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The Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Introduction

Escape the 9-5 and start an online business to live the life you want, work at your own hours, enjoy being your own boss and get enough time to spend with your friends and family.

That’s the dream right? To most people it may seem like its only possible in a dream but that’s the new reality and it is completely possible.

Hundreds and thousands of people are doing it. People are building their own online business right from the comfort of their home and they are getting to live the lifestyle they want, work whenever they want, travel whenever they want and get to spend more time with their family and friends whenever they want.

You are just getting exposed to this new thing called Online Business. 

And to build your Online Business you don’t need an MBA or have some special skills to start a business.

If you can invest a little bit of time and money every day – you can build a fully automated online business in a few months time. 

The beauty of having an online business is that your online business works for you even when you are sleeping at night.

There are thousands if not billions of people on the Internet waiting for someone to show them the way. If you are an expert or have relevant knowledge on a particular topic then you can easily package them as a product for which people are ready to pay for.

They are just hungry and ready to grab what you have to offer.

You just have to get started with your Online Business and in a few months time you can even leave your 9-5 Job. Your Online Business has the potential to grow bigger and larger than you could possibly imagine.

Most people make way more money from their online business than they make at their jobs.

So if you’ve got a skill or have significant knowledge on a particular topic you can easily turn that skill or knowledge into profitable online business in no time. And once your business is profitable you can scale it up to a billion dollar business with systems and tools that are available in the market today.

So let’s get started.

Why Start An Online Business?

Starting An Online Business will be the greatest thing you have ever done. It will give you a life of freedom, freedom to stay at home, no need to commute to the office, get stuck in traffic, then work for someone all through the day, and return home tired at night.

What an online business gives you is you get to choose your own work hours, take time to travel and make time for things you love to do.

It has the potential to change your life allowing you to make you more money that you ever did at your 9-5 Job. Once it’s all set up it will be working on your behalf even when you’re sleeping. This way you can be more relaxed and get time for things you really love to do – like spending time with family and friends, take time to visit different places without ever worrying about where your money is going to come from. The power of an Online Business is that it works even when you’re not working.

You may not understand the full picture now but it’ll make more sense when I’ll explain them for you as you read through this guide.

To put it in simple terms, an Online Business solves people’s problems and when you are able to create products for solving them you make your money.

There are a lot of people hungry to pay you for what you know and can do for them. You do not need to be an expert in the field to start your online business, you just need to know a little bit more than the person you’re helping. 

If you can provide helpful information that address their most burning questions or makes their lives better you have a shot at building a multi-million dollar business right from the comfort of your home.

Some of you have been placing your 9-5 job on a pedestal. Most jobs are going to be obsolete in no time and now is the best time to start your online business.

If you’re struggling with your finances, struggling to make ends meet, unable to provide for your family or support yourself even when you’re still single, your life could be way better when you have an Online Business there to support you.

You’ll experience the power of an Online Business when you start seeing payment notifications showing up in your inbox while you are asleep and wake up the next morning. It’s such a great feeling to experience. Knowing that you’re helping people and you have something to offer them that can change their lives is what I stand for. That’s why I want you to also take me up on this opportunity to build your own online business that could change your life today.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

What You Should Know About The Dark Side of Online Business

I don’t know if you’ve seen people promise “get rich quick” schemes or things that will help you make money instantly. But if you’ve been in this space for a while you’d know by now how dangerous that is.

Lot’s of innocent lives are being scammed and robbed of right off the bat.

Building an Online Business requires work just like you work at a Job. The job that you work for is also a business. So a business doesn’t get rich overnight. It has grown over months and months of struggle and hard work.

That doesn’t mean to say that starting your online business is going to be a tough thing. It’s completely possible but it requires work.

And on the Internet you’ll find Information that tells you that you should be doing a hundred different things when trying to build your online business. You can’t do 100 different things at once. It’s ridiculous.

