5 simple steps to starting an online business today

Ready to start your own online business but not sure where to begin? Don’t worry — it’s never been quicker or easier to start your very own online business. From buying a domain name for your brand new website to setting up a simple, secure card payment solution for your customers. Read on for our easy step-by-step guide to getting your small business started online today.

1. Choose your perfect domain name

Once you’ve found the right domain name for your business, you’ll see that they’re relatively cheap to buy. Look to pay between £10 — £30 depending on the popularity of the domain name, and shop around a bit to get the best deal. You can start by doing a domain name search on some of the most popular domain registration sites, like GoDaddy, 123 Reg and 1and1.

2. Find a web host that suits you

You can access the web pretty much anywhere these days, but all the data, text and images we see online have to be kept somewhere. That’s where web hosting comes in — web hosts store your website and its contents for a monthly fee. Think of it like a warehouse for your website’s furniture that can be pulled out in milliseconds!

If you’re looking to set up a simple blog or business website, a low cost web hosting package will work for you. On the other hand, if you’ll be using your site to sell products, you’ll need something a bit more specialised that’s designed specially for eCommerce.

The web host you choose will be responsible for keeping your site up and running, so it’s important to read reviews weigh up the pros and cons of each before you make your decision.

While you evaluate your options, look at the tech support each web host can provide for your online business. While the cheap and cheerful option might appear to cut costs in the short term, in the long run it could leave you with a site that may crash or run slowly, making life difficult for your customers.

3. Create your brand new website

When it’s time to create a website for your online business, you have two options: build it yourself or hire an expert to get it up and running.

If you’re on a budget and want to take the DIY route, there are plenty of off-the-shelf options suitable for first timers. Most low-cost website builders offer you basic templates that you can use as a blank canvas, uploading your own images and written content. From Wix to Creative Market and Squarespace, you’re sure to find something to your taste.

If you want something a bit more bespoke, it’s worth calling in the experts and finding yourself a web designer. There are lots of ways to do this — take a look around your local area, ask your network for recommendations or visit your favourite websites and reach out to the designers behind these to see if they could produce something similar for your online business.

4. Start taking payments simply and securely

Once you’ve got your brand new website all set up, it’s time to give your customers a simple and secure way to pay. As the UK’s leading merchant services provider, that’s where we come in.

At Paymentsense, we provide businesses with safe, simple and affordable merchant services — from a secure payment gateway that lets you process online card payments, to SSL encryption that protects your customer data. We even supply a ‘Pay Now’ button for your website, helping you maximise revenue.

Everything we do is designed to make it quick and easy to take payments online, and as such, we can get you up and running in just 3 working days. Find out more about how our online payment gateway can work for your business.

5. Tell the world about your online business

Now that your new online business is fully set up and your customers have a secure, simple way to pay, it’s time to spread the word. The first step is registering with the world’s three biggest search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo!) and making sure you’re listed. Then it’s all about creating lots of exciting content, from social media to blog posts to podcasts to boost your visibility online and bring in those potential customers.