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4 Steps for Starting an Online Business

1 minute Read

online business 3When you have an online business, the possibilities are endless. You can work from anywhere with very little startup cost and overhead. If you’re an entrepreneur who’s short on cash, an online business might be your perfect solution.

But, in many ways, starting an online business is still similar to putting up a brick-and-mortar store. You’ll need to plan, organize and execute in the same ways. Whether you’re starting your own ecommerce site or an Etsy or eBay store, here are some steps you should not miss:

Strategize and plan

Like any business, you’ll need to conduct a market analysis and make plans for funding in order to create an online startup. Once you finish your preliminary planning, it’s time to write an actual business plan. Check out this resource to help you get started writing a simple business plan: An Overview of Lean Business Planning.

Set up your website

Choose a domain name that is available and ready to use. You could outsource this to a professional web designer, or there are plenty of tools to help you do it yourself, like Wix.com or even a simple WordPress site. Make sure your domain is something easy to remember so your customers can easily find you.

Make sure it’s legal

When it comes to online businesses, there are a few unique rules. There are many laws regarding the distribution of your customers’ personal information, privacy and intellectual property. Before you dive into starting your business, use the Small Business Association as a resource to brush up on online business law specifics. You should also visit your state’s website in case there are any state-specific requirements.

Get your finances in order

Obtain a federal tax ID number from the IRS website. If you’re a sole proprietor or a single-member LLC, however, you have the option of using your Social Security number. You’ll also need to open a bank account for your business, and if you’re going to be processing payments online you’ll need an account with an online payment service, such as Paypal.

With a little planning and initial legwork, you’ll be ready to start your online business in no time. The flexibility and low cost of operations may just be a great choice for you.

Photo credit: PODIS/shutterstock.com

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