How to Start An Online Business: 12 Steps for Launching Your Dreams

Starting an online business has a heap of benefits. You can work from anywhere, set your own hours, and the startup costs are generally lower than a traditional brick-and-mortar business.

Plus, the sky’s the limit when it comes to potential earnings. Did you know that in 2023, eCommerce accounted for 20.2% of all retail sales worldwide?

And that number is only expected to grow, projected to reach 23.3% by 2026.

So, there’s no better time than now to dive in and start your online business.

But where do you start?

This guide will walk you through the 12 essential steps to start your own online business. From finding your niche to launching your dream, we’ve got you covered.

Unsure if starting an online business is the right choice for you right now?

Let’s take a look at a few reasons now is actually the best time to jump in:

  • Inexpensive to start. You don’t need a ton of funds to launch an online business. Determination and persistence will get you quite far.
  • Always on. Online businesses are open, well, always. People from all over the world can make a purchase or get in touch with you, day or night.
  • Creator-friendly. If you enjoy making things, setting up an online business is the best option. Whether you’re making eBooks, online courses, or selling jewelry, an online business can make your presence known.

So, are you tired of your 9-5? Always dreamed of setting up your own business but weren’t sure where to start? Or, maybe you want to sell your crafty creations or set up your own online course website?

It’s cheaper and so much easier than you might think!

Anyone can do it with the right approach and we are here to help.

We cover all the steps to starting an online business but we’ll be with you every step of the way, so not to worry!

12 Steps to starting an online business in 2024

Let’s kick off your entrepreneurial journey with the main steps to starting an online business.

Here are the steps we’ll be covering:

  • Step 1: Find your niche
  • Step 2: Conduct market research
  • Step 3: Develop a business plan
  • Step 4: Choose a business name
  • Step 5: Decide on your business structure
  • Step 6: Complete important legal tasks
  • Step 7: Build an online store
  • Step 8: Establish payment methods
  • Step 9: Market your business
  • Step 10: Launch your business
  • Step 11: Provide excellent customer service
  • Step 12: Monitor and improve your business

Before we dive in, let’s first take a look at an online business that’s found success by following a similar approach — HelloFresh.

HelloFresh is a meal-kit service that illustrates how important execution is in the online business world.


They’ve managed to become one of the biggest meal-kit providers in the US and UK since launch. All thanks to their killer marketing strategies and dedication to customer experience.

They began by focusing on a niche market—fresh, healthy meals delivered to people’s homes.

They then took the time to conduct market research to get a better sense of their target audience and their needs.

From there, they developed a business plan, chose a name that was easy for customers to remember and established an effective payment system for customer orders.

Then, they marketed their business by creating a website, launching social media campaigns, and leveraging word-of-mouth marketing.

HelloFresh free meals offer

They also run frequent promotions that promise 16 free meals when you sign up.

Finally, they focused on customer service to ensure that customers had a great experience with their product.

Now, if starting something like HelloFresh is a little too ambitious to begin with, you might be inclined to model your online business after something like AuthorityHacker.


AuthorityHacker initially launched in 2014, offering online courses that help people find profitable niches and build authority websites.

The company has since gone on to sell multiple six-figure websites all while training others in the ways of their method.

While they are extremely successful, you can see how the road from startup to six-figure business was paved. And if that doesn’t inspire you, we don’t know what will!

Now, let’s get down to business — literally!

Step 1: Find your niche

Before you jump headfirst into the deep end, let’s take a moment to talk about your business idea.

It’s not just about what you want to sell, but also about who you want to sell it to. It’s one of the most important steps to starting an online business.

Which is where finding your niche comes in.

A niche is a specialized segment of the market you aim to serve. It’s a unique business idea that solves a problem or meets a need of a particular audience.

The more specific, the better.


Because when you try to sell to everyone, you often end up appealing to no one.

Identifying your niche

So, how do you find your niche?

Start by thinking about your passions and interests.

  • What do you love to do?
  • What topics could you talk about for hours on end?
  • What can you see yourself doing day in and day out for the foreseeable future?

