online store builder

With the help of the internet, starting a business is easier than it’s ever been. You can set up a website, online store, and an entire brand from anywhere in the world. Website building tools are highly accessible and when used correctly, can help you grow a loyal customer base quickly.

This article will provide 10 essential steps you need to know to start an online business in 2024.

1 – Get your business idea

First things first, find a business idea you’re both passionate about and that is realistic. This will help you enjoy sustainable commercial success in the future.

If you already have a shortlist of business ideas in mind, narrow it down by conducting some market research. Look to similar brands in your niche and figure out how their consumers engage with them while looking at overall demand based on public sales and growth data.

Doing this will help give you inspiration to go off of for your own business ideas. Along with market and competitor research, you can develop your ideas by considering the following questions:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • What skills and expertise do I have?
  • Am I passionate about a particular subject matter?
  • Am I able to sell or promote the product or services in my potential niche?
  • What spin can I put on well-used business ideas or concepts to stand apart?
  • Are there any gaps or weaknesses I can exploit in my potential niche or market?

When you ask yourself these essential questions, you’ll land on a business idea that has the potential to scale while keeping you engaged and inspired long-term.     

2 – Leverage market research to support your idea

After you’ve chosen your business idea, you’ll need to see if it’s feasible. Brainstorming business ideas is the start, but to validate your concept, you’ll need to get under the skin of your industry as well as your target audience. On top of gathering industry insights and data, build buyer personas that represent your target audience.

As you’re building this, it’s important to conduct extensive market research here as well as market analysis. Some market research and analysis ideas to consider are the following:

  • Conduct consumer surveys across all channels such as phone email, social media , etc.
  • To gain a deeper understanding of how your target audience might perceive your brand and your offering, hold focus groups.
  • Pay attention to how your target audience engages with potential competitors on social media including the related subject matter they’re discussing online.
  • Explore public data related to your target market to uncover consumer buying patterns and sales trends. This will give your business planning an absolute direction and will help to validate your idea.

3 – Draw up a business plan

After validating your idea and pinpointing your target market, you should begin planning. When it comes to drawing up a business plan, being methodical about it is important. Some tips to help traverse the process well are:

  • Consider your “why.” Figuring out why your starting this business will help you gain an understanding of your key motivations for starting your business and what you want to achieve.
  • Outline your plans of action or initiatives that reflect your brand mission and what you do.
  • Define key business goals utilizing timelines and milestones to keep you on track.
  • Write an executive summary stating all essential information related to your business’s goals, products, and points. 

4 – Consider obtaining funding and explore other financial options

A huge part of jumpstarting a business is obtaining the right level of funding. The funding options you look into will depend on the type of business you’re looking to start.

For example, if your looking to start an online business and scale up, you could use personal funds or savings to get up and running. Funding yourself will give you total control over your business decisions, allowing you to scale the business on your terms. However, this route means that if your business struggles or fails to gain a profit, you’re solely responsible for paying back debt.

Other business options include:

  • Crowdfunding: Dedicate crowdfunding platforms can inspire other people to donate to your business venture in return for incentives or equity. This is considered an effective form of fundraising will many success stories over the years.
  • Getting a line of credit: The terms, limits, and interest rates of a business line of credit depends on the nature of your business as well as factors including your financial history and credit rating.
  • Get a grant: If your business mission is rooted in building better communities or inspiring innovation, you could be eligible for a grant from the Federal Government.
  • Pitch your business idea to investors: Researching investors in your niche and pitching to them is a great way to get funding on top of professional backing and expertise. If you’re looking for startup capital as well as help with launching your business and development activities, this is an option worth looking into. 

5 – Choose a business structure

Before you take the important step to register your business, you will have to decide on a solid business structure. The type you choose impacts your business from a legal standpoint. Some business structures to consider for your business are:

Sole proprietorship

If you independently own your business, you can opt for a sole proprietorship. Although it gives you full autonomy over your business, you’ll also be responsible for al debt, obligations, and finances.

In a sole proprietorship you’ll be in charge of business decisions, development, and planning, you’ll receive all business profits, and you may find filing for tax simpler. However, you’ll have to deal with managing everything on your own which could burn you out and limit your potential for growth, and if you ever hit financial troubles, you’ll be liable for settling any debts or arrears.


Joining heads with another business owner will provide you double the startup as well as another person who is liable for administrative stuff as well as the financial aspects of the business. In business, two heads are better than one, and if your build the right partnership, you could see your business thrive from the start.

In a partnership, you’ll gain twice the skills, perspective, and financial scope, and you’ll have another person responsible for running the business as well as for the financial and legal aspects of the business. However, if you or your partner disagree on any aspect, friction could occur and derail progress and stunt growth.