The most efficient and logical way to build your online business is to focus on the key primary things that move the needle in your business. Trying a hundred different things would result in complete failure and you do not want to be experiencing that. It all leads to more stress, takes more of your time, energy and keeps you stuck leading to nowhere. Only do the minimal and what works.

I can tell you from personal experience that since following the hundred’s of advice on the Internet it gets really overwhelming. You’ll be stuck spinning your wheels and not moving anywhere. It’s called “burning your tyres”.

I do not want you to experience the same. I’m saving you the trouble that doing the wrong things while building your business gets you off tracked and you’ll end up quitting this project of building your online business.

After doing serious research on the right ways to build a business I’m sharing the advice that would make building an online business easier. Here’s how your business should stand apart from the others.

The Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Remember that your online business has to be real and authentic to you. Do not aim to copy, rather create a business that you could either model looking at successful and authentic people. This way you’ll be able to succeed easily. If your business is authentic and true to you, you will find yourself experiencing success sooner.

Who this ultimate guide to starting an online business is for

This guide is for anyone who is looking for freedom, flexibility and time to do things they’d like to do rather than conform to a job they hate.

I’d like to tell you upfront that you won’t start making $10,000 overnight, but you’ll get there if you choose to share what you know with the world. There are millions of people looking to learn from you. Your knowledge and expertise can be so helpful to them, they’ll even pay you to listen to your ideas, thoughts and material.

Having an online business can give you:

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Work from wherever you want. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. It can be anywhere in the world. Freedom to work only when you want.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Set your business up and running. Once you’ve automated your business, it will bring in revenue every single day whether you’re working or sleeping. Now you have free time to do what you love doing.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

No limits to what you can do with your business. You have the liberty to grow your business from $1000/month to over $100,000/month. You can choose how big you want to grow your business.

Here's what you're going to learn in this guide to starting an online business

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Part 2: Proof You Can Start An Online Business.

If your first goal is to make realistic an amount of $1000 per month or even $10,000 per month you’ll just need to do certain specific things. It’s just math and once you understand that, starting an online business gets exciting. You can set up your online business to work like a sales machine and you could be making money while you sleep. We’ll talk about how your Online Business can start to see success sooner.

Part 3: Online Business Models To Start A Low-Cost, High Profit Model Business.

Online Businesses are of many different types, but I like the ones that requires a low startup cost and but brings in huge profits. We’ll go over the various business models and you can choose which business model you’d like to pursue. I would personally recommend you to choose the low-cost, high profit model because we all know we don’t have much startup capital to start a business. So let’s bootstrap with what we’ve got and take it from there.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business
Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Part 4: Opportunities That Open Up After Starting An Online Business.

Having an Online Business can open a wide variety of opportunities. Getting started will only be the first hurdle you’ll ever need to cross. Once you’re on the other side – you’ve built a fully automated business. Opportunities of having an Online Business are – you’ll get featured in big publications, get opportunities to speak on stages, travel to places, author a book and so much more. There is a lot that can happen for you once you’re on the other side. We’ll learn more about that in this section.

Part 5: Mindset Shifts of Being An Entrepreneur For The First Time.

The Major Mindset shift of being a new entrepreneur starting an online business is thinking bigger and thinking in terms of an entrepreneur. You will be running a business and so you’ll have to change gears from thinking like an employee to thinking like a business owner. Having the right mindset will position you for success or failure in your business. Staying positive and taking the right action steps to grow your business is what everyone should do. We’ll learn more about the various mindset shifts in this section.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business
Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Part 6: Finding Your Successful And Profitable Online Business Idea.

Before you start building your online business you have to test and see if your idea is going to be profitable and successful. In this section we’ll go over how to discover and  test your ideas to identify if it’s going to be successful or not. This will tell you if you should pursue it or not.

Part 7: All The Tools You Need To Launch Your Online Business Today.

When you’ve discovered your profitable idea, you are now ready to launch your business. Now, you need the right tools to help you get started without worrying about the tech. Your main goal here is to get started with the minimal viable option to get it up and running. My recommended tools will be more than enough to help you get started with your online business.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Part 2: Proof You Can Start An Online Business.