Next, consider your skills and expertise.

  • What are you really good at?
  • What unique knowledge or skills do you have?

Once you’ve got a list, it’s time to do some market research (which we’ll cover more in our next step).

  • Are there people out there looking for what you have to offer?
  • Is there a gap in the market that you could fill?
  • Do you see a future need on the horizon?

Your niche should be a perfect blend of what you love, what you’re good at, and what the market needs.

Niche success stories

Need some inspiration?

Let’s look at a couple of examples of successful online businesses that found a unique niche.

First up, we have Warby Parker.

Warby Parker

They saw a gap in the market for stylish, affordable eyewear and filled it with their direct-to-consumer online business model.

By cutting out the middleman, they are able to offer high-quality glasses at a fraction of the price of traditional retailers.

Then there’s Etsy, a marketplace for handmade and vintage items.


They carved out a niche for themselves by catering to artisans and crafters who wanted a platform to sell their unique creations.

These businesses are proof that finding your niche and serving it well can lead to incredible success.

So, take your time to find yours. It’s the first step on your journey to launching your dreams!

In the next section, we’ll dive into how to validate your business idea.

Step 2: Market research

Alright, you’ve found your niche. You’ve got a business idea that you’re passionate about, and you believe there’s a market for it.

Before you go any further, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into some market research.

Why market research matters

Market research is like a compass for your online business. It helps you understand the lay of the land and navigate your way to success.

It provides insights into your potential customers, your competition, and the trends shaping your industry.

Understanding your market also helps you make informed decisions about your business. It can guide your marketing strategy, your product development, and even your pricing.

Not understanding your market can lead to costly mistakes.

According to CB Insights, 35% of startups report a lack of market need as one of the top reasons why new companies fail.

CB Insights statistic

So, don’t skip this step!

How to conduct market research

Market research is a process where you find out who you’ll be selling to and ask them a ton of questions about what they like, what they want, and what they don’t want.

But how do you conduct market research?

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Define your target customer: Who are they? What are their demographics? What are their needs and wants? The more you know about your target customer, the better you can tailor your product and marketing to them.
  2. Analyze your competition: Who are your competitors? What are they doing well? Where are they falling short? Understanding your competition can help you find ways to differentiate your business.
  3. Identify industry trends: What’s happening in your industry? What are the latest trends? Staying on top of industry trends can help you stay ahead of the curve and spot opportunities.

Tools and methods for market research

Luckily, you don’t need a big budget to conduct market research. There are plenty of tools and methods out there that can help you gather the information you need.


Here are a few to get you started:

  • Online surveys: Tools like Google Forms can help you gather feedback from your target customers.
  • Social media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can give insights into what your target customers are talking about and what your competitors are up to.
  • Keyword research: Tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help you understand what people are searching for online.
  • Industry reports: Websites like Statista or IBISWorld can provide data and insights into your industry.

Market research isn’t a one-time thing. It’s something you should be doing regularly to stay in tune with your market and keep your business on the right track.

Next up, we’ll talk about validating your business idea. Because as the saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.”

Step 3: Develop a business plan

Now you’ve done your market research, it’s time to put your findings to good use. Let’s talk about developing a business plan.

You might be thinking, “Do I really need a business plan? Can’t I just go for it and see what happens along the way?”

Honestly, a business plan is not something you want to skip.

Why you need a business plan

Think of a business plan as your ultimate to-do list. It outlines your goals, the strategies you’ll use to achieve them, and the resources you’ll need.

It forces you to think through all aspects of your business, from your value proposition to your financial projections.

It’s easy to get carried away with a new idea and rush to build your website or set up a company. A business plan makes you sit back, plan your route and encourages you to think everything through first.

A business plan is also a vital tool if you’re seeking funding for your business.

Investors or lenders will want to see a solid business plan before they’ll even consider opening their wallet!

