I'm so excited to share the Checklist for Starting an Online Business with you! I love helping women bring their hopes and dreams to life through online businesses- and I thought this would be a great tool for you to have as you start your business journey. Let's get started!
Checklist for Starting an Online Business
- Brainstorm Business Names- The very first thing you should do is brainstorm name ideas for your new business. This process can sometimes take longer than you may think- so starting off with this is a great idea! I suggest narrowing it down to 2-4 names, and then ask your family and friends what they like best to get some other opinions.
- Identify Offerings- You probably already have some idea of what your business will be offering- whether it's products or services. Make a list of and remember that you don't have to start with everything in the beginning- keep it simple! Your business and offerings will grow over time.
- Ideal Audience– Before moving on, you'll want to think about the audience that you will be selling to. I recommend jotting down some basic characteristics. Age? Location? What social platforms do they show up on most frequently? Etc…
- Choose a Business Name- Now that you have defined your offerings and audience it's time to decide on your business name.
- Register Your Business– You'll first need to register your new business with your state. Head to your state’s Department of Revenue or Department of State websites. Next, you'll register with the IRS. Depending on which type you of business you choose, you may also need to obtain an EIN number.
- Buy a Domain– It's time to make your new online business official, and purchase your domain name. I recommend a .com whenever possible, and purchasing your domain from either Google or Godaddy.
- Set Up a Business Bank Account– I strongly recommend setting up a business bank account. You'll need to keep all income and expenses for your business separate from your personal accounts.
- Set Up Social Media Accounts- Next you'll need to create your social media accounts. Think back to the platforms you expect your customers and clients to show up on, and consider setting up a couple of those.
- Set Up Email Marketing- If I could have done one thing differently when starting my business in 2008, I would have started building an email list from day 1. I recommend Flodesk and ConvertKit for email marketing.
Getting Your Business Online
- Gather Photos and Text/Copy For Your Website– It's time to gather the things needed for your online home- your website! You'll need to gather photos and create the text/copy for your website pages.
- Establish branding and logo– It's time to get creative and decide on your business branding. You'll select a color palette/moodboard, fonts for your branding and website, and a logo for your business. You can keep all of these things very simple, too!
- Create Your Website– Now for my favorite part! Create your website by adding all of the things you've previously gathered and created to a website template. I highly suggest using a website template to start with, because it's a budget-friendly option and it will significantly speed up the process of getting your new business online.
- Set Up a Content Calendar- Having an online business is not a ‘set it and forget it' task. You'll want to come up with specific ways that you can add content to your website regularly. This helps greatly with SEO and google rankings. I suggest creating a basic calendar to help with this. Examples of content you can add are: new products, services, portfolio items, blog posts, testimonials, videos, podcast episodes, or anything really! Google and your customers want to see that your website is never old or stagnant.
- Launch Your Website– It's time to hit publish on your new website and share your business with the world! Pat yourself on the back or pour up a glass of your favorite. You're officially an online business owner!!! 🥂
- Grow your Business- Keep moving forward in your business with the same momentum you had when getting started. Your passion and dedication to your new business will steadily pay off!
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