How to start an online business from home in 5 simple steps.
Lots of us have had the dream of working for ourselves from home, and building an online business. In fact, the dream often expands to working from anywhere – so you could be travelling the globe whilst still ‘working from home’. The epitome of working on your own terms! Where you want, when you want and how much you want.
So how do you start an online business from home? Where exactly do you begin?
The 5 steps are:
- Choose your business model
- Build and optimise your website
- Ensure you meet all legal requirements
- Drive traffic to your site
Every good business knows its market. You cannot just jump into something because you heard it was a good idea – you need to know what you are doing and this starts with research. I would also recommend you consider your passions and own skills. What are you interested in? If you love something, then you will work on it with joy, and this will come through in all you do for your business. So if you can turn your passion into profits you will be happy to go to work (albeit maybe just walking from one room in your house to another!) every day.
Perhaps you love pets, cats or dogs or goldfish; or are into health and fitness; maybe you love films or tech; whatever you are into, maybe you can make that into your business? And in terms of research, you will already know a huge amount about it. So rather than learn something new, look inside yourself first. Don’t make the mistakes lots of people make – to find out what these are check my post about 17 reasons why you’ll never succeed online!
Having chosen your area now really go deep on your research. What are other companies doing in this niche? Who is doing it well? Who can you learn from? How can you do it even better? What is your angle? How will you position yourself in the market? If there are lots of businesses in your area, that is a good sign – it means people are able to make money from home in that niche. And the main thing in research, is to understand your ideal customer, inside and out. Not just are they male or female, or how old they are, but what makes them tick?
And this is where following your passion can really help!
If you understand their values – what is important to them – and their hopes and desires, you will more likely to succeed. Do you know what annoys them with current products in the market? And therefore, how could you serve them better? What are their pain points? What do they want to avoid or resolve – and you could be the one to help solve these things for them.
2 Choose your business model
This relates to how you are going to serve your customers. There are a multitude of ways you could deliver solutions to your target customers. To name a few:
- Affiliate marketing
- Build your own online shop or e-commerce store
- Develop a membership site
- Offer a subscription service
- Create digital products
- Become an expert in your field
- Coach or mentor others
- Become a freelancer
- Start an agency
- Be a consultant
Are you going to have advertising on your site, or perhaps create a marketplace to buy and sell domains? With so many options out there you need to consider first how you are going to monetise your business. This will determine how you do the next part…
3 Build and optimise your website
If you are going to be working from home, you are obviously going to need a website – this will effectively be your storefront. Many people choose WordPress, because it is free. And it is great for certain niches and business models. It is perfect for a blog like this for example! If you are going to use WordPress, I would definitely invest in a good theme and website builder to take your business to the next level. This site is built with Optimise Press (click here to check it out) – I am sure you have heard of it. If one is building a business seriously, then you have to make investments into it.
Whilst WordPress is a great place to start, a much better place is GrooveFunnels (read my review here). Why? Well, it has everything WP has and masses more! It has a funnel builder as good as any on the market, an e-commerce store platform and the best thing – it is FREE for life. It is what I use for all my other sites (I use WP to blog!), and everything is there – so you don’t need all those monthly subscriptions to all those other pieces of software! To take advantage of the free trial, you can visit https://mwdigital.groovepages.com/freetrial/ The free version allows you to build up to 3 websites. Good enough for most start-up businesses!
The second part is to optimise your website. If you are using WP, just install the Yoast plug-in. It is really easy to use to ensure all your pages and site are fully searchable for your niche. If you are using Groove, it has the optimisation built right in to the pages for you to edit and refine.
But make sure you do it!
4 Ensure you meet all legal requirements
Now, don’t miss this step out. From GDPR to having correct terms and conditions to ensuring your website terms are compliant. You must ensure you do this immediately. There are lots of free tools out there to help with this, but nothing beats professional advice.
Besides having a cookies policy, you also need to have the correct terms depending on whether you are selling direct to consumers (often called B2C) or other businesses (B2B e.g. if you have an agency model). Different T&Cs are required in these cases.
If it is B2C you will also need to be compliant with Consumer Protection laws, and in particular those relating to distance selling. I use a company called Farillio.
5 Drive traffic to your site
From social media to paid ads to SEO to video to local business directories to content marketing! There are so many ways you can drive traffic, but where do you start. If you do want done for you services, I can offer that through my agency, but most people want free traffic to begin with. And yes this is possible.
Whichever free traffic route you choose, be it Facebook Groups, blogging, YouTube videos or content marketing, I recommend you choose one – only one – and stick at it for a minimum of 60 days! Why 60 days? Well, free traffic methods, or organic traffic, take time to establish themselves. You need to be consistent, learn to focus and show up everyday! If you do, these free traffic methods will work.
The alternative of course is to pay for clicks with adverts. We will cover that in another post. There are many ways to drive traffic to your site – as in this post – and social media is definitely one of the best. I have a course in my members area which I can let you into – message me if you want access 🙂
My overall recommendation on how to start an online business from home
Learn from someone who has already achieved it in the area you are interested in. Grab a coach or a mentor, and learn from them. This is truly the best way to achieve your goals. Teaching yourself and trying your best is good, but will only get you so far and probably take years and years to achieve. However, if someone has already done what you want to achieve, and they are willing to teach you – why wouldn’t you invest in yourself and get there quicker and more efficiently. You’ve heard of the phrase, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants…
If you speak to the most successful people, they always say time is your most precious resource. By investing in yourself, you save time, and start earning sooner. Consider Roger Federer – the best tennis player in the world, he has a coach (well a few actually); or Lewis Hamilton, he has a coach. Or in business, Tony Robbins has a coach! I am a coach myself, and guess what, I have a mentor too!
To be successful you need someone to guide you, challenge you and inspire you to greater things. A good mentor will keep you on track, and be honest to yourself. They will be a sounding board you can trust. A confidant and a resource of knowledge.
If you want to know who my coach is, it’s John Thornhill, and through his programme I have been able to build and grow my own online business.
But before you do, you might want to check out WHY YOU’LL NEVER SUCCEED ONLINE! It’s a free report that is sure to shock you!
Now I hope to help others through this blog and I hope this helps you understand how to start an online business from home.
I really like this post. The content is simple to read and follow, and it is organized well. I appreciate your style of writing as I would hope to model it somewhat as to make sure I flow well in my blog(s) and make an effort to have a theme in it that will guide the reader to the end with a “call to action”, and encourage follow through and application of recommended ideas from the article. Thank you again Matt. JJ
Thanks JJ, really glad you like the article and style.
All the best in your endeavours
This is GREAT information! I agree that having a mentor makes a massive difference in the ease of learning and implementing a business strategy.
Looking forward to your next post.