How to Start a Small Business Online

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I am asked daily by people who see the work I do, “How to Start a Small Business Online”. They are curious because I seldom leave home given my bi-polar and my social anxiety disorder and yet I am beaming from ear to ear when I say I work entirely from home in a business I love. Like any business they fear losing money and really fear getting scammed online, so the thought of an online small business is terrifying for many. In this brief guide I hope to alleviate some of that fear.

How to Start a Small Business Online and Not Lose Your Shirt?

At this time I will start by asking you to follow up this post by checking with your local government officials to see what you need for licensing and what taxes you would have to report. You need to know this before starting any business and yes licensing and taxes are a must for online small business owners as well.

Here in Yuma Arizona USA I need a Home Business permit for $45 a year and a EIN ( Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. If I sell physical products I will also need a transaction privilege tax license from the state and if I sell door to door or by party plan like Avon there is a separate vendors permit required. I have to report all earnings over $500 for a calendar year and pay income tax, social security, and medicare taxes on myself and anyone in home working the business with me. This is the one area that can cause catastrophic loss as the IRS never shows up at the right time.

How to Start A Small Online Business Without Losing Your Shirt

How to Start a Small Business Online. What kind of business would you like?

Just like offline business there is a cost of entry based on what and how you like to conduct business. For some they want to manufacture small items at home and sell on e-Bay and Amazon. Others will do the same with a small inventory of goods someone else made. Anything with materials, labor, and inventory is going to cost you more than say a Drop Shipping business where you generate the sales but another company handles all the inventory and manufacturing for you. Less initial cost but lower Return On Investment as a drop ship seller.

There are companies that sell business opportunities and training at all price ranges in just about any industry you like, but finding one with complete training under $1,000 that offers ongoing support and covers many basic expenses will seem like a nightmare.

But there is hope for those with even a small budget around $50 a month or just under $360 a year. That hope is training in blog based affiliate marketing through a well-known company called Wealthy Affiliate. Kyle and Carson have been making full time business owners out of people like you since 2005.

Learn the skills needed to start your own online business here.

Now let’s talk about your dream business

What kind of business would you start if money were no option? Our guide on how to start a small business online needs to get direction from you. It only works for you if you know the direction you wish to go and what to realistically expect along the journey.

While your business is very much a business and will require a ton of effort and some investment to make into a full-time income you can already start living your dreams with a business model called affiliate marketing. With Affiliate Marketing you can choose any singular interest and turn it into a lucrative affiliate blog. Affiliates design content around the things they love like playing poker, jogging, collecting coins, or just about anything you might love doing and want to start doing as a business.

Affiliate programs are free to join and are available for nearly every product made in the world. Over 600 Million products have some sort of referral program listed by either the companies that manufacture them or retailers looking to sell more of the product than their competition while cutting expenses.

how to start a small online business using your experience
How to start a small online business using your experience.

How to Start A Small Online Business Case Study

Jim has been working in the construction field for 26 years and loves his job. He remembers days when he was a kid building his first buildings with Lincoln Logs and Lego. He loves the early mornings and the hard work involved and seeing what it becomes at the end of the day. Jim however, had a serious on the job injury a couple of years back and is now unable to physically work in his desired trade.

Jim made an average $35 an hour as a foreman on a cement crew and his settlement was invested but the returns are only allowing him to get about half of his former wages each month in order for them to last the next 30 years. Social Security Disability doesn’t pay a lot but helps raise it to about 70% of his former income.

If Jim and his wife outlive their savings retirement will be impossible for Jim’s wife Helen. So Jim starts looking for work he can do from home that will help them put more money in their retirement while also letting them live better now. Jim discovers Affiliate Marketing.

With Affiliate Marketing Jim can turn 26 years of experience in construction into a How-to series blog for Do It Yourself people, another on earning your contractors license, another on Lincoln Logs, Lego, and other Building toys, all in the hours of the day his wife is at work and build each into not just a part-time income but full time business. Soon Helen and Jim are retired nearly 15 years earlier than they had ever really imagined.

Your dream business doesn’t have to have brick and mortar walls, or even inventory.

Brick and Mortar Businesses image of brick wall

As an affiliate marketer, you can love poetry and write and or collect assorted poems and short stories from anywhere in the world and make money selling books, stationery, in home furnishings and more a good poet needs or your readers would love. When you consider how to start a small online business you need to look for something or some things that you can honestly say I could do this the rest of my life. Because this will spark your passion and drive you to be the best in your niche and earn a great deal of money online.

I myself have this blog, a blog I am starting on Early Retirement, and one I am converting from a Marketing and Business topics to a Political Opinion Blog because I didn’t need 2 blogs in marketing. I love politics and have been a fanatic for the American political landscape since I was 10 or eleven. I love all things marketing and am I looking to retire early and share the things I plan to used to Retire before, the life, is out of my lifestyle.

So, How to start a small online business exactly?

