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How to start an online business in 2024?

How to start an online business guide

Years ago, we could only yearn of starting our own business, be freelance or be an entrepreneur. Investment had to be there, legal assistance was in most cases needed and know-how was crucial to start a business.

Nowadays in 2024, it is difficult to find out what do you need to start an online business. This is precisely why we created this easy-to-read guide to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit and help you start your online business.

Business idea

First of all, you need to have a definite business idea. As much as we would love you to carry on reading this guide, if you don’t have a smart business idea, setting up your online business is probably going to end here. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your own online business.

For this example, we will use 2 UK-based dummy corporations, “Boss Daddy Cakes”…. who doesn’t like cake, and “Boss Daddy Plumber”. One is an online ecommerce online store and the other is a service-based business. In these key steps, we’ll discover what you’ll need to promote your products or services online.

business idea

1. Business name for new business

As you have had your amazing new business idea to be a small business owner, one of the most important decisions you will come across is the business name. To have a successful online business, a good catchy name is important to register. Your business model has to incorporate a name that rolls off the tongue and ideally be as short as possible. If you have thought of a great company name, brilliant, it’s time for step 2.

2. Domain name

Transferring your catchy business name to an online entity involves buying a domain name. It does not matter if you are a brick-and-mortar business or only online, you still need a domain name. To search for a domain name with us, you could go here, or you could use any respected domain name registrar like GoDaddy or SiteGround. Type in your domain/business name, either,uk or

Top tip: With a domain name, where possible, try to use your brand name + a descriptor of your business. Ie; in this case, cakes or plumbers. This will give you a leg up with SEO (search engine optimisation) when search engines crawl your site, which will help identify your target audience and the nature of your business. Great, now you have your business name and domain name, time for step 3.

Web development

If you need a WordPress developer or website designed, please get in touch.

3. Web hosting

Web hosting is the space on a server where your website files and possibly a database will live. Smart online business owners should be diligent when it comes to website hosting. Our web hosting is NVMe, based on the cloud and uses VMWare. In layman’s terms, it’s very very good.

There are some other very good web hosting companies out there, but be aware, there are some bad ones too. Ordering web hosting is quite straightforward, just be careful to assign it to the domain you bought back in step 2.

If the hosting you purchased is with a different company than where you bought the domain, pay attention to changing the nameservers in the domain account where you purchased the domain name. The nameservers will be in the purchase email of where you bought the hosting. Amazing, time for step 4.

4. Logo design

Running an online business is great, but you will 100% need a logo to identify your brand on your website, social media and paperwork. The fallacy with logos is the fancier the better. This couldn’t be more wrong. It is in fact the opposite.

The simpler the better. Look at the biggest brands in the world, Mcdonald’s, eBay, Amazon, Nike, HP, and Google, all simple logos easily identified. There are a few with complicated logos like Starbucks, even Barclays simplified their logo.

So having a simple logo design is key, great, on to step 5.

5. Website design

A sound business strategy for having your own online enterprise would be to acquire the services of a reputable website design company. Website builders or DIY websites can be confusing, time-consuming and above all, you will never know if you are doing it right.

It doesn’t matter if you have products or services, an ecommerce business, digital products, dropshipping or any small business desires, an online business requires a structurally sound business website, built correctly from the foundations. I am very sorry, we just cannot recommend website builders if you do not know what you are doing.

If you have an ecommerce business, probably the only platform you can DIY with any success is Shopify. But Shopify can get expensive with all the add-ons, but we do not deny, many people have successful Shopify websites.

Our little pretend cake company and plumber company though would tremendously benefit from working closely with a web design services provider like us. This is because we can build websites to a very high level and output the result that you and your customers want. This will maximise brand awareness, increase profitability and help identify your target market.

We have completed this process for many newbies, starting an online business from scratch is time-consuming but a small online business without a great web team behind them is sadly doomed to fail.

The website built for you or for these dummy firms from us would be using WordPress. It is an ultra-stable content management system where virtually anything is possible. It also has the flexibility and features you need while being self-hosted, which works perfectly in all steps on this page. There are some magnificent examples of online enterprises here in our portfolio.

For any startup, WordPress is the perfect stage to showcase your new online venture, and anyone looking to start a small online company should strongly consider it.

Hopefully, where or how you have your website designed, won’t affect its viability and your online company doesn’t suffer because of a bad decision. Again, we strongly advise having your website built by professionals who know what they are doing. Super, on to step 6.

