Have you ever thought of pursuing your dream of entrepreneurship, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you do know but you are being overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to accomplish? This ultimate online business checklist is here to guide you through every stage of the online webpreneurship model in a straightforward manner.
The article will begin with the tasks you have to undertake before launching your business idea. Then transitions to building the platform for you to interact with your target audience and publish your content.
The next phase is the launching of your product or service and marketing them. Then the last stage will be the feedback phase where you gather reviews and continually improve your online business based on customer insights and analytics.
With that said, let’s dive right in with our online business checklist.
Quick Summary of Our Online Business Checklist
✔️ Market Research
✔️ Business Plan
✔️ Domain and Hosting
✔️ Website Development
✔️ Marketing Strategies
✔️ Analytics and Performance
✔️ Customer Service
✔️ Gathering Feedback and Reviews
✔️ Continuous Improvement and Scaling
All the other stages can continually be improved, but the pre-launch phase will be the foundation of your business structure; that is why it is important to complete this first on your checklist.
✅ Market Research
According to recent statistics from Shopify, 20.9% of new businesses fail in their first year. This illustrates how important market research is in the survival of new companies during their initial years.
Market research refers to the systematic gathering and analyzing of data about the problems a specific group of people is facing. This ensures that the supply of products or services created by small business owners will have a market demand.
It will also be needed in creating your business plan and business structure which serves as the backbone of your whole online company.
Whichever model you choose, whether it is an e-commerce business, niche websites, or a dropshipping online store, you will need to research your target market to launch a successful business that will last for years to come.
Here are some tools helpful for researching your target audience:
Google Trends – Identifying trending topics and consumer interests.
Survey Monkey – Gathering data using feedback from simple surveys.
SEMrush – Researching market competition and business keyword viability.
✅ Business Plan
Launching a new business is exciting, especially after you completed your market research and confirmed that there is a demand for your business idea.
On the other hand, it can also be daunting for new entrepreneurs who do not have any experience in starting an online business and crafting a solid and strategic business plan.
According to a study by Webinarcare, about 70% of businesses that survive their first 5 years have strictly followed their well-structured business plan.
This plan should include but not limited to:
Business Name – Selecting a memorable and relevant brand name that resonates with your audience.
Business Licenses – Acquiring necessary legal permits if needed in your business model.
Business Finances – Drafting financial blueprints of your budget and expenses.
Potential Customers – Identifying your target audience, their demographics, problems, and needs.
All the tools the business will need – Outlining all the tools needed such as SEO tools, business software, etc.
Choose a business model –Select a strategic framework of how your business will operate such as ecommerce stores, niche sites, or some other traditional business.
Marketing Plan – Crafting a strategy for promoting your product or service.
Monetization Plan – Develop a plan on how your business will generate revenue.
Remember that a good business plan will serve as your road map, guiding every step toward a successful online business.
Building Your Online Platform
After all the planning stages, it is now time to create your platform where consumers can know more about your business and get in touch with you.
✅ Domain and Hosting
Purchasing a domain is like renting a place for your business to exist, but unlike a traditional business, it is not a physical location but rather a digital space.
Your business name can be different from your domain name, but we suggest making it the same for consistency in brand identity and awareness.
Many domain and hosting platforms will do whatever it takes to sell you their services. This is because once you purchase a plan from any brand, it will be hard to change it later especially if you gather massive traffic every month.
So instead of looking for a cheap domain and hosting plan, make an investment today and choose the best of them all. Here are some of the leading and top domain and hosting providers according to Forbes.
✅ Website Development
Based on a recent article from Entrepreneur, 90% of online businesses fail within the initial four months. One of the reasons they stated is because of poor web development.
For starting online business owners, it is crucial to invest in a platform that will operate seamlessly to process your day-to-day business tasks, such as your own website.
Not only can you sell online on a business website but many online businesses will also use it to gather organic traffic from search engines using SEO (search engine optimization) or with the use of PPC (Pay-per-click).
This user base can then be converted into potential customers which will increase your total revenue and contribute to the growth of your company.
So in short, develop your website with scalability in mind, capable of accommodating spikes in traffic while still providing a great user experience.
When you start an online business, the online consumers do not know who you are or your brand, nor do they trust you enough to purchase the products or services promoted on your platforms.
The best way to change this is to create high-quality content that your users will find helpful and valuable. This not only helps in increasing organic traffic because of articles ranking in search results but also familiarizes your target audience with your brand.
