How to start an online business
There are thousands of benefits to starting an online business. You can work from home, you don't need capital to setup a showroom, set your own hours, focus on a niche you care about, and typically avoid other startup costs.
Step 1: Find an Idea
The very first step is to find an idea that don't need physical appearance. After choosing an idea, you must validate it, if there is customer for it or if there is marketing demand for it. There are varieties of products you can sell online including
- Pet beds/foods
- Online video courses
- Book shop
- Digital products etc
Besides selling products, you can also provide online services. Like
- Teaching a language online
- Fitness and nutrition consultation
- Online coaching etc
Step 2: Choose a catchy business name
Choosing your business name is an important step in the startup process. Because your business will primarily function online, your chosen name must be available for registration as a business name in your state and within the digital space.
This means you will need to check whether the name you want is available as a:
- Business name in your state
- Domain name
- Username on each of the social media platforms you plan to use
If your chosen name isn't available as a domain name or social media username, consider different permutations of the name, and remember that many domain name extensions beyond the original ".com" are available. Additionally, it's important to check that your name and domain name aren't impinging on any registered trademarks.
You can find a domain name on NameCheap.
Step 3: Decide your business structure
The business structure you choose will dictate the legal and tax requirements you need to meet. Most small business owners choose from the following structures:
- Sole proprietorship. This is the simplest form of business structure, but its lack of limited liability offsets its simplicity.
- Partnership. While this form of business structure might appeal to you if you are embarking on your venture with a partner, your liability is unlimited like a sole proprietorship.
- Limited liability company (LLC/LTD). An LLC/LTD offers limited liability without the additional complexity of incorporation, making it one of the most popular small business structures.
- Corporation. Like an LLC/LTD, a corporation provides limited liability, and while it's more complicated to both setup and maintain, it may be a good choice depending on your circumstances.
It's always a good idea to consult with an attorney/lawyer to determine the appropriate business structure for your new business. Because each structure has different tax requirements, you may also want to consult a tax professional.
Step 4: Choosing the right online platform to run the business
Once you've identified your business idea and covered your legal bases it's time to build your platform. In this article, I will show you how to setup an online store on LiveMart and start your online business with the most advanced eCommerce platform.
LiveMart is a SaaS based eCommerce platform, where you can open your store without worrying about domain, hosting, performance & security. LiveMart is built on top of modern technology stack which is blazing fast & secure. LiveMart also provides SSL & CDN support. If you want you can also configure your custom domain name in few steps.
Register on LiveMart and Choose a subscription
LiveMart's onboarding system is pretty standard. Create an account and choose a subscription model based on your need. If you want everything ready for you choose the subscription Business, it will cost you monthly $30 only.
- Once you are subscribed, move to dashboard to create your store.
2. You have successfully created your store, now you have to add products to the store inventory. Now you have to create an Admin type API secret to get access to store dashbaord. To create secrets go to store secrets.
You have successfully create the secret.
Now you can access store Dashbaord. Note that, don't share your admin type store secret with anyone. If you do that, they will get full access to your store.
First thing first. Let's configure the store information. Goto Store Settings -> Store Info.
Update required store information from here.
Now let's add some items to the inventory. The menus are under Catalog.
Note that you may see some dummy products, categories, collections already added, delete them first.
First add few categories. So navigate to Catalog -> Categories.
Now let's add few products. To do that navigate to Catalog -> Products.
Now let's add few collections. A collection may have multiple products as well as a product can reside in multiple collections.
After creating a collection, goto update collection and you will see option to add products to that collection.
Okay, we are almost done with the store setup. To give customer different shipping options, let's add some shipping method. Goto Store Settings - Shipping Methods.
Finally let's check the available payment methods. Goto Store Settings -> Payment Methods.
See in the above list we only have Cash On Delivery as payment method, because we haven't configured our payment gateway yet. If you want to collect payments online from customers, you have to configure payment gateway. We will setup payment gateway later, let's create our storefront (website).
To create store front you have to create an App type secret. Create it following step 2. Then goto storefront menu.
In this window, choose Store & Template. Currently there are only one storefront template available. In red mark, you will see your expected store URL.
Now wait few moments to finish the storefront creation process.
Once your storefront is ready, you will be able to access it. Use Add Custom Domain to configure your own domain.
If you check Dog Food category you will see there are no products as we haven't any add product in that category.
Product Details Page
Order Confirmation Page
After placing order, customer will get a confirmation email with the order details.
User's Order History
Order Details Page
Now as store owner you will get this information on store dashboard.
Order Details Page
You can update order status and payment status from here. If you update the order status, customer will get an email regarding the update.
You can also generate an invoice (PDF Format) by clicking on Generate Invoice.
Congratulations! Your store is ready.
Payment Gateway Setup
To configure payment gateway goto Payment Gateway.
Choose Stripe from Gateway to configure Stripe [Details]
Stripe Key ,
Stripe Secret .
Success callback url is the link where the customer will be redirected if the payment succeed. For Jalisa-Storefront template it will be
Failure callback url is the link where the customer will be redirected if the payment fails. For Jalisa-Storefront template it will be
HOST_NAMEwith your website URL.
Allow only digital payment choose
Yes if you want only digital payment to be available.
Is Disabled choose
Yes if you want to disable digital payment.
If you want to impose payment processing fee, put that value in
Payment processing fee field. Suppose you have put 2, then 2% additional charge will be added with the original amount.
Choose SSLCommerz from Gateway to configure SSLCommerz
For SSLCommerz, everything is same as Stripe except Host, Store ID, Store Password. If you register on SSLCommerz, they will provide you all of this information.
Now goto Payment Methods you will see Online Payment is also available as payment method.
And this will cost you < $100/month.
Step 5: Advertise your products
You can advertise your products through Facebook Ads or Google Ads, which one is convenient to you.
So what are you waiting for? Start an online business today and work your way to garner massive profits by expanding your online presence to the right people.