If you’ve dreamed of one day starting your own online business from home. Then you’re not alone. In this article, I will show you How to Start An Online Business At Home easily.
Only a select handful could start their businesses back in the day. Outside investment was limited (unless you had a ‘commerce-savvy family), so you needed a lot of money to get started.
Granted, in this time that’s no longer the case. Anyone, regardless of their professional background or previous entrepreneurial experience, may now establish and build an internet business.
However, while the entry barrier has decreased. It is not completely gone. You must still come up with a credible product concept, choose your sourcing or production plan, and then develop a sales strategy.
However, none of this should deter you from how to start an online business at home!
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Start an Online Business?
- 5 Online Business Models to Consider
How to Start Your Online Business at Home In 10 Steps
- How to Start An Online Business At Home: Choose a Niche and a Company Concept.
- Conduct Product Research.
- How to Start An Online Business At Home: Take lessons About Online Business Laws
- How to Start An Online Business At Home: Conduct Market Research
- Know Your Target Audience
- How to Start An Online Business At Home: Source Products to Sell Online
- Evaluate Product Viability
- Define your image and brand.
- How to Start An Online Business At Home: Launch Your Online Store
- Successful Online Businesses You Can Learn From
- Conclusion: How to Start An Online Business At Home
- How to Start An Online Business At Home FAQS
Why Should You Start an Online Business?
You might be asking yourself why you should start an online business in the first place. Why not go with a physical location instead?
Because there are several benefits to starting an online business.
Here are the three most important:
1. It is reasonably cheap to start.
Many people desire to start a business but are put off by the amount of money necessary to get it started. A lease must be paid, merchandise must be purchased, and staff salaries must be planned for. What if you put all you have into your business and it doesn’t payout? This has the potential to ruin you financially.
With an online business, though, all you need is:
- Domain name
- Website builder
In other words, a $100 start-up capital is sufficient to establish an internet business.
Naturally, the more money you have to start with, the more online business ideas you may pursue.
But the point is that becoming a (successful) online entrepreneur does not need you to risk your whole life savings.
2. Major potential and growth.
You have to deal with the limits of the “real world” when you run a brick-and-mortar firm.
Renting in prime locations is costly. There may not be enough foot traffic on some days. The local community does not always want anything.
What’s more, guess what? None of these limitations apply when you establish an online business. You may sell to anyone, regardless of their location.
And as more individuals become familiar with the notion of online purchasing. Your pool of prospective clients grows with each passing year. Ecommerce will account for 22% of global retail revenues by 2023.
Furthermore, the worldwide Internet population is expanding.
For example, the number of Internet users in North America increased by 73.3 million individuals between 2009 and 2020.
But that pales in comparison to the areas that are still expanding!
In Asia, the number of Internet users increased from 764.4 million to 2.5 billion. Implying that 1.76 billion individuals joined the Internet.
With more individuals online, your online brand has a greater chance of being discovered. Especially if you don’t mind crossing the boundary with your web company.
All further information on this statistic can be found at Statista
3. Can run 24/7.
Another advantage of internet companies over brick-and-mortar firms is that they may operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week (even though lockdowns and other disruptions).
You are always “on” to make a sale once your internet company website is up and running. Customers can place orders with you at any moment.
Your firm may produce cash with less day-to-day participation since you don’t have to be physically there to make a transaction.
5 Online Business Models to Consider
With so many business options and so many great guides available. Choosing which one to follow might be challenging. It’s understandable because you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.
We collected data from you and narrowed it down to only five online business ideas on how to start an online business at home.
1. Start an online store
Although eCommerce has been around for over four decades. There has never been a better moment to open an online business.
A third of US consumers (32 percent) now get one or more Amazon parcels every week. According to the “The Future of Retail 2019” report. Meanwhile. 10% of Amazon customers get three or more parcels every week.
It’s probably safe to say that consumers are more comfortable with online shopping in general as a result of their reliance on Amazon.
According to the same study, 46% of customers are more willing to buy a big-ticket item like a vehicle or a grill online now than they were a year ago.
Pick an eCommerce site (BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.) once you’ve settled on your product categories, set up your online store, and begin generating traffic to it.
You may also pick dedicated hosting for WooCommerce or Magento if you want to self-host. You may also begin selling on online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
While eCommerce provides all three of the mentioned previously online business advantages. You should bear in mind that profit margins in online commerce might be tight for some items.