According to SEMrush’s statistics, when respondents were asked what factors lead to success, 55% answered to create more content and post more frequently, and 53% said to focus on quality.
This means that most business owners already think that to be successful in this field, new businesses need to create more long-form content that has a high quality.
Here are some characteristics of high-quality content:
Well-Researched – The content includes facts and real information.
SEO Optimized – Includes keywords in specific parts of the article.
User Friendly – The post is divided into chunks instead of a big wall of text.
Engaging – Encourages readers to like, share, and comment.
Original – Offers a fresh perspective from the author.
After thorough preparation, your business is now ready to launch its products or services. Whether it is your own, through an affiliate program, or other companies’ products or services.
As a business owner, launching your products or services might be the most significant step in your online business startup checklist.
It was mentioned earlier in the market research stage that it is important to study the demand for your products or services.
This is because according to CB Insights analysis cited by Fundera, 42% of businesses fail because there’s no market need for their products or services. It is therefore crucial to correctly assess this factor before you launch any product or service.
Remember, the goal is to create a solution for a problem or fulfill a specific need for your target audience.
In the exciting journey of starting an online business, it is easy to get caught up in the process of product development without thinking about a critical aspect of all types of businesses – marketing.
For new business owners, it is crucial to leverage several digital marketing channels such as SEO, PPC advertising, and the use of social media platforms to attract potential customers.
Also, if your business is in the online space, then what Google thinks about your business is important. This is simply because of the number of search queries the Google platform has, which accumulates to about 3.5 billion daily users globally.
This means when it comes to marketing, being seen from search results of Google searches should be your utmost priority. Also, setting up your social media accounts is a signal to Google that your business is legit.
✅ Analytics and Performance
As you progress in your online business checklist, it is important to measure the success of your hard-worked strategies through the use of analytics and performance metrics.
This can include monitoring your cash flow in your business bank account or tracking the number of visitors to your online business’s website.
Also, it is useless for you to know these metrics if you do not take some action to improve your online business. With that said, here are a few tools to help you in keeping track of your analytics and performance.
QuickBooks – For managing your business finances.
Google Search Console – For tracking your organic traffic from Google search results.
Google Analytics – For tracking your Website’s overall performance
Ahrefs – For tracking SEO performance and backlink analysis.
The final phase of this list revolves around continuous improvements of your online store in different aspects of the business.
✅ Customer Service
Remember, your customers are your greatest assets. Without them, there would not be a need for the existence of your business or any revenue.
Furthermore, a survey conducted by Gladly revealed that 68% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that showcase satisfactory customer service.
In short, good customer service is equal to an increase in business profit.
✅ Feedback and Reviews
Gathering feedback and encouraging reviews should be a key step in your online business checklist. Not only does it build trust and credibility with prospective customers, but it also provides insights into aspects of your business that can be improved.
According to a survey from BrightLocal, a staggering 98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses.
These statistics prove the pivotal role of online reviews for businesses. That’s why it is important to facilitate an easy way for your customers to provide an honest positive review.
If it turns out to be bad feedback, then reply professionally and try to provide a solution to the problems they encountered.
✅ Continuous Improvement and Scaling
The last one in this checklist is to ensure that you continually make an effort into the improvement and growth of your business.
In the era of digital business where changes in the market happen unpredictably, it is important to keep an eye on the trends and latest technologies in the industry.
According to Statista, the global e-commerce market is projected to be $3.64 trillion US dollars in revenue by 2023, and a massive 5.3 billion users by 2027.
Also, the digital advertising market is projected to be $679.8 billion US dollars in 2023. This indicates how much the market is willing to spend to promote its products and services.
Hence, being adaptive to the rapidly evolving market dynamics will ensure that your business remains competitive and successful in the long term.
Exploring Business Ideas? Start Here!
Starting and growing an online business is a continuous journey that involves several stages. In this article, we labeled them as the pre-launch phase, building your online platform, launch phase, and post-launch phase. As a new business owner stepping into the digital space of the online market, we hope that this article equipped you with a better understanding of the nuances of online business. Remember, every big player in the industry starts with a single step; your ambitious journey begins with diving in and learning continuously. Here’s to your success and the many milestones that await you!
As a professional web and software developer, the author possesses a strong foundational background in Computer Science. This equips him with both academic rigor and practical insights into the world of web-based entrepreneurship. As the founder of this platform, webpreneurships.com, he stands at the intersection of technology and business.