I know you’re wondering if starting an online business is right for you. Let me tell you that it will be worth your time when you see what’s possible.

Gone are the days when you would trade time for money. Today you can set up a website, start blogging or creating videos and get seen by thousands of people all over the internet. You can start your business for less than $100 and be able to reach millions of customers.

You can start any kind of business you like. You can help people with any problems they have.

There are people who teach how to play the guitar, how to save money, how to make money online, how to blog, how to create videos, how to DIY their homes, etc. You can start a business in any niche and serve people with it.

Let me show some examples of people who have their online business and are succeeding at an unbelievable level.

Pat Flynn – He teaches how to build a passive income business. He make way over $100,000 per month with his online business. You can see his income reports here.

Ramit Sethi – He teaches about how to be rich, making money, growing your income, etc. 

Alex and Lauren – They teach about how to make money blogging.

Tom and Anna – They run a travel blog and share travel tips to different places around the world.

Michelle Schroeder – She shares personal finance tips in her blog MakingSenseOfCents, and she easily makes over $100,000 per month all while travelling in her RV.

Harsh Agarwal – He share about WordPress Blogging Tips at his blog ShoutMeLoud and he easily makes over 6 Figures per month.

I could give you examples of various people who have build different businesses on the internet. Thousands of people are doing it and you can too.

Let’s test out the potential of your Online Business.

Product 1:
$50 x 20 Units/Month = $12,000/Year

Product 2:
$100 x 10 Units/Month = $12,000/Year

Product 3:
$150 x 10 Units/Month = $18,000/Year

Product 4:
$200 x 5 Units/Month = $12,000/Year

Total = $54,000/Year

Do you see the potential? Even if you start with one product you can be making a good solid income from your online business.

Part 3: Online Business Models To Start A Low-Cost, High Profit Model Business.

Starting an Online Business is incredibly simple. If you just have a laptop and a few ingredients you are ready to go.

The core ingredients are:

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Website

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Email List

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Email

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Sales Page

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

Customers

These core things are what will make your Online Business work.

There are many different Online Business Models out there but I’d like to categorize them on the cost it takes to start them and the profits we can make out of each of them.

Online Business Models are categorized into 4 categories:

  • Low Cost, Low Overhead, Low Profit Margin Business.

          Advertising

          Affiliates

  • High Cost, High Overhead, High Profit Margin Business.

          Software

  • High Cost, High Overhead, Low Profit Margin Business.

          Physical Products

  • Low Cost, Low Overhead, High Profit Margin Business.

          Online Information Products

          Coaching

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

When we place them on the graph you can see which business model lies where and if you’re ready to take up that business model or not.

Let’s talk more each of these business Models

Online Business Model #1 – Advertising

Advertising is the easiest business model most beginners get into. This means they refer to advertisements like google adsense or other display ad networks – it’s easier to get approval from google and google uses your website to display advertisements.

What this means is when people click on those advertisements you get paid a few dollars.

Usually when people use google adsense (the display advertisements from google) unless your website is having a huge volume of traffic, you’ll make pennies. This is not at all profitable.

Sometimes this affects the user experience on the website. The bad thing is that you have no control of the advertisements google chooses to display. They work based on google’s algorithm programmed by google.

There are other Ad networks that pay really well, but there is a minimum criteria to even get accepted into their program. You’ll need to have a minimum of 10,000 – 30,000 pageviews on your website. But once your reaches this range you can apply to those ad networks and make about $1000 – $5000 per month.

Achieving traffic is the game here. But google adsense is totally not worth it, you’ll only get pennies.

I hate advertisements if they are not catering to the needs of my website and my audience. If you feel they work for you, you can consider trying them out with your website.

Online Business Model #2 – Affiliates

Affiliate Marketing is another business model you can try when you have a significant amount of traffic. What happens in Affiliate Marketing is you refer people to a product or service by some company and they give you a unique affiliate affiliate link. When someone clicks on the link to purchase, you’ll get commissions on the sales generated.

