3 Quick Steps to Start your First Online Business

The reason we decided to publish this guide article is to emphasize that there is a massive opportunity in the e-commerce industry.

Starting a real online business does not require a lot of technical skills.

This guide article will take around 10 minutes to finish. This will tackle an e-commerce business model called dropshipping and how can someone like you with no experience start a legit and sustainable online business in the least amount of time.

This guide will be composed of three parts,

  1. Short Introduction to e-Commerce and the Dropshipping Business Model
  2. Three quick steps to start your first online business
  3. Summary

If you want to skip to the 3 quick steps to start your first online business, you can click here.

This is not a quick money strategy.

This article will talk about a way of building a sustainable long-term source of income that you can start right now even if you have a full-time job.

If you want to jump-start your online business, I suggest you hold on for around 10 minutes and finish this one.

Part 1. Short Introduction to e-Commerce and the Dropshipping Business Model

Source Statista.com: https://www.statista.com/chart/22729/e-commerce-sales-growth-by-region

The e-commerce industry is expected to grow from 2854.8 billion USD in 2020 to 4198.5 billion USD in 2025.

What does this number actually mean? – This means that there is a massive opportunity in the e-commerce industry, and if you don’t take action and capitalize on this growth, you might miss a massive online business opportunity.

If you’re someone who wants to start an online business, make money online with e-commerce, if you’re someone who is working full-time but wants to start a business on a side-line basis in the hope of making an additional stream of income while retaining your current job, if you’re someone who wants to be financially successful in life, this guide article is for you.

Before we start to discuss the three quick steps of starting an online business, let us first have a clear understanding of what dropshipping is and how does it work.

E-commerce is simply any commercial transaction conducted electronically on the internet. This can be buying and selling of products or services.

There can be 2 ways of selling products online, the first one is reselling, the second one is by dropshipping.

Reselling involves the basic principle of retail in which you buy the products in bulk and store them in a physical location (it can be a warehouse or your physical store).

When a customer buys a product from you, you, as the seller is responsible for shipping the product to your customer. You may charge a shipping fee depending on the type & size of the product, and the location of the customer.

Dropshipping, however, is different, you will still need to buy the product that you will be selling but you only buy it from your supplier once you’ve received an order from your customer and the supplier will be the one to ship the product to your customer.

This way, you can actually start selling a product online without actually having to buy that product in advance, and you won’t need physical locations to store and manage the products that you are selling.

So how do dropshipping works? Here’s a quick walk-through of the whole process from preparing the online store to delivering the product to your customer.

Dropshipping Process

Stage 1: Preparing the online store

The 1st requirement of a dropshipping business is an online store (will be discussed below). The 2nd requirement is a supplier & a product for your online store. You can find different suppliers on AliExpress.com that can ship multiple products worldwide.

Once you have chosen a product, you just need to list this product to your online store complete with details and pictures.

Stage 2: Processing the order and making the profit

After you have listed the product that you want to sell on your online store, you can then start receiving orders from your customers. Be sure to set the price of the product higher compare to the price listed by your supplier. This is how the dropshipping business model makes money.

So is it ok to buy the product at a lesser price and then sell it at a higher price?

The answer is yes, and as a business owner, you must price the product higher compare to the cost of acquiring the product. It is the basic principle of retail. Also, because you have helped the customer in finding the product, you have the right to sell it at a higher price.

Most of the sellers on major online marketplaces in your country actually operate on the dropshipping model.

There are a lot of advantages to running a dropshipping store, aside from the advantages of not having to build a physical store and manage physical products as mentioned above, the following are also major advantages of running this type of business model,

  • Operate the store remotely.
  • Sell products without having to actually manufacture it yourself.
  • Sell products to another country and operate the store anywhere in the world.

AliExpress.com is the most ideal, beginner-friendly, and the most recommended supplier for the dropshipping business.

The only thing you need to do is,

  1. search for a product to sell
  2. copy the product’s pictures & images
  3. list the product on your online store (price the product for profit)
  4. start receiving orders and make profits.