2. Become a Dropshipper.
Dropshipping is a type of online fulfillment that allows you to sell physical things without having to keep inventory.
The following is how it works:
- On your eCommerce website, a consumer places an order for a product.
- The order is forwarded to the manufacturer by you.
- The product is then delivered straight to the consumer by the manufacturer.
It is an attractive option for those who want to enter into eCommerce but don’t want to take on the financial risk of keeping inventory. So it’s no wonder that the dropshipping industry is booming! The forecasted revenue for 2025 is $557.9 billion.
Dropshipping offers several advantages. But it also has some drawbacks. Low-profit margins, slow shipment speeds, and a lack of supply chain control are just a few of them.
3. Become an Affiliate.
If you want to start an online business but don’t want to create your items. Affiliate marketing is a feasible alternative.
It’s a well-known method of earning money online. The yearly affiliate marketing investment by businesses is anticipated to be $12 billion, according to SaaS Scout. In the next years, the figure is predicted to rise by 10%.
The explanation of how affiliate marketing works:
- First, join up for an affiliate program.
- Then choose a product to promote to your audience that belongs to someone else. This can be a digital or physical product (e.g., an ebook, an online course, an app, etc.).
- After that, you’ll be paid a commission for any sale made through your affiliate links.
Create SEO content around relevant keywords and then optimize it to acquire organic traffic from Google to promote affiliate items on your site. You may also use social media to advertise affiliate items.
When done correctly. Affiliate marketing may be incredibly profitable. Adam Energy, for example, earned $812,718 in 2020. Affiliate marketing brought in $601,698 in passive income.
Allowing your affiliate partner to offer webinars for your audience is another way to advertise affiliate items to your email list subscribers.
However, successful internet firms that begin by selling affiliate items soon launch their products. That way, you may generate a lot more money with the same quantity of traffic.
4. Provide website design services.
You may learn the fundamentals of web design through eLearning programs and trial and error. Then, to begin gaining clients, develop a portfolio website. Alternatively, you may join up on a freelancing marketplace like Upwork or 99Designs. You don’t have to be a full-time freelancer to perform web design as a side hustle, by the way.
However, freelancing may be difficult at times. While you gain from freedom of location and a flexible schedule. Your income and financial security are less predictable initially. So, before you go all in, set up an emergency fund.
Having said that, after you’ve mastered web design. You can move on to producing and marketing your items (e.g. WordPress templates). This may assist to reduce economic stress.
5. Create a note-worthy blog.
Do you have a natural talent for writing? Then blogging could be a viable online business option for you.
While owning a blog is not in and of itself a business model. It does allow you to establish an audience.
You may sell your items or services, promote affiliate products, and run sponsored campaigns with companies. So once you’ve built up a following. Bloggers that are well-known receive lecture engagements and book deals.
How to Start Your Online Business at Home In 10 Steps
Let’s look at the operational aspects of starting an online business now that you’ve settled on a business strategy. The following is a step-by-step guide to how to start an online business at home:
- Choose a niche and a company concept.
- Conduct product research.
- Learn about online business laws.
- Market research should be done.
- Define who you want to reach.
- Find things to sell on the internet.
- Evaluate the product’s viability.
- Define your company’s image and brand.
- Get your online store up and running.
- Expand your company.
How to Start An Online Business At Home: Choose a Niche and a Company Concept.
A business niche refers to your “focus area,” which is a market sector or target audience that you typically serve. This can be anyone from sports enthusiasts (e.g. gymnasts) to hobbyists (e.g. post stamp collectors) to professionals (e.g. software developers).
For your new business. You must choose a niche. How do you go about finding a decent one? Check that your target audience has the following attributes:
- An issue that no one else seems to be able to solve well enough.
- Willingness to pay a price for a solution to a problem.
- Possessing enough disposable income to pay for the solution.
Niches that don’t match all three criteria should be avoided. Because starting an internet business is difficult enough. When you go after folks who don’t need, can’t afford, or aren’t interested in your items. You make things much more difficult for yourself.
Conduct Product Research.
There are three categories of eCommerce items that you may sell online. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- Physical assets
These are material objects that must be created, kept in a warehouse, and distributed to clients, as the name indicates. Physical items can be profitable. But if you don’t manage your operating expenses properly. Your profit margins will be minimal.
