Beginner Guide to Build an Online Business [Step by Step]

If you are truly desperate to learn about starting an online business using the skills that you already have within you, then stick with this guide as in this post I am going to teach you the step-by-step process to set up an internet-based business.
Mohammed Wasim Akram
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Last Updated: January 17, 2024
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I know how frustrating it could be not figuring out how to start a business with the help of the internet even when everyone around you is already crushing it and you have already acquired some useful skills in order to start an online business but are still stuck.

Therefore if you are truly desperate to learn about starting an online business using the skills that you already have within you, then stick with this guide as in this post I am going to teach you the step-by-step process to set up an internet-based business.

If you really want to learn to make a living out of the internet by establishing a successful online business but don't know how these things work then this is the best place to begin.

So without wasting any more time let's begin.

Step #1: Create A Buyer Persona of Your Potential Customer

If you think that you have a great product/service to sell and if you launch it online, people are going to get crazy to buy the products/services you have to sell then you are living in a world of fairy tales.

Hence if you're really serious about setting up an online business and sell something online then the very first step is to find your potential customers who are willing to buy whatever you have to sell.

Not everyone in this world would need your products/services but there are definitely a group of people that are going to need whatever you have to offer and you just have to find out that group of people to establish your business online.

The best way to do this is by creating a buyer persona aka a buyer's avatar that represents your targeted customers, now you might be thinking what the heck this buyer persona thing is?

But don't worry it is not that complicated to create your buyer persona and the easiest way to create a buyer persona is by looking at your previous customers who already purchased something from you in the past.

You just need to analyze the similarities between them and ask a few questions to discover them, but even if you don't have any previous clients still these questions will help you to discover your potential customer's buyer persona.

Questions to discover your buyer persona according to HubSpot;

  • Describe your personal demographics.
  • Describe your educational background.
  • Describe your career path.
  • In which industry or industries does your company work?
  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?
  • What is your job role? Your title?
  • Whom do you report to? Who reports to you?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • Which skills are required to do your job?
  • What knowledge and which tools do you use in your job?
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?
  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • Which publications or blogs do you read?
  • Which associations and social networks do you participate in?
  • How do you prefer to interact with vendors?
  • Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?
  • Describe a recent purchase.

Step #2: Drill Down a Niche for Your Products/Services

Once you discover your buyer persona the very next step is to niche down your best products/services according to the need of your potential customers.

If you are thinking about selling dozens of products/services at a time then let me tell you that this can be potentially going to be your biggest mistake ever.

Don't be a generalist, be a specialist if you really want to succeed in selling something online, being a jack of all trades is not a bad thing but it is necessary to become a master on at least one.

It's time to discover your own strength, you might have knowledge of multiple things within your industry but find out that one thing which you most like doing and you have a great amount of expertise as well as experience.

If you take my suggestion then you should start selling online with very few products/services that you have great expertise and passion for, later on when your business gets established then you can add more products/services to your portfolio.

Step #3: Align Your Products/Services with the Buyer Persona

I believe that by now you have already found your buyer persona and also decided on the products/services that you want to sell through the internet.

If your answer is yes then aligning both things is the third and very crucial step to selling something online and building a stable business around that because even though if you have created a buyer persona but they don't require the products/services that you are willing to offer them then there is no use of that buyer persona.

Please always keep in mind that your buyer persona should be created based on the products/services that you have chosen to sell to them, in simple words your products/services should solve a particular problem for those potential customers who you are targeting.

Buyer persona and your products/services are totally dependant on each other to establish a successful online business therefore they should be parallel like a railway track.

If your products/services would able to solve the pain point of your potential buyers based on your buyer persona then the rest other steps will be very easy for you to set up a successful internet-based business.

Step #4: Build a Dedicated Website for Your Business

Once you create your buyer persona, niche down your products/services, and align them with each other in a proper way then the next step is to build a dedicated website for your business.

Now you might be thinking why would you need a website when there are several social media platforms are available for free of cost?

So let me tell you that there is no better and effective way to set up a proper business online without a high converting business website.

Those social media platforms would definitely play a big complementary role for your business but they would never be going to be the primary platform to set up a scalable business online and neither it would be safe to build your business on someone else's space where you have limited to no control to run it independently.