Key elements of a business plan

While every business plan is unique, there are a few key elements that every plan should include:

  1. Executive summary: This is a brief overview of your business. It should include your business name, what you sell, and why you’ll succeed.
  2. Company description: This section provides more detail about your business. It should include the structure, mission statement, and information about your products or services.
  3. Market analysis: Here’s where you’ll present the findings from your market research. You should include information about your target market, your competition, and industry trends.
  4. Organization and management: This section outlines your business structure and management team. It should include an organizational chart and information about your team’s experience.
  5. Service or product line: Here, you’ll describe your product or service in detail. You should include information about its benefits, lifecycle and any intellectual property you may have.
  6. Marketing and sales: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategy. It should include your pricing strategy, your promotional plans, and your sales strategy.
  7. Funding request: If you’re seeking funding, this section should detail how much you need and what you’ll use it for.
  8. Financial projections: This section should include your projected income, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. It should show that your business will be profitable and financially sustainable.

This may all seem a little complicated and formal, but it’s an essential part of starting a business, online or otherwise.

Fortunately, there are some tools that can help.

Resources for creating a business plan

Websites like Bplans offer free business plan templates and samples.


Tools like LivePlan can guide you through the process of creating a professional business plan.


There are tons of resources online that can help you with business planning so there really is nothing to worry about.

Your business plan isn’t set in stone, either. It should evolve as your business grows and changes. So, don’t be afraid to revisit and revise your plan as needed.

Step 4: Choose a business name

You’ve found your niche, done your market research, and crafted a business plan. Now comes the fun part, choosing a name for your business.

It might seem like a small thing, but your business name can have a big impact. To ensure you choose the right one, you might consider using a business name generator to spark creative ideas.

You’re going to want to get it right.

The power of a good business name

Your business name is more than just a label. It’s a powerful tool that can help you connect with customers, differentiate you from competitors and convey your brand’s personality.

It’s often the first thing people learn about your business so it’s important to make a good impression.

A good business name should:

  • Be unique and relevant
  • Reflect your brand identity
  • Resonate with your target audience
  • Be easy to pronounce and spell
  • Be memorable

But probably the most important aspect of all?

Your business name needs to be available.

There are millions of businesses out there and many of the good names are already taken. Your biggest challenge is likely to be finding one that hasn’t already been taken!

Brainstorm business name ideas

Before you start searching for a domain, it’s a good idea to brainstorm some potential business names.

Gather your team or close friends and come up with as many ideas as possible. You don’t have to limit yourself either — get creative!

If you’re stuck and need some help, there are plenty of resources out there to get you going.

Tools like NameMesh and Wordoid can help you find unique names for your business.


And websites like SquadHelp and NamingForce offer crowdsourced business name services.

Once you’ve honed in on a few names, it’s time to make sure they’re available.

Check the availability of your business name

So, you’ve brainstormed a list of potential business names. Now what? It’s time to check availability.

Here’s how:

  1. Business name: Start by checking if the business name is already in use in your country or state. In the U.S., you can do this by searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database and your state’s business registry. If you’re in another country, check with your local government’s business registry.
  2. Domain name: Next, check if the domain name is available. You can do this using a domain name registrar.
  3. Social media usernames: Finally, check if the social media usernames are available on all the popular platforms. Even if you don’t plan to use social media right away, it’s a good idea to reserve your usernames to prevent others from taking them.

Choosing a business name is a big decision. Take your time and choose a name that you love and that will grow with your business.

If you come up with an amazing business name but the domain is taken, don’t forget you can try different naming conventions. Consider adding your town, city, location, region or something else to make it unique.

The same for social media handles.

Step 5: Decide on your business structure

With your business name ready to roll, it’s now time to tackle another important decision: how will your business be structured?

This might not be the most glamorous part of starting your business, but it’s an essential one. The structure will influence everything from your legal obligations to your tax situation.

Overview of business structures and tax obligations

There are several types of business structures to choose from, and the best one for you will depend on your specific circumstances and the legal requirements in your region.

