7 Key Steps to Starting a Small Business Online TODAY!

So, you’ve been hearing that starting a small business online can bring in a nice income. You’ve heard how the internet can help make dreams come true for small business owners and average Joe’s.

You want to join the bandwagon, but keep putting it off, always coming up with excuses on why you “don’t have the time” or the “money right now”.

The great thing about starting a small business online is that little to no money is required. And, since you can work at home on your computer, you can set your own hours. Although it is imperative that this is treated as a business and not a hobby, you can still be flexible with the amount of time you put in.

Thus, “I don’t have the time” is just a way of trying to excuse your own slacking. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you could start this business with just an hour a day!

Small business girl

So, here are the 7 key steps to starting a small business online:

1. Pick a niche

That’s right. The best place to begin is always with your own personal interests. Is there a particular subject in which you have a lot of knowledge? Do you have any hobbies? What about your talents?

Make a list of all the things you have a passion for or at least a general interest in. Do research to find out if there is a market for any of them. Chances are, there will be. There is a market for just about everything, although some markets are much more popular than others.

2. Create a domain name

Even if you don’t have your website built yet, you should still create a domain name. Some businesses register a large number of them at once in order to protect their brand name. You don’t have to do this just yet, since you’re just beginning.

What you should do is create a domain name with popular keywords in your niche. If, for instance, you decided to start selling dolls, then make your domain name something like: www.dolls-4-sell.info or www.buy-dolls-online.net. It needs to be something that is both easy to remember and creative.

3. Get your website or blog together

Most online businesses have both. However, you don’t want to undertake a whole lot at once. All you need to do for now is create your own spot on the world wide web. You don’t have to create a large website just yet. Just register your own domain name.

If you don’t know anything about website design, you can get started with a blog. They are free and straightforward. You can have the blog directed to your domain URL if you choose the right hosting company. Trust me, creating a blog is a lot easier than you think and can actually take about 5 minutes of your time and without a whole lot of technical skills.

4. Choose a good hosting company

The importance of this step is often underestimated by many beginners. You can check to see if your internet service provider offers hosting. If so, make sure the hosting offers everything you need for getting your website up and running. If you create a blog, you’ll need to find a hosting company that will let you register a domain name for it.

There are many hosting companies that work with WordPress, for example. Make sure you pick a reputable hosting company recommended by others and stay away from free hosting unless it’s someone you know and trust. The last thing you want is to be merrily marketing your site only to find out it’s down for days at a time, because the hosting company isn’t very reliable!

5. Sign up for a merchant’s account

Even if you’re not going to be selling your own items, you still need to setup some sort of payment processing account. PayPal is the most popular, although some people don’t consider it to be the most professional. For starting out though it is absolutely fine.

As you grow you may want to look at a total shopping cart solution, but you don’t need to be worrying about that in the early days. Just get paypal up and running so you’ve got it ready for your first sale!

6. Educate yourself on traffic generation

In order to create a business the one thing you need oodles of, is customers! Do not be fooled into thinking you can put a website out there and loads of people are going to magically turn up to have a look at it, sign up to it or buy from it.

Many people starting an online business are scared off by the technical skills required, this is not the case. The basic engine of your business is the easy part, the hard work comes in driving traffic to your site. So be prepared to put in the work needed to learn how to drive traffic to your site and then….

7. Take ACTION!

ALWAYS DO SOMETHING! If you’re sitting in front of your computer, you need to be working on your online business. The aforementioned key steps to starting a small business are only the beginning. In order to actually make money, you need to WORK for it!

Go For It!!!!! (And Never Give Up)

Guest Article written by Jo Barnes. If you want to discover Jo’s No 1 Secret to Making Money Online then download her fantastic interviews with top internet marketing guys in the world right now at startyourbusinesssmartly.com/freevideos (she will also show you exactly how to create your blog in 5 minutes as per Step 3!)  Image credits to Ed Yourdon under CC license. You can also write articles here and share your small business tips.


  1. Julian says:

    and also do not forget to find some friends or relations of our topic

  2. Shawsney says:

    Well, I suffer from not really following number 7. Far too many times will I find myself wandering on to facebook or some fun site when I need to work on my business! Great post thanks!

  3. Helen says:

    I agree with you completely. It does not even cost very much. People who are out of work and do not have a computer, can go to a coffee shop or something and use theirs. It is a great way to make money.

  4. minister ndru says:


  5. Jo says:

    Hi Shawsney,

    I know what you mean, I’ve just started using facebook and it’s addictive, but for all the wrong reasons!!! I’ve found all my old friends and every time I go on there to add a link to a video or an article I end up in a long conversation about something completely off track!!!

    It’s fun though!

  6. Ecommerce Technology says:

    I’m interested in building an site involving selling homemade products. Are there more complications than I think there are in this process?

    • Jo says:

      Absolutely not! First establish there is a market for your products. Then set up a free offer to collect names of people interested in your product, give those people lots of value and a reason to buy from you and then sell them your products.

      The hardest work you’ll do is in driving customers to your site. But with Consistent and Focused, Action you’ll succeed!


  7. Jo says:

    Thank you Web Hosting Man!

    I’m really glad you liked it. I do hope it proves useful to people wanting to get their business off the ground.


  8. Jo says:

    I couldn’t agree more – it’s all about Consistent, Focused, Action!

  9. Matthew Rein says:

    Dang making money without a job has sometimes on the occasion been extremely difficult; most of the time I purchase some information and make money from those. But they get really expensive! Trying to make money without any sort of job experience is even harder. Some stuff are so ineffective, although this post surprisingly Taught me so much. Great Post! :)

  10. Foldding Bikes For Sale says:

    Gracias for your post, seriously, can you become a writer for wikipedia because the current pages in there for our interest is quite frankly drivel. I don’t quite agree exactly with it but I agree with it on the most part and I certainly applaud your effort in putting it so clearly.

  11. Lino Lover says:

    It happens to be astonishing to take into account exactly what internet hosting looked like several years earlier. Plans ended up costly, a person got little storage space not to mention data transfer and service ended up being more often than not simply US company hrs. At this moment you can be purchasing unrestricted quotas for a few dollars a month along with 24/7 service.

  12. Wendy Johnson says:

    Great stuff!!! I found your site on Bing. Much thanks for taking the effort to research and write this.

  13. yahoo store says:

    To start any business, there are certain criteria to be followed by an entrepreneur. It’s something like goals to achieve. Your tips are awesome and straight to the goals.

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