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How to Start an Online Business (Without Any Money)

By Thom Harrison - June 3, 2024

Piggy bank

#1 Choose a business model

Wholesale (Bulk Distribution)

Dropshipping (Inventory-less Retail)


Private Label

Handmade Goods and Custom Products

Digital Products

Subscription Services (Physical)

Affiliate Marketing

Freelance Creative

See also: Portfolio Websites for Creatives

Freelance Services

Teaching & Online Courses

#2 Do your market research

See also: 2024 Guide to Starting an Online Business

#3 Write your online business plan

#4 Choose your online platform

Option 1: Website Builder

Learn more about creating a website with Website Builder

Option 2: Managed WordPress

Learn more about Managed WordPress from 123 Reg

Option 3: Online Marketplaces

Also: eCommerce CMS

#5 Buy a Domain Name

See our guide: Names That Click – How to Choose the Right Domain Name

Find a perfect domain name with 123 Reg

#5 Soft launch

#6 Register your business

Setting up a limited company – step by step

#7 Get funding


#8 Build on your success

See also: How to Schedule Social Media Posts 2024

See also: Blogging A-Z – Your glossary for success

Wrap up


  1. https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/united-kingdom-ecommerce-market