In the U.S., options include:

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest business structure and it’s ideal for one-person operations. There’s no need for formal registration, but the downside is that you’re personally liable for any business debts. This means if things go south, your personal assets could be at risk. When tax time rolls around, you’ll report your business income and expenses on your personal tax return.
  • Partnership: This structure is a good option if you’re planning to run your business with one or more partners. In most cases, all partners share the profits and losses of the business.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a more complex beast. It’s a separate legal entity, providing its owners with personal liability protection. The downside is that setting it up requires more paperwork and, depending on where you’re located, it may be subject to double taxation.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): These hybrids combine the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits of a partnership.

In the UK, you’ll encounter:

  • Sole Trader: This is the UK’s answer to a sole proprietorship. You’ll be personally liable for your business’s debts, and you’ll need to register as self-employed with tax authorities. All income and expenses are declared on a Self Assessment tax return.
  • Limited Company: Here’s where things get complex. A limited company offers limited liability protection for its owners, but you’ll need to register with Companies House and submit annual accounts. Tax-wise, your company will have to pay corporation tax on its profits, but shareholders might also receive tax-free dividends.

In the Asia-Pacific region, you might see:

  • Company Limited by Shares: This structure is common in Australia and New Zealand. It provides limited liability protection to its owners and comes with corporate governance requirements. The company will have to pay corporate taxes, and shareholders could be liable for capital gains tax on their dividends.
  • Partnership: This is the most popular business structure in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Like in the US, partners share in the profits and losses of the business and report them on their personal tax returns.

With all these options, you’ll want to think long and hard about what suits your needs best.

You’re not alone in this – there are plenty of resources out there to help you make an informed decision, like the Small Business Administration in the US, Companies House in the UK, or the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

Choosing a business structure

So, which business structure is best for you? The answer will depend on your specific situation and goals.

Your business structure may change over time as your business evolves. You may need to switch from a sole proprietorship to a limited company, for example.

Remember, the best structure for your business will depend on your specific circumstances and the legal requirements in your region.

It’s a good idea to consult with a business advisor or attorney to help you make this decision. You could even look into several business formation services like Inc Authority or Incfile, reviewed in this detailed Small Business HQ post, to determine the best fit for your budget and needs.

Step 6: Complete important legal tasks

You’ve got your niche, done your market research, crafted a business plan, chosen a business name, and decided on your business structure.

Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: the legal stuff.

Don’t worry, though. We’ll break it down for you and point you in the right direction.

Registering your business

First things first, you need to register your business. This process will vary depending on your location and the type of business structure you’ve chosen.

In most cases, if you’ve decided to form a corporation, LLC, or partnership, you’ll need to register with the state agency that handles business filings.

If you’re a sole proprietor, you may not need to register at all, but it’s always a good idea to check.

When registering, you’ll need to provide your business name, structure, and information about the owners.

You may also need to appoint a registered agent, which is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on your behalf.

Additionally, incorporation companies such as corporations, partnerships, or LLCs face annual fees that can vary from state to state and include state taxes, franchise taxes, and registered agent fees.

Let’s take an example where you are forming an LLC.

To update the state about your LLC’s activities and information, state fees are usually required when filing annual reports. Various states, including California, impose franchise taxes as fees for doing business. As part of your LLC’s ongoing operational expenses, registered agent fees are paid to a registered agent service or individual who acts as your LLC’s official point of contact for legal and official documents.

Obtaining necessary permits and licenses

Next, you’ll need to obtain any necessary permits and licenses. Again, the requirements will vary depending on your location and the type of business you’re starting.

Some common types of business licenses include a general business license, a professional license (for certain professions like lawyers or doctors), and a health department permit (for businesses that prepare food).

To find out what permits and licenses you need, check with your local city or county government office.

You can also use online resources like the U.S. Small Business Administration’s License and Permit tool or the EU’s Single Digital Gateway.

Tax requirements

Finally, you’ll need to meet your region’s tax requirements. This usually involves obtaining a tax ID number, registering for sales tax if you’re selling a physical product, and understanding your tax obligations.

In the U.S., you can obtain a tax ID number (also known as an Employer Identification Number or EIN) from the IRS.

