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Starting a New Online Business: Checklist

05/05/2022 13:33:10 +0000
Online businesses are becoming extremely prevalent. If you are starting a new online business, you are well on track to success.
 
That said, there are essential factors to consider, and we have an in-depth checklist to prepare you to start a new online business,
If you hit all points on this checklist, your chances of success increase.
 
Below is an 11-point checklist for new entrepreneurs. They detail what you need to do to start a successful online business.
11 Vital Points
There are 11 points on this checklist for starting a new online business. The more points you hit, the more success you will have.

1. Create the Business Plan and Evaluate Business Viability

The first step is to create a solid business plan. This is an organized and concise plan that will outline your company's every detail. For example, it will describe your company, its goals, the opportunities, etc.
You'll discuss your financials, management structure, marketing, sales tactics, etc. Every aspect of your business needs to be included in this business plan.

This is essential for getting new investors. Entrepreneurs with an in-depth business plan have a 260% higher chance of turning an idea into a profitable business.
Once you have your business plan, look to see how viable your business really is.
 
Then, ask yourself whether or not people will buy what you are selling.
Moreover, would you buy your own product? Finally, do you think you sell products and services that customers will tell their friends about? Again, you would be on the right track if you answered yes to these questions.

2. Take Stock of Your Financial Situation

Once you have created your business plan, take stock of your financial situation. This includes the financial projections you made within your business plan.

First, ensure that you have enough money to pay the bills for at least the first year; we're talking about being able to pay the bills without turning a profit.

This is, of course, the worst-case scenario, but you do need to be prepared. Although operating an online business won't have as many overhead costs as a physical location, there are still costs.

You cannot rely on your online business to turn a profit to pay your bills, especially during the first year. Therefore, you need to be financially stable before starting an online business.

3. Choose Your Business Name

Next, choose a good business name. A tip is to choose a unique business name that stands out from the competition.

However, the business name must be relevant to what you are doing. This business name should be short, concise, and memorable. Many guides online can help budding entrepreneurs choose a business name.

4. Purchase a Domain

Once you have chosen the name of your business, you will purchase a domain—the URL or address your website will be listed under. You might need to be flexible because many domain names may be taken.

There might be businesses that have similar names to yours. You want to choose a business name with a unique and available domain.

Moreover, you should put some effort into choosing secondary domain names. Again, this concerns marketing and creating a brand image and awareness.

You need secondary domain names for blogs and landing pages. These secondary domain names and other sites will redirect customers to your main website.

If your website does not have a unique and memorable domain name, people will not find it. Even worse would be confusing your site for a competitor's, an easy way to lose customers to your competition.
 
If you are having trouble, great tools are available to help you choose a good domain name.
5. Have a Business Structure Chosen

Before you can start your online business, determine your business structure. This could be a cooperative, a corporation, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship, all of which have their benefits and drawbacks.
 
Generally speaking, if you are starting a small online business, you'll most likely be a sole proprietorship or a partnership. However, you can choose to incorporate your business, as this has financial and legal benefits.

6. Register the Business

For you to legally sell anything online, your business must be registered. Therefore, you have to register your business with the appropriate federal or state authorities.
This will allow you to legally sell your goods and services online. In addition, it will account for finances, specifically when it comes to taxes—of course, the government wants you to pay taxes for your online business.

7. Get a Good Hosting Plan

Once you have registered your business, the next step is to purchase an excellent hosting plan for your website.
 
Next, estimate how much traffic will be visiting your website within the first year.
Then, purchase a web hosting plan that will handle that amount of traffic. Your website needs to be fast enough and have enough server space to stay up and running even with maximum traffic.

In addition, determine the uptime performance, and how much scheduled downtime you can expect. You also want to see the hosting company's data security measures and learn what backup procedures exist.

8. Create a Business Logo

The next step is creating and designing a logo. A company needs a good logo that is easy to read and legible in smaller sizes. In addition, your logo should match your company's vision in terms of color and shape.

In fact, having a good logo is one of the most important aspects because it will appear on your website, in your videos, and in every document you have. If you have no experience designing logos or artwork, you can hire a professional graphic designer.

A graphic designer won't be overly expensive, and they'll help you create an eye-catching logo that people will be able to identify and remember.
 
Your logo must be memorable and easy to distinguish from others. Anybody who sees your logo should be able to instantly know what it means.
9. Have Your Marketing and Social Media Ready

To get people to buy your products, they first need to know about you. Therefore, you need an advertising campaign if you haven't already started it.
 
Determine when and how you will advertise. Various paid and unpaid advertisements, physical flyers, and email campaigns are good options.

Moreover, social media has a huge role in online businesses today. In fact, social media might be the best marketing tactic available.

Although you can use paid advertisements on social media, creating a business profile is completely free. It's an excellent way to get free advertising and reach many people. Therefore, make sure you have various social media accounts ready to go.
 
Your social media accounts should also be very well built. You might consider hiring a social media marketing expert for this task.

10. Create a Good Website

Your website is the most vital component of this whole process. If you have experience with coding, you can always build your own website.

Many platforms enable you to build a website with ease. There are even many, such as WordPress, that, with various retailer platforms, don't require you to do any coding. However, you may want to hire a professional website developer and graphic designer for the best results.

Your website needs to be eye-catching yet simple to navigate. Customers must easily see and find your products and order them. This means you need to set up payment gateways. You should also create a website you can upscale in the future.
Once your website has gone live, you want to try to break it.
 
Again, you will be performing quality control. Try navigating the website and click every single link and button. Try to fill out any forms and see what happens when you leave spaces blank.

Select products, add them to the shopping cart, remove them from the shopping cart, and even make a purchase. You should test every function of your website to ensure it works properly.
 
If your website doesn't work correctly, customers will likely go to another site. If your website has any bugs, they need to be fixed as soon as possible.

11. Have an Accounting System in Place

Finally, ensure you have a good accounting system to keep track of your finances. You need to track how much money is going out and how much is coming in.
 
You will have to deal with taxes, so your books must be in order. Of course, the main goal is to profit, so keeping track of finances is vital.
Final Thoughts
If you manage to check all 11 points on the checklist, you are well on your way to successfully starting a new online business.
About the Host
Sophie Howard is the founder of Aspiring Entrepreneurs, a community designed to help people develop the skills and confidence to build a business and a life that serves them. Sophie began online in 2013 with an Amazon firm, which she sold for more than $1 million in 2015.

Sophie has lectured on stages all around the world, encouraging and teaching other ambitious entrepreneurs. She has established instructional programs educating thousands of students how to sell online, in addition to releasing over 1000 products.

Sophie has also written a book titled "Aspiring Entrepreneurs: A Guide to Finding Your Best Path to Financial Freedom."
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