- Digital downloads.
You may also offer digital products, which are anything that a buyer can download to their devices, such as music or software.
eBooks, audio courses, online courses, and more formats are available.
Profit margins for digital items are greater (compared to physical goods). However, because they are often seen as having a lower value than actual things, pricing them can be problematic.
Almost every service that can be provided remotely may be marketed online. The quickest approach to establishing an internet business is to sell services (and turn a profit). However, it is a business model in which you sell your time. Because you only have a certain number of hours each day, your earning potential is restricted. That is until you grow into a full-fledged agency.
How to Start An Online Business At Home: Take lessons About Online Business Laws
Small business owners may think that standard business laws do not apply to them since they operate an online business. That is not the case.
While an online business requires fewer licenses and permissions than a brick-and-mortar firm. You must still address several legal issues. Specifically:
What type of business license (if any) are you going to need to get started?
What legal form (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or corporation) makes the most sense?
- Are there any permits that you need to obtain?
- Are you need to pass any inspections?
- Is a tax license needed?
- Are there any regulations that exclusively apply to internet businesses?
- What are the criteria for hiring contractors vs employees?
Learn more about the laws and regulations that apply to eCommerce businesses.
NB: Each state and country has its own set of laws. Always double-check facts with the proper authorities in your area. If you can afford it. You should also seek professional legal support.
How to Start An Online Business At Home: Conduct Market Research
Conduct online market research to find out what your target audience wants, needs, or lacks.
To start your own internet business. You must conduct market research. It aids in determining the company vertical’s depth, competitiveness, and profitability. Because the last thing you want to do is launch a deal that no one wants to take advantage of. Market research also aids in the validation of your product concept, price, and demand.
Here’s how to begin doing market research:
1. Check the SERPs.
Examine the search engine result pages (SERPs) for several versions of your product/service keywords. What kind of material is now on the first page of Google? What do companies pay to advertise on the first page of organic search results?
This will allow you to analyze your rivals ahead of time. In addition, gather data for a preliminary SEO and digital marketing plan based on the kind of content your target audience prefers.
2. Research competitors.
You should also study your main competitors more closely (beyond SERPs). What are the most successful business initiatives in your industry? What kind of money do they make? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
You can discover what gives you a competitive advantage over other players by examining them under a microscope.
3. Track high-performing keywords.
Monitor niche-relevant keywords to see how demand for different items is changing in your niche and what content ranks well.
The following are some useful tools for this:
Know Your Target Audience
To obtain sales and ultimately expand your business. You need to know exactly who your target market is. Research both demographics and psychographics data to understand more about their requirements and preferences.
Basic socioeconomic variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, job title, and so on are included in demographic data.
Values, beliefs, interests, views, and other psychological qualities are included in psychographic data.
These insights, when combined, aid in the development of a comprehensive understanding of your prospective buyer’s needs, preferences, and purchasing triggers.
How to Start An Online Business At Home: Source Products to Sell Online
If your items are mediocre. You won’t be able to run a profitable internet business. Because you’ll end up on social media’s trending sites for all the wrong reasons. As a result, give your product procurement strategy more thought.
1. Create your products.
If you want to offer digital products. This alternative is pretty simple. Physical product manufacturing, on the other hand, necessitates a great deal of effort in terms of design, interactions, material selection, and so on. The financial costs are also larger. However, manufacturing will always provide you an edge over the competitors in terms of quality, product selection, and brand recognition.
2. Find a drop shipper.
You can identify a manufacturer who will drop ship their items to you. To avoid company costs, many small business owners establish drop shipping agreements with overseas manufacturers (mostly situated in Asia).
3. Work with a wholesaler.
Alternatively, you might choose a wholesaler that will give you a selection of items to buy and curate in your online store. You may also choose a wholesaler to help you distribute your items (if you plan to manufacture them).
Evaluate Product Viability
Before purchasing or manufacturing a large order. You should analyze the feasibility of your product(s) holistically. To do so, consider the following questions:
- Is there currently a successful internet business providing similar products?
- Is there a long-term demand for this product? Is it a one-time thing?
- Is there any logic to this product’s math? Is it possible to resell it for a profit?
It doesn’t matter how cool the product appears to be. What matters is that it’s feasible from a business standpoint!
