Online Business Startup 101: Answering the Most Common Questions

December 22, 2022

Online Business Startup 101: Answering the Most Common Questions

You’ve probably heard the stories of people who became overnight millionaires by starting their own online business. And if you’re smart and work hard, you can be one of them! But before you dive in headfirst (literally), make sure you understand the basics about starting an online business. In this guide we cover everything from choosing what type of business to start to creating your eCommerce website from scratch. We also answer common questions such as: How much does it cost to start an online business? Will starting an ecommerce store help me avoid paying sales tax? Learn how to start and run a successful online business today!

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What type of business should I start?

It’s important to know what type of business you want to start. To answer this question, you need to think about your strengths and weaknesses.

There are several types of online businesses that entrepreneurs can consider starting, including:

  • E-commerce store: An online store that sells physical or digital products.
  • Service-based business: A business that offers services, such as consulting, coaching, or design, through the internet.
  • Affiliate marketing: A type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards affiliates for each customer brought to the business by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.
  • Blog or content website: A website that generates revenue through advertising, sponsored content, or digital products, such as ebooks or online courses.
  • Online course or education platform: A business that offers online courses or educational content to customers.
  • Mobile app: A software application developed for use on a smartphone or tablet.
  • What do I need to consider when starting an online business?

Can I really run a business from home?

Yes, you can. Running a business from home is absolutely possible, and it's becoming more popular every year.

You'll be able to work from anywhere and everywhere—your home office, your local coffee shop, the family cabin in the mountains or even the beach (if you have one nearby!)

The idea of working at home seems like an ideal situation for anyone who wants greater flexibility in their schedule or who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. But there are some risks involved with working from home—you won't have coworkers around you all day long; no one will see what time you come into work or when/if you take breaks; if things go wrong at home (say someone calls 911 because they're having trouble breathing), then calling 911 isn't exactly easy when there's no one else around; etcetera...

How much does it cost to start an online business?

The cost of starting an online business depends on the type of business you want to start. Some businesses are cheaper than others, and some types of websites cost more than others.

The most commonly-asked question about how much it costs to start an online business is: "How much does it cost to build a website?" The answer depends on what kind of website you want. A basic WordPress blog site can be built for as little as $3 per month (if you pay for hosting through WordPress itself). But if you want something more complex or professional looking, like a custom eCommerce store or membership site with custom graphics or video content—then be prepared to invest at least $10/month in hosting fees alone (and probably more if there's any custom development involved).

How does an online business make money?

There are three primary ways an online business can make money. The first is advertising, which includes selling ad space on your website and sending people to other websites through affiliate links. The second method is by selling products or services directly to consumers through your own website. The third way is by charging people a monthly subscription fee for access to some kind of content or service (think Netflix).

All three methods have their pros and cons; generally speaking, the more you offer with each purchase, the more expensive it will be—so it's important that you decide what type of product or service you want to sell before getting started (and then figure out how much you need to charge for those products).

How do I get started building my ecommerce website without knowing how to code?

Don't worry, I've got you covered. There are several ways to handle this.

  • Use a drag & drop builder
  • Use a pre-built theme
  • Hire a developer to build your site for you
  • Build it yourself with no help (you can do it!)
  • Find an excellent third party site that will build your store for you

Is it possible to start an ecommerce business with no money?

Yes, it is possible to start out with no money, but your business will likely be a lot slower-growing than what you’re hoping for. The best way to get started cheaply is by using free tools and services.

For example, if you sell products online, then you can use Shopify or Etsy as your ecommerce platform, which both offer free starter plans that include all the basic features needed to run an online store (including payment processing). You can also start using services like MailChimp and Zapier right away without paying anything upfront—their basic plans are 100% free!

In addition to these tools and services, consider utilizing your own expertise in the field while building up your business. For example: If you're an experienced graphic designer who wants to earn some extra money on the side while working full time at another job—then why not try selling t-shirts emblazoned with funny phrases? Or perhaps even create a blog/vlog where people can follow along as they go through their day-to-day lives (or on their travels).

The key here is patience; don't expect instant results from any new venture! Try starting small with limited resources available only until enough revenue comes in from regular sales from one particular product line--and then expand further once revenues increase over time."

What’s the best way to package and ship products?