Now that you have an understanding of what dropshipping is, let us proceed with the 2nd part which is the process of starting this type of online business in the least amount of time.

If you still have questions about the dropshipping model, you can write your questions below on the comment question or message us directly on our Facebook page using the button below.

Part 2: Three quick steps to start your first online business

Step 1: Buy a ready-made online store (or Buy a customized store)

The first step is to acquire a fully functional, professional-looking online store.

There are 2 recommended ways that you can acquire an online store if you want to start fast and strong in the dropshipping business,

  1. Buy a premade online store
  2. Buy a custom-made store

The reason we recommend buying an online store instead of building it yourself from scratch is that one of the most time-consuming part of starting a dropshipping business is building the website itself.

Most of the time, it requires a professional web developer to build a professional-looking website that is critical in order for your future customers to trust you and actually buy from you.

A poorly designed website will struggle to generate sales as customers who view your website will be having a hard time trusting your store or your brand.

Aside from that, you also need to make sure that your online store has all the following functionality,

  • Manage orders
  • Add/remove products
  • Receive multiple payment methods

All of this can be done by simply buying a premade or custom-made online store so that you can focus on the most important part of running a successful online business – acquiring new customers.

The initial investment of acquiring an online store will eliminate the need to study and learn how to build websites from scratch.

By acquiring a premade or custom made online store, you have done 90% of the job required to build and start an online store.

Premade online store

Premade online stores are ready-to-use, fully functional online stores with products that are proven to be selling already listed on the site.

Some of these stores are complete replicas of an already successful online business that generates around $6,000 to $523,000 like this one from Alidropship.com.

You can buy these stores for $300 and there are only 9 niches available for sale as of this writing. If you can’t afford this initial cost, I suggest you start your online business with a partner (a friend or a family member) to divide the initial cost.

These stores are designed by experts and are running on niches and products that are already proven to be successful. All you need to do is promote your store and its products, which is the most important and critical part of creating an income-generating online business.

Here are some of the premade online stores that you can buy right now.

It is important to realize that even if these premade online stores are copies of an income-generating online store, its success will still depend on your efforts in promoting the store and its products.

Custom made store

Aside from buying a premade online store, another quick way of starting a dropshipping business is by buying a custom store. Custom stores differ from premade stores in that you will have more involvement in the design and development of the store.

It’s ideal for people who already have an idea of what and how their website should look like and function.

Custom stores have the same functionalities as premade stores. Its design however is more influenced by you, the store owner. With a custom store, you will have a huge influence on the development of the store in terms of its design and its features.

Like premade stores, custom stores will also have products already listed depending on your preferences. Buying both premade or custom stores will give you 100% ownership, which means you will have the choice to,

  • Add or remove products
  • Change the color or theme of the website
  • Change the logo of the website
  • Add or remove some functionality
  • Add or remove pages

You can buy a custom-made store on AliDroship.com. If you have no idea what store to build and products to sell, AliDropship will let you choose from all the trending niches and products based on research done by their e-commerce experts.

You can also translate your store into a different language other than the default which is English. You don’t have to register your business to start selling.

Again, starting an online business with a ready-to-use and fully-functional online store will provide you a major advantage compared to people who are starting from scratch by building their own online store.

You will no longer need to learn the technical ways of building an online store from scratch and learn some basic web development skills such as HTML and CSS.

Assuming now that you already have a dropshipping store, the next step is to launch your online store by setting up the hosting package.

Step 2: Choose a hosting package & Launch the Store

What is a hosting package? To simplify, it is where your dropshipping store files are stored so that the world, through the internet, will be able to see and access your products and pay you online.

Basically, any website or online store that you find on the internet is running on a hosting service. In order for your website or online store to be accessible on the internet, it has to be stored on a server that is included in a hosting package.

Another important item in setting up an online store that is already included in a hosting package is domain name registration. It’s basically the name or the address of your website that your customer will use to access your online store through their browsers.

Example of a Domain Name.

The domain name should of course be the same as your online store name. So, for example, if the name of your online store is “Best Electronics”, then your domain should be something like www.BestElectronics.com.