This can become profitable as your business grows.

Some people have the majority of their income coming from Affiliate Marketing just because they’ve built up their business to such a huge size. If you can also grow your business you can also start testing it with affiliate marketing.

There are tons of products, software, tools and services in every single industry that you can recommend as an affiliate. They pay from 30% to 75% or more.

The general Idea is to recommend products that you’ve used or you believe will help your audience. The secret to making an income with affiliate marketing lies in the strategy behind why you’re recommending them and recommending them at the right time.

Online Business Model #3 – Software

Starting a software business requires a huge amount of capital. And the maintenance costs are huge.

Although, it can be profitable, for most of us we know that we cannot build a software based business unless you get in investors and gigantic to do all the testing, design, development and marketing aspects of it.

It requires a lot of people to pull off a software business model.

Here you’ll be creating software products that your target audience can use.

Running a software based business requires more space for hosting and server space. I personally would not get into this business model unless I want to build the next facebook or instagram or something revolutionary.

This business model is a high risk, huge overhead expense causing and high maintenance work.

Online Business Model #4 – Physical Products

This business model mostly comes under the e-commerce category.

There is dropshipping and other e-commerce businesses that fall under this category.

The downside to a physical products business is that it requires more than work to be done upfront and afterwards also.

You’ll have to take care of the product sourcing, handle inventory, manage online sales, invest in advertising the products, delivery, shipment, customer support and returns.

Handling so many aspects of a business would require a team to make it work smoothly. If you’re a solopreneur, you will find it hard to manage them all.

They are not bad businesses, only that you’ll lose more of your profit margins as they are physical products.

That’s why I wouldn’t start a new business when I’m not fully capable to get into this business model.

Online Business Model #5 – Online Information Products

This is the best business model to get into, because the profit margins are huge.

You will spend time upfront on creating your products and then the customers can access the products instantly. There’s no shipping or handling costs involved.

Online Information Products range from eBooks, DVDs, Digital Courses, Membership sites, etc

When you’re the expert is easier to package your knowledge and give it out to the public. It not only helps the customers save time while looking on google for the information which is scattered, but they will have it all in one place and learn from the person teaching it. So, its a Win-Win scenario.

I love the information products business even though it has become popular. People buy into your expertise and special knowledge plus strategies you’re sharing in your digital products.

A lot of successful people have taken this path and it could be right for you as well. I would highly suggest you take this path. This business model allows you actually money while you sleep. Also serving your customers at the same time.

Online Business Model #6 – Coaching

Coaching is also a great online business model. It brings in huge profit, but the downside is you’ll be trading more hours for high dollars.

Most coaching businesses are huge profit businesses. It’s easier to get started and you can package your coaching services and get started taking in clients for your coaching services.

But in order to start a coaching business, you’ll need to be a bit of an expert in a specialized field that can make you stand apart. This business model is purely there to ensure your customers get the results by getting coached under you.

You’ll still be trading hours for dollars but your income is huge. If you like the idea of being there for your clients serving them and helping them achieve transformations in their lives, this business model can be the right one for you.

If you are unsure which to pick between information products and coaching business model, you can take both up and try it.

Part 4: Opportunities That Open Up After Starting An Online Business.

Online Business opens up a lot opportunities. Once you’re positioning yourself as an expert, you’ll gain recognition and this will do well for you.

Here are some of the opportunities that will open up for you.

  • Speaking Opportunities.
  • Guest Features on Podcasts, Different Blogs, PR Magazines, etc
  • Opportunity to collaborate with other Influential People.
  • Big Community that will love and support your business.

It would take time to build your business to a stage where you become a go-to expert. In over a year you can achieve that.

But that involves networking with other influential people, getting yourself seen by other potential customers, etc

Don’t worry if you feel you’re not an expert yet, you can easily become an expert if you learn more about your business and share your knowledge on that subject with people around.

