Have you been playing around with the idea to start an online business? But are you not really sure how to go about this? Whether you’re an employee who’s thinking about starting for herself, or you already have an offline business that you want to take online, it’s good to have a plan in place when you want to enter the online world. That is why, in this blog and podcast episode, I’m sharing “How To Start An Online Business”. I will share my 9 unique steps that will give you a flying start, and that will set you up for success.
Listen to the episode over here:
Don’t make this mistake
As a Soul Purpose and Spiritual Business coach, I help women to turn their Soul Purpose into a meaningful, and profitable business. Since I’ve had the honor of guiding over 150 women on their journey, I know a thing or 2 about starting your own business, and what it takes.
On the one hand, starting an online business is easy. All you need is a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, and you’re good to go. But on the other hand, only an inter connection will not make your business a success. There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind when starting an online business. Let me share with you want these 9 things are.
Oh, and these are the steps that I use based on my own methods, so no cookie cutter tips over here :-).
How To Start An Online Business: the 9 steps to success
1. Know your Soul Purpose
Before you even think about starting a business, you first need to know what your Soul Purpose is.
This is a crucial step, that most entrepreneurs skip. They start their business because they think it is a profitable idea, or because someone told them to start an Etsy shop. But when you don’t align your business with your Soul Purpose, you miss the foundation for fulfillment.
Your Soul Purpose is your life’s mission: it is the thing you’re meant to do in life. Your business should help you to fulfill your Soul Purpose. If it doesn’t, then you will end up:
- or starting a business that doesn’t fully fulfill you, or
- you end up leading a double life, because in your spare time you will try to work on fulfilling your purpose.
None of them are viable business options, because they won’t last, and they won’t give you the meaningful and fulfilling business that you long to have.
That is why the first step for starting a business should always always be: figuring out your Soul Purpose.
Just to clarify, a Soul Purpose is not a job.
So your Soul Purpose won’t be to be a coach, entrepreneur, vlogger or doctor. It is the mission that you’re fulfilling. What you want to bring to the world. How you’re meant to serve.
2. Find a business idea based on your Soul Purpose
Once you know what your Soul Purpose is, you can figure out how you can bring this to life. This will be your “business idea”.
If your Soul Purpose, for example is “to help children grow up in a healthy way”, then your next step is to figure out how you’re going to fulfill that mission. Maybe you want to bring your Soul Purpose to life as a coach, a vlogger, a doctor, a painter etc.
Based on the formula of: who you are + what you love + what your skills are + your Soul Purpose, you should decide through what kind of business you want to bring your Soul Purpose to life.
3. Pick your niche
This step is also really crucial, and at the same time, this is also one where many entrepreneurs get stuck. Niching down is really important, but it can be challenging too.
Your niche is your specialty. Just like your brain doctor is specialized in brains, and your Soul Purpose coach is specialized in Soul Purpose, you need to pick a specialization as well.
Having a specific niche will help you with 3 things:
- It will help you to differentiate yourself from the masses, and,
- It will give you focus
- It will help you grow your skills.
This is where people often get stuck, because they want to exclude anyone. But the truth is that you can’t help everyone. Especially not when you’re just starting out.
So in your marketing, you’re going to have to focus on a specific group that you’re going to help. This will make it easier for your ideal client to find you. Because you need to understand this: “if you’re trying to help everyone, you will end up helping no one”.
So, if you’ve decided to become a coach, what kind of coach will you be? Sports, job, nutrition etc.?
And who will you help? Moms, teenagers, people with disabilities?
If you decide to become a web designer, what kind of designer will you be? Web? Fashion? Logo’s? And for who will this be? Women under 40, solopreneurs, coffee shops?
This is an important part.
Don’t skip this step!
4. Decide what problem you want to solve
Once you know your niche, it is time for the next step: deciding what problem you’re going to solve. This also ties in with the previous step: your niche will influence what kind of issue you’re going to solve for your ideal client.
This is because there always needs to be a demand for the thing that you’re offering. And that means that your offer should always solve a pain or a problem that your ideal client has.
Let’s say you’ve decided that you want to design websites for new entrepreneurs. What need does this fulfill for these entrepreneurs?
Maybe they want to be visible online, or they want to have a place where they can send their audience to buy from them. It can also be that they want a nice-looking website that works or that they don’t have to get into the tech stuff. Or, maybe, all the above.
What kind of problem you want to solve will depend on your Soul Purpose on the one hand, but also to what kind of problem you feel drawn to solving on the other hand.
It can even be that you want to help the old version of you.
5. Talk to your potential audience
Now that you have your business idea, it is time to validate your idea. Instead of sitting behind your desk and hoping and thinking that there will be a demand for the thing that you’ve come up with, the best way to validate this is by talking to your potential clients.
This can be as easy as positing on Facebook or Instagram and asking people if you can ask them something about the thing that you’re thinking about. This is called market research.
Doing market research will help you to get to know what people are thinking, what they are really struggling with, and you can ask is they would be willing to pay for it.
You can even ask them to become a test client for a low price once your offer is ready for sale. If they say yes, then you’ve had the best validation possible right there!
6. Create an offer
After you’ve figured out what your ideal client wants and needs, you can make an offer that fits those needs perfectly.
Depending on your business model this can be a physical product, a course, an e-book, coaching and many more. The options are endless, so go with the thing that you feel the most drawn to!
7. Grow your audience
Along side with creating your offer, you need to start growing an audience. There is no business without marketing. And this means that next to the coach, designer or whatever your niche will be, you will also be a marketing manager of your own business.
You need to pick a platform on which you’re going to grow your audience. This can be Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. Which every one you choose, you need to create content that will grow you a following, and that will later on help you to turn your followers into paying customers.
8. Start selling
Once you have an audience, and of course also your offer, it is time to start selling. Your audience doesn’t have to be big for this. You can already sell to an audience that has as little as 20-50 people.
But no matter how big your audience is, if you want to make a sale, you need to tell them about what it is that you’re offering.
Don’t get intimated by this, though. You can start selling to the audience that you already have on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and expand from there.
Once you’ve walked through the first 8 steps, you need to repeat part of this process.
Creating content, growing your audience, and selling. This is the cycle that will be on repeat in your business, next to doing the actual work that comes with your niche. So, coaching those moms, designing those logos, or making the paintings for your Etsy shop.
Put in the effort and your success come
Building a business will take time, effort, and determination. But this hard work is definitely worth it, because it will allow you to work under your own terms, fulfil your purpose, and bless the world with your unique gifts.
If you feel called to start your own business, go for it! You can start your business on the side of your 9-5 (which I highly recommend) and work on going full time in your business from there.
If you want my help, whether with finding your Soul Purpose and starting your biz, or optimizing your current biz, please reach out. You can find the options to work with me over here.