Domain name registration usually comes as a free add-on on a hosting package like this one from InMotion Hosting.

For starters, we recommend these Shared hosting packages as this not only includes the domain name registration for your online business as a free add-on, it can also host unlimited websites should you choose to build another online business. You don’t need expensive hosting packages to run a basic online store.

These hosting packages can accommodate basic types of websites such as a dropshipping store running on WooCommerce or AliDropship.

You don’t have to know all the technical details of a hosting package as your main goal is to have a server that will host your online store and a domain registered for your online business.

Step 3: Start Promoting your online store & its products

Now, that you have a fully functional online store for your dropshipping business, complete with features to enable you to receive payments online anytime and anywhere in the world, with products already listed and priced for profitability, the next and final step for your online business to start making money is to start promoting the store and its products.

There are multiple ways to do the promotion, one very effective way is through social media, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Promoting your online store through Facebook and Instagram

There are basically 2 ways of promoting your online store and its product on any social media platform,

  1. Organic Promotion
  2. Paid Promotion
Organic Promotion

Doing organic promotion is a straightforward way of promoting your business. You just need to create a social media presence by creating pages or groups and work to increase its reach by growing its followers.

In this way, you can reach hundreds of thousands of people who are following your social media profile or page for free.

With this, every time you post or share details of the product of your online store, you would reach people who might be interested to buy your product.

Building a social media presence, however, requires time and work. But if you would put enough effort into building your social media presence, increase your followers by regularly posting helpful and engaging content, then this will eventually contribute to the increase of the online store’s income.

Paid Promotion

Paid promotion is another very effective way of marketing your online store and its products. However, it involves some initial money to get started but can be very rewarding if properly done.

Running a Facebook ad campaign is one popular way to do paid promotion and it can be done even if you have no prior experience due to its very user-friendly interface. You can start a promotion for $10 to $20. The higher the budget, the larger the return will be.

Screenshot of a Facebook ad campaign showing the possible reach

Although paid promotion with Facebook ads requires some initial money to start, it is still very popular to many online business owners due to its massive reach with its roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users.

So, if you can set aside some money to start a Facebook ad campaign and you’re truly committed to growing your online business, then we recommend that you consider running Facebook ad campaigns for this will fuel the growth of your online business and ultimately bring more money.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can still grow your online store through organic traffic.

Example screenshot of an online store dashboard income report

Part 3: Summary

There you have it, the 3 quick steps of starting an online business.

  1. Buy a ready-made online store (or a custom store)
  2. Choose a hosting package & Launch the Store
  3. Start Promoting your online store, its products and start making money.

In starting an online business, it is important to realize that the hardest step is always the first step. I recommend challenging yourself to make the first step of acquiring your first online store within a week.

In this way, you can jump-start your plans of managing your own online business. There will be no looking back. And the only direction that you have to go is to make sure that the investment that you have made in acquiring an online store will not be wasted.

The dropshipping business model is by far the less expensive way in starting an online business today.

The best and most effective way of starting a dropshipping business is to start it with an online store that is made, configured, and designed by professionals and experts in the field.

AliDropship’s custom and ready-made online dropshipping stores are one the most recommended e-commerce solution due to their proven record of helping new and established entrepreneurs build income-generating online businesses.

With an online store already set up and operational, I recommend you focus your time on promoting your store and its products through building a strong social media presence, growing your audience, and running ad campaigns.

Again, starting your online business will be easier if you have a partner. That is why I highly recommend that you start it with your friend or one of your family members as business partners.

Share this guide article to them by tagging them on a post or by just simply sharing the link.

Do not wait for opportunities to pass by failing to take the first step. Unless you take action right now, you will never be able to achieve your dreams.

You can download this “Online Business Project Progress Monitoring Form“. We’ve created this form to provide you with a physical reminder of your plans of starting an online business.

You can print it and paste it on your wall or anywhere near your office or room.

Download Online Business Project Progress Monitoring Form

Again, if you have questions about how dropshipping works, and how to go about acquiring an online store, you can write down your questions in the comment section below.

Good luck and start working on your dreams.