There are several reasons why you may want to set up an online business. One of the most appealing things about running an online business is the freedom it offers. Having gone through this several times ourselves, we thought it would be helpful to share a guide on how to set up on an online business.
Setting up a business is relatively easy if you know all the steps involved. And, when it comes to setting up an online business, there are a wide range of services available that can help you do it in less than a day.
Guide: How to Set Up an Online Business
Step 1: Find and fill a need
The most important thing to do when starting a business is to find a need and fill it. Many people have success when they figure out a way to solve a problem that they experience in their own lives and then share that solution with others.
Online businesses provide a unique opportunity to reach millions of people at nearly zero cost. If people are actively searching for ways to solve a problem and you have a information they need, you're headed in the right direction.
To get a sense for how many people are searching for specific things, check out Google Trends. By entering keyword terms, you can get a sense for whether your idea is becoming more popular or may already be past its peak.
Google's free Keyword Planner can also help you get a more detailed view of how many people are searching for your idea on a monthly basis and how competitive it will be for your site to rank against other websites.
Step 2: Give your business a name
This is the essential part of setting up any business and maybe one of the most difficult things you do! Picking the right name can be a real challenge. You need to determine a name that gives of a special vibe or summarizes what you're offering or what makes you different from others. If you're worried that you can't seem to find the right name, check out this great free business name generator offered by Shopify for some inspiration.
To use the tool, you simply enter in words related to your business name and the generator will create multiple possible names for you.
Step 3: Find a great domain name
Once you have a business name, you'll want to kick off a search for a great domain name.
A great domain name is:
- Easy to spell
- Easy to remember
- Preferably a .com
- Relevant to your business
- Has available Social Media handles
Tools like namecheap can help you find available domain names. An added bonus is that when your desired domain name is taken, they will suggest alternatives for you.
If you've found the perfect domain name, but it is already taken, consider adding a prefix or suffix to your domain to find one that is available. This list has great suggestions.
We also recommend setting your domain to auto-renew when you buy so you don't accidentally lose it at a later date.
At this point, you have knocked out 3 of the most important tasks in creating your new online business. And, you're almost halfway through our guide for how to set up on online business. Keep going! You have just a few more critical steps before you launch!
Step 4: Register your business
If you really want your business to flourish and create a stronger image of itself, you'll have to get your business registered. Part of the benefit of registering your business is confirming that another business by the same name doesn't already exist.
Registering your business is relatively easy – though the rules vary from state to state. A service like IncFile can help you with all of the paperwork and process you need to go through to do this correctly.
Once you submit all of your paperwork to register your business, it will probably take a few days to receive confirmation. Worry not though – during this time, you can begin building your online presence.
Step 5: Design your company logo
Finally – a fun activity! If you have a creative side, designing an attractive and eye-catching logo is a great way to differentiate your business. An appealing logo can help capture the attention and create a personal connection with your customers.
If designing a logo yourself seems daunting, there are free tools out there to help. We like the free wix logo maker for it's simplicity. If you have a bit of a budget, sites like 99designs offer fantastic custom designed logos for a reasonable price.
Step 6: Get an email address
Nothing makes a business seem more official than a custom email address – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting an email address set up is the easiest step there is, you can go ahead and register your email address through G suite. Google email addresses come with built in spam filtering and a whole host of business productivity tools to help you run your business.
Step 7: Create your website
Now that you have a business name, your own domain, and an email address, you're ready to begin building your online presence. There are several easy website builders available that require no coding skills to get up and running.
You can get started today!
By following these simple steps, you can take the first steps towards launching your own online business and a lifetime of learning.
If you have any questions about the services we recommend above – or any others you've encountered – leave us a comment below. We'd love to hear from you and help out however we can.