There are several reasons to have a business website to grow your business online and the most important reason is that your website is going to be your own platform and you would have 100% control over it.

Benefits Of Having A Business Website:

  • Website Establishes Your Trustworthiness
  • Website Helps You To Maintains Your Reputation Online
  • Website Provides Visibility & Recognition To Your Brand
  • Website Allows Around The Clock Availability
  • Website Assures More Consumer Satisfaction
  • Website Improves Your Marketing Strategies
  • Website Brings You New Business Opportunities
  • Website Is Easy To Use And Operate Even By Yourself
  • Website Can Become A Proven Money Saving Tool

If you want to know more details about why having a website is necessary for your business then consider checking out our separate in-depth article about this topic.

Business Website Benefits:

Also if you want to create a website for your internet-based business then you could consider our website building service to get an up and running dedicated business website within less than a month.

Step #5: Set up a Web Strategy & Funnel using AIDA Framework

Once you get your business website up and running then the very next step is to create a well-planned online marketing plan AKA web strategy and sales funnel, if you are not clear about what a funnel is then let me tell you that:

A funnel is a series of steps that your potential customers follow before purchasing whatever you have to sell.

Running a business is not going to be easy therefore you are going to need full-proof marketing and sales funnel to establish a successful online business by generating easy leads through the funnel.

Your funnel should have a total of four steps based on the most popular and helpful AIDA formula.

  • A = Awareness / Attention
  • I = Interest
  • D = Desire
  • A = Action

Awareness or Attention Stage

In the awareness stage, you would have to grab the attention of your potential customer with some useful content to make them aware of their problem and the solution that your product/service can solve.

For that, the best kind of content could be video-based content or blog posts also work great.

After watching your video or reading your blog posts people will be aware of the problem that they are facing and the solution that you as a business are offering to solve that particular problem.

Interest Stage

Once they are aware of their problem then the next step is to show them how their problem can be resolved and what are the exact steps they might need to take to solve that particular problem.

In order to achieve this, again you can take advantage of some video content or blog posts. In this way, they will be interested in solving their problems and start researching more about that problem and its solution on the internet most of the time.

Desire Stage

As soon as they're interested in solving the problem immediately you should let them know that what are benefits they would get if they go with the solution that your business is providing.

In order to do this, you can send them to your landing page where they will get to know everything about your products/services, features, and benefits as well as pricing.

This step is very crucial therefore you need to have a really well-designed and compelling landing page to convince them so well so that it should become their desire to get that product/service at any cost.

Action Stage

Once they follow all the steps involved in the funnel and have a high desire to purchase your product/service at that time if you want them to take action and purchase the solution you are offering as a business then you need to give them a good reason to act fast.

The reason could anything from a special discount or some sort of bonus benefits if they purchase your products/service, and if you do this properly then definitely they will take the action and open up their wallets to grab your product/service.

Step #6: Establish Your Business as a Brand

Back in the day creating a brand was not as easy as it's today.

Today you can create a well-established brand with less hard work and expenses as compared to the earlier days when the internet didn't exist.

If you have already properly created your buyer persona then you should definitely know what are those social platforms where your targeted customers are hanging out and spend most of their time.

So the best way to establish your business as a brand is to connect with your potential customers within only those social platforms using a multi-channel approach.

Today most people love to watch videos so keeping that in mind you can easily engage and connect with your audience through video content, although you should use all the platforms for video, still, YouTube is the best platform for video content to date.

In this case connecting doesn't mean that you just go out there and start pitching your products/services all the time, instead, you have to understand their pain points, their struggles that your product/service could solve.

Then you need to help them out by answering their questions on social platforms with the help of different types of content like blog posts, social media posts, and the most powerful way of today, the video content.

In this way, over time your potential customers would begin to recognize you as an authority in that field and they also would be interested to purchase your products/services as you have already built trust among them by now if you do these things in the right way.

And gradually you will be able to build a brand around your business using the power of the internet, just think about how good is that.

Step #7: Generate Highly Targeted Traffic for Your Funnel

So I assume that now your website is live, your funnel is ready and you already have up and running social media pages that make your business look like a legit brand.

