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How To Start An Online Business In 7 Days
I've spent the last 12 years working in entrepreneurial environments, helping to invest in companies, build companies, and sell companies.
In the last two years, I've personally explored how to start an online business, to see how they work exactly, and how they make money in order to remain sustainable.
Over that period, I've learned a lot and applied my learning to create this business now making well over £100k ($130k) per annum in income and growing.
Today I'd like to share with you how you can start your own online business, but to do it in exactly 7 days! 💪🏽💪🏽
The question “How to start an online business?” is a search that many people make monthly online looking for answers.
Starting a business is a great way for you to accelerate the process of becoming Financially Independent.
So I'm going to explore today the steps you can take day by day for the next 7 days to create one for yourself.
Our reason for wanting to get you to do this in 7 days is to give you a lot of focus so that you can go from no idea to your own business in 7 days.
By the way, if you're interested in the 5 breakthrough passive income ideas that help us make over £100k ($130k) per annum, learn more here.
Let's now walk through and see how exactly you can go about starting your online business from day one.
Table of Contents
HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS
Below is a 7-day step-by-step process that you can follow to start your online business today.
DAY 1 – Research Your Business Idea
On day 1, your goal is to research your business idea.
So you might be somebody who already has a business idea, in which case you should skip to the next step.
If you're somebody who is trying to decide between one business idea or another, the best way to choose one is to look at the pros and cons of each.
Grab a sheet of paper, write each idea at the top of each piece of paper and write out the pros and cons.
If you have no idea what your business idea is, see:
- 12 Best Side Hustle Ideas To Make Extra Money
- 27 Legit Ideas on How to Make Money Online
- 85 Ways to Make Extra Money Today
These have lots of ideas for you to decide on. Pick one that you can focus on today.
Another way to decide what business idea you should pursue is to look at a mix of your talents or strengths, and your passions or interests.
Make a simple list of 5 to 10 Talents and Passions that you have.
When you combine these together, you'll be able to decide whether a particular idea is something you might pursue.
Say for example, you might be somebody who's good at coding, but you have a passion for education.
You might decide to start a coding school for teaching young kids how to code.
Or you might be somebody who is very good at writing, but you love food. You might decide to start a food blog for example.
The goal for day 1 is to take all these ideas and funnel them down to ONLY one idea.
You want to get to the end of the day and say, “I've got this one idea that I want to pursue”.
And then start to ask yourself questions around it such as, is this idea:
- a popular idea?
- something people are interested in?
- Is there a demand for this particular type of service? and so on.
You really want to get to the end of day one and say to yourself, “that's the business idea I want to focus on”.
This way, you can then move on to the other aspects of creating that business.
DAY 2 – Clarify Your Business Plan
The second day is all about clarifying what your business plan is.
This is the bit where most people fall down because they spend weeks and weeks creating business plans that really go nowhere.
What you want to do is to really focus on a super simple business plan.
It could be a two pager, for example.
I've got one in fact that you can grab for Free.
It’s called “The Start in 7 Days Business Plan“:
This business plan will help you can clarify –
- What it is you're offering?
- How are you going to offer that?
- What it's gonna cost as a service or a product to people?
- How exactly you're going to deliver that?
- Who are your customers and why?
When you fill out that business plan, it would start to help you frame, exactly what it is, you're offering.
It's a good exercise to get through to put on paper what the full value that you're offering out there is to people.
Here is an Example:
Say you want to start an online business that's selling pet products to people.
So what is the business? – You're selling specific niche pet products to pet owners.
Who is this business for? – Dog lovers in the UK.
How will you deliver this product? – Fulfilled by Amazon to source those products somewhere cheaper like China, and have it fulfilled through Amazon and delivered to your customers.
What would it cost you? – Do some research around what other competitors are charging for those products.
And because you'll find them a lot cheaper somewhere else, you're able to then offer those products perhaps a bit cheaper at the same level of quality.
Thereby this offers value to your potential customer.
So you can see that with this really simple one to two page exercise of clarifying your business plan…
you're able to in your mind understand what the exact business offering is for people to be able to become customers of your new business.
In case you're looking for a business model that would complement your potential online business idea, see:
The final thing to do at the end of the Day 2 is to start talking about this new business that you're creating.
I'd highly recommend at this stage to start to talk to friends and family about it.
This is the bit that most people don't want to do.
They think people are going to steal that business idea and go and do it instead.
I would say get the idea out there to people.
Let them know about it because down the line at the end of day 7 day, those people might even become your first customers.
DAY 3 – Brand Identity
The third day is all about your Brand Identity.
For me, this is the really fun part. What I'm talking about here is this:
What is the name of your business?
And what does the brand look like?
If people wanted to describe your business via intangible aspects of it, how would they describe it?
What does the logo look like?
And what colours are you using?
What fonts are you using?
And what tagline are you using?
Let us take those one at a time.
Pick a name that is simple, unique and ideally a combination of different words.