Define your image and brand.
Your company’s entire “vibe” is defined by its brand. From your company name to your online design and text. You want to project a consistent visual image and message. The same goes for your off-site presence, which includes social media, email newsletters, and even packaging.
Pay attention to the following while you work on your brand identity:
- The scheme of colors.
- Layouts for pages.
- Photographs and graphics
All of these pieces should work together to create your brand image.
How to Start An Online Business At Home: Launch Your Online Store
Preparing for the launch is the next phase in your company strategy. This entails configuring and setting up your eCommerce website.
1. Select an eCommerce platform.
A technical backbone for selling online is an eCommerce platform. From a product catalog to payment processing, this type of software has everything you need.
Listed below are a few common choices:
- BigCommerce: An open-source software-as-a-service platform with a wide variety of native commerce functionality and no restrictions on extensions or modification. When compared to Shopify, BigCommerce’s out-of-the-box capability may save companies between $5,800 and $30,000 per year in in-app subscription expenses.
- WooCommerce: An open-source platform that you may customize to create any kind of store you want.
WooCommerce has hundreds of extensions you can install to facilitate shipping, accounting, marketing, and much more. However, you’ll need to pay for hosting as well as a developer to set up and design your store.
- Shopify: Shopify is a SaaS platform with over 4,100 integrated apps and a wide variety of native functionality (separate subscription fees apply). It also comes with over 70 professional and responsive themes for you to choose from while creating your website.
2. Add your products
Add goods to your catalog once you’ve decided on a platform and a shop theme. Pay great attention to the following:
- Images of the products. Provide high-definition images of the goods from various viewpoints. For additional information, see our eCommerce photography guide.
- Descriptions of the products Instead of lining up features, concentrate on the benefits that the consumer will receive. This article will show you how to write interesting product descriptions in a hurry.
The conversion rates of your product pages are heavily influenced by product photos and descriptions. So take your time and make sure they’re correct!
3. Decide on how you’ll ship.
Fast and free delivery is the most important factor in completing an online purchase. It has been for the last six years!).
Ascertain that all of your items are delivered on time to your consumers. You can use a variety of shipping methods to do this:
- Pick up in-store
- LTL trucking companies
- Same-day or next-day delivery is available.
- Shipping is free.
4. Make sure everything works.
Finally, triple-test all aspects of your eCommerce store after it’s up and running. Make certain that:
- All pages look great on any device (desktop, tablet, mobile).
- The website works nicely in a variety of browsers (Chrome, Brave, Firefox, etc.).
- All of the buttons are clickable and linked to the appropriate programs.
If you have the funds, employ a QA expert to do the test and report on the results.
Expand Your Business
It’s time to start bringing traffic to your site once everything is in place. Make the following channels your top priority:
Advertisements that are paid for. Set aside money for pay-per-click (PPC) adverts on social media and in search results. That’s the easiest approach to boost a new store’s brand recognition.
Influencer marketing is a term that refers to the use of celebrities To advertise your items, and collaborate with social media influencers. Another easy approach to get them in front of your target audience is to use social media.
Marketing on social media. Build audiences on Instagram and Facebook to supplement sponsored efforts with organic traffic.
SEO stands for search engine optimization (SEO). Ensure that all of your website’s pages are optimized for search engines. Then, for your blog, devise a content marketing plan.
Email marketing is a type of marketing that involves sending emails to Capture the email addresses of visitors to your eCommerce business to create an email list. You may then use your email subscribers to market your items.
Successful Online Businesses You Can Learn From
Understanding what other eCommerce organizations have done to get to where they are now is one of the finest ways to “learn” eCommerce.
Here are three “success stories” you can reverse-engineer.
1. Selling Furniture Online
When the Burrow co-founders were in business school. They had to choose between getting cheap but disposable furniture and risking having to wait up to 12 weeks for it.
They realized they had stumbled across a lucrative business opportunity. What if they could make the process of purchasing furniture online more efficient? That is how the concept of modular furniture was conceived. Kabeer and Stephen’s idea was well-received by its intended demographic.
It’s a perfect illustration of how minor annoyances may turn into huge business possibilities.
2. Selling T-shirts Online
Two New Jersey buddies relocated to New Hampshire in the early 1970s. Their ambition was to sell belts and buckles at fairs and festivals in the area. They decided to start a retail store named “The Mountain” because their stuff was so popular.
