Starting is the hardest part of becoming an entrepreneur.
Creating an online business from scratch is daunting at first. There are a lot of things to keep an eye on and it can feel overwhelming.
It’s too easy to get stuck if you’re not sure how to start. But spending months in analysis paralysis will only set you back.
To start a business, you need a solid plan. An online business checklist ensures that you’ve covered all the basics. For this reason, we have created one that you can follow.
You need a plan.
Since there is so much to do when starting a business, it is a good idea to plan things in advance. That way you don’t feel overwhelmed.
An online business checklist is a great way to stay organized during this process.
Your checklist may vary depending on the type of business you want to create.
You may want to get into e-commerce like Christina DuVarney, founder of Beautiful Disaster Clothing. Your business makes $ 400,000 a month and shows the potential that this online business model can have.
Their business is based on Shopify, an easy-to-use platform for selling physical and digital products online.
If you want to sell on Shopify, you need to source products. This will become part of your initial checklist.
You can also use affiliate marketing to monetize a website in a specific niche or sub-niche. David Tao, founder of BarBend, created a website like this by focusing on one niche that is nested in another, larger niche.
If you plan to create a partner website, you will need to sign up for a partner program and look for products that you can promote.
If SEO is an important source of traffic for you, you should do keyword research as part of your online business checklist. (Or hire us to do the hard work and get you more traffic.)
If you need to focus on social media, you need to start planning and planning posts.
Tips and tools to stay organized
There are a variety of tools you can use to create and organize your checklist.
Some people prefer a good, old-fashioned pen and paper. You can also use tools like Evernote, Trello, and Asana to manage task lists.
However you choose, organizing is the key to completing your list.
Online business checklist: what you need to get started
This online business checklist provides information on what to do if you decide to start an online business. It includes setting up your website, creating an email address, finding products and other necessary tasks that need to be done.
- Set your long-term goals
- Go in the right mindset
- Finalize your business idea
- Find out how much capital you will start with
- Create a great website
- Source products (if applicable)
- Create a solid lead magnet
- Set up your business email address
- Create a welcome email series for new subscribers
- Create content to drive traffic
- Create your email list
Set your long-term goals
Let’s start with the big picture. What are your long-term goals for your company?
Are you trying
- Increase your personal wealth
- Try to create something you can live on all day so you can quit your day job
- Earn money what you love passionately
- Finally, look for investors to expand
- Build something that you can sell at a profit sometime
These are just a few examples of long-term business goals.
Go in the right mindset
You need to think entrepreneurially to start an online business.
It is a mindset that enables you to overcome challenges, be determined and take responsibility for the results of your actions.
Over time, you will continuously improve your skills, learn from your mistakes and continue your ideas.
The biggest obstacle to an entrepreneurial mindset is self-doubt.
To do that, you have to believe that you can.
So many people are afraid to start and never pursue their ideas – even if these ideas have enormous potential for success.
Start practicing your entrepreneurial mindset every day and develop the courage to take action.
Finalize your online business idea
At this point, you may have several online business ideas that may be grouped in a similar niche. This is the time to narrow things down and decide exactly where you want to focus.
To do this, you may want to do additional research on your market.
Are there other companies doing what you plan to do? If so, that’s not a bad thing. Competition can be a very good sign – it means that there is actually a market for the type of business you want to build.
What are other similar companies doing? What is your audience like? What problems do they solve for people?
Find out how much capital you will start with
Nowadays, entry barriers to entrepreneurship are lower than ever. Tons of successful online companies were founded with very small start-up budgets.
However, you need at least a little bit of money to get started. Some of your expenses include things like registering a domain name, setting up website hosting, and paying for tools that you may need and that you cannot get for free.
Create a website
You need a website for your online business.
First you need a domain name. Then you want to set up the hosting for it. (We recommend Bluehost for WordPress.)
In many cases you want to use WordPress.org to actually build and build your site. You can find all kinds of customizable themes that can help make your new site unique. (We recommend StudioPress for free and paid WordPress themes. You can find more information about their offer in our StudioPress test.)
You may also want to consider Shopify for e-commerce. This is a good option if you are doing dropshipping or selling your own products, for example.
In general, however, WordPress is the gold standard. We recommend avoiding site builders like Squarespace and Wix. While they are convenient and easy to use, they have many disadvantages, especially when it comes to SEO.
Going to Google’s first page can be a tough struggle with a Wix site.
If you have the starting capital for this, you can also hire a freelance web developer to put your website together. However, this is generally not cheap, so many young entrepreneurs take the DIY path instead.
Source products (if applicable)
This generally applies to e-commerce and affiliate marketing, especially the former. If you do something like dropshipping, you should look for products for your online shop.
If you plan to use affiliate marketing as a monetization strategy, consider what products you could promote that your audience might be interested in.
Create a solid lead magnet
Lead magnets are things you can offer your audience in exchange for their email addresses.
This is usually done in the form of a closed content. They make an offer that appeals to your customer base and give it to them free of charge in exchange for their email.
This is a key factor in building your email list. An email list is invaluable for all types of online businesses. You can send newsletters, offer offers and discounts and advertise affiliate offers for a target group of potential customers.
Here are some different types of lead magnets you can use:
- cheat sheet
- White papers
- Offers and discounts on products
- Free shipping on the next order
- Free trial version of a service
- Free app or software tool
Successful lead magnets usually have some key qualities in common. They are specific, easy to understand and use, target your specific target group, are action-oriented and, above all, solve a problem that your target group has.
Set up your business email address
Email marketing is a great tool to drive conversions and motivate your audience.
You need an email address at yourdomain.com.
Create a series of welcome emails for new subscribers
You can create a series of multiple emails that are scheduled to be sent to each user once they have signed up to your email list.
You can’t just send bulk email from a regular Gmail account. Most of the time you will be marked as spam.
Instead, you want to use a service like ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign to compose, schedule, and send your emails. If you’re just starting out, you can use ConvertKit for free this affiliate link.
A welcome sequence makes your audience more engagedand increases the likelihood that your other emails will be opened, read and edited.
When creating your email sequence, keep the following in mind:
- Find the key message you want to send to new subscribers. Which product or service do you offer? What problem does it solve for your audience?
- Create a framework for the series. You need to set timing and messaging. This can depend on various factors such as the length of your sales cycle. Some products and services have a long and lengthy sales cycle where a lot of lead is mined, while others are most likely to buy within a day or two.
Create content to drive traffic
Content is one of the most important ways you can drive traffic to your online company’s website. Whatever you sell or promote, the right content can help lead the right people – those who are likely to buy – into your sales funnel.
Create your email list
Creating your list starts with your opt-in offer, usually a key magnet that appeals to your audience.
On your website, you want to create a registration form that asks people to join your list. At Hack the Entrepreneur, we use thrive leads.
Over time, you can build an extensive list of subscribers interested in your brand. If you build a relationship with them, you can turn your list into revenue when readers convert your offers.
Build your business today with an organized online business checklist
Using an online business checklist can help you stay organized and ensure that everything is done as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.
For more ideas on how to start an online business, see our Roadmap to Freedom below.
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