Now the next and very important step is to generate highly targeted traffic and send them to your sales funnel.

Because whatever you do but if you don't have people coming into your website then no one is going to know about your products/services and no one would be able to buy from you as they don't even know about your business in the first place.

Therefore, in my opinion, the best way is to generate instant and high targeted traffic through online ads, and there are so many platforms out there for online advertisements but in this case, the most effective platforms are Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

You should always start with the Facebook ads because it has a huge amount of customer database and you can easily target anyone and everyone you can imagine based on your buyer persona.

In the initial stages, you should only push your content dedicatedly produced for awareness and interest stages to your potential customers through the Facebook ads as these contents have low buyer intents therefore it will cost you less money to run the ads.

And then the next step is the Google ads as well as Facebook ads at the same time, you can use both of these platforms to run ads for the desire and action stages by pushing your landing page through retargeting and remarketing ads.

You can use retargeting ads on Facebook as well as on Google to show your ads to the people who have already visited your content pages of the funnel, and to accomplish this you just need to add a few pieces of code known as marketing pixel provided by these ads platforms.

Step #8: Convert Your Customers Into The Loyal Fans

If you follow all the above steps properly then you could establish a successful business online within a month very easily, but that wouldn't be enough if the products/services you are selling will not provide great value to your customers.

In simple words, if your customers are not happy then you would never be going to get long-term success and for that reason scaling the business would be next to impossible.

Hence if you want to keep your customers happy and also want to scale your business to increase revenue and growth then you need to keep making your customers your true fans by providing a delightful after-sale service.

Just provide them 10x value against the price they have paid for your products/services, and make them completely satisfied with the after-sale service.

If you can follow this advice properly then over time your customers will become your fans and promote your business with their friends, families, and colleagues whenever they get a chance which would help you generate more referral customers as word of mouth is still one of the best marketing methods till date.

And eventually, your business will really become a brand and will increase in size day by day as the power of people is the biggest power ever in the business world.

Step #9: Be Consistent with Optimization, Iteration & Improvement

Once your online business is well established then the real works begin which are consistent optimization, iteration, and improvement of your products/services, website, your funnels, and your ads based on the qualitative and quantitative data.

For example; after selling to many people you have started to realize that your products/services need to get rid of a few features which people don't usually want and add some other features that most of the time people end up requesting.

Also, you might need to update your blog posts, replace the videos used in the funnels, improve the website design and speed over time, copies on the landing pages, and some ad copies might not working well thus you might also need to improve the ad copies and call to action to optimize the conversion rate for your business.

I hope by now you have already understood whatever I have been trying to explain here so now you just need to keep an eye on every aspect of your business and make yourself ready ever going for optimization, iteration, and improvement.

Also if you want to get more business using your website then consider checking our in-depth article that I have written around to this topic.

Generate Business from Your Website:


If you're reading the conclusion then it is safe for me to assume that you have already read the entire article therefore now you should have sufficient knowledge about building an online business from scratch.

In this article, I have tried my best to cover every important aspect regarding building an online business using a very easy and non-technical language as I have written this guide dedicatedly for beginners.

After reading this post if you have any questions in your mind or want to share your thoughts about this topic then you are free to leave your comment in the comment box below.

If you enjoyed reading this article and got great value from it then I would like to request you to share this post with your friends, community, and with the people who might also need to learn about this topic to build an online business.

Also if you want to set up a business website and don't know how to do it then we can create a high converting industry-specific website for your business in a hassle-free way and for that, you won't even need to go outside as we are just a click mouse away.

Thank you so much for spending your precious time reading this guide, it will definitely pay you back for your efforts.

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Article Author
Mohammed Wasim Akram
Hello myself Wasim, I’m from the city of Mother Teresa Calcutta (currently Kolkata), which exists in India, a country of unity in diversity.I belong to the sales and marketing field with 10+ years of experience. In December of 2017, I switched my career from a 9 to 5 traditional job to the digital entrepreneurship.Currently, I am a Google and HubSpot certified Digital Marketer, a WordPress Specialist, Web Designer & Strategist and the founder of SyncWin.
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