9 steps to start an online business in India with low investment

online business

Every youth in India is aspiring to start their own online business or startup journey. Many of them don’t have a basic plan of how to start or where to begin.

Let’s make it simple for them.

Do they need a huge investment of lakhs? the answer is simply ‘No’, Can the business be built without money, again the answer is ‘No’.

So if anybody wants to build their business they need to invest money in the beginning but it’s very low somewhere around Rs.10,000 to Rs. 49,999 max, it all depends upon their business model.

Here I’m assuming that you have a laptop or computer and a good internet connection Because working online and having your business on the Internet need these basic requirements.

Invest in a good laptop or computer and internet connection, Again the choice is yours, But generally, a good laptop for business and office purposes can cost around Rs.29,999.

But again if you are going to work on heavy software then you have to choose the specific laptops or desktop computers catering to those particular requirements.

So, Let’s discuss that with low investment online which businesses can we build?

We can consider various options such as e-commerce, consulting, Content creation, drop shipping, freelancing, and online tutoring.

E-Commerce Business: With the online e-commerce business you can have an e-commerce website where you can sell things through digital marketing and generate revenue that the new age startups are doing, but here you have to do proper market research, product development, packaging, and digital marketing.

Consulting: For example, if you are a champion of a particular business or industry, and you are very good at consulting new entrepreneurs how to be good at it, then you can start your online consultation website or app, to mentor them online with a fixed charge for it.

Content Creation: Content creation is the new age career in the 21st century, Here you have to maintain consistency and post content on the Internet, it can blogging, vlogging, or becoming a YouTuber. Remember that you should be a good storyteller to be a content creator. You can monetize your content with Affiliate marketing, sponsored ads, or display ads to earn through it.

Dropshipping: Dropshipping is selling other’s manufactured products with your brand name. It’s that simple. You can launch your brands by collaborating with other manufacturers for the production, and sell anywhere you like. Here your motive is to make more profit margin, and giving the bare minimum production or manufacturing charges to the manufacturer and keep the profit with you.

Freelancing: If you are good at any skill where you can provide freelancing services such as content writing, virtual assisting, video editing, design, social media management, digital marketing services etc to the clients, then you can generate huge returns out of it monthly, just working from the comfort of your home.

Online Tutoring: E-learning is a new trend, maybe YouTubeing, and LMS websites can help one become an online tutor, monetizing the classes and courses; an expert can make an income online beyond expectations.

Let’s go through the 9-step process, which is mandatory before starting your online business:

Step 1: Business Idea/ Research/ Category/ Niche: This is the most important step before proceeding further. Before starting a business, an aspiring entrepreneur shall keep profitability in his or her mind. By checking their business capital, their calculations, competition, Niche, expertise, TAM & Profitability a successful online business could be built.

Step 2: Business Name You must have a catchy brandable business name before proceeding further. A business name shall be related to the field of business, product or service that you are offering, as it would be easier for your target customers to relate to your brand.

You can go with a random name to make it a Brand in the future, But again, you should be more confident about it so that you can make it much bigger and it’s your life’s ultimate career to proceed.

Research before picking up any name, if any existing brands are already registered with the same name or not. Find whether the domains are available or not, Or whether the trademarks are available or not. This thing matters a lot!

Step 3: Business Registration Register your business with the local government with the Shops and establishment act, Udyam registration, or MSME registration which would be appropriate for your business category.

Register and apply for the trademark registry if you want to register the business name as a future brand, and want it so that no body shall copy it in the future with the Government of India.

Step 4: GST Registration: Intially you don’t need any GST for small-scale online businesses, but if you want to register in Quick commerce platforms like Amazon or Flipkart, or have an income of more than Rs.20 lakhs a year, then you have to register on the GST law in India.

If you plan to sell goods or services digitally, you may need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as per the applicable threshold limits under the Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. It is free to register, but you can take professional lawyers’ help while registering it.

Step 5: Domain name/ Website: Register your Domain name with .com or .net or .io or .net TLDs (Top Level Domain Names) to take your business online and built your portfolio website on the Internet.

You can use CMS platforms like WordPress, Webflow, Shopify, Framer etc, to build the website yourself if you have a bit of design and website-building knowledge.

Step 6: Payment Gateway: You can receive the payment directly to your personal bank account but you can’t scale it and automate it for your business with it. So for this reason, you must register with a well-known payment gateway platform to receive all your payouts through webhooks or through invoices from your customers.

It’s always best to be professional in terms of finance to keep track of every payment and make it easy to refund in the times of requirement, where the payment gateway makes it simpler for you.

Step 7: Products/ Services: Make sure that you have enough amount of stock available of your products before launching your website and marketing campaigns, or if you are providing services like online tutoring, or content creation, make sure you have all the necessary gear ready with you. For example, these could be your camera, microphone, laptop, internet connection, employees, software etc

Step 8: Digital marketing: Develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to promote your business, attract customers, and increase your online visibility. Utilize social media platforms, content marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and other digital marketing techniques to drive traffic to your website. 

Step 9: Review & Analysis: Review and analyze your business performance from time to time. Go through the insights, graphs, and charts and make necessary changes and improvements to increase user and customer experience and deliver a seamless service to your clients.

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