6 Social media

In 2024, it is crucial when you start an online company that you source all the social media companies that will benefit your business. For our dummy firms, Pinterest for example will be useful for Boss Daddy Cakes, but for Boss Daddy Plumber will be redundant. Who wants to see pictures of blocked toilets?

So for Boss Daddy Cakes, we would definitely set up Google Business Profile {previously Google my Business}, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

For Boss Daddy Plumber, we would go with Google Business Profile, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Setting up other social media entities is not a problem, just bare in mind, social media can be time-consuming to regularly post to. If you want to start an online firm, time is scarce so try to practice good time management.

When setting up the profiles, pay careful attention to the profile URLs. For the above dummy companies, we would want or

Be sure to fill out everything too, including a keyword or two doesn’t hurt either. Things like, “looking for the best cakes in London, visit Boss Daddy Cakes”. Or, “plumber in London”, if you are in London of course.

Another tip would be to reach out to an influencer which is relatively easy these days. These sorts of relationships could really help you drive some serious traffic to your social media and onto your website for your physical goods, products or services.

Privacy policy, terms and conditions, and GDPR will all need to be set up too. But don’t worry. we can help with this.

You can set up all your social media assets while your website is being built, and don’t worry, it’s very easy. Good, on to step 7.

7. Website maintenance

An online business doesn’t allow you to stand still, your social media will need constant updating and sharing. The same goes for the website too. Software and servers are always updating. This is what’s important to have in your roadmap. A company like ours has your back with all your software, security, server and website updates. You may be wondering why?

Well, this is easy. You won’t want to see your website working slowly or worse than that be down altogether. That’s why it’s best to have all the components of your website maintained and updated monthly. The software does not crucially update more often than that.

We will take daily backups of your site, make sure all your plugins and software are updated and make sure your online presence does not appear offline. This is the backbone of your wallet, don’t let the lack of website maintenance deprive your wallet of getting thicker.

8. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is an expert service that only experienced SEO professionals should undertake. Basically, and I mean very basically, SEO is a 3 part process.

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Technical SEO
  3. Off-page SEO

On-page SEO

On-site or on-page SEO is the art of optimising your page content to suit the target keyword for that page. Keyword stuffing and too many keyword occurrences are frowned upon and hence penalised by most search engines these days. So if you have stuffed poor old Boss Daddy Cakes pages with “best cakes London” 20 times on your page, you shouldn’t be surprised to see your site on page 30 of Google for this keyword.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is the art of getting other websites to link to you. This is a skilled process and tremendously difficult to get right if you don’t know what you are doing.

Technical SEO

Here lies all coding aspects, structure and website speed. Please read more about what is technical SEO here and more about speeding up your WordPress website here.

SEO experts

You should, if SEO is viable and affordable to you seek the help of SEO professionals and experts to advance your website up the search results in the best tried and trusted ways possible. We are experts in SEO and will gladly help. See more about our SEO service here. On to step 9.

Other tools to consider are WP Rocket: read review

9. Register your online business with HMRC

We advise that you register your new business with HM Revenue & Customs to confirm you will pay the proper amount of tax and National Insurance and comply with laws and regulations. You can decide to register as a sole trader (sole proprietorship – one of the most popular), as a partnership, if you are working with someone else or finally a limited company or LLC (limited liability company).

Register here with HMRC.

In summary & the key to start an online business 2024

If you methodically apply all the above steps, you will be more than on the way to a flourishing online success story. The strengths and weaknesses will be revealed once you are underway and you will be able to eliminate the prior mistakes you make quite quickly going forward.

The simplest route to success with starting an online business is a grounded strategic approach with good web people in your corner backing you up with all online marketing skills.

We hope you liked our guide to Start an online business, it’s ours, we wrote it and we have had success stories from it.

Search Engine Optimisation

If you need an SEO agency to rank higher on google, please get in touch.

How to start an online business FAQs

Is there a best type of business to start onine?

It does hinge on what sort of previous experience you have, but service-based businesses are the most popular. You could also do a dropshipping e-commerce store or if you feel a little more adventurous, an affiliate website.

Do you need marketing to start your online business?

No, you don’t need marketing, but SEO, paid ads, and social media marketing will always help you.

Do I need a business plan for an online business?

Again, not necessarily but don’t think you can go into an online business blind. Always keep accounts of revenues and stay on top of expenditures.

Should I open a bank account for an online business?

This is a 100% yes. Whatever payment processor you use on your site, Stripe, PayPal or Klarna etc and will payout to your bank. Even if you are service-based, you should open an account so people can pay you.

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