The Mountain has expanded to 30 retail sites across the mid-Atlantic states, as well as a booming online business, since then. Hand-dyed and printed t-shirts were also found as a specialty by the shop. Surprisingly, they are the firm responsible for the most popular t-shirt in the history of the internet.
It’s a motivating narrative that demonstrates how you can make money by selling items you care about.
3. Selling Candies Online
Lammes Candies has been run by the same family since 1885. The firm provides a variety of confectionery items, as the name implies. Their Pecan Pralines recipe hasn’t changed since 1892 (and it’s still a closely guarded secret!).
Despite having a long history, Lammes Candies saw the possibilities of eCommerce in 1992. They built a static website with their product catalog that year, and they’ve been selling online ever then.
Lammes Candies teaches a good lesson: if you want to be competitive, you must keep up with technology.
Conclusion: How to Start An Online Business At Home
It doesn’t have to be difficult how to start an online business at home. Take each step one at a time. First, do some research into an eCommerce specialty and popular items. Determine your company concept and fulfillment approach next.
After that, you may begin establishing your web business. Select an eCommerce platform, customize its appearance, and begin adding goods to your catalog. Concentrate your efforts on increasing traffic to your online business.
Once your company is up and going, make a point of gathering as much data as possible. Then examine the information to learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Make the necessary changes to your business plan.
Don’t be concerned if you don’t know everything there is to know about online business. No one can accomplish it. We’re all still learning!
How to Start An Online Business At Home FAQS
Which form of online business is the greatest to start?
It is determined by your work experience and personal preferences. Internet service-based enterprises (as an evolution from a freelance side-hustle) and product-based online businesses. Such online stores are popular choices. The two need the least initial investment and may be grown successfully over time.
What is the best home-based online business?
An online service business, a digital product business, or a dropshipping business are the three finest internet companies to start from home. Both may be managed efficiently from a home office with little to no additional equipment or space.
What is the best way to start a small online business?
To begin a modest online business, you must first decide if it will be B2B or B2C, services or products. After that, create a website. Using a SaaS website builder, you can make one for about $100. (no coding skills required). Add information, photos, and items to your website, then link a payment method and start selling.
What is the most profitable type of online business?
Ecommerce is one of the most successful online business models since it allows you to scale indefinitely. You can start with a tiny specialty business and expand to a cross-country or even cross-border enterprise that serves clients all over the world.
What exactly can you sell online?
Today, you can sell almost any sort of goods online as long as there is a market for it. Analyze the target market size (the projected number of individuals who would wish to buy from you) and prospective profit margins to establish product feasibility (the amount of money you can earn from selling a product for a price that the target market is ready to pay).
Can you start an online business with no money?
In theory, you can start an online business without spending any money. However, there will be a few modest initial expenditures, such as a domain registration (around $10), a website builder/platform (about $30/mo), and the creation of website content. You may establish an online business without spending a lot of money if you do your website creation and setup.
Do you require marketing to assist with the launch of your company?
To start an internet firm, you don’t require “marketing” as a business function, but you will need to invest in certain promotional efforts. Unless you’re debuting to an audience that’s already been warmed up (e.g. your existing fans on social media or blog readers). A well-planned launch marketing effort will pay for itself in a matter of hours.
Is dropshipping a decent way to make money online?
Dropshipping is an excellent online business concept for newbies who don’t want (or can’t afford) to invest in inventory or deal with logistics. These two responsibilities are handled by a dropshipping partner, allowing you to focus on marketing and brand development. The downside is that profit margins are often smaller with dropshipping, and differentiating your items from the competition is more difficult.
How do you come up with eCommerce business ideas?
The finest eCommerce product ideas appear in current sectors where either digital commerce penetration is still low (because the competition largely sells offline) or existing product(s) do not completely match the demands of the customers. The market for reusable water bottles is enormous, and there is a lot of interest in them. However, just one company provides a self-cleaning water bottle that most consumers find handier than normal (and less expensive) bottles.
Do you need a business plan for your online business?
Absolutely! Starting an online business is like driving without a rearview mirror: you’ll get where you need to go, but you can miss a major stumbling block. While a formal, business school-style plan isn’t required for a small eCommerce firm, it’s preferable if you write at least a brief roadmap paper outlining your key milestones before launch.