue this series in this guide we’re going to cover the 12 steps to start an online business in 2022.

Let’s get started.

#1. Choose a Product / Service To Sell Online

Now, the first step you want to take is to choose a product or a service you want to sell. Now, if you have already decided what type of product or service you want to sell you can just skip this part.

But if you are still evaluating options and what business you are about to start, or you want to start, continue reading and make sure to stick to the very end because I’m introducing my new freebie today.

And before you start selling, you need to find the right product with the potential for serious profitability.

Now, if you have already been an entrepreneur or if you’re a new entrepreneur I must warn you that selling digital or physical products, selling online has never been so difficult.

Here’s a quick view of the 2020 and 2021 online landscape.

The competition is fierce. Products, markets are saturated and consumers are demanding convenience more than ever before.

It’s really hard to please anyone these days.

Regardless of the industry, you’re in, there are two types of products that you can sell, commoditized products or niche or specialized products.

Commodized Products

Commoditized products are essential, in high demand. Something that people would need till the end of their days. Examples of commodized products are food, clothes, toys, supplies, and toilet paper.

Niche Products

And niche or specific products are something really specific that only a certain group of people need. Niche products might be something really specific for example, some gear for a sportsman or some things for computer gigs and so on.

Now it’s up to you to decide which type of product you want to sell.

However, there are pros and cons to each, for example, for commoditized products, it might be hard for you to market and to compete with bigger suppliers because of course this market is already over-saturated and there are bigger suppliers than yourself.

And it might be hard for you to stand out from the competition and to actually be seen by your potential customers.

However, if you are planning to sell something that is unique or niche, this is where the competition is lower and this is where you might get noticed.

A side note here is that you might actually sell both commoditized and niche products, but for example, make an emphasis on niche products and then sell some complementary goods that are commoditized products.

💡 Pro Tip

If you need some inspiration, check out this list of 60 Online Business Ideas in 2021.

#2 Check Your Product Viability

Now, the second step you need to take, as soon as you evaluate what your product would be, or your service would be, you need to check your product’s viability.

Meaning that you should ask yourself two questions,

  • Can my business produce a profit with that product?
  • Can I actually scale my business with that product or service?

The devil is in the details here. Now that you have defined your product or service, think about how you will deliver that product or service to people.

You need to think about every possible detail that you can think about.

For example, for physical products, it might be shipping costs and shipping and delivery terms.

It might be its fragility if your physical product is fragile.

It might be a weight and so on.

So think about every possible detail to any unexpected and unpleasant surprises.

#3 Conduct Market Research

Now, the third one is to conduct market research. I honestly hate it myself and I don’t know a single person who would not hate it, but you want to spend some serious time evaluating whether your product will actually be sellable.

No matter how stellar your idea is if no one is looking for this product, that is a bad sign.

Use sites like:

And other sites that will tell you whether people are actually requesting these products that you’re going to sell.

Whether they are looking for that product or service, whether this is something that they actually don’t need, and you will be wasting your time or buying products to resell them all in vain.

#4 Conduct Competitive Analysis

The fourth step is conducting a competitive analysis. In other words, spy on your competitors.

You might even tell a lot by how this product is being sold by their pricing policy or what promotion tactics they use and whether they struggle with bringing that product to the market.

If they have been in business for several years and they are still struggling, this might be a bad sign for you because you actually can experience the same type of issues that they are facing.

#5 Learn Online Business Laws

I can promise you that you will hate it even more than conducting market research.

We’re talking about things like:

  • Shipping restrictions (for physical products)
  • Pay taxes
  • Trademarks
  • Registrations
  • Trading zones
  • Payment gateways
  • Copyrights
  • Licenses / Permits
  • PCI compliance
online business pitfalls

Registration laws are different for each country and therefore you can or cannot use certain platforms and e-commerce platforms.

All of this can make or break your business.

This is especially important when you do something like Amazon FBA or other e-commerce business model.

So you want to do again some serious research before you dive into your online business.

But with this list, if you have done your research right, with this business, you can award certain business landmines that can destroy your business before it’s even off the ground.

#6 Analyze Your Target Market

Now the sixth step you want to take is to analyze your target market.

Clearly defining your target audience is a key to a successful online business. Busy moms, senior citizens, or something as specific as saying teenagers in certain districts of India.

