Are you working a 9-5? Eight hours at work plus another 1-2 hours in rod traffic can deplete your energy levels, especially when you’re just thinking of starting an online business. The beginning stages are the most difficult: Registering your business, ensuring that you’re diligent with your tax prep documentation, researching new strategies, learning new tools, hiring new staffs etc. The beginning stages involve most of the necessary work which is usually time-consuming and not all that glamorous.

So although you may want to start your own online business while keeping your regular job, after a long day at work you’re probably going to be tired and lacking focus. Weekends might seem like a better opportunity to get work done instead but with the usual chores of laundry, house cleaning, shopping and spending time with friends and family there’s typically not much time left over anyways.

Just thinking of all these troubles might cause a lot of dead ends and it can stop new entrepreneurs from pursuing their online businesses. Often it starts off with saying they’ll try again tomorrow or next week but over time that can turn into weeks and months with no progress made at all. This entire situation can make entrepreneurs feel dejected and even more reluctant to put any time into their business once more and more time passes.

If you don’t want to be a guy to forget, you should learn How to start an online business.

How to Start an Online Business – Take One Step at a Time

First of all, take things one step at a time. You may get stalled at a step while waiting for someone to reply to an email or maybe you hit a roadblock that takes some thinking to get around but try not to jump ahead or around too much. When you begin jumping around, you can end up missing steps and rushing through to get to more exciting parts of the business building process.

Second of all, be patient with yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself with feeling like you have to constantly be working on your business and putting in all the hours you possibly can. Yes, that might get you progress, but that’s not a sustainable way to build your business over a long period of time. When you’re working on your side hustle while also working 9-5, acknowledge that it’s a marathon and not a sprint, so don’t go too hard too fast. Be patient with your business, with yourself and with your growth over time. There’s no such thing as an overnight success.

How to Start an Online Business – Organization is Key

Good business organization can keep your operations running smoothly. A good method to help you staying organized is using Evernote  and Trello.

Evernote is the number one app to keep notes on product ideas, business information, contact information for suppliers, warehouses, customs brokers, etc. or even business name ideas, domain name ideas, etc.

Trello is the board app to help you, well, organize everything. Both the app are also great tools to use because you can have the app on your phone so whenever an idea comes to you or you need to quickly reach out to a supplier, you’ve got the info right there with you on the go.

How to Start an Online Business – Persistent Starting

When you’ve lost momentum with your online business, which can happen to seasoned entrepreneurs just as easily as it can happen to new entrepreneurs, always come back to Persistent Starting. Persistent Starting is one of the best systems to get yourself back on track after you’ve fallen off the wagon, so to speak. It not only works great for getting back to building your online business, but it can work to help you get back on track with other healthy habits you want to integrate into your daily life.

So do it simple, each day you have to be persistent at starting your task. Your task could be anything: Brainstorming product ideas, searching for a product, finding a manufacturer, setting up your website, sending an email, etc. Any task that gets you one step closer to your goal of starting your online business. Pick your task for the day and just start. I had started with Breathe Quality – a startup about the best large room air purifiers. I do it everyday as I breathe.

The next step in the process of Persistent Starting is to do this every night. Think of it this way: The worst that can come out of it is that you lose 10 minutes of your evening and the best that can come out of it is you get something done for your business every night! If it helps, schedule in that time to work on your business and honor it like it’s an important appointment. You can’t be late for it, you can’t reschedule it and you can’t miss it.

How to Start an Online Business – No Zero Days

What is a Zero day. It is the day you don’t do anything towards your business, whatever short-term or long-term goals. No matter how hard it is and how late it is, you need to do one thing (even if it is as small as reading one sentence in a business book).

The concept is simple and can be applied to starting your business: Every day is a non-zero day, no matter how tired you are when you get home from work, no matter how little time you have to work on your business and no matter whether you’re stuck waiting for someone to move the needle on their end. Doing even one thing makes that day a non-zero day, and every day that is a non-zero day will add up to create a consistent string of non-zeros. Aim for that.

How to Start an Online Business – Take Shortcuts

You don’t have time for your business, right. So take every shortcut you could to achieve your goal. Since you need to make the most of the time that you do have, don’t waste time doing work that’s already done for you. Use resources that are at your disposal like reputable services, online classes, directories, and guides so you can save time having to learn everything the hard way or searching for things through page after page of Google. Use what others have already made available to you so you can skip to the important parts.

Try to learn everything to build parts of your business, like:

  • You should have a website platform, use Magento or Shopify.
  • You need a helpdesk system, check Zendesk or Kayako.
  • You need a CMS system for blog, use WordPress.
  • You need a live chat system, search Zendesk chat or

How to Start an Online Business – Automate

Automation is your friend. Use any and every automation tool that makes sense for your business and will help it run more efficiently. It helps to have things working in the background when you can’t be working on your business, so make use of automation tools to keep things moving when you’re at work.

If you need help with an automation, read this: Future Ecommerce Translation.

How to Start an Online Business – Focus on What Works

It can be tempting to do everything at once as there are so many different things to do when starting up your business but concentrate on what works for your business so you can spend time putting more energy into what’s going well rather than trying to force things that aren’t working.

This can apply to almost anything when it comes to your online business but it’s especially prevalent when it comes to marketing. Sure, you can put your startup out there on every social media channel and marketing service in order to get exposure, but if you spread yourself too thin trying to be great at all of them, chances are none of them will be effective for you.

Find what works and stick to it, even if it’s different from what everyone else is doing or telling you to do. Once you have more time or more hands on deck to dedicate to building out other marketing channels or other parts of your business, then you can focus on them. Until then, focus on what works and put all of your efforts into that.


Kate N. is now working as a Retail Solution Specialist at Magestore. She has 3+ years of experience in brand management, marketing, and customer's insights. Kate loves to travel to experience new cultures and discover what is happening with retail all around the world.