What Do You Need To Start A Business Online? My Short List

Starting an online business is not that difficult, and it doesn’t require a lot of things. So, what do you need to start a business online?

Fortunately, it only takes a few things to get started, including an idea for your business and a simple website. These are some things that are part of my shortlist. 

The best part is it’s much easier to get started now than it ever was 20 years ago. Anyone can get an online business up and running in less than a day. 

In this article, I will touch on my short list of criteria that are needed to launch your online business. Also, I’ll emphasize the importance of prioritizing learning when starting out on anything new.


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  1. What Do I Need To Start A Profitable Online Business?
  2. A Niche
  3. A Domain
  4. Web Hosting
  5. A Product Or Service
  6. A Willingness To Learn
What do you need to start a business online? This article goes over a short list of things you need to start an online business today.

What do I need to start a profitable online business?

If you want to grow a successful online business, you need to have the right mindset. An overnight rich mentality, for example, is not what you should strive for.

Understand that it takes time, effort, and lots of hard work to see results. It will require investing time to see where it will go.

Plus, you don’t have to go through common hurdles that a traditional business would face. Some things include no licensing, not taking out loans from banks, or relying on angel investors or venture capitalists.

In the online world, you can start as early as today. There are only a few things you need to get your business up and running, which anyone can do as soon as possible. 

What do you need to start a business online?

There are a few things you need to start an online business. Choosing your niche and having a website are some of those things, which we’ll cover in this shortlist.

What do you need to start a business online? This graph shows five things you’ll need to starting an online business.

A niche

Selecting the right niche is crucial to growing an online business. So, what is a niche? In my own words, it’s a specific industry area that interests a particular group of people.

Narrowing it down further it can help determine what type of audience you want to cater to. You don’t want to be too broad where it’s hard to identify your target audience.

When choosing a niche, it’s best to think of your passions and interests. So ask yourself the following: “I want to help people do x, y, and z”, or “I help people solve ‘x’ problem”. 

The key takeaway is to pick something you have a true passion for and use that niche to help others in that area of interest.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “What Niche Is The Best For Beginners? 5 Things To Consider“, to determine how to pick a niche that helps you build a successful online business.

A domain

Having a domain is obvious- you need one to have a presence in the online world. A domain is simply a name for your website or a place where people can visit and view your content.

Why is it important? Your business needs a name, and you want a place to post content for your target audience.

Luckily, domains are very inexpensive today. You can purchase a domain for under $15/per year. By having a domain, your website will serve as a solid foundation for an online business.

What do you need to start a business online? A domain is simply a name for your website.

How much does it cost to start an online business?

An online business costs much less than a traditional business (i.e., brick and mortar). You’ll need some basics such as a domain name (usually between $10-$15/year), web hosting, and maybe a website theme. If you add those up, it doesn’t cost much to get it up and running.

Web hosting

If you’re going to have a website, hosting is absolutely necessary. Without it, it’ll be harder for visitors to see your website.

Basically, web hosting is a place to store your files (or the home of your website). There are a lot of services that provide web hosting, but they’re not cheap.

Best tip: Find affordable hosting that offers much more, such as domains, training, and top-notch tech support.

A product or service

Obviously, you have to have some product or service that can benefit your customers. How can it help others? Will it solve a common problem?

Of course, you will want to make money from the product or service. But remember: Be sure to provide value and help others simultaneously.

Do you need to create a product?

The answer to this question is no; however, it does help to develop your brand. If you don’t have a product, you can turn to other monetization methods, including:

  • Ads on websites
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate/referral programs
What do you need to start a business online? Having a product to offer can help establish your business brand.

My favorite method: Affiliate marketing

By far, affiliate marketing is what I recommend to anyone getting started in an online business. To this day, it’s my favorite method of making money online. 

In essence, you’re sharing and promoting other company products and services. You are the intermediary between the customer and the product provider.

Affiliate programs allow you to promote more products without having your own product. Affiliate marketing offers high commissions and many opportunities.

Wealthy Affiliate Test Drive: This image is a picture of me.

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A willingness to learn

Going back to mindset- there’s no such thing as overnight success. Anyone who tells you otherwise is likely lying to you, and most likely it’s a scam.

Before success happens, you must focus on learning how to run an online business. It will require learning new skills and mastering them over time.

What do you need to start a business online? Prioritizing learning comes first before anything else, including making money.

When you take the time to learn something new, you acquire skills that will make you better tomorrow. These can be skills that’ll help you grow and increase your income down the road.

Once you learn one skill, move on to mastering a new skill. Learning is always a priority when it comes to building any business.

When you prioritize learning on a daily or weekly basis, you’re doing yourself a massive favor. Learning comes first, followed by action, and the desired outcomes (i.e. commissions) will follow.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “What Is The Best Way To Grow A Business? My Best Approach“, to learn how to grow a business effectively.

Final Words

An online business needs only a few things to get up and rolling. Unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar business, it’s not as much as you think that’s required.

The shortlist I reviewed is a great starting point to get up and running in no time. Anyone can take action by starting today and begin building a business that can do very well in the long run.

Your Turn: Is this list helpful?

I would like to get your thoughts on this topic. Have you thought there were more things needed to start an online business?

If so, did it feel overwhelming where it was like, “Meh- I’m not going to do that.” Many people have felt that way before, and they never start at all.

Do you believe learning should be a priority when it comes to building a new business? Has it changed the way you think about setting goals for yourself?

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.

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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

4 thoughts on “What Do You Need To Start A Business Online? My Short List”

  1. This post is very informational, especially when deciding where to start building your online business! 

    These steps are precisely what you need to do to get your business rolling. 

    I wish I had this information when I started because it would’ve made it that much easier- knowing what steps to take. Thank you for this information and I look forward to future content! 

    • Hi Josh,

      Understanding where to start makes a big difference. If you don’t know where to start, it can be harder to build a business properly.

      There are many people who don’t have this information in front of them. Unfortunately, they won’t figure it out until later on.

      The sooner they get it, the better they’ll kick-start their business. So it can make a difference down the road.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re greatly appreciated.

    • Hello!

      Absolutely, I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post. Let me know how I can help, or if there’s other related content I can write on the website.

      Thank you again- much appreciated.


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