Digital Nomad, Online Presence

Online Business Guide for Beginners


by Jerlynn Tay

Do you want to start your own online business in Malaysia?

Especially at this crucial time when the Covid-19 outbreak forces many to work from home.

If you are tired of your usual nine-to-five job, or you just want some additional income, making money online has never been easier.

One can start a business online with little to no investment and from the comfort of their own home. The only requirement is a stable Internet connection.

Ready to Become an Online Entrepreneur?

Working for someone else can only take us so far.

Being our own bosses means that we would have the freedom to do whatever we want, and reap all the profits for ourselves.

Some of the wealthiest people in the world today started with a small online business — just take a look at Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma, or Jack Dorsey.

While our online venture might not end up generating the profit Facebook does, if we are persistent, we could make sure we never have to work for someone else again.

Some might say that starting one’s own business is risky. We are here to prove that all a person needs is time and effort.

No large initial investments are necessary to start an online business, so we essentially don’t risk losing a lot of money if our venture fails.

In this guide, we will outline the steps one needs to take in order to start their own business online.

Also, we will present some free business ideas that can be launched today!

While this guide is quite practical in nature, we hope it also inspires people to take this life-changing step and start an online venture today!

Here are the 4 quick guides to start an online business for any beginners with detailed explanations and action plans:

  1. Define the type of online business you want to venture in
  2. Register your business with the authority
  3. Creating a website for your online business
  4. Marketing & promotion

Step 1: Defining The Type of Online Business

The first thing we need to do is, of course, determine the type of business we want to start.

There are plenty of opportunities out there, and one might not be certain where they should start.

We should think about what we can and want to do, then sit down and write a business plan.

We shouldn’t forget to create our mission statement — it will serve as the purpose of our business and why it has value.

Type of Online Business We Can Start Today

Below, we have a list of online ventures that are currently in high demand and offer great revenue-generation possibilities.

If we struggle to define the exact nature of our online business, we can use one of the tried-and-true ideas below:

  • Selling physical products online with an eCommerce website using an established platform like Amazon or eBay. There is an abundance of options — clothes, phone accessories, gadgets, you name it.
  • Selling digital products, such as eBooks, online courses, or stock photos. The market for such things has never been bigger, and if we find a suitable niche, places like E-Junkie, or Udemy is a good starting points.
  • Providing services to individuals and companies. Graphic design, content writing, SEO, and the like are more in demand than ever. Get a grip on Fiverr or Freelancer on what they had to offer if that’s what you are mastering.
  • Starting a reseller/affiliate website like, where we sell the products or services of other companies. Many websites offer such programs, and we will get a commission for each sale that happens thanks to our links.
  • Becoming an influencer, a YouTuber, or a blogger and start blogging.

Those are just a few of the online business ventures that one could start right now, without any large investments!

When it comes to the Internet, the sky’s the limit — we should get creative and come up with a business idea that would suit us and our goals in life.

Step 2: Register Your Business

We need to make sure our online business is legal and valid.

That is why we need to register it with the proper institution in the country where you are residing.

Before applying, we need to consider what type of business we will register.

1. Sole Proprietor

If we will run and manage the business on our own, we can register as sole proprietors. This way, our business liability, and personal liability will be one and the same. We can register with our own name or the company name of our choosing.

2. Partnership

We can enter into a partnership with someone and register our business as such. However, we should keep in mind that if our partner decides to leave, the business will be dissolved. We will need to register a new business if we want to move on by ourselves.

3. Corporation

If we want to get serious about our venture, we can register a ‘Corp’ company. That way, our business will be a separate entity from ours personally. However, the laws and fees for this procedure are quite complex, so we will need expert advice if we want to go down that road.

When dealing with the authority, we should make sure to correctly input the business description and business categories in the form. If we submit incorrect information, we might run into problems later.

As soon as we are done with the registration process, we can concentrate on the more fun and creative aspects of starting an online business — building a website!

Some might ask “do we need a website for our business?

Well, the benefits of having a legit website are going to help out a lot in your online business venture.

Step 3: Creating the Website

Before we get actually start building the website, we will need to take care of a few essential things. We need to buy a domain name, get a reliable hosting solution, and set up a professional-looking business email address.

Let’s go through each of those steps one by one.

  1. Get a domain name

Did we come up with a catchy name for our online business?

If so, we need to check if the matching .com domain name is available.

Of course, we can go with some other extension, but generally the .com domains are considered the best.

We shouldn’t worry if our desired domain is already taken, though — we can try some variations until we find one that is available.

