In 2023, over 60% of the American workforce will be freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs. That’s a staggering number, and it speaks to the growing trend of people wanting to take their careers into their own hands – to start their own online businesses. But what does that mean for you?
If you’re considering starting an online business in 2023, now is the time to research and get started! In this blog post, we will outline everything you need to know about starting an online business in 2023.
Why You Should Start an Online Business
- 1 Why You Should Start an Online Business
- 2 5 Online Business Idea To Try
- 3 How To Start an Online Business In 9 Steps
- 3.1 Determine your business idea and niche
- 3.2 Conducting Market Research / Product Research
- 3.3 Learn about Online Business Laws
- 3.4 Define Target Audience
- 3.5 Source Products To Sell
- 3.6 Evaluate Your Products
- 3.7 Define Your Brand Image
- 3.8 Launch Your Business Online
- 3.9 Grow Your Business
- 3.10 Wrapping Up
The barriers to entry for starting an online business have never been lower. In the past, you needed significant start-up capital and a team of experts to get your business off the ground.
Today, there are a number of platforms and tools that allow you to start and scale your business with little to no money down.
The online world has been growing exponentially, and it’s only a matter of time before this digital business model of operation becomes the norm.
The best way to take advantage while you still can is by starting your own successful business online instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar business.
Starting an online business comes with tons of advantages such as:
1. Low Start-Up Cost To Get Started
The allure of starting a business is strong, but many people are deterred by the investment required to get it off the ground.
You can get started with little to no money down with an online business. There are a number of platforms that allow you to create a professional website or online store for free or very low cost.
In fact, the average cost of starting an online business is less than $500. Compare that to the average cost of starting a brick-and-mortar business.
All you need to start a successful online business is:
- A Computer
- A Domain Name ( $10/ Year)
- A Website Builder or Learn how to build your own. ($29/ Month) or less.
In other words, your can take your small business online with only about $100 to your name! So there is no excuse for not starting your own online business.
Obviously, if you have more start-up money available to your, you are able to take your online business ideas to life and scale them faster.
But the main point is that you do not need much money to start up an online business today.
2. Online Businesses Have a Major Chance For Potential Growth
The internet is your oyster when it comes to selling online. No more worrying about location, parking lot visibility, or what time of year folks visit your store – because you can sell 24/7 without limitations. You have the ability to tap into a global market and reach millions of potential customers with the click of a button.
With an online business, there are no geographical boundaries or limits on your customer base. You can literally sell to anyone in the world with an internet connection.
Global e-commerce sales are projected to reach 7.4 trillion dollars by 2025.
This number will continue to grow as consumers are comfortable with ordering products sold online.
Furthermore, the global population continues to climb, between 2009 and 2020 north America alone has grown by 74 million people. That does not account for the other countries.
With that being said there are much great business ideas to take to start an internet business.
3.No Downtime Runs 24/7
Online businesses have a big advantage over brick-and-mortar places because they can stay open 24/7 (even through lockdowns and other disruptions).
They generate revenue with less day-to-day involvement which makes them more efficient than their counterparts in the physical world.
The bottom line: Online businesses have the potential to make more money in less time than traditional businesses.
Now that we know some of the advantages of starting an online business, let’s look at how you can get started.
5 Online Business Idea To Try
With so many business opportunities out there, it can be difficult to decide which online business idea to start.
You don’t want a big risk with your time and money but at the same time need something that will give back more than just enough for expenses while also making some profit off of what was spent on these online ventures- after all this work goes into them!
So from our research, we narrowed down five ultimate business model ideas; if any were successful they would provide an excellent return on investment (ROI).
The future of retail is now becoming more and not less chaotic. In fact, it might be exactly what you need to take your business into the next era.
This report states that 32% percent of America receive at least one package per week through Amazon Prime or another program like USPS Priority Mail Express.
There’s no better time than today for launching an online store if being able to send out timely shipments is something you can handle. There are third-party providers that are available that can send your products on behalf of your business.
With big players like amazon dominating the space, it also brings a lot of opportunity to you as an online entrepreneur looking to make a name.