Once you teach stuff, people will easily recognize you as the authority source which can be trusted. Now whenever your content helps anyone, people will keep coming back for more and more.

They will buy what you recommend because of the trust that’s being established.

Once you’ve built your business you will begin to experience numerous opportunities that keep coming day after day. Now, you get to choose whom you want to work with and whom not to work with.

Now the market is aware about your business, and this means you have complete control over what to do and you get to make your own moves.

But if you want to be remembered, you’ll need to build your business like a brand that solves or helps people with X Problem. Brand building is the new game in today’s era.

Part 5: Mindset Shifts of Being An Entrepreneur For The First Time.

As a first time entrepreneur, you will be totally excited to get into business. Note that your success in business is completely dependant on your mindset and the actions you take in your business to grow it.

It’s no more like treating your business like a thing that will grow on its own. You’ll have to do the work upfront to keep profiting from it year after year.

Remember this is no push button that will do the work for you. It’s not as passive as you might have heard of. Building a business online takes the same amount of work an offline business takes.

But if you set out to work right from the start you will have the opportunity to experience success over time.

So here’s the key points I think you should take into account.

  • Think and act like a business owner.
  • Build systems that work even when you don’t work.
  • Aim to serve your customers rather than only focus on selling them.

Your mindset has to shift from thinking like an employee to a business owner. Online Businesses work this way. You’ll spend considerable amount of time growing your business to a level where you have customers who are in your email list. You’ll communicate and build relationships with the people in your list. They are real people who are looking for help on a particular subject. You can choose to offer them enough value for free to build up their trust. And you can also offer them products where you go even further to help them out.

There is no exact formula or timeline that says your business will be profitable in certain period. But people have been profitable in about six months time to a year’s time.

Part 6: Finding Your Successful And Profitable Online Business Idea.

Now that you’ve learned about the mindset shifts as a new entrepreneur, you can think about the various business ideas your online business is going to be about.

Finding your profitable business idea is what will make or break your business.

First we’ll flesh out all the possible ways to generate Ideas and then we’ll test them to see if they are going to be profitable or not.

This will tell you if you should pursue it or not.

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to bring out those Ideas:

Step #1: Write down a list of Ideas that come to your mind.

Take a piece of paper and list out 10-20 ideas that come to the top of your mind.

These Ideas can be bad or crappy. But listing them down will help you dump all your ideas on paper.

If you are struggling to come up with ideas take a look at what others are doing. This can help you spark a few ideas that you can pursue.

Think of jobs you’ve done in the past, think of things you’d do when you’re free.

This way you can bring out various ideas for this exercise.

Step #2: Write down a list of Ideas that you are good at.

If you’ve worked at a job before by now you’d know by now what you’re good at.

List all of them down. It can be anything from design, communication, public speaking, teaching, writing, drawing, etc.

The purpose of bringing out the ideas you are good at is what will position yourself for success as that’s uniquely your gift or talent. And since it’s your talent, people would pay to learn from you.

Having at least 10 Ideas here would help you complete this exercise.

Step #3: Write down a list of Ideas that your friends say you are good at.

Now you can ask your friends or people you know about things you’re good at. This is to get an outside perspective.

What people say you’re good at is a great validation technique. It showcases your unique expertise as well as personality.

Whatever those ideas are that people around you say you are good at listing them down is a great exercise.

We’ll be taking all of these ideas and testing them for its profitability.

Step #4: Plot your Ideas on the Demand Matrix.

Once you’ve collected all your Ideas, we have to test it out.

Testing it out means we can assess if it’s going to be profitable or not.

Success is completely dependant on your actions you take in your business.

Now all the ideas you’ve noted has to be plotted on the profit-demand matrix.

This demand matrix helps you to identify where each of these ideas fall.

(Demand Matrix is similar to a supply-demand matrix) 

Demand matrix

Looking at the demand – matrix it has 4 Quadrants.

Quadrant #1 – High End

High Price, Few Customers.

