How to Start a Small Business Online | 7 Important Things to Consider, 2 Great Tips and 1 Awesome Platform

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There are many types of online businesses that you can start. Maybe you’re looking to sell a product you’ve created or offer a service that you provide online. Perhaps you want to buy and sell items on various marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay. In any case you’re probably looking for information on How to Start a Small Business Online. This post is meant to help you do just that.

Do you already have a business online? Are you looking to expand and grow your existing business or even branch out into new online ventures? This post will help you in that endeavor as well. Please, take a moment to read below and see how you might be able to use some of these tidbits to your advantage.


How to Start a Small Business OnlineHow to Start a Small Business Online

When starting any endeavor, you usually have the “this is where I want to be or end up” part figured out but rarely does anyone have a road map that includes how they plan to get there. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes (preferably a day or so) to map out a few milestones along the way to your end goal.

It’s OK if you don’t have the specifics down yet. Building a business is a learning experience to say the least. Setting a few goals along the way just helps to break down the journey and motivate you to complete the smaller parts of the whole.

Let’s take a look at some things to consider:

  • What will be your business tax stance? – Will you be a sole proprietor, including the income on your personal taxes? Will you be forming a limited liability company and doing what needs to be done to maintain that standing? Don’t fret too much about this at first. You can always start one way and change to another down the line.
  • Will you have inventory? – Are you creating or obtaining products and then reselling them? If so, do you need to store them or will it be a drop-ship type of business?
  • Are there going to be others involved? – Partners, employees, outsourced workers. The answer to this question may affect your responses to other questions such as the business tax stance and so on.
  • What will be your online presence? – Will you have your own website, use someone else’s platform (fiverr, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.). How will you engage your audience?
  • Endurance/Passive Income – Will your build your business in a way that it will continue to flourish during times when you’re not available (i.e. vacations, sickness, etc.)?
  • Finances – How will you fund your new business/expansion.  What about accepting payments (should you use a processing service like PayPal, etc.)? Finally, how will you prepare for and deal with negative cash flow moments?
  • What about some milestones? – Is there a dollar figure or number of items sold goal that you want to hit by a certain time? Maybe you want to have x daily visitors to your site within so many months. These are the things you can strive for and may help you to keep motivated and stay on track.


Don’t worry if you don’t have answers of these questions. They are all things you can figure out along the way. I just wanted to get you thinking beyond the “Wouldn’t it be nice to have my own online business?” question and help you to start forming an actual plan to make it happen. Let’s take a look at some things you’re going to need to do in order to build a successful business online.

Build Your PresenceBuild Your Presence

You’re not going to make a dime if people don’t know you exist. It’s time to build your presence. There are several ways you can do this. You can become a YouTube sensation; advertising revenue alone is enough to set some superstars for life. You can open a storefront on platforms that already draw people to them looking for various items and services such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, fiverr and so on. You can even build your own website and build your business from the ground up.

The true trick to making it online is to get traffic. The way to get traffic is to make yourself known and build a reputation. That reputation can be for many different things; quality products or services, prompt delivery, great customer service, being the go-to authority for a particular niche, putting on a great show, etc. In a perfect world, you’d probably want to be known for more than one of these as it will only boost your exposure.

Use the Platforms Available to YouUse the Platforms Available to You

I’ve already mentioned a few platforms you can use to get yourself, and your products and services, out there. Let’s take a closer look…

  • eBay – I’d be surprised if you’ve never heard of eBay. It’s one of the go-to places when looking for products at a reasonable price. The draw here is the auction atmosphere. There are times when people can get a great deal if they happen upon the right auction at the right time. You can set minimum prices, buy now options and so on. That said, eBay also has storefronts. You’re not limited to only being able to offer items in an auction atmosphere.
  • Facebook Marketplace – This option has gained much popularity at the local level. You can set a range from your current location and browse items for sale nearby. You can even enter search criteria to limit the results. The down-side to this is the locality of it all. You’re limited to clients close by. Now this might be a great thing, if you have a brick and mortar store and want to get traffic int the doors.
  • fiverr – This platform is more for those offering services. For example; maybe you want to provide acting, voice-over, writing services, etc. People can come to this platform and hire you to perform whatever service you offer.
  • Your own website – There really are no limits when you build your own site. You can have a storefront, subscription service, blog, and so on. You’re not limited by the constraints dedicated platforms provide.