In other countries, the process will vary. For example, in the UK, you would register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Remember, these are just general guidelines. The specific legal tasks you need to complete will depend on your location and the type of business you’re starting.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a business advisor or attorney to make sure you’re meeting all your legal obligations.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s do something much more interesting!

Step 7: Build your online store

You’ve got your legal ducks in a row. Now, it’s time to dive into the fun part, building your online store.

This is where your business comes to life, where your customers will browse your products or services, and where those magical sales will start rolling in.

Not all online businesses will need a store, but as it’s a key part of selling online, we’ll cover it here.

Let’s get started.

Why your business needs a website

Before getting to the tutorial, let’s talk about why a website is so important.

Your website is your online storefront. It’s the first impression many customers will have of your business, so you want it to be a good one.

A professional-looking website can help build trust with customers, while a user-friendly design can make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for and make a purchase.

It’s also capable of making sales 24/7, even when you’re not around.

Examples of successful startup online stores

To give you some inspiration, let’s take a look at a few successful startup online stores:

Casper is a great example of a startup online store that found huge success.


They launched with just one product — their signature mattress — but now they sell a range of sleep products like pillows, sheets, and duvets.

Bonobos is another example. They started with a straightforward concept. That is, to sell better-fitting men’s pants — and have since expanded to offer a wide range of clothing, shoes, and accessories for both men and women.


Crazy Dog T-Shirts started with a simple idea: to create and sell funny, unique t-shirts. They’ve since grown into a successful business with a wide range of humorous and creative apparel.

Crazy Dog Tshirts

Remember, building your online store is a big project, but it’s also a fun one. Take your time, enjoy the process, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

How to build an online store

Building an online store might sound daunting, but with the right tools, it’s totally doable.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

7.1 Choose a web host and domain

Web hosting is where your website lives on the internet, and your domain is your website’s address.

There are many hosting providers to choose from, but some popular ones include SiteGround and DreamHost.


As for your domain, most hosting providers include a domain name — that’s often free for the first year — so you likely won’t need to use an external registrar.

When shopping for a web host, check for:

  • At least 99.9% uptime
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Enough SSD storage for your needs
  • Network security to keep your site safe
  • Good reviews

Shared hosting is fine to test your idea but you’ll ideally need WordPress hosting or eCommerce hosting to ensure fast performance.

7.2 Install WordPress

WordPress is a content management system that makes it easy to create and manage websites.

In most cases, you can install WordPress directly from your hosting provider’s control panel. Otherwise, you’ll need to download it from

7.3 Build your site with Astra and Starter Templates

With WordPress installed, you’ll next need to install a theme to get your site’s design in order.

Astra is a popular WordPress theme that’s great for building online stores. It’s lightweight, fast, and highly customizable.

Astra WordPress Theme

Starter Templates is a plugin that offers a range of pre-built website templates designed for Astra. You can choose a template that fits your business, then customize it to your liking.

Starter Templates

Brandstore is a good option for launching an online shop, for instance:

Brandstore Starter Template
7.4 Install an eCommerce plugin

An eCommerce plugin is what turns your website into an online store. It allows you to add products, set prices, and manage orders.

SureCart is another good option, for businesses that sell physical products, digital products or subscriptions.

It’s free, powerful, and highly customizable!


Step 8: Set up your payment systems

Now you have your website up and running, it’s time to set up your payment systems. This is how customers will pay for your products or services.

First, you’ll need to set up a separate bank account for your business. Doing so will help you separate personal and business finances, track transactions, and manage your finances more efficiently.

Since you’re doing business online, you’ll need a secure way to accept payments from customers over the internet.

You can use an online payment processor like PayPal, Stripe, or Square. These offer simple and secure solutions for accepting credit card payments and other forms of payment.

Just make sure to read the terms of service carefully for each provider, as they may vary by country.

SureCart makes it easy to set up your preferred payment processors. It supports PayPal, Stripe, Paystack, and Mollie and SureCart will be adding support for MercadoPago and RazorPay in the future.

