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How Much Time Does it Take to Start an Online Business?

You guys—we live in a time where we have more “conveniences” than ever before…but it seems like we are busier than ever! Which is why it’s not a big surprise that so many people ask me the same question: “How long does it take to start an online business?”  

In other words, they love the idea of starting a home-based business, they’d like to start their own online store, but they’re already busy and they just do not know how they’ll fit in one more thing. 

Jobs, family, school and other responsibilities can make adding one more thing—like the time to start an online business—seem impossible. 

And I suppose…that if you truly think it’s impossible, it might be. 

But what I’ve found—and what the people I’ve been teaching my process to for the last few years have also found –is that you absolutely can find the time to start an online business.  

It operates a bit on the “easy/hard” principle, which I explain in this video:

It will be harder at first, as you learn about how and why e-commerce works. To build a foundation for your business. Figure out all of the pieces that go into it. To look for and avoid the traps that can hurt a business. If you have a full-time gig, you’ll probably have to get up earlier or stay up later or give up watching your favorite TV shows for a while. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you may have to do it in those precious hours that your babies are napping and the older kids are in school. 

But here’s the greatest news: once your business is up and running…things begin to get easier and easier.  All of those pieces start falling into place, and the time you have to invest gets smaller and smaller.

That’s how it was for my daughters. They gave up time with friends and binging Netflix to set up their first company. They had to figure out all the ins and outs, from the products they were going to sell to what they were going to ship those products in.  

It was a big step for them to sacrifice their time and “fun stuff” when they were just kids.  But after about the first month, suddenly the hard stuff fell into place and things got easier from there. And within a few months, they were choosing, buying, selling and shipping tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise in a few hours a week. 

They’re not alone. I operate one business that I’m literally able to manage in a handful of hours a week. It’s practically on autopilot, with me checking in to see how things are going, evaluate products and how orders are being fulfilled, and that sort of thing. But I’m making money whether I’m on a plane, sleeping, playing soccer with my kids or doing Facebook Lives to teach other people. 

You can get there too…in time. 


How much time does it take to start an online business?


Let’s talk about some facts about the time it takes.  

  1. You’ll need the time to set up the legal side of your company (the name, get your licenses and permits, all that stuff.) 
  2. Time to create a website for your products (hint: Shopify makes that crazy easy.) 
  3. Next, you’ll need the time to learn the PROCESS of running an online e-commerce business.  That’s the big one. I mean, you don’t go from learning to spell your name to being a college graduate, right? (Ahem. I know a course that can drop your learning curve exponentially.) 
  4. You’ll need the time to select a product, market it, and get it out to your customers. (Psst!  I have some VERY good ideas to save you time there as well.) 

The exact number of minutes or days or weeks that each one of these steps will take varies for everybody I’ve ever worked with. The great news is that you do have some control over it all, including whether you take advantage of the opportunities to learn from people right in the industry or go the longer (and a smidge more challenging route) of doing it all on your own. 

So how long does it take to start an online business? I guess you could say that it’s all up to you. 


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My 13 & 10-year-old did it—and made $100k!!!

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