The World Wide Web knocked on our doors around 33 years ago. Back then, only a privileged few had the guts and the capital investment needed to start a new business of their own. The rest either took over an ancestral business or worked for other entrepreneurs. But in the 21st century, many people have started small online businesses from the comfort of their homes. Do you have a product idea and wonder how to start a small business on Instagram in India? It’s relatively easier to start a small online business nowadays without heavy investment, thanks to the wide usage and deep penetration of smartphones and the cheap availability of high-speed internet.

Small online businesses are becoming popular with the advent of 4G and 5G services at low prices. We’ve got you covered if you want to know how to start an online business and find success when a new trend comes up every day. Let’s look at a step-by-step guide with actionable things to do before you start.

Step 1: Viable Product Idea

A great idea is like a seed, which, when nurtured, gives us the fruit of our labour. Any successful business needs a viable product idea to start. Testing the viability of your service or product is a wise decision before investing your money and time. There will always be some risk in business, but you can reduce the potential risk factor by testing whether your idea is viable. Once you finish this first step, you’ll get answers to most of your questions, like who your target market is, what your competition looks like, etc.

Step 2: Identify Target Market And Their Needs

The next step is to identify your target audience – the people you would sell your product or service to. Identifying the target market is as important as the product. This requires identifying their problems and hence their needs. Most people deal with day-to-day problems for which they look out for direct and functional solutions. Identifying the target audience will also help in marketing your product/service. Market research, competitor analysis, and customer surveys are different ways to identify your audience.

Step 3: Pick A Catchy Name

The next important decision is to pick a name for your product or business. Choosing a name that is available for registration on the web, like a domain name or an Instagram handle, is important. Also, the name you chose should provide a brief idea of your product or business objective. 

Step 4: Decide Where To Sell

With a sharp rise in online businesses in the past years, one has to decide where to sell to grab the attention of prospective customers. You can build your website or join an established marketplace like Amazon, Flipkart, or Myntra. You can also consider a combination of these. A user-friendly website or app helps build a strong image in the minds of your customers.

Step 5: Know Your Competitors

As you aim for a sustainable brand, you must position yourself in the market as unique and different. This can only be done after understanding your competitors. A good analysis helps identify successful tactics, shopping experience, trends, and the need for a shift in the market. This would also help you better position your product and develop competitive strategies for your business. 

Step 6: Market Your Product

A successful marketing strategy will fuel your online business growth and scalability. You can choose between email marketing, content marketing, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, direct outreach, search engine optimisation (SEO), and influencer marketing. You may need to identify the channels that best suit your product or market.

Step 7: Set Up A Payment Mode

The last step is to decide how you want to get paid! Choose payment gateways to receive payouts for your product or service, keeping in mind the convenience of your customers. Choose from many popular online options like PayU, UPI, credit or debit cards, etc. Securing a payment mode will help in continuous cash flow for your business in the competitive online marketplace.

Also read: 8 Tax Tips For Small Businesses


So, are you ready to start your entrepreneurship journey? Remember, taking the first step is often the hardest. You won’t know the success you can get if you never start. So take your first step towards starting your online business, and the rest will follow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to get paid in your online business?

Many payment gateways can help you get timely payouts from your customers. For example, the PayU payment gateway has no setup or maintenance fee and is trusted by many online businesses globally.

What apps can help me in my online business?

A variety of tools available will help you start and grow your online business, like accounting apps, payment apps, social media marketing apps, graphic design apps, or productivity and time-tracking apps.

Which apps are best to market a small online business from home?

Apps that can help schedule your posts on social media are helpful for marketing because they free you up so you can invest your time on what matters–creating your product. Buffer, Hootsuite, Facebook Pages Manager, Google Analytics, etc., can help.