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How To Start An Online Business

how to start a business online

How to start an online business in 2019 and beyond. If you are thinking of starting an online business you couldn’t have picked a better time. By the end of 2019, Global e-commerce is expected to reach $3.53Billion, up just over 20% in 2018. By 2021, this figure is set to approach $5Billion.

Whether you’re in a job that you hate, you want to be your own boss, you want to spend more time with your wife and children, you’re looking to earn some extra money or you simply want to make a living from passive income, then you’ve come to the right place for some sound practical start-up advice.

As the owner of an award winning international digital marketing agency established back in 2010,  I’ve seen the internet change so much over the years and I’ve seen internet business opportunities come and go.

Over the years, I’ve helped over 750 clients and students with their online businesses and I’ve helped them generate $100M’s of additional revenue.

Online businesses start-up failure rates are alarming. Over 95% of online businesses fail within the first year and 90% of these fail within the first 120 days.

I’m passionate about the internet and the business opportunities it presents on a daily basis, so In order to help ambitious entrepreneurs like you, I’ve put together my top list of the best opportunities for starting an online business in 2019 and beyond, and most importantly of all, the ones that are profitable and scalable. 

The barriers to entry for these online business ideas are extremely low, you just need the know how. No matter which online business you choose to make your financial dreams come true, you only need a few key ingredients key ingredients to make things happen.

I like to call them the 4 M’s:

MINDSET – a positive and determined mindset. 

MOTIVATION – you need to be motivated to achieve your goals.

MONEY – you won’t need much but you will need a little.

MANAGEMENT – you’ll need to be able to manage your business like a boss. 

Here’s a few things you won’t need:

DEVELOPER – you don’t need any developer skills, just a computer!

PRODUCTS – you don’t even need to have your own products.

TIME – You don’t need lots of time either, just the know how.

LISTS – you don’t need a list of existing customers.

So here’s my top ‘realistic’ recommendations on how to start an online business in 2019 and beyond.

#1 – Launch An E-commerce Store

how to start an online business

Online shopping is booming! If you make, design or produce your own product then now is the time to sell them online. You don’t have to have a warehouse full of products, you just need something to sell. 

Over the years we have helped so many start-up small businesses in fashion, furniture, crafts, arts and toys who have turned their hobbies and passions into profitable online businesses.

Entrepreneurs who specialise in making their own products at home have extremely low overheads, and extremely high margins so it’s no wonder that they do so well. 

For those with no products and slightly larger start-up budgets, you could even think about import products from China at extremely low costs. AliExpress is a fantastic website for finding niche products at low prices to import.

What Do You Need To Start An E-commerce Business?


Products to sell – you obviously need products to sell. Either your own, or ones you have managed to sources elsewhere.

Domain & Hosting – you’ll need to purchase and register a domain for your e-commerce website. This will usually be reflective of your brand name. There’s lots of different hosting and domain companies out there but I’d recommend Bluehost which offers packages from as little as $3.95 per month.

E-commerce Platform – an e-commerce platform is a transactional website which will allow your stores products to be found on the search engines and has the functionality to capture and take payments from customers. There are lots of e-commerce platforms out there but Shopify is the world’s #1 e-commerce and dropshipping platform and it’s very inexpensive. 

Logistics Supplier – you’ll need a system to deliver your products. For smaller items the usually a postal service will suffice.  For larger items you may possibly require an external logistics supplier, depending on the size and weight of your products.

How Much Does It Cost To Start An E-commerce Business?


Not including your product costs, you’d be looking at starting your online business for around $200. $10 for your domain. $97 for a professional Shopify theme and $50 Labelling and packaging.

Pro’s: Low startup costs. Low cost of entry. Easy to find  low-cost, high-margin products. High earnings potential.

Con’s: Is there a demand for your product? 

#2 – Launch A Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is is the perfect solution for starting an online business without the risk of buying or stocking products. You simply advertise someone else’s products, take the order, place the order with the supplier or manufacturer and then they deliver the product to the customer direct.

how to start an online business dropshipping

Dropshipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. Wikipedia

What Do You Need To Start A Dropshipping Business?

Products to sell – you’ll need to source products and suppliers that provide a dropshipping service. 

Domain & Hosting – you’ll need to purchase and register a domain for your e-commerce website. This will usually be reflective of your brand name. There’s lots of different hosting and domain companies out there but I’d recommend Bluehost which offers packages for as little as $3.95 per month.