The best way to package and ship your product depends on several factors:

  • The weight of the product. If you’re sending something small that won’t break easily, you can probably just use bubble wrap or foam packing peanuts. But if it’s heavier or fragile, put it in a box with enough padding to protect it from getting damaged in transit.
  • The size of the product. If you have an object that is large or bulky (like a rug), consider using a pallet rather than a flat cardboard box so that you don't have to cut down the size of your package unnecessarily. It can also help with shipping costs—many companies offer discounts when they ship multiple items as one shipment!
  • The type/brand of product being shipped out by customers who purchased on your site (and your cost per unit). You should always factor these two things into consideration when considering whether or not it's worth paying extra money on top of what other sellers are charging just because they used less expensive materials like paperboard instead of corrugated fiberboard when designing their packaging materials because both types work equally well depending on how much weight needs protecting inside them but paperboard will break easier than CFB does if dropped off course so keep this mind when thinking about how much money might be saved overall since some people may complain about receiving damaged goods because they were unable to adequately protect them during delivery processes unless there's someone working at both ends who knows exactly how much pressure needs applied against each individual item while transporting it safely without damaging anything else within reach either before or after reaching destination point."

Will starting an ecommerce store help me avoid paying sales tax?

If you're starting a business and want to avoid paying sales tax, there are several steps you can take. First, register your business with the state department of revenue.

Next, apply for a resale certificate from that same department. This document allows you to purchase goods without paying sales tax on them when they're resold by your company.

The only drawback is that this process can take up to two months—so make sure you start early!

Learn how to start and run a successful online business

As you begin to think about starting a business, it's important to remember that there are no shortcuts. What you need is a plan for success.

You should know who your target market is and where they hang out online. You need to know what your competitors are doing, how they're different from you, and why someone would buy from you instead of one of them. You also need to be able to answer key questions like: How much will it cost me every month? How much can I charge for my product or service? And finally: How am I going to make money?

FAQs about Starting an Online Business

How do I start an online business?

If you’re ready to start your own online business, there are six steps you should take:

  • Choose a business idea.
  • Set up a website or blog.
  • Write a business plan.
  • Figure out your budget.
  • Market your business online and offline.
  • Build a team that can help scale it as needed (this could be as simple as hiring freelancers).

What are the different types of online businesses?

The different types of online businesses fall into two categories:

  • Product-based businesses. These are the most common, and they include eCommerce, affiliate marketing and selling your own products.
  • Service-based businesses. These are typically less common, with social media marketing being one such example.

What do I need to consider when starting an online business?

Once you've decided to start an online business, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty details. What will your website look like? How much does it cost to set up a website? What should you do about payment methods and shipping? You can find answers to these common questions below.

  • How much does it cost to start an online business?
  • What kind of business should I use my skills for?
  • How do I create a good website for my online store/business/startup idea?

The first step when opening a new business is choosing what type of site or product will work best. Most people know they want some sort of eCommerce site, but there are other options available as well: blogging platforms like WordPress offer all kinds of functionality without needing any coding knowledge at all; social networking sites like Facebook allow users great flexibility in creating profiles with images, videos and links back home (or elsewhere).

There are several additional factors to consider when starting an online business, including:

  1. Business idea and target market: It's important to have a clear understanding of the products or services you want to offer and the customers you want to target.
  2. Legal and regulatory requirements: You'll need to register your business and obtain any necessary licences or permits. You'll also need to familiarise yourself with any laws and regulations that apply to your business.
  3. Finances: Consider how you will fund your business, including any startup costs and ongoing expenses. You'll also need to decide how you will price your products or services and how you will handle taxes.
  4. Marketing and sales: Determine how you will promote your business and attract customers. This may include creating a website, implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, using social media, or running ads.
  5. Operations: Consider how you will manage your business, including order fulfilment, customer service, and inventory management.
  6. Scalability: Think about how you will grow your business over time and whether your business model is scalable.
  7. How do I choose a business idea for my online business?

How do I choose a business idea for my online business?

You should choose an idea for your online business that you are passionate about.

The second most important thing is to choose an idea that you can make money from.

You also want to pick an idea that you can execute on. This means the majority of your time will be spent doing something related to the business, rather than learning or marketing.

You’ll also want to pick a business where you can grow with it and sell, if need be, down the road – ideally while making more money than when you started (or at least break even).

Finally, unless this is just some crazy hobby project for yourself and no one else, maybe don't go into a venture where everyone knows how much work it takes but no one cares about how much money they make because there really isn't any!