Products in this quadrant have extremely pricey and there are only a few customers. Think of businesses like Rolls Royce for example. High Price but only a few customers.

Quadrant #2 – Golden Opportunity

High Price, Many Customers.

Products in this quadrant are high price but we have more customers in this category. It’s a great opportunity to pursue this. When you release quality products there will be more customers who would purchase from you.

Quadrant #3 – Mass Market

Less Price, Many Customers.

This quadrant is where most physical products business sits in. In order to be successful doing business with this quadrant you’ll have to produce more and sell at lesser price. Quantity is the game here. But it can be a great testing point to test your products and the market.

Quadrant #4 – Labour of Love

Less Price, Few Customers.

Selling Products like books which costs $3.95 fall under this category. That’s just an example to explain how products fall in this quadrant. It doesn’t mean there will only be a few customers. It means your chances of reaching profitability will take much longer. You’ll need to focus on more quantities to achieve a significant amount of success.

Now lets plot the Ideas we’ve gathered from the steps above into the demand matrix and see for ourselves if that’s what we want to pursue or not.

Ultimate Guide To Starting An Online Business

This gives us a clear idea of what would work and what wouldn’t.

Step #5:Narrow down and pick one Idea to pursue.

Our final step is to pick one of the ideas that you’d like to pursue and then detail it out so we can explore it further.

You will have to fill out the following needs to have clear picture.

List the Idea here:

Problems in this niche:

Products you can create:

Now that we’ve clearly mapped out business and its profitability, we are ready for the final step.

Part 7: All The Tools You Need To Launch Your Online Business Today.

After your business Idea is decided, we only have to get started with our online business with setting it up and launching it.

Since we’ll be creating content to develop our expertise, I’d suggest using WordPress.

Over 18% of the world’s population use WordPress as the content management platform.

WordPress gives you access to numerous plugins and features that will help you create all the essentials core ingredients for your profitable automated business.

There are other options out there as well. But I’d suggest sticking with WordPress.

Here are the necessary things we need to launch our Online Business.

Domain: Domain is what you’ll name your business. It is good to choose a name that is easy to remember. I’d always advise you to go for a .com domain name.

You can pick a 2 or 3 worded name for your domain name. Picking a name related to your business is mostly advisable. Incase you find that domain name isn’t available you can choose to go with your own name as well.

Hosting: Picking a good hosting from the start is vital. A hosting that houses your website and all it’s content. You can check for hosting space, bandwidth and certain features that you get along with it. If your hosting is good, your website will load faster and your business can grow faster.

Do not compromise on the price because if your website gets a rush of traffic when you’re doing a guest post, it might shut down or crash because of the limit set on the traffic.

Pick a hosting plan that works out for your stage and will work for the growth of your business.

Theme: Once the hosting is taken, you can install WordPress and install a theme. I’d recommend you install StudioPress Premium Theme. It is a high quality custom theme that you can use to redesign your website.

Getting your website designed by a professional could cost you a lot. But if you’d like to take a free theme and customize it, I’d recommend you use Elementor or Divi as your website builder.

Pick a theme like Astra or OceanWP and install the builders and work on that if you’d like to go the DIY style.

When your website is built on WordPress you have plenty of options to create a landing page, sales pages, set up e-commerce shop etc. There are a lot of options for WordPress users.

Email Autoresponder: Picking an email autoresponder is crucial to your online business. Once your readers subscribe to hearing from you. You can create automated messages that will work on autopilot for you.

Autoresponders I’d recommend are: Get Response and ConvertKit.

They are affordable. And it is really important that you start collecting the email addresses of your readers right from the start.

It is through emails that you can set up your welcome email sequences, sales sequences and do many other things that builds relationships with your readers and offer value.

Once again the tools are:

DomainSiteground, Bluehost.

HostingSiteground, Bluehost.

ThemeStudioPress Premium Themes.

Website BuildersElementor, Divi.

Email Marketing ToolGetResponse, ConvertKit.

Domain

Hosting

Theme

Website Builders

Email Autoresponder

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