A corporation structure will separate your personal assets from business assets. Meaning, your company can incur debt and be subject to legal disputes. In most cases, your personal finances and assets will remain protected. There are many different forms of a corporation to consider, some of them offering access to decent investment opportunities.

In a corporation, you’ll gain access to excellent capital options, benefit from certain tax breaks, and protect you’ll personal assets. However, corporations can be costly to form and run, and there can be a lot of red tape involved in running a corporation.

Limited liability company (LLC)

One of the most common setups for a new business, a limited liability company (LLC) provides legal protection of a corporation while allowing you to reap tax rewards of a business partnership.

In an LLC, the process of setting up is straightforward, you can get access to a healthy choice of capital and funding options, and get a certain level of protection concerning your personal finances. However, investment options can be limited with an LLC, and you may be subject to costly annual maintenance fees.

Before setting up a business structure, you should weigh the pros and cons of each one, taking your aims and goals into consideration. When you reach this point, you should brainstorm a catchy business name to make things official and bring your brand to life.

6 – Register your business and get any required licenses 

When you choose your business a new and settle on a structure, you will have already started the registration process. To finish the registration process and get the right licenses, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Check what the full registration requirement are based on your legal structure.
  •  Look at the registration requirements of any regions where you’re looking to trade or operate.
  • Register for any taxes.
  • If needed, get an employee identification number (EIN).
  • File any relevant trademarks.
  • Figure out which business license you need and begin the application process.

7 – Open a bank account for your business

It’s recommended to keep your personal and business assets separate, so creating a business bank account is a smart choice. You should choose a bank account that has the benefits and features that suit your business’s size and goals. To set up a business bank account, you’ll need the following:

  • Official documentation on your business formation.
  • EIN or tax ID numbers.
  • Official business name and location.
  • Date your business was setup or established.
  • Your SSN, address, and date of birth.

8 – Get insurance for your business

In addition to opening a bank account, you’ll need to get business insurance. If you don’t get business insurance, you could find yourself footing a huge bill if any unexpected issues, damages, or disputes arise. This is the case even for a small business.

If your business offers services rather than tangible goods, you should consider getting professional liability cover in case you make any consumer-facing mistakes. As business scales, you should consider employment practices liability insurance. This coverage will protect you against any potential employee claim or complaints.

9 – Build your website

At this point, you should be ready to build your website. Your website or online store is the digital hub of your entire business, so nailing the design and functionality is important. GoDaddy has many resources online to help you build your dream website. A good starting point is registering a domain name for your business.

10 – Launch and grow your business

After following all of these steps, you’ll be ready to launch your business. Create buzz around your business launch across various channels including email and social media, and begin to sell and take measures to grow year on year through marketing campaigns and sales initiatives.  If your audience uses them, create a Facebook business page from the beginning.

Starting a business in general is tough, but in 2024, the challenges are worth the reward. Being consistent, playing on your strengths, and covering every base ensures you’ll come out winning.


How does a beginner start a business?

If you have a clear idea on your goals and a passion for what you do, starting your business can be successful for a beginner. If you follow this guide, you can be up and running quickly. 

How much money does it take to start a business from scratch?

The cost of starting a business varies depending on your industry or business model of choice. The US Small Business Administration reveals that most small businesses cost around $3,000 to get started, where the majority of home-based ventures cost around $2,000-$5,000 to set up.

Is it possible to run a business by myself?

Yes! With the right resources and approach, you can set up, launch, and operate your business smoothly. Although going solo is possible, there’s a lot to consider since it’s a large undertaking. As your business scales, consider hiring a small team or get a partner on board to assist. This will help you accelerate your commercial growth.

How can I create a legal organization?

First, you’ll need to come up with a unique name for your business, then you’ll need to figure out what kind of business structure works for you. Once you land on a business structure, pick a location for your business and ensure you have all the necessary permits and licenses. After that, gather all your paperwork  and register with your state. Now it time to set up your financials, such as opening a company bank account and staying on top of taxes. When it comes to the financial side of things, it’s always a good idea to chat with a tax advisor or lawyer to ensure you’re doing everything right.

What is the easiest business to start?

A service-based business is considered the easiest to start because you don’t have to deal with physical stock or inventory, but in 2024, it’s more accessible than ever to launch an online business. Many digital tools exist that make setting up an e-commerce store or building a website without technical expertise easy.

What is the simplest legal form to start a business?

A sole proprietorship is the easiest business legal structure to setup.  If you have some capital of your own, you can apply for a sole proprietorship with ease. This gives you complete control over the entire business; however, you’ll be responsible for the financial as well as legal aspects of the business.

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