How to start your business as an entrepreneur


Why people are starting online businesses

The most popular course at Stanford isn’t a STEM class.

It isn’t in entrepreneurship, how to start a business, nor coding.

It is one in how to design a happy life.

You must know your options. And you must know yourself.

It is hard to be successful as an online store. Competition is fierce and customer expectation even more so.

The best offense to these industry realities is a planned defense – and knowing what you are getting yourself into before you ever begin.

You’ll find in it countless success stories from entrepreneurs selling across the web, whose sage advice you’d be wise to take.

You’ll also get step-by-step instructions for how to start an online business:

  1. Determine your product niche.
  2. Size up your competition.
  3. Nail down your target market.
  4. Determine market viability for today, tomorrow and next year.

Your business can become your personal legacy, providing jobs for hundreds and changing hearts and minds, one checkout at a time.

BigCommerce powers tens of thousands of online stores making billions in online revenue.

Most of these stores didn’t exist a decade ago, many still not even five years ago.

It is possible to build a legacy brand beginning right now.

It won’t be easy. It comes with costs. It will take know-how and strategy. It will take dedicated design from day one.

But do it right, and your business will bypass those one-hit-wonder brands to become something much more than a dream, a side gig or even a small business.

It will become your personal legacy, providing jobs for hundreds and changing hearts and minds, one checkout at a time.

Buckle up. You’re about to go on a deep planning dive to prepare your business for long-term success.

Selling yourself short isn’t an option.

It’s going big or go home, and it starts right here, by learning how to start an online eCommerce business — no more procrastinating.


Be patient, use the tools provided and never give up.

Each day I contribute something to make my business better. Literally, every day.

  • New products
  • SEO metatags
  • Better pictures
  • Marketing
  • Blogs

Your business will grow. It has too! BigCommerce offers all the most innovative solutions in a simple way to grow and grow and grow!

– Daniella Park, Designer, Webmaster, SEO expert, Jewelry Maker, One woman show, Doing It Sober.

9 Steps to Start an Online Business

The following guide breaks down the process of starting a small online business into manageable chunks.

We will discuss all of the following points throughout every chapter in this guide; at its conclusion, you’ll know how to start and run your own e-commerce store.

Here is an overview of the 9 steps for building and starting a successful online business:

1. Find a niche.

Before you start selling, you need to find the right product with the potential for serious profitability. You’ll learn how to research different niches and even examine your own life to find problems that can be solved.

2. Evaluate market viability.

Now that you have a business idea, it’s time to dig deeper into product viability. Think about the kind of details that can make or break your business, like the number of SKUs and shipping weight.

3. Conduct market research.

Validate your product using tactics such as keyword research and evaluating trending products.

4. Conduct competitive analysis.

Find out what’s working — and what can be improved upon — from your biggest competitors. This will tell you more about how to define your branding and positioning in the market.

5. Learn online business laws.

Shipping restrictions, zoning laws, and trademark considerations. These can all make or break your business. With this list, you can avoid the eCommerce landmines that derail your business before it gets off the ground.

6. Analyze your target market.

This is where you dig even deeper to understand your ideal shopper. Who are they? What do they like? How can you tailor both your product and your website experience to appeal to your perfect shopper?

7. Source your product.

You know you have the right product, who your customer is, and how to set up your business. It’s time to get the physical product. We’ll walk you through different ways to source your product and how to avoid common pitfalls.

8. Build your store.

None of the above matters if you don’t have an eCommerce store that sells your product, provides an intuitive shopping experience, and makes customers want to return. We’ll show you how to go from zero to the beautiful online store in a matter of minutes using powerful e-commerce software (spoiler alert – we have a recommendation).

9. Become productive.

The difference between operational and successful is in mastering man’s greatest nemesis — time. Get firsthand accounts from successful entrepreneurs who have grown their home-based business into online behemoths.

Let’s get started.

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