Don't become obsessive about it. Do some kind of brainstorming exercises and come up with a name.
Pick a name of three words maximum.
Don't pick one that's too long. So for example, mine is “The Humble Penny”. It’s the brand that we are building.
You could pick something that's quite unique and unusual.
Maybe combining two unusual words, like for example, we are combining “humble” and “penny”.
You'd never think of a penny being humble, but because we've combined them, it has become very unique.
BRAND COLOURS and FONTS
A good place to start with this is to look at brands that you like out there.
What brands do you like and support?
When I started out, I used to love brands such as Apple and I loved the National Geographic.
I loved their colours.
In fact the hue of yellow colour that you see with The Humble Penny was inspired by the National geographic.
That hue of yellow represents “wisdom”.
I thought it fit what we are doing sharing personal finance and personal development knowledge with lots of people.
Spend some time looking at brands that you like.
You can look at brand related boards on platforms such as Pinterest.
These can give you some ideas around what colours might represent what you feel you're trying to create as a business. Funds are actually really important as well.
Look at existing brands and you might identify particular fonts that you like.
And by finding the right colours and fonts, you can then start to base your entire logo and brand identity on them in order to create something for yourself.
I, for example, was pretty poor at design, so I paid someone £50 to bring my ideas to life.
For the Tagline, I would say use a maximum of three words.
Our tagline is “Create Financial Joy”, which means to us that somebody has to do some work in order to create this life of financial joy they want.
So choose a tagline that has some meaning and words that typically have some action tied to them.
For example, Nike has “Just do it”.
Choose words that perhaps have some level of attitude or action related to them.
Remember to aim for a maximum of three to four words so that it's nice, easy and memorable.
The final thing I'd say for Day 3 is that you should focus on is sharing this new brand identity.
Remember our goal with these 7 days is to really take the steps and end each day with one achieved outcomes.
So share your new brand identity with people, share them with friends and family, put them out there on Facebook, etc.
If you've got more than one idea for a Logo, for example, put them out there.
Create a poll and ask people to share their ideas of what they think is the better one for you to use.
But make sure you get to the end of the day saying to yourself, “this is what I think my initial Brand Identity look like”.
I.e. These are my colours. This is why I think my logo is going to look like.
And here's the first draft of my Logo and then you've got to the end of Day 3 with something significant achieved.
DAY 4 – Create Your Website
The fourth day on this plan for how to start an online business is all about creating your website.
Again, this is where most people drop off because websites can seem complicated when in actual fact they are quite simple if you know exactly what you are doing.
So the goal with day four is it creates a really simple website 4 page website, for example.
Now in order to start to dive into what those pages are, I'd like to explain to you what you should do in order to actually create the website itself.
The first thing you need is to decide and get your website domain name.
You can get it free here.
I'd ideally look for a .com domain. If it's not available, look for something else that's closest, but a .com domain is usually a lot more premium.
Once you've grabbed your domain name, you need some hosting for your website.
You can get hosting very cheaply here for as little as £3.25 per month. This is a special deal for our readers.
I personally use the above website too.
Now once you bought your domain and hosting you a suitable platform to create your website on.
I use WordPress because it is open source and is one that's free that you can customize in so many different ways.
Check out our step by step tutorial on how you can actually create your own website.
It covers everything from buying your domain name, step by step on how you can set up your website on WordPress.
The thing to do once you've created the wireframe for your website is to start to create the pages for the website itself.
So I'd recommend that you start with about 4 pages.
The homepage is the most visited page of any website.
What you really want to do is to make sure that your homepage is attractive.
Ensure you have a really nice picture, but the key things to make sure that your homepage communicates what service or product you're offering it.
What is the value proposition?
Why should anyone be interested in clicking through and seeing your services page or whatever.
So you want to let them know that upfront and then you want to have some form of a call to action e.g. grab this freebie or click here to go to our services page or product
You want to make sure that people don't just visit your homepage and then disappear off back to where they came from.
You want them to carry on exploring your website.
The other three pages I've mentioned are something like:
- an About page,
- a Product or Services page, and a
- Contact Us page.
Let’s go over those one at a time:
About Us page:
A really good way to make this really interesting is to tell people what your story is.
What was your inspiration for starting on this journey of creating yourself own online business?
Why did you choose that particular service?
What problems are you solving? And what challenges have you had on the journey?
Feel free to get vulnerable on that page to really help people connect with you.
That's really what the about page is about.
Products and Services page :
This is really about just displaying what your products and services are and how they help people solve their problems.
That page should also cover things like the cost of your product or service and how people can buy your product or service.
Make it really simple for people to click through and purchase your products or services.
Contact Us page:
Enter a phone number or an email address i.e. a reliable way in which people can get in touch with you to ask questions.
NEW Video on How to Start an Online Business in 7 Days on Our YouTube Channel:
DAY 5 – Accounting and Payments
This is one that most people ignore, but possibly one of the most important things to do.
