How to Start Your Online Business In 5 Steps

The way we work is changing and many people are thinking about starting their own business. If you find yourself dreaming up small business ideas, keep reading. We’ve compiled a guide to help you discover your dream business and the steps you’ll need to take to get it off the ground.

Decide on Your Business Idea & Niche

The first question – and one you’ve probably already asked yourself – is, what will you business be? If you’re moving from the corporate world, perhaps starting your own business in the same industry is appealing. If you’re looking for a completely new career, decide what that looks like for you. Will there be training involved? What are the requirements for using certain titles and are those titles important to you? These are just a couple of questions to consider.

Next, be sure to niche it down. If you’ve decided to be a coach, for example, then choose who you will serve. Be super-specific. It will feel like you’re limiting your options, but in reality, when you serve a specific niche, you’re going to be incredible at it! People will soon learn that you’re the expert to seek out for their specific needs.

Here’s an example: If you’re a coach for women, ask yourself if they’re corporate women, stay-at-home moms, women in healthcare, women who own their own business, etc. Then niche down once more. Are they struggling with something? Do they need to overcome some childhood trauma? Maybe they’re looking for more confidence? 

You can quickly narrow your small business idea down to a marketable niche, such as being a coach for women who own their own business and want to have more confidence when going on camera.

Research Your Market or Product

Dig into your market, meaning the area and the types of people or companies that will buy from you, or your product. If you’re going to offer a service, figure out the typical rates for what you’ll be offering. Resist the urge to undercharge for your services. A great small business idea will never get off the ground if you’re not charging enough.

If you’ll be selling a product or multiple products, it’s best to understand production and fabrication time, shipping costs (they’re going up in some regions!), material costs, and advertising costs. Remember that the more prepared you are, the better you’ll be ready to excel in your industry.

Research Local and Online Business Laws

Take some time to understand both your local and online business laws. In the US, that means understanding tax laws in your state as well as privacy and data storage laws for online businesses. While there are wonderful resources online, be sure to contact a lawyer if you find yourself confused or overwhelmed.

Define Your Target Audience

After researching your market or product, and narrowing down on your niche, take it a step further and imagine your ideal client. Resist the urge to describe your ideal client based on what they do, rather on who they are. Using the previous example for the niche – a busy woman who owns a business and is looking for more confidence when on camera – think about who your ideal client is.

In other words, don’t focus on the car she drives, her job, and her hobbies. Instead, focus on her values, what she finds important in the world, and how she desires to feel. Focus on the transformation she craves that you can provide! This will help you understand your audience and help you create meaningful content.

Define Your Brand

Once all of your research, niching down, and refining of our audience are done, it’s time to craft your brand. This is our favorite part! Your brand extends beyond your visual elements – your logo, brand colors, and fonts. Your brand includes the messaging around your work, your mission statement, a representation of your values, and your visual content.

Spend some time thinking about the vibe you want to communicate. Whether it’s calm and peaceful or vibrant and exciting, that will help you select your brand colors, as well as stock photos and videos.

f you want custom branded photos, be sure to check out our Custom Branding offering. Recently, I shot a beautiful collection of custom photos for Lisa Powers, a gifted Reiki healer and coach. Lisa teaches online courses in energy work and essential oils, and also sells her oracle cards and books online. When she and I discussed her vision, Lisa wanted to feature her Essential Oil Oracle Cards and book in a way that represented her brand’s mood and color palette while highlighting the products’ beauty.

The result is nothing short of stunning. The peaceful vibe of Lisa’s custom photos enhance her online presence, and the product shots of her book and oracle cards will help her offering stand out from the crowd. Now, Lisa has exclusive photos for her website and social media accounts that perfectly represent her brand.

“They are absolutely stunning Claire – thank you so much. I was dancing around as I looked them – sooooooooo beautiful.”

Lisa Powers

Are you ready to take your visual branding to the next level with custom stock photos? They’re perfect for experts in their field who are ready to stand out from the crowd with their visual content. The process is simple and created specifically for spiritual entrepreneurs who are ready for inspired branding. The best part is, the photos are yours alone! Apply today to get the process started.