Welcome to your first step toward starting an online business! 😁
In this article, we’re going to discuss some basic topics that will help lay the groundwork on which you can build an online business.
But even though the items listed below are simple, they’re still very important to go over!
These basic tools and concepts will help you stay organized, keep all of your data secure, and help you breeze through the process of setting up and launching your online business.
This is Step 1 of 8 steps in the complete checklist for beginners for How to Start an Online Business.
First things first, we’re going to cover some easy stuff like passwords and file storage.
Then, we’ll go over various tools you can use for your documents, calendar, communication, and media editing.
Finally, we’ll finish it off by reviewing various tools and services you can use to learn all about the things you’ll encounter as you set up your business.
Alright, let’s get started. 😊
🤷♂️ You might be wondering why we’re kicking off a series about how to start an online business with a topic about passwords.
Well, as you’ll quickly find, you’re going to be signing up for a lot of services and tools. Each of those sites will likely require you to create a username and password.
The Problem With Passwords
In case you’re new to the Internet 🤯, I should let you know that using the same password for every login is an absolutely horrible idea! In fact:
bunny is not going to cut it anymore!
1234asdf or anything similar, you’re much more likely to get hacked! 😱
password3 are no good!
PRO TIP: What you should be doing is creating long, random, complex passwords for EVERY SINGLE website account!
That way, in the unfortunate event that one of your accounts gets compromised, all of your other accounts will stay secure.
On top of all of this, it’s also helpful to keep track of other things about the website related to your credentials, such as:
🙋♀️ Um… excuse me, Mr. BizEnv… do you expect me to write all of these passwords and related information down on pieces of paper and put them in my desk drawer, or paste them to my computer monitor?
Answer: NO! You should be using a password manager! 😉
The Solution: Password Managers
I highly encourage you to move beyond writing down your passwords on paper, or in an Excel spreadsheet, or worse yet… trying to remember them!
If you’re going to take your business seriously, you need a serious password management system.
Why? Well, password management systems will take care of all of these things for you:
Sure, you might be able to get away with using your browser’s built-in password manager to some extent… but you might want to consider these points before doing so:
With full-featured password managers, you will be able to securely store other sensitive data, such as credit cards, health information, your home safe combination, etc.
So, do yourself a favor and sign up for a professional password manager like one of these:
When you’re building your new online business, you’re likely going to be creating, downloading, and interacting with a large number of files of all types.
To help keep your files and data on your computer organized, accessible, and safe, here are some features you should look for in a file management solution:
To get you started, here are a few cloud-based file management systems that offer many of the features above:
File Management Systems
Next, if you don’t already have one, you’ll want to get your hands on a document editing system that will help you easily create and manage your business documents.
These multi-platform document tools will allow you to create text documents, spreadsheets, slides, diagrams, forms, to-do lists, PDFs, etc.
I highly recommend that you choose a cloud-based solution, so that you get the following features:
Check out these document tools to get started:
Teams & Communication Tools
Although we’re going to talk about email in detail in a later step after you create a domain for your business, it’s good to be aware of other types of team collaboration and communication tools available.
For your video conferencing and chat needs, you can communicate with your team, coworkers, business partners, and clients using services like:
All-In-One Office Workspace Tools
In addition to the individual tools listed above, some companies offer all-in-one office workspace solutions that bundle together a lot of software-as-a-service (SaaS) web apps.
For example, some all-in-one workspace solutions combine these services: email, video conferencing, cloud file storage/backup, chat, calendars, scheduling, contacts, docs, CRM, etc.
PRO TIP: If for some reason you don’t want to run these tools in the cloud, some companies allow you to run their tools on your own servers so that you can offer your own private business workspace for your office. If that feature is desirable to you, look for plans that offer “on-premises” solutions.
If you’re interested in using these types of workspace solutions, you might want to check out:
Media Editing Tools
Not all online businesses will require you to edit or manipulate media files, but many will. By media files, I’m referring to things like photos, images, videos, illustrations, fonts, and audio.
In my opinion, it’s hard to beat the collection of tools that Adobe offers in its Creative Cloud plan. I’ve personally used their software for many years for countless projects.
Media Editing Tools
Learning New Tools and Concepts
The last basic topic we’re going to cover is all about your mind!
During this process of creating a new online business, you’re going to be exposed to new ideas, tools, and concepts that you’ll want to master.
Many general online courses, eLearning, and micro-learning services exist that can help you along the way. These types of educational tools are perfect for those who want to quickly learn about a specific topic, learn a new skill, or take a crash course.
You’ll want to look for a learning tool that offers a marketplace where you can pick and choose what it is you want to learn about.
Keep the following tools in mind as you’re working on setting up your business:
Congratulations on taking your first step toward turning your online business idea into a reality! 😊
Now keep up the momentum by moving on to the next step in the process… probably the most important step of them all… which is to define your business.