Step 9: Market your online business

Marketing your online business is the next important step in your journey. It’s not enough to have a great product or service. You also need to get the word out and attract customers!

Let’s dive into how you can create a marketing plan and explore some examples of marketing campaigns that have worked for online businesses.

Creating a marketing plan

A marketing plan outlines your overall strategy for attracting and retaining customers.

Here’s a simple way to create one:

  1. Define your target audience: Who are your ideal customers? What are their demographics, interests, and online behaviors? Understanding your audience is the first step in creating an effective marketing plan.
  2. Set your marketing goals: What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? This could be increasing website traffic, gaining more social media followers, or boosting online sales. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound).
  3. Choose your marketing channels: Based on your target audience, you should decide where to promote your business. This could be on social media platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn), through email marketing, content marketing (blogging, videos, podcasts), SEO, or paid advertising.
  4. Develop your content strategy: What type of content will you create to engage your audience and promote your business? This could be blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, or social media posts. Make sure your content is valuable and relevant to your audience.

    Ensure your visual content stands out. For instance, create transparent backgrounds for your infographics or social media images to maintain a professional look that meshes well with various platforms.
  5. Set your budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your marketing efforts. Remember, your budget should align with your marketing goals.
  6. Measure and adjust: Use analytics tools to track the success of your marketing efforts. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to adjust your plan as needed.

All of this is fine and well, but what does it look like in practice?

Examples of successful marketing campaigns

Let’s look at some examples of successful marketing campaigns for online businesses. They can provide inspiration and insights for your own marketing efforts.


This online clothing retailer is known for its transparent pricing campaign. The campaign divulges the true cost of making each product, from materials to labor, and compares it with the traditional retail price.

This transparency strikes a chord with consumers who appreciate the honesty and the company’s commitment to ethical sourcing and fair pricing.

The campaign not only generated buzz but also set Everlane apart from its competitors, reinforcing its unique selling proposition and boosting customer trust and loyalty.


MailChimp had a unique approach to marketing with its “Did You Mean Mailchimp?” campaign, put together by Droga5.

The company created hilarious ads featuring a chimpanzee, which playfully poked fun at its competitors while subtly highlighting the reliability of its own product.

The campaign was a huge success and helped to increase brand awareness and loyalty.

These examples demonstrate how powerful marketing can be for growing your online business. With the right strategy and execution, you can stand out from the competition and attract more customers.

Step 10: Launch your business

The moment you’ve been working towards is finally here. It’s time to launch your online business!

This is a big step, and it’s crucial to make a splash for all the right reasons.

Let’s talk about how to make your website live and announce your launch to the world.

Making your website live

After all the hard work of building your online store, it’s time to make it live.

Before you hit that launch button, here are a few things to check:

  1. Test your website: Make sure all the links work, the checkout process is smooth, and the site loads quickly. You don’t want any technical glitches on launch day.
  2. Check your content: Go through your website content one last time. Look for typos, broken images, and ensure all your product descriptions are accurate.
  3. Ensure your payment system works: Do a few test transactions to make sure the payment process is working correctly.
  4. Set up your analytics: Install tools like Google Analytics to track your website traffic and user behavior. This data will be invaluable for optimizing your site and marketing efforts.

Once you’ve checked everything, it’s time to go live!

Announcing your launch

Now that your website is live, you need to let people know about it.

Here’s how you can announce your launch:

  1. Social media: Use your social media platforms to announce the launch. Create engaging posts and consider running a launch day special or promotion to attract customers.
  2. Email list: If you’ve been building an email list, now’s the time to use it. Send out an exciting email announcing your launch and inviting people to check out your online store.
  3. Influencer marketing: Collaborate with influencers in your specific industry to boost the promotion of your launch. This proven strategy can significantly expand your reach and effectively engage a wider audience.
  4. Press release: Consider writing a press release about your launch and distributing it to relevant media outlets.

The goal of your launch is to attract as many potential customers as possible and convert them into actual customers.

Make your launch exciting, offer great deals, and provide excellent customer service.

