BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Six Steps To Starting
An Online Business
From Scratch
(Real Life Advice for Entrepreneurs)

June 29, 2021

Kimberly Ann Jimenez,
Digital Strategist & Founder

So you’ve come up with a great idea, and you’re ready to launch your online business, but…

Should you get on social media now?

Create a YouTube channel? 

Start blogging? 

What about getting paid and securing your first customers? 

There’s so much to consider and so much conflicting and confusing advice online we had to share a simple process you can follow right now for getting started and growing FAST.

So if you want to launch your own online business but have no idea where to start, this episode is for you. I’m going to walk you through the six steps to launching a profitable online business from scratch, and you’ll leave feeling inspired, focused, and clear on your next step.

Let’s do this!

✨ FREE DOWNLOAD: The Online Success Path

#1 WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SELL?

The first thing you want to figure out is what are you going to sell? What is your business idea? 

Once you have your business idea, talk to people who do what you want to do. Get some feedback and ask essential questions like…

  • What are the starting costs?
  • What would I need to do to invest in it?
  • What are some of the competitors in my space?
  • How can I stand out and look at the landscape as a whole? 
  • What hole in the market can I fill? 

These questions will help you decide between one business and the other.

Also, you need to ask yourself, “How is it going to affect my personal life?” and “Does this make sense?” as you’re figuring out how you’re going to launch your business.

#2 CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN

As you’re crafting your business’ vision, ask questions like…

  • How will I make money? 
  • How am I going to market my business? 
  • How am I going to stand out from my competitors?
  • Do I need to hire a team or do it solo?

It’s challenging to start an online business or a business of any kind and not have a single clue as to what direction you’re headed. I see this often with entrepreneurs, and it’s one of the main issues or points of contention that I want to help you avoid.

We have an entire post on creating a One-Page Business Plan that you might want to check out, and we also have a free template that you can download.

#3 HOW YOU’RE GOING TO GET PAID

There are three big categories that most online businesses fit in. You’re either going to sell a service, sell a physical product, or online goods in the form of courses. A lot of brands have a hybrid of the three. 

Having a mix of multiple types of businesses or revenue streams is okay, but start with one. Focus on one profitable income stream at a time, and put all of your energy towards that.

If you want to learn more about the things you should work on, the things you should ignore, and when you should be moving on to the next stage of your online business journey, check out our Free Success Path.

When it comes to figuring out how you’re going to get paid, jot down a rough idea of your pricing. Pricing is a tricky topic, so I suggest that you look at your market.

Find out what other people are charging, and come out where you feel comfortable in pricing yours.

But also, look at how many units you can realistically sell and figure out what your target revenue goal per month should be.

#4 VALIDATE YOUR IDEA

Validating your idea means pitching yourself in front of people. The best way to do this is to talk to the people you serve the most. Ask them what they need. 

If someone is willing to pay for a service or a product you’re offering, that validates your idea.

So get your first ten paying customers, and you’ll have a basic idea of whether or not your service makes sense. 

As you get feedback from more and more customers, start tweaking and perfecting your offers so that you quickly become the go-to person in your space.

#5 BUILD YOU ONLINE STOREFRONT

Having a website is essential. It’s your digital storefront. It’s where people can find more information about you. It’s where transactions happen, where you can sell your products, gather leads, and do much marketing, just like you would if you had a physical store. 

So own that platform. Your website should be your most profitable unpaid salesperson. 

If you’re selling physical products, I highly recommend checking out Shopify; they’re the King of the Hill regarding physical products. 

If you sell services or digital products, please learn how to use WordPress to market your business more flexibly.

After you have your website figured out, it’s time to figure out how you will get paid online. The best way to do this is to sign up for a merchant account like Stripe or PayPal. These services will help facilitate the transaction process from your customer’s bank account or credit card to your bank account. 

Number two, leverage a shopping cart or an order form. It’s where you add order tracking or one-click upsell that can be tools to further your conversion optimization and make more money from customers who are already on your website. 

So if you’re selling online physical products, a tool like Shopify or WooCommerce. But if you’re selling services or online courses, or digital tools, I highly recommend Samcart.

#6 MARKET YOUR BUSINESS

There are several ways to market your business. If you’re willing to invest some money, you can go the Ad route. If you have more time and money, you can go the content route. Ideally, it would be best if you were building both a long and short-term strategy.

If you want to go with the content marketing route, you have to leverage the power of search engine optimization (SEO).

Get on platforms that allow for discoverability. You can also send free products to bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters to do free reviews in exchange for your product. I call this Other People’s Audiences (OPA); leveraging those relationships to get exposure is a brilliant play.

You can pay for ads to push your content. Think about using Pinterest ads, Youtube ads, or even Facebook ads. You have to advertise where your people are so your ideal clients can see you. 

OVER TO YOU

So that’s it! I hope this post was helpful.

If you want even more in-depth information about all these individual stages, don’t forget to check out our Success Path.

I’ll see you at the next one.  

Un beso, 😘

Kim

Here are the questions of the day. What are you using to schedule and plan your content? Are you using a tool like Trello or Asana? Or a scheduling tool like CoSchedule or Hootsuite? Or something else? 

Let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

X,

Kim

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