E-commerce Platform –  an e-commerce platform is a transactional website which will allow your stores products to be found on the search engines and has the functionality to capture and take payments from customers. There are lots of e-commerce platforms out there but Shopify is the world’s #1 e-commerce and dropshipping platform and it’s very inexpensive. 


Dropship Wholesalers & Suppliers – you’ll need to source a list of suppliers and manufacturers that provide a dropshipping service.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Dropshipping Business?

You’d could start a dropshipping business for as little as around $120. $10 for your domain and about $97 for a professional Shopify theme

Pro’s: Low start-up costs. Low cost of entry. Quick to set-up. High earnings potential.

Con’s: Finding winning products is the hard part. 

#3 – Become An Affiliate Marketer

how to start an online business affiliate marketing

An affiliate marketer is someone who gets paid commissions for referring other people’s or brand’s products or services. Ever since the book the ‘4-Hour Working Week’ was written, millions of entrepreneurs across the globe have had the dream of earning ‘passive’ income. Waking up on a morning and checking a laptop to see how much money you’ve earned in your sleep. Amazing right?!

Sounds ideal, yes, but it’s a little more complex than that and you’ll need a few more additional resources to get started, than you would if you were setting up an e-commerce store, selling your own or other people’s products. 

What Do You Need To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business?

Expertise – ideally, you’ll need expertise in a given subject or topic. It’s easy to sell to people in a particular niche if you have expertise in that field and you can share your own personal experiences that other people can relate to and believe in. Even if you think you don’t have sufficient expertise in a particular area then you can still easily sell other people’s products and services and get paid for doing so.

Domains & Hosting – as a minimum you’ll need to purchase and register domains for your blogs and or your landing page funnels.

Blog & Publishing Platform – you’ll need a hosted blog like WordPress to publish content and write relevant reviews for the products you wish to promote in your chosen niche etc.

WordPress is the best publishing platform in the world and its free! If you purchase a domain from your Bluehost account you’ll be able to connect a WordPress site to your domain with a click of a mouse.

Landing Page Software – integrated with your blog and other targeted domains, landing page software will allow you to create high converting lead pages or mini-websites with built in pop-ups and alerts which are perfect for helping you attract and build targeted audiences to market to via emails and notifications.

Over the last couple of years, ClickFunnels has revolutionized and dominated this software space with lots of additional features, functionality and first class free training provided. 

Automated Email Marketing Software  – once you’ve used your tools capture leads and email addresses, automated email marketing funnels are essential for maximizing your affiliate revenue with follow up emails.

Affiliate Marketer Training – affiliate marketing training is highly recommended if you’re serious about becoming an affiliate marketer. Don’t be fooled by all the of the ‘get rich quick’ scams out there that promise you’ll earn 6-figures within weeks. It just doesn’t happen like that. You’re earning potential is enormous with affiliate marketing yes, but it takes hard work and a lot of ‘know how’.

If you feel affiliate marketing is the route for you, then I’d highly recommend that you start off with ClickFunnels and their fast paced, high energy free webinar training program here.

Once you’ve completed this training you’ll be offered to join an intense 30-day training program which if this is the direction you want to go, will be the best $100 you’ve ever spent on training.

Another benefit of signing up with ClickFunnels after your 14-day Free Trial is that you wouldn’t need to purchase any landing page software and you wouldn’t need to purchase any email marketing software as all of these features and functionality are already built into the software.

How Much Does It cost To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business?

You’d could start an affiliate marketing business for around $210. $10 for a domain and blog hosting. $100 for training. And up to $100 per month for landing page or funnel software. 

Pro’s: Low start-up costs. Low cost of entry. Quick to set-up. High earnings potential. More time to yourself when set up.

Con’s: Competitive sector. Lots of initial set-up work. 

Summary & Recommendations

Starting an online business can be extremely rewarding both personally and financially. You have to choose a type of online business that suits you, your lifestyle, your expertise, your skills, your knowledge and where your passions lie. 


All of the options above can be started full or part-time. My advice is to start part-time if you haven’t got the financial luxury of giving up your daytime job. 

Only you know how much time and effort you’re willing to put in to make your online business a success. The more time and effort you can throw at it, the quicker you’ll be successful.

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