How to Start an Online Business

How is an online business minimalist?

How much stuff do you need to go to a job? Do you have clothes and shoes you wear just for work? There are commuting expenses, meals and drinks while you’re away from home. Probably a bunch of other little things you end up buying, like an extra phone charger and cup for your drinks, because it’s easier to leave them at work than drag what you have at home to and from your job.

Then there’s owning a business that isn’t online. You’ll need a building, furniture, decorations, and probably physical products. Maybe employees. Maintenance and cleaning costs. Office supplies, utility bills for your building, property insurance, and possibly a vehicle just for business transportation. Plus you probably need a lot of the same things an employee needs: coffee mugs, phone chargers, work clothes, etc.

Then there’s an online business. Typically, the product is you and what you create, including digital content and products. I run my entire business with a laptop (that I already owned) and my cell phone (already had that, too). Anywhere I have access to the internet, I can run my business.

What do you need to start an online business?

There are few basic things you need to figure out to start your own online business:

  • Concept/brand (what your business is all about)

  • Web presence (website, social media accounts, etc.)

  • Audience (people find your brand, you establish a rapport and they trust you enough to give you their money)

Easy, right? Here’s the problem. It seems like everybody and their mom is trying to start a business these days. And about 50% of small businesses fail in the first 4 years, with about 46% of failures from incompetence. So how do you get it right?

Honestly, no matter what there is a huge learning curve for a new business owner. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. And anybody who tells you that you can start a business for no money, work 5 hours per week and make tons of money within a month?? If you seriously believe that, I have a bridge in the desert I’d love to sell you! Not to say it can’t happen that way, but it’s very, very rare.

So no matter what you do, do your homework. Be realistic, and expect it to take time and effort. Mistakes will be made along the way. But with good knowledge and patience, you CAN start your own online business. See how I did it below…

How I started my online business

I had a few requirements for starting my own business:

  1. Being disabled, and it’s hard enough for me to do my full-time job, let alone adding a time-intensive business. I needed to be able to keep my job while I got my brand off the ground. That meant I couldn’t do any business that needed me to work on it tons of hours per week.

  2. I’m very selective about what I spend my money on. I didn’t want to sell any products or services I wouldn’t use myself. I don’t want to feel like I’m tricking people to buy things just so I can make money.

  3. No reinventing the wheel. I’ve tried to start my own business in the past, and I recognize I was unsuccessful because I was clueless about marketing and social media. So I knew I needed to find a training program that could teach me what I needed to know through proven techniques.

  4. As much automation as possible. I want a business so I have more freedom and spend less time working, while still having plenty of money to live.

That’s where Creator Club came in (affiliate link). I know the founders, Sara and Alex, are successful at marketing and social media, because they have a huge social media following. I was actually already following them on social media, which is why their ad showed up in my feed on Instagram. I was the right type of customer, and their product found me without me having to search for it.

Their training is very detailed, with bite-sized videos and step-by-step instructions to get you started. The information they give you can apply to whatever your business is. Oh, and by the way, they help you discover what your business should be, how you’ll make money, and how to find your target audience.

The cost is incredibly low. The normal price is less than a hundred bucks, and sometimes it even goes on sale! That includes a coaching call, too, which is worth at least a couple hundred dollars on its own.

Not to throw anybody under the bus, but I did a different training from somebody else a few years ago on how to start a blog. It cost more than Creator Club and I feel like it was worth less, because it had a bunch of suggestions to get income and gain followers that I would never do. This is a very successful blogger; she makes over a million dollars per year from her blog. But unless you want to do everything exactly like her, you’re going to have a hard time figuring out how to translate her training into something you can use.

Even though I’m still growing, a lot of the stuff I do with my business is “set it and forget it.” That’s the automation I wanted. I get to create content that I’m interested in myself, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Then using what I learned in Creator Club, I send my thoughts out into the world and people come to me. I don’t have to go hunting them down and begging them to listen to me. No bugging my friends and family and try to convince them to buy things from me. And NO selling things I don’t actually use myself.

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