A Quick walkthrough on what you’ll need to do to become a successful e-commerce business owner:
- Have a good online business idea
- Chose a niche of products
- Conduct market research on your potential customers & target audience
- *Optional* Create a business plan
- Purchase a domain name
- Design a quick logo
- Create a website or use a website builder.
- Purchase products from Alibaba
- Set up social media accounts
- Tweak product listings for search engine optimization
- Promote promote promote!
Once you narrow down your product target audience and categories. Create and scale your e-commerce store by driving traffic to it using social media marketing and influencer marketing.
It is smart from the start to have a good hosting provider for your online business, this will keep you up to speed on customer interactions.
An alternative route you can sell online on marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc. Or even do it all! A key takeaway to starting a product-based online business is to conduct market research before launching so you do not waste money.
This method is not for the quick-profit type of entrepreneur. Affiliate marketing is a great online business method to use if you don’t want to sell your own product.
This business strategy makes you the middleman between consumers and the products they are inquiring about.
Affiliate marketing is a popular method used online that can potentially change your life. The annual affiliate marketing spends by brands is $12 billion.
This is how the affiliate marketing business structure works:
- Choose a business niche
- Join an affiliate program
- Select a product – you can sell from ebooks to other digital products such as online courses.
- Get paid commission for each sale made through your dedicated referral link.
You can promote products on your social media or create a website and rank your blog on search engines for reviews about products in your niche.
Another great way to promote affiliate marketing products is by capturing the email of users interested in your website or via google ads and using email marketing to promote offers.
Finally, the most low-cost method to get into affiliate marketing would be to sign up for amazon affiliates and create a linktree and promote products you already are purchasing on your social media accounts such as Instagram and tik tok.
Becoming an affiliate marketer best method, in my opinion, to start an online business in 2023 since the start-up cost is so low.
All you will need is:
Typically a lot of successful online businesses start out by promoting and selling other people’s products to gain traffic and then switching to their own.
3. Dropshipping business model
Typically when starting an online business the dropshipping business idea is one that always gets brought up.
For good reason too; dropshipping allows you to sell products without holding any inventory. All you really need is your own website.
How it works:
- Customer purchases product on your website
- You act as a middleman and purchase products from the manufacture
- The manufacturer sends the product to your customer on your behalf.
The dropshipping market is booming, and there are many reasons why it’s becoming so popular.
The most basic is that you don’t have to take on any financial risk when starting an eCommerce business – which means more people can try their hand at running one!
The appeal of dropshipping is that it can offer low-profit margins and a fast shipping speed. However, there are some disadvantages too – such as a lack of control over supply chain issues like high freight costs or slower than expected delivery times.
The pros outweigh these minor inconveniences for most online businesses that want an easy way to get products onto the market without having expensive upfront inventory requirements.
4. Lead Generation Business
The B2B lead generation business model is different because you get paid once your client’s product or service has been sold to a prospect.
In other referral models, like affiliate sales – which some people may be familiar with from watching TV commercials where they see an ad followed by coupons and discounts at the checkout page- if someone signs up through one of those links then it doesn’t go towards paying them back immediately; instead all activity goes toward funding advertisements until someone makes purchases.
The lead generation business is a gold mine. When you get paid for each lead, it’s quite lucrative and there are many potential clients to sell them to!
The best clients for a lead generation business:
- Job Recruitment
- Local service-based businesses ( Painters, Dentist, Car detail, Hairbraiding)
- Insurance companies.
- Advertisers looking to build a custom audience.
What you really need to become successful in lead generation is to capture customer data within a particular niche of interest, then you can sell the leads to local companies
What you will need is a domain, a clear call-to-action website, some search engine optimization, and a network of small business owners in a niche.
Many small business owners are always on the lookout for new customers, if you can generate leads for their business using marketing strategies you can be a potentially very lucrative business and make good money online in lead generation.
Blogging is an easy way to build your own audience and make some money off of them too.
You can sell products or services, promote affiliate campaigns with brands that are looking for bloggers on the side (think Disclosure), and get paid speaker gigs- there’s really no limit when it comes down to how much you could earn through blogging.