These are only a few examples, there are a lot of options out there. Many are like a prepackaged offering where other’s allow a bit more customization over-all.  I just wanted to get you thinking about the various ways you can go and then, hopefully, you can check one or more of them out to see if they’re a right fit for you. Now let’s take a look at the platform I highly recommend and use myself…

Check Out This Great Platform

So, I touched on several things to think about, platforms to consider, options you have as to offering products or services but, I didn’t really tell you how to do all of this. Enter Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate, or WA for short, is a complete platform for all of your online business needs. It offers training, hosting, tools and a great community of like-minded people willing to help you out if/when you get stuck. Let’s break it down a little bit more:

  • Training – WA offers training in virtually all aspects of running a business online. Interested in fiverr? There’s training for that. Want to build your own website? They got that too. Their true training triumphs are the Online Entrpreneure Certification (OEC) and their Affiliate Bootcamp. They also offer weekly Live Events that you can join and interact with.
  • Hosting – Wealthy Affiliate also offers hosting as part of your free and premium memberships. The hosting is top-notch, WordPress based and run on servers in Amazon, offering high availability (up time) and resiliency.
  • Tools – WA even offers tools that can help you build your website, create posts, generate interaction (comments), provide statistics and even research keywords, affiliate programs, niche ideas and more.
  • Community – I’d argue that Wealthy Affiliate’s best feature is the community. WA is world-wide. There isn’t a time that you can pop on and not find others on the platform working away. Have a question? Ask. Want to bounce ideas off someone? Go for it. It’s by-far the best social network I’ve ever been a member of.


I’m not going to go on and on here about WA as I have written actual reviews for them. If you’d like to know more, please check out these 2 review posts:

The Wealthy Affiliate Review | Is Wealthy Affiliate Legitimate?

Jaaxy, a Review

SiteContent | The Best Website Content Management System

These are just a few examples of what Wealthy Affiliate has to offer. Check them out here and see for yourself. You can create a free Starter account. The only thing it will cost you is your time.


There you have it. A simple guide on How to Start a Small Business Online. I’ve provided a little bit of guidance, some ideas, a list of platforms to check out and even provided a place that can help you succeed in ways you haven’t even imagined yet.

If you want a taste of affiliate marketing and how to build an online business, check out my Multi-Day Course, offered free to those who sign up for my mailing list. You can find the sign-up form at the bottom of this page.

Now it’s up to you. You can sit back, doing more research and planning, or you can dive right in and learn as you go. In the end it’s up to you on how to proceed. Do yourself a favor though and just check out Wealthy Affiliate. Even if you don’t go the OEC or Affiliate Bootcamp route, they have a lot to offer and you can check it out for free. That’s a no-brainer if you ask me.

Do you have an online business already? Are you just looking at what’s involved? Did I miss something you’d like more information on or think I should include for others? Please let me know by commenting below. I really do want to hear what you have to say.

Thank you,

Scott Hinkle


3 thoughts on “How to Start a Small Business Online | 7 Important Things to Consider, 2 Great Tips and 1 Awesome Platform”

  1. Steve Tuggle says:

    This post on how to start a small business online is spot on.  It is not an advertisement.  You present lots of great information to get people focused on the idea that this is a business and not just a social outing.

    At the beginning of your article, you have bullet points that start with tax.  Might I suggest you also add a bullet point for banking/finance?  It would be important to consider how you intend to collect and receive your income (PayPal, credit cards, etc.) and pay your expenses.  And also a plan to deal with negative cash flow at the beginning.

    Thanks for allowing me to review your excellent site.

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Hello Steve,

           That’s an excellent point.  I’ll add a bullet for finance and mention funding the venture, collecting payments and dealing with negative cash flow.

      Thank you for the great suggestion!


      1. Scott Hinkle says:

        Updated and added!

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