  1. Finding the Best Hosting Company for Our Needs

Hosting is essentially a storage space on the Internet where we will keep all our website’s files.

There are many Malaysian hosting companies one can go with, along with multiple choices when it comes to types of hosting.

Since we are just starting out, going with a shared hosting solution would probably be best.

As our website grows, however, we might need additional space or bandwidth.

When that day comes, we can consider upgrading to a dedicated server.

We might have noticed that many hosting companies offer to host websites for free.

This might sound good at first, but we should keep in mind that free hosting often comes with a catch.

For example, our business website might end up packed with third-party ads, thus ruining the experience of our visitors.

Also, free hosting comes with severe limitations and support. Such things are unacceptable for a business website, so we need to purchase a proper plan.

We would higher recommend Hostinger as they are very affordable and comes with all the supports and premium features.

  1. Setup a business email

If we want to look professional to our customers, we shouldn’t send official emails via a standard, free email account.

We need your emails to come from — this way we will look more credible and respectable.

There are many companies that offer branded emails, and most of them are the very same hosting providers that we previously spoke of.

When purchasing our hosting, we should make sure we also opt for domain emails. Some web hosts provide a limited number of email extensions.

Don’t fall trap for that.

  1. Design & content for the website

Most hosting companies provide clients with a free built-in website builder.

With it, we can make our website look exactly as we want it to, without having to write a single line of code.

There are plenty of templates that we can use, depending on the type of website we are creating.

Of course, if we don’t feel experienced enough to handle the design ourselves, we can always hire a freelancer to do it for us.

Platforms like Freelancer and Upwork are great for finding qualified professionals at reasonable prices.

If you are looking for a one-stop solution, Wix or Weebly might be your best bet.

From hosting, and domain names to website templates set up, you can get all the work done in one platform with professional help and support from the community as well.

When it comes to content, it all depends on the type of online business we are launching.

Generally, we must avoid fluff and off-topic content. We should stick with simple, clean wording that is easy to read or skim through. If we have extra time on our hands, maintaining an active blog section will help us engage in content marketing.

Another important aspect we should consider is Search Engine Optimization — or SEO, for short.

We want our website to appear on the first page of search engines like Google if someone is looking for a business like ours.

We have to determine the essential keywords we want to rank for and generate content for and around them. This will make search engines consider our website as an authority in the field.

Consequently, our pages will pop up when someone searches for the products or services we offer.

  1. Data protection & privacy concern

Everywhere in the world has strict privacy protection laws that all online businesses must abide by.

Our website needs to be compliant with the local Privacy Protection Act.

Furthermore, we must make sure we include a Privacy Policy page that contains the wording necessary for compliance with the act.

For reference, we can look at competitor websites and how they have handled this issue. If we are still not sure what to include and what to omit, we should consider consulting a lawyer.

After all this, our website should be up, and running, and compliant with all the required laws.

However, we still have one problem ahead of us — how do we get our first clients?

This would be the key to the success of your online business.

Step 4: Marketing & Promotions

We cannot expect customers to simply show up out of nowhere.

In order to get started, we need to invest some time and money into online advertising, so we can get our first clients.

Our brand needs to be exposed to potential customers, along with its competitive advantages.

Fortunately, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to achieve that.

Google ads and Facebook ads have simple and effective advertising platforms that we can use in order to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to our website.

Both give users the opportunity to laser-target the audience that would see the ads, and provide detailed reports and optimization tools.

We can also attract customers with cold email campaigns or ad buys on websites relevant to our industry.

Content marketing can be especially effective for some industries.

We can create an engaging piece of content, relevant to our industry, and share it on social media. If it goes viral within our niche, we will have gained the attention of many potential customers.

Traditional marketing channels like TV, newspapers, or radio may also prove to be useful, depending on the industry we are in.

However, we should keep in mind that they are usually way more expensive than online marketing.

We might want to keep them for later, once our business is generating enough profit to justify such advertising methods.

Stop Reading and Start an Online Business Today

If we followed all the steps in this guide, we should be well on our way to having a lucrative online business.

As we can see, starting our own venture is not nearly as hard as it once seemed to be.

With the right idea, determination, and a little bit of luck, anyone should be able to generate enough profit to eventually become financially independent.

All the business ideas we offered before are guaranteed to generate profit — all we have to do is just get started.

Additionally, we have to make sure our website is compliant with local privacy laws.

If we have taken care of all that, we can go heavy on the marketing and hopefully start seeing positive results!

Jerlynn Tay
Jerlynn has worked in the creative industry since her days as a Law student. During those years, she stalked dogs online in the day and wrote at night.
Jerlynn Tay