It may be your dream to stay home, run a home-based business and make money online. What may be stopping you is that you don’t know where to start. With a little research and upfront work on your part, you can find an online business you can run from your home and make money at the same time.



Determine the products or services you want to sell. Make a list of the products or services you are interested in selling online. You may create your own products or have a talent you wish to sell online, or you may want to sell a product or service produced by someone else.



Research the market for the products or services on your list. Find other online businesses that are selling the same or similar products or services to the ones on your list. Review the company website to see the kinds of products or services the companies are selling and how the companies are marketing these products and services. Determine who appears to be the end-user of the product or service--consumers or businesses, or specific segments such as moms, professionals or retirees.



Contact the business website owners via email or by phone. Explain you are considering opening a business online and ask the owner questions about running his online business.



Establish your product or service offering. Choose products or services that seem to be in demand, based on your own research and your discussion with other online business owners.



Find a wholesaler. If you are selling products that you do not make yourself, contact the manufacturers or wholesale companies where you can buy the products for reselling. Contact the wholesale or manufacturing company for information on establishing an account. You may be able to set up a drop-ship relationship with the company, so when a customer places an order with you, you place the order with the wholesaler and the wholesaler ships the order directly to your customer using your company information as the shipper.



Build a website to promote, market and sell the products or services you’re selling. Include a shopping cart, where visitors to the site can add items to the shopping cart and make payments online.



Fulfill customer orders. When you receive a customer order confirmation via email, process the order by shipping the products or providing the services you have in inventory. If you have a drop-ship relationship, then place the order with the wholesale company. Your profit is the difference in what you charge the customer and what you pay for the products with the wholesaler.

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