All you need to start a blog:
Hands down one of the lowest barriers to entry as a business model if you wanted to start an online business.
How To Start an Online Business In 9 Steps
Now that you have a few online business ideas to think about. Let’s look into the bulk of actually how to start an online business.
Here’s an overview:
- Determine your business idea and niche
- Conduct a product or target market research
- learn about online business laws
- Define your target audience.
- Source own products to sell
- Evaluate your products
- Define a brand image
- launch your online store
- Grow your own business
In a nutshell, this is the blueprint for how to start an online business.
Determine your business idea and niche
Narrowing down your target audience to a specific niche can be an effective way of focusing on what you’re best at and leaving the rest behind.
Your business will not only excel in this more limited field but also leave competitors fighting overbridge battles with themselves when they should really just worry about their own backyard!
You will ultimately need to choose a niche for your business. How do you find a good one? Make sure your target audience has:
- A problem that no one is solving
- Willing to pay for the solution to the problem
- is it worth it? Will you make an income? Are the profit margins too low?
Building an online business is hard enough. Niches that don’t meet all three criteria are case-study territory for big companies with deep pockets and influence, not small entrepreneurs like you or me who start from scratch and have even less chance at success than those before us.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t hope – just think about what kind of product would really benefit your customer base. The key here may be finding out which gaps in the market they’re trying (and failing) already satisfy right now so we can offer alternatives instead.
Conducting Market Research / Product Research
There are three types of products typically sold via e-commerce.
- Physical Goods – Manufacturing physical goods is an involved process that requires a lot of time and money. If you don’t manage your operational costs well, then the profit margins can be low for this type of business opportunity
- digital downloads- Such as ebooks, online course, audio courses etc. Typically have higher profit margins than physical goods.
- Services – The selling of services online is the fastest way to start an independent business and turn a profit. But it’s not without its limitations since you are limited by how much time each day can be devoted to your work, unless scaled into becoming an agency owner.
Learn about Online Business Laws
Whether you are running your business from home or the traditional office, there will be certain legal requirements that apply no matter where in America it takes place.
These laws cover everything from taxes and bonding to intellectual property protection – all crucial aspects for any entrepreneur seeking success.
Some legal details to keep in mind :
- What kind of business license makes sense for your business? ( Limited liability company, sole proprietorship).
- Do you need a sales tax license?
- are there regulations specific to your online business?
- Know the laws to hire and contract employees for your online business.
Define Target Audience
Researching your target market prior to launching your online store or business is crucial for setting up your successful venture.
Market research is the way to go when you’re looking for validation of your product idea, pricing, and demand. It will help determine if people are interested in what it is that you have created.
1. Check Serps
Look up the variations of your product/service keywords and analyze search engine result pages (SERPs) for them.
What type of content is currently ranking on the first page? Is there any advertising behind those top rankings, or are they organic without ads?”
If you want to rank organically, you’ll need to create better content than what’s currently ranking. This is where audience research comes in.
You’ll need to understand what your target market wants and how they want it delivered before creating content that ranks.
2. Competition Research
You want to make sure that you’re not just focusing on the competition in front of your face, but rather taking an expansive view. What other businesses are competing with yours? How much money do they gross each year and what smart tactics can I use from their success if it happens upon my own path!?
Looking at your competition can give you some direction, but understanding your target market is key to making sure you’re not just copying what’s already out there.
Be sure to answer these questions:
- Who is my target market?
- What are their needs and wants?
- How can I reach them?
- What type of solution am I solving.
3. Track Your Best Keywords
Analyze the current trends for your products. Is your product more popular around a certain season? Data does not lie.
You can use this software to look up trends and keywords:
- Google Trends
- Google keyword planner
Demographic data provides the basic socioeconomic characteristics of a population such as age, gender, and ethnicity.
Source Products To Sell
Spend time considering your product sourcing strategy for your online business idea. If you’re not careful, all of the hard work that went into building an online business could be lost due to one bad decision about where it comes from.
