The 5 Stages of Starting an Online Business

There are 5 Stages of Starting an Online Business.  There are a number of components that must be created.

Some are done step-by-step after each other and other components are overlapping.

Stages 1, 2 and 3 take about 3 to 6 months on average to complete depending on how clear you are on your niche.  Stages 4 and 5 together takes about 3 months, depending on the growth of the email list.

Let’s take a closer look at the stages of starting an online business.

Stage 0: Mindset Energy Vibrational Alignment

The energy vibration of your mindset or inner game drives your relationship with yourself, Source or Universe, Money and Business and ultimately your results.

  • There is as much personal development required in building a profitable online business, as there are other action steps.
  • In fact, if you don’t cultivate an abundance mindset, you are going to find this a very difficult journey.
  • Abundance Mindset means to trust and let go of control and the universal fears of not being good enough and the fear of losing control.
  • When you want to step into a bigger game, you have to invite the Universe as the Senior Partner in manifesting your dream and learn to follow the guidance you receive.
  • Energy Vibrational Alignment means to raise your energy vibration to match that of your vision by stepping into elevated states of gratitude, joy, appreciation, etc. and having thoughts that evoke these states until they become your state-of-being.

Stage 1: Who & Why – Find Your Niche and Vision


Your why gets you out of bed in the morning. To create a prosperous online business, you need a big why to keep you inspired, especially through tough times and unexpected obstacles.  Your Business Vision plus action will change your world and that of your clients.

  • What is your WHY? Start with your Why and build that into the story of your vision.
  • What is the ultimate vision for your business?
  • What do you want to create and what does that look like?
  • This is something to refine as you finalise your niche message and offering and you will find that your vision may change in the short and perhaps long term.


When you Find Your Niche you discover the synergy of who you would like to work with and the problem you would like to solve. This gives you your Big Idea that informs and confirms your vision.

There are riches in niches. The more narrow and deep your Online Business Niche is, the better. This is a key component in your online business. If your Online Business Niche is unclear, you will get dismal results. So, if you think you can coach or work with anybody you will end up working with nobody.

  • Who are the group of people you’d love to work with?
  • What problem do you solve for them?
  • Are they willing to pay to have the problem disappear?
  • What is your solution and what is the tangible result of them working with you?

Stage 2: What - Big Idea, Branding and Offer

Your Big Idea of your Niche and Vision translates into your Business Branding and Offering to solve your clients’ problem and give them their desired outcomes. Here Market Research is crucial.

Business Branding

You are your Business Brand and this is how you show up in your business. You are all dressed up and ready to go and invite people to your party. Your Branding Identity is demonstrated by the colours, images and copy on your website, social media as well as your communications.

  • What are your Brand Values?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What tone or energy do you want to shine through the visuals and copy you use?


  • How do you solve the problem of your clients?
  • What is your process to take them from their present state to their desired state?
  • This is also the Outline of your Online Course or Program.
  • A sound Business Model is to first work one-on-one creating recurring income, because you need to have other income to sustain you before you make money online.
  • It’s an art to put an irresistible offer together and do that in the language that speaks to your audience, and focus on the transformation and not the content or features of your offer.

Market Research

Believe it or not, you got to talk to people as well. Online does not mean just having a conversation with your computer. You have to test that your big idea is viable. In other words, does the group of people you wish to serve have the problem you think they have and are they willing to pay for a solution?

The other part of this is to determine your SEO Keywords that describe your niche message, offer, brand, etc. in such a succinct way that your ideal clients would find you.

Skipping this crucial step of doing proper Market Research means that you and your ideal clients are tuned in on different frequencies, missing each other.


Stage 3: How Part 1 – Lead Magnet or Freebie

Once you have Stages 1 and 2 in place, you are ready for that party! Here you prepare the banquet that you would like to invite your ideal clients to share with you.  You want them to receive and accept the invitation.

Lead Magnet

  • What is the freebie you give to potential leads arriving at your website in exchange for their email address? That solves a problem for them and moves them forward towards your paid program?
  • Your Lead Magnet is a precursor to your program or course or what your offer is and it can be in the format of a pdf guide, report, or ebook, as well as audio, video or any combination.
  • In case of physical products, educate your audience why your products will help them survive or thrive and why they need it.
  • On the technical side you need to create a Lead Magnet Landing Page to showcase your Lead Magnet, a Thank You Page and Automated Email Sequence where you welcome them and give them the link to access the freebie.
  • Technical Systems applicable: Email System Provider, Domain and Pages.

Stage 4: How Part 2 – Online Business Marketing

Now that your lead magnet is in place, you start with deploying your Online Business Marketing Strategies. Your email list is your asset in your online business. You always grow your email list by driving traffic to your website and have an irresistible freebie for them. And you want to nurture your email list and keep your leads warm. When your email list is at the right size and warm enough, you can launch your program or product.

Marketing Strategy

Here you have marketing strategies for Organic and Paid Traffic.

  • Organic Traffic happens when you are writing blogs, doing podcasts, etc. and provide the link to your website freebie.
  • Paid Traffic is through advertising on Facebook, Linked-in, Instagram, etc. Or you can outsource it to be done for you.

Marketing Funnel

  • These are email sequences you take your lead through in order to buy from you. There are different types of marketing funnels depending on your outcome, ranging from welcoming, to nurturing and launching and selling.
  • In terms of Technical Systems you need a robust Email System Provider that offers flexible and powerful automation tools.

Stage 5: How Part 3 – Product Launch: Promote, Sell, Create & Deliver your Program or Product.

The Launch Process includes promoting and selling your program or product.

  • There are different types of Product Launches depending on the product and your email list. For example, a First Launch or Pilot, Relaunch, Joint-Venture Launch, Quick Launch or Evergreen Launch.
  • For every Product Launch you need to design a specific Launch Strategy.
  • In Launching your program for the first time, you will first sell it and then create it, not the other way around.
  • Then you Deliver your program and there are many different ways for delivering the content of your program or product to your audience. It can be any combination of 1-on-1, group, home study, live events. In the case of physical products, the distribution line needs to be in place.
  • Technical Systems: Email Service Provider, Payment, Storage  and Delivery.

There you have it, the 5 Stages of Starting an Online Business.

To learn more, get your free copy of my ebook on my website.

Categories: Entrepreneur, Goals, Manifest, Money, Niche, Planning, Self-Worth, SoulPurpose, Success