This can actually answer a lot of questions before you launch your business and this will actually help you a lot.

Here are a few business questions that you want to address.

  • Is your product or service actually big enough to address and is it actually profitable? Is the potential market large enough?
  • Do you need to alter your business idea, maybe to best appeal to this audience?
  • Should you tailor maybe a product or service in some way to maximize effectiveness?
  • How can you market your business to reach those people?
defining target audience questions

Start with demographic data like:

  • Age,
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Family situation
  • Hobbies
  • Interests

And so on.

The next question you’re going to ask yourself is where you’re going to find those customers?

So which market channels would be the best for you to use?

Where you should go and look for this type of people?

#7 Choose The Best Online Business Platform

Now, the seventh step you want to take is choosing the best platform for your website or landing page, or e-commerce store if that is what you do.

This is a task in itself because it requires some serious research as well because you will need to compare pricing options, you will need to check out how their tech support responds because if anything happens, you want their tech support to respond as soon as possible so that you don’t lose any profits.

And also, of course, you’ll need to check whether there are any restrictions maybe, what features they are performing.

Maybe those features are not required by yourself and you can go with cheaper options and so on.

So do some serious research here.

💡 Pro Tip

If you are looking to build your entire online business under one platform without making use of multiple tools and dealing with multiple integrations, you may want to consider researching Builderall. Read More About Builderall

#8 Write An Online Business Plan

Step eight is to outline and create a business plan with all of the above.

And I have written about How To Write An Online Business Plan in 9 Steps.

#9 Launch Your Product

Here a small tip. Don’t lose too much time trying to perfect everything on your website, trying to apply different fancy designs.

In fact, fancy designs might scare away your customers.

Your website designs should serve one purpose, one purpose only: drive your customers to a sale, to a payment gateway, to not distract them with other numerous and unnecessary things.

Of course, you’re launching should be thoroughly planned, and you want to notify the world through all the channels that you have, that you are ready to serve, that you’re open, and just let the world know that you’re ready to serve them.

And that’s where we come to step 10 and that is to drive traffic to your website.

💡 Pro Tip

Learn How To Launch a Product Online in this complete tutorial and discover how to come up with a product idea, research the market, plan a project, and more!

#10 Drive Traffic To Your Website

Once you’ve got your website up and running, learning what marketing channels you can use to drive organic traffic to your website.

Social Media Marketing

You will need to master such things as social media and which social media work for you and which don’t.

So that you don’t waste time on social channels that actually don’t have your target audience in them.

Email Marketing

The next is how email marketing works because sooner or later you will have your email list and you will have to figure out how this email marketing thing works.

SEO

The next thing you’ll need to master is SEO, search engine optimization because this is what you want to do.

You want your website to work for yourself instead of you working for the website and to drive traffic organically.

You want people to find your website on Google.

So you want to optimize it.

#11 Measure Your Online Success

And let me tell you that success is nothing without metrics and analytics to prove it.

And the popular key success metrics to track whether your website is doing okay are something like:

  • Website traffic
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Referral traffic
  • Click trough rate (CTR)
  • Pay per click (PPC)
  • Page views
  • Average time spent oin your site
  • Average order value
key success metrics

And there are also other metrics, but these are the key metrics that you want to analyze.

#12 Scaling Your Online Business

Plan all the time, plan in advance, master your business finances.

Monitor your analytics to understand what is missing, what is not performing, what is performing well, what you should improve.

And the next one is to create a buzz about your business, speak about your business and if you cannot speak yourself, influencers might come in handy and other types of promotion that you can get.

You should be proud of it actually!

Invest In Your Business

And the next thing you need to be ready to do is to invest in technology, human resources, some equipment if this is about physical products or even about digital products.

So you should be ready to invest in your business to make it grow because if you don’t invest in it, it won’t grow.

Now, we all dream about building an empire with our online business, but online business is still a business, and you need to put hard work in it.

It’s not like you have launched your business and you start making money without doing anything. No, not like that.

Online business is still a business.

Conclusion

So those are steps you need to follow to start an online business.

With that, I’m sure you’re ready to build your online empire!

Now I would like to hear from you what online business do you want to start in 2021?

Let me know in the comments below.

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