How do I create a website for my online business?

Creating a website is one of the first steps in starting an online business. A website is a place where people can visit and find out more about your products or services, learn about you and your company, and even buy what you’re selling.

A blog (a web log) is one type of website that many businesses use to tell their story. Most blogs are set up using WordPress, which means that if you want to create a blog for your online business then it will take some time for you to learn how to add content, change themes and customise everything else on the site so that it looks great!

Creating an email account isn't hard either - but remember: once someone buys something from your store they'll need this information so make sure they have it before sending them any products/services!

How do I market my online business?

You can find a ton of information online about marketing your online business, but there are some common approaches that have been proven to work.

  • Social media: You should set up a Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile for your business. Make sure you post regularly on all three platforms with relevant content that's valuable to your audience. Don't just use these accounts as promotional tools; focus on building relationships with people in your niche through helpful interactions and valuable content.
  • Email marketing: This is one of the most effective forms of communication because it keeps people engaged with your brand over time (as opposed to social media posts which only last as long as they're relevant). To get started with email marketing, create an email list using something like Mailchimp or ConvertKit so that subscribers can opt-in by submitting their email address when visiting certain pages on the site or signing up for services offered by the company such as consultations or educational resources like ebooks/videos/etcetera

How do I set up payment methods for my online business?

Before you get started, it's important to know about the different payment methods that are available for your online business. There are many options out there, and there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to deciding which one is right for you. The most common ones include:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Braintree
  • Square

How do I handle shipping and fulfilment for my online business?

  • Ship products in a timely manner. In order to retain customers and gain new ones, you must be exceptional at shipping your products and getting them delivered on time.
  • Ensure that you have the right shipping materials. When it comes to shipping and fulfilment, one of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make is not having the right supplies on hand. You should always keep an inventory of boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, envelopes and labels at any given moment so that if something goes wrong with a shipment (and it will), you aren't stuck waiting for UPS or USPS to deliver more materials before being able to send out another order. It's also important to know how much postage each item weighs so that there are no surprises when it comes time for finalising shipping costs with customers who placed orders recently -- many people don't understand why their online orders cost more than expected due solely because they didn't pay attention when purchasing items online in the first place!

How do I handle customer service for my online business?

Customer service is a critical part of any business, no matter how large or small. You want to be responsive and helpful to your customers, but you don't want to overdo it in the process.

  • Be friendly: Being friendly is important, since you're building a relationship with them and hopefully turning them into repeat customers. However, don't go overboard with flattery or excessive friendliness—it can come off as fake at best and downright creepy at worst!
  • Be polite: It's also important to maintain good manners when interacting with your customers. Don't forget that they're paying you money for a product or service; therefore it's important that they feel like they're getting their money's worth when doing business with you. Make sure to keep these things in mind as well when talking about customer service for an online business!

How do I scale my online business?

You need to expand your marketing strategy, grow traffic and increase sales. If you are new to online businesses and want to scale up your business, here are some tips for you:

  • Expand Your Marketing Strategy - You can't just rely on the same methods of marketing all the time. You will have to change them as well if you want more customers or increase sales. Take a look at your competitors and see how they're doing it, then try something new that might work better for your business. For example, if one competitor was running ads on Facebook but then stopped after a short period of time because they weren't getting much response from their audience, find out why they stopped doing it (maybe they didn't get enough conversions) and use that knowledge when creating ads for your own campaigns in future efforts so that you don't make the same mistake!
  • Get More Customers - Find out where most potential clients are located geographically speaking; this way when deciding what hours/days would be best suited for running an ad campaign featuring discounted prices etc., there'll be more likelihood of success since those areas will likely receive higher numbers than others due simply because there's less competition around locally compared elsewhere...and thus allowing us secure access into spaces where other companies haven't yet established themselves within our industry yet."


If you have a great idea for an online business, don’t wait to get started. There are many ways to get your business off the ground and running. You can use tools like Shopify Plus, which comes with everything you need to launch an online store right away; or create a simple website using WordPress or Squarespace. As soon as you're ready to start selling products online, we'll help guide you through setting up payment methods (like Stripe) and shipping fulfilment services (like Fulfilment by Amazon). If it's been awhile since you've taken on any new projects at work or home—or if this is your first time launching something completely new—don't worry! We know starting something new can feel scary.


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