How to Launch an Online Business Checklist

How to Launch an Online Business Checklist

Are you launching your own online business? If you want the best chance at long-term success, do it the smart way, and prepare a plan.

If you don't create a sound foundation for your business, don't be surprised when the first wave that comes your way topples it all down around you.

Before starting, you need to research and define your strategy as much as possible before pressing the go button.

To help you plan your way to success, read through this online business checklist before launching your website.

Get Your Finances in Order

Before starting any new adventure, you need first to ensure your finances are in good order. If you have any debt, is it manageable? Do you have enough cash flow and reserve money for the first year of running your business? Have you taken into account every service fee and tax?

One of the significant advantages of running an online business is the reduced costs vs. a regular brick and mortar business. But e-commerce can take a while to get off the ground, so don't expect overnight success.

Get Your Finances in Order

Take into account that you must either have a side job to help you pay your bills and business expenses, or have enough money on the side to sustain yourself and your venture for the first year.

Take All Emotion Out Of Your Business Plan

You must be passionate about your business. Running an online operation can be tough mentally. It takes a lot of self-discipline and work ethic to keep going, especially when things aren't looking so great, or non-stop problems rear their ugly head.

But right now, we're talking about the planning stages, and you need to remain as objective as possible about your business plan. If you're selling a product or service, is it something required, or something that people want? And do you offer something better than the competition? Lower prices? Better range of products? Free delivery? Personal service? Unique price model?

Don't frivolously answer 'yes' to each question. Take the time to plan carefully and research the industry and market you're trying to enter. If you can't think of anything unique or better about your online business than the competition, you may need to rethink your strategy.

Don't Overthink Your Domain Name

Don't Overthink Your Domain Name

You've probably read in the news how in-demand domain names are sold for millions and millions of pounds but don't feel like you need to spend a vast amount of money on the 'perfect' domain.

But you do want to ensure that it's concise, easy to spell, and doesn't have too many numbers and dashes. It should be short and to the point.

Invest Time, Money and Energy into Your Website

As an online business, your website is one of your most valuable assets. It needs to load fast, be easy to use, and work flawlessly. Now isn't the time to save a few pounds by looking for the cheapest web designer.

Simple is often better when it comes to website design. You should also test your website regularly for any bugs, missing links, or spelling mistakes.

Invest In a Good Server

Invest Time, Money and Energy into Your Website

Along with your website, invest in a server that can handle the web traffic you're expecting and can quickly load your website to users. Plenty of studies have shown that slow-loading sites cause customers to backtrack and leave. 

How Will You Advertise?

There are many ways you can advertise your online business. With paid advertising, you create and serve ads across platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter, or invest resources into boosting your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts to help people find your business when using search engines.

While you can do the advertising yourself, consider outsourcing it to a professional, and if you do, make sure you plan a budget and include it in your business plan.

Don't Neglect Social Media

We're sure you need not be told just how popular social media platforms are. It's an excellent way to get in touch with people interested in your business and products and create a community by talking about and posting interesting and relevant updates about your business.

Any time you introduce new items or run a sale, let your customers know through social media. The most popular social media platforms to start with are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. But depending on your target audience, you may prefer one over the other.

Everything You Do Online Lasts Forever

How many celebrities and politicians have been called out for toxic behaviour online? Remember EVERYTHING you post online stays forever. Even if you think you've deleted it, someone could have taken a screenshot and kept it. Always be polite, and never post anything harmful or offensive.

Take the Time to Design Your Logo

This point is closely related to the one about social media, but it's essential for other reasons, such as branding and advertising. Your logo is a representation of your brand, and it's often your most identifying feature.

It doesn't matter whether it's on social media like Facebook, on your website, or even printed leaflets. Your logo speaks volumes about you as a company, especially a poorly designed logo. It tells people you don't care about investing in your business, that you didn't take the time and energy to create a logo that represents your values and character.

Successful companies know the full value of having a fantastic logo, which is they've spent vast amounts of money tweaking, testing and perfecting their logo.

There are three options you can choose from when it comes to logo design:

  1. Hire a professional logo designer
  2. Use an AI logo maker website
  3. Create it yourself (I would rule this out)

Organize Your Accounts

If you want to avoid any future headaches, organize your accounting system from the very beginning. It's worth hiring an accountant if you're unsure about anything.

You need to carefully monitor and manage your bills and receipts, as well as fees and taxes. You don't want to land yourself with a hefty fine for failing to report your earnings correctly.

The Bottom Line

Creating a plan for your online business doesn't have to take months or years, nor should you rush it or leave it to the last minute. When you go live, it should be with confidence for the road ahead!