Day 5 is all about accounting and payments.
Let me break down why this is important.
Most people who start small businesses typically don't track what they're spending or what they're making with their businesses.
They try to work this out in their heads and believe they know what they're spending and they think they're making.
An accounting system simply helps you capture essentially your state of financial performance, i.e. how you're doing with your business, your expenses or incomes.
And it also helps you capture your state of financial position. I.e. How much cash have you got?
Because remember, cash is the lifeblood of every business.
So you need a simple accounting system to help you capture these as well as to help you do things like setting up or sending out invoices to potential customers.
An accounting systems that I use personally to manage the finances of this blog is called Xero.
An alternative one, which is Free, is one called Wave App. Although it’s free, they charge you for specific transaction fees.
I really love Xero simply because it's really intuitive, is cloud based and you can access your financials on multiple devices all over the world.
It’s also ideal for people who are not accountants or people who understand finance.
Payments are super important because you obviously need people to pay for your products or services.
A really easy way to get started is you use a platform like PayPal for business.
Alternatively, you can use Stripe.
You probably want a business bank account. Contact a local bank and some of their online bank accounts are usually a lot cheaper.
I pay something like £6 per month for a UK business bank account. You can get these set up fairly quickly.
You need one of those to get started by the end of the day.
And an easy way to do that is to contact PayPal online and set up a PayPal account.
Whilst you then go through the process of opening a business bank account.
DAY 6 – BASIC MARKETING
The sixth day is all about basic marketing.
A lot of new small business owners think that somehow customers would randomly start to become interested in their products and services.
But the truth is you need to work really hard with marketing your product and service in order to create awareness.
That awareness then gradually helps build trust with people in order to convert them to buy your product or service.
A really good way to get started on Day 6 is to make a list of 50 to 100 people who you know.
These could be friends, family members, people who attend, say your local church, people who you are acquainted with in one way or another.
Your goal is to start to talk to them about your business.
Remember, you're not selling to people at this stage.
Your goal at this stage is awareness.
You're essentially telling people, “this is what business I decided to start and this is how it helps people solve their problems or improve their lives”.
And by doing that, people know that this is what you do and if they want in time, they can purchase your service, your product.
Or they might be able to put you in touch with other people who might become customers one day.
The other thing you should be doing on day 6 is to begin networking.
Now, lots of us don't like networking because it's typically a fair bit of work and we usually have to leave our comfort zones.
But without networking, you don't expand your horizons.
A good way to start networking is to look at groups online, maybe on Facebook.
Related groups in your business idea, ones that you can join and start to listen to and hear what the conversations are around the product or service that you're offering.
You might even look at websites such as Evenbrite and look at local events that might be available in your area.
Your goal is to become an ambassador for this new business that you're creating to put yourself out there and to start to talk about it with confidence.
Because remember, typically in business, people are buying into the face of the business.
If you can build some level of rapport and trust, then you’re a lot closer to generating customers who might invest in your products or services.
At the end of day six, you want to become somebody who's talking confidently about their business or service and somebody who is networking.
DAY 7 – CREATE A MARKETING PLAN
The final day of this step-by-step plan for how to start an online business is all about creating a marketing plan.
It is a step beyond just basic marketing.
A marketing plan is a plan for how you will find your customers, identify them, and in time sell your products and services to these customers.
This is a detailed analysis of your current offering or business in order to understand how it fits into your particular area or niche.
You'd figure out things such as who are your competitors?
What do the demographics of your customers look like?
And what age range are they?
Where do they live, and how would you market to them from where you are?
How will you market to them in order for them to become not just aware but to become people who gradually in time convert and become customers.
This can be through using such things as:
- Using social media,
- Creating flyers,
- Facebook ads,
- Creating free events that you invite people to and by attending those events, they gain some awareness about your products and services.
The goal here is to create a really good plan that then guides you in terms of what your immediate next steps will be in order to market your products or services.
Here is a really practical example using our business, The Humble Penny.
We have this blog that you’re reading, which essentially goes out there into the world via high quality content to attract eyeballs to our website.
We also have The Humble Penny on YouTube, which is attracting people through high quality content that we create on YouTube.
Then we have other ways in which we market ourselves using social media and using collaborations with various other complementary websites.
All these activities together help to attract people to us such that we can then conduct our business of Financial Education.
So if you follow this 7 Day process and got to the end and created your initial business for need some help in creating your marketing plan for new customers, Get in touch.
Feel free to get in touch and we can help you work towards creating that marketing plan for your new business.
I really hope you've enjoyed walking through that 7 day process.
NEW Video on 12 Best Side Hustle Ideas on Our YouTube Channel:
Related posts on How to Start an Online Business:
- 15 Creative Ways To Make Money On The Side
- How To Eliminate Expenses Through Side Hustle Income
- 12 Best Side Hustles To Make Extra Money
Which of those steps in the seven-day process resonated the most with you? Where have you been stuck so far in your own process towards starting your own online business?
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.