Step 11: Provide excellent customer service

Customer service is the backbone of any successful business, and when it comes to online businesses, it’s no different. In fact, it might be even more important.

Why, you ask?

Well, in an online setting, your customers can’t see you face-to-face. They can’t read your body language or hear the tone of your voice.

All they have to go on is how you handle their inquiries and problems. That’s why providing excellent customer service is so important.

Think about it. You’ve just launched your online business. You’ve got a great product, a user-friendly website, and a killer marketing strategy.

But then a customer has a problem with their order. They reach out to you for help, and your response is slow, unhelpful, or worse — non-existent.

That customer is likely to feel frustrated and may even decide not to do business with you again.

On the other hand, if you handle their issue promptly and professionally, not only are they more likely to come back, but they might even recommend your business to others.

That’s the power of excellent customer service. It can turn a one-time customer into a loyal one, and it can turn a negative situation into a positive experience.

How to provide excellent customer service

So, how do you provide excellent customer service? Just keep the following in mind:

  1. Be responsive: Respond to customer inquiries as quickly as possible. The faster you can address a customer’s concern, the better.
  2. Be professional: Always maintain a professional demeanor, even if a customer is upset or angry. Remember, you’re representing your business.
  3. Be helpful: Do everything you can to resolve a customer’s issue. If you don’t know the answer, find someone who does.
  4. Be proactive: Don’t wait for a problem to arise. Regularly check in with your customers to see how they’re doing and if they need any assistance.
  5. Be personal: Treat your customers like people, not numbers. Personalize your interactions and show them that you value their business.

Online businesses known for getting customer service right

Need some inspiration? Here are a few online businesses that are known for their excellent customer service.


Zappos is famous for going above and beyond for their customers. They offer free shipping, a 365-day return policy (that you can drop off at Whole Foods!), and their customer service team is available 24/7.

The Sill
The Sill

The Sill is an online plant shop that goes the extra mile to ensure customers have a great experience. They provide helpful content and tips as well as personalized customer service.

Excellent customer service can make or break your business. It helps build trust with your customers, increases customer loyalty, and sets you apart from the competition.

So, go ahead, roll up your sleeves, and show your customers just how much they mean to you.

Step 12: Monitor and improve your business

Alright, you’ve launched your online business, you’re providing excellent customer service, and things are going well.

But don’t get too comfortable just yet.

The world of online business is always in flux, and to stay ahead, you need to be constantly monitoring and improving operations.

Monitoring business performance is like taking your company’s pulse. It tells you how your business is doing and where there’s room for improvement.

It can help you identify trends, track your progress towards your goals, and make informed decisions about the future of your business.

One of the best ways to monitor your business performance is by using analytics.

Analytics can provide you with a wealth of information about your business, including:

  • How many people are visiting your website
  • Where your website visitors are coming from
  • What pages on your website are most popular
  • How long people are staying on your site
  • How many visitors are converting into customers

You can use this information to identify areas where your business is doing well and areas where there’s room for improvement.

For example, if you notice that a lot of people are visiting your website but not many are converting into customers, you might decide to make some changes to make it more user-friendly or to improve your product descriptions.

There are many tools out there that can help you monitor your business performance.


Here are a few you might find helpful:

  1. Google Analytics: This is a powerful tool that can provide you with a wealth of information about your website traffic and user behavior.
  2. SEMrush: This tool can help you track your website’s ranking in search engine results, monitor your brand reputation, and keep an eye on your competition.
  3. Hotjar: This tool offers heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys to help you understand how users interact with your website.

Keep an eye on your business performance, make improvements where necessary, and always strive to provide the best possible experience for your customers.

Steps to starting an online business: All that’s left to do is start

Well, there you have it – your comprehensive guide to all the steps to starting an online business.

It’ll take hard work and determination but know this, every great journey begins with a single step.

And remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Tools like SureCart are here to help you every step of the way.

From setting up your online store to managing your payments, SureCart is your partner in this exciting journey of entrepreneurship.

So, are you ready to launch your dreams and start your online business? The time to start is now!

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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