The internet has opened the door for anyone with a computer or smartphone to start an online business. You no longer need vasts amounts of startup cash and a physical location to sell products and services. Anyone with a way to access the internet can now sell globally, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The tools needed to run an online business will vary depending on the type of online business you decided to start. In this post, I will tell you the basic tools you will need to start an online business.
Note: This page contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy something using one of the links below, I may earn a commission.
What Do You Need to Start an Online Business
Your online business should start with a product or service that solves an identified need in a particular niche. Once you have determined the service or product that your business will provide, here are a few common tools that you will need to start an online business
Website or Blog
One of the first things you will need to start an online business is a website or blog. Your website or blog will serve as the face of your business. It is the virtual location where people will go to find out about your business and purchase your products or services.
Should you create a website or a blog?
The answer to this question depends completely on the type of online business you decide to start. In some cases, it might be beneficial to have both. A website has a basic structure where you have a homepage, about page, contact page, and product and services pages. The homepage is used to highlight your business and catch the visitor’s attention. The about page allows you to tell all about yourself and your business history. The contact page provides ways for site visitors to contact you. This could be by email, phone, or via a contact form. The product and service pages allow you to describe and sell your products and services. A blog, on the other hand, can have some of these same features, however, it allows you to do individual posts on different topics.
Creating a website or blog is much easier than you might think. You do not need any prior experience or technical knowledge. You do however need patience and a willingness to dive in an learn a few simple tasks. WordPress is a user-friendly and powerful tool that will allow you to create a customized website or blog with no experience necessary. The related post below is a tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog (you can follow the same process to create a website in WordPress).
Related Post: How to Start a WordPress Blog
Web hosting is a service that you will need that will allow your website to be displayed on the internet. It is very inexpensive and can be purchased on a monthly or yearly basis. Web hosting companies provide the service of giving you space to house the files that make-up your website.
As I mentioned earlier, WordPress is a great tool that allows people with no technical knowledge to create their own website or blog. WordPress is a tool that would be hosted by a web hosting company. This allows the website that you create with WordPress to be visible on the internet.
I should also mention that there is a free way to use WordPress by using WordPress.com where a web host is not needed. I would not suggest using the free method when creating a site for an online business. When using the free WordPress.com version of WordPress you ability to customize your site is very limited. There are also limitations when it comes to monetizing your site. For more details on why it is best to use WordPress in a hosted environment instead of WordPress.com click here.
My recommended web hosting company is SiteGround. They have excellent service, affordable prices, and top notch customer service. The related post below tells you step-by-step how to set up a WordPress site using SiteGround.
Related Post: How to Start a WordPress Blog
A domain name is your address on the internet. If you think of your website as a physical storefront, then your domain name would be your street address. You may not be familiar with the term “Domain Name” but if you surf the internet you use them all the time.
For example, if you want to google a topic, your enter the domain name: Google.com
Domain names are also very inexpensive and they give your website a professional branded presence on the internet. My recommended domain name provider is GoDaddy. I have used their services for years. They provide a user-friendly interface that allows you to manage your domain name. They also provide excellent tutorials on various topics related to managing your domain name.
The related post below tells you step-by-step how to purchase a domain name for your website.
Related Post: How to Get a Domain Name
Social Media Accounts
Social Media accounts are a must-have when you decide to start an online business. There are multiple Social Media platforms to choose from and they all of unique benefits. Social Media is one of the best ways to get the word out about your online business. There are multiple platforms that work really well for marketing an online business. Some of the most used include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Social Media allows you to advertise your business while getting valuable feedback from your customers and potential customers.
The related post below tells how to promote your site on some of the top social media platforms.
Related Post: How to Promote your Website or Blog
An email list is an essential tool for any online business. It is a list of email addresses where the owner has given you permission to send them information via email. This allows you to market your products and services directly to people who have shown interest in your business.
Email lists are normally created and maintained by using a company that provides email list services. Email addresses are gathered by adding an opt-in form to your website.
Here is the opt-in form for PBSMarket.com. Please take a moment and opt-in to our blog mailing list.
My recommended email list service provider is Aweber. The related post below provides step-by-step instructions on how to create an email list using Aweber.
Related Post: How to Create an Email List
Thanks for reading!
Leave a comment and let me know if you found this information useful. Also, let me know what type of online business you decided to start.
Like, Share, Tweet, & Pin this Post…