There are a few routes you can choose from.
1. Find a Dropshipper
Dropshipping is a great way for small business owners to save on their inventory and shipping costs. Drop shippers can find manufacturers in countries like China, who will export the product directly from your store.
You can find manufacturers on websites such as Alibaba, spocket, etc.
2. Work with a Wholesaler
It’s not always easy finding reliable suppliers of products that are tailored to your needs. But luckily, there is a solution! You could work with wholesalers who will provide you with any goods and curate them in your online store (or even manufacture).
You can find wholesalers on websites such as World Wide Brands, Doba, etc.
3. Make Your Own Products
Manufacturing physical products are hard work. Designing the perfect product can be challenging, and there are many financial costs associated with manufacturing that doesn’t apply when selling digital goods like eBooks or software packages through online stores.
But one thing you’ll always get over your competition if they’re trying to sell something too – the quality of both what’s being offered AND how quickly it gets delivered into customer’s hands!
Evaluate Your Products
Before you make a large purchase or mass-manufacture, it’s important to evaluate the product thoroughly and ask these questions.
- Is someone else out there selling your product successfully?
- Is the demand for the product sustainable?
- What are your net margins on the product?
Define Your Brand Image
When you’re starting a business, it’s important to have an overall brand identity that is consistent throughout. You can do this by making sure your website and social media pages display the same images as well as convey similar messages in order to attract customers who want what they see or hear from one place instead of many different sources.
Maintaining visual appeal will help create trust with prospective clients which leads them back again for more products/services offered at higher profits than would otherwise be possible without such branding efforts put forth beforehand.
Launch Your Business Online
The next step in your own online business is actually setting up a website or online store. Assuming you’ve purchased your domain name already.
1. Choose an e-commerce platform
E-commerce platforms are a technical backbone for selling online. This software provides you with all the features that your business needs – from an easy-to-use product catalog to payment processing, these tools offer what’s needed in order to start up or grow any eCommerce store today.
Here are some popular platforms that are easy to get started with.
Woocommerce, in my opinion, is the best option to choose but it does require quite a learning curve to get set up and you will need to purchase a hosting plan on top of it. But by far the best for functionality and customizations.
2. Add products to the website
Once chosen an eCommerce platform and website theme, update your product catalog with what you are selling. Great conversion rates come from.
- Quality product images from different angles and a good source of lighting.
- Product descriptions are to be very detailed and captivating. AI software can help your write good captions.
These two have a huge influence on the conversion rate for your online business and therefore should be a major factor in your business strategy.
3. Figure Out your Shipping
Shipping is one of the biggest obstacles for online shoppers. E-commerce sites need to ensure that their products will get from point A, through terminals, and into customers’ hands quickly so they can make a decision on whether or not this product suits them well enough before any other competitor does.
The number one driver in making a purchase has been speed (and free shipping). You can outsource your shipping to a third party like Amazon but that will come at an extra cost.
Grow Your Business
To get more customers to your eCommerce store, you need to drive traffic. The best way is by prioritizing the following channels:
- Influencer Marketing – Partner with influencers to promote your business or brand, a great way to make a long-lasting business relationship.
- Social Media Marketing – Promote your brand across all social media channels and create a long-lasting community around your online business. Compliments organic traffic
- SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) – Ensure you have a content strategy and that all your pages are optimized.
- Paid Ads – Put aside a budget for your online business to run paid advertisements. This is the quickest way to get some traction for your brand.
- Email Marketing – Create an email list by capturing all visitors who check out your online business. This will allow you to market them at any time you send out a campaign.
So, you want to start an online business? Congratulations! It’s a great way to make money and be your own boss. But where do you start?
The first step is to come up with an idea for a business. Do some brainstorming and see what comes to mind. Once you have an idea, the next step is to do some research and figure out if there’s a market for it.
If there is, great! You can start putting together a business plan. If not, don’t worry – just keep brainstorming until you find something that does have potential.
After that, it’s time to get started on building your website and making sales. Are you ready? What are you waiting for? Start creating your online business today. Here are all the digital resources you need to start.