You will need training and tools to get you started and preferably a budget of at least $400 a year, or $49 a month, whichever is easier because the company I am going to send you to is that affordable, and offers a complete solution of the tools you need, the training to help you find success, and the support to keep you on task. I won’ dig too deep into them because you may have already read my Wealthy Affiliate Review here and if so you can get a free account and kick the hell out of the tires below, but after 5 years with them of my 16 years in blogging I will tell you there is no training on even par with what they offer even at 5 times the price. That said I hope you understand how to start a small business online today without losing your shirt.


Join Wealthy Affiliate Free and Learn Affiliate Marketing

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14 thoughts on “How to Start a Small Business Online”

  1. I am really blown away and inspired by the fact that you have a thriving online business while dealing with mental disorders! I have TBI, PTSD, and associated anxiety disorders, as well as physical injuries, and I am looking into online business, but kept wondering if it was for me, if I can manage to do this with my issues. You’ve given me so much hope and inspired me to keep trying. Thank you.

    • I know a guy with Cerebral Palsy uses Dragon Naturally Speaking and Grammarly to write his post because he can’t type. If he can, then we can.

  2. I had no idea about the tax laws that you mentioned in the post when starting an online business and I am really glad I came across this post because now I know. Starting an online business is becoming really popular and I am hoping as I enter into this line of business that I am not too late.

    There is a lot to do and a lot to learn which is why I am happy about your recommendation of wealthy affiliate because I just recently became a member and I am getting a lot of knowledge from the platform. I really hope I can become like Jim on this post and also be able to turn my passion into an online business.

    • Jay I am 110% #TEAMJIM and love seeing over 7,000 of my former team members thrive and flourish in affiliate marketing. I love the fact that instead of choosing businesses because they thought they could make money they followed my advice and found businesses they truly love doing. Many run affiliate blogs like this one, some are huge into CBD Hemp right now but they are making money through their passions.

  3. Hi! Thank you for this very useful post. When it comes to opening a business, what immediately comes to our mind is that we need investment. It’s wonderful to read about this alternative you present here.

    When we start exploring what options we have to get started, most recommendations are biased. But on this post, you have kept things down to earth. I appreciate your honest approach.

    • My only real bias is affiliate marketing as a vessel for wealth. Sure I would like to have people join me in Wealthy Affiliate but if they start elsewhere in affiliate marketing the roads will lead here eventually. I value every subscriber, don’t spam anyone, and provide a great deal of training out here on my blog pages and getting started even with Wealthy Affiliate can be totally free.

  4. Hello Andy,

    Your post is amazing. Here you outlined all the necessary steps to start and achieve a small online business. Even the budget is included. Thank you so much for this bunch of knowledge. It really cleared some mind bugging issues from my head and answered all my online business questions. I think I will give a try. 


    • Hi Pat. Glad to help but I pray you to have plenty more questions to ask as they are how we learn and learn we must to be a success in any business or for that matter work environment. The true business leaders of the world ask questions all of the time, every day they learn at least one thing new.

  5. Hi Andy,

    First of all thank you very much for sharing this article with lots of important information about “How to Start a Small Business Online”

    Really this is an awesome article.I like the article very much.For a long day I was searching for an opportunity and a proper guideline to start my online business.Then I found your article.It is a well detailed article with many kinds of beneficial information.You have provided many kinds of tips that what kind of business will be profitable and how to start a business.I have learned all the necessary information about this topic that you have mentioned in your article very nicely.I hope these tips will be very much helpful for me in this purpose, and I think Wealthy Affiliate is the best way for earning.I will share this great article with my friends and relatives so that they can take the benefits from this.

    • Thanks, Shakil. I hope more people begin to respect home business as a real business in part because of this article. You can turn literally any skill, hobby, a scrap of knowledge into a business you will love the rest of your life and achieve true work-life balance.

  6. Hi, owning a business online has become many people’s dream nowadays and I do too. However, there are so many ways and many platforms to choose from that can be difficult to decide which one is the most suitable for someone and which one is the best. I used to think about doing drop shipping or opening an online store, but there are drawbacks about them. After reading your article, I will go for Wealthy affiliate. I think being a starter member for free will be a nice try.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    • Glad to help you find a home and great training. Starting a business should always come with due diligence and careful study but the biggest success secret is do something you really love. I do affiliate marketing and love the things I can do with it.

  7. Hi Andy,

    I have just finish the whole article about “How to Start a Small Business Online”

    Really this is an amazing article with all the necessary information.Actually i was thinking of making ome money by starting a small business in online.But i wasn’t proper learned about this.So,i was looking for a guideline where i can learn that how to start a small business.Fortunately i came to your article and found the best guideline for me.I have learned properly that how to start a small business.I have also gained all the thorough details in this purpose.I believe that now i can start my small business as i am going to follow your instructions.I am going to start my business in affiliate market as it is the perfect platform for me perhaps all.This article is the best article for those people who are trying to start their small business in online as you have highlighted the article so nicely.Thank you very much for sharing such an informative and helpful article with us.I will also share this article with my friends and relatives so that they can learn how to start a small business.

    Is it wealthy affiliate suitable for me? Or please recommend any affiliate market which is will be perfect for me as i am a beginner.

    • Wealthy Affiliate gives you the tools and training and teaches you how to find legit programs to promote for profits. It can help anyone but it is you that must put in the time and effort over the coming months and years to see the results you desire.


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