In a recent television commercial, an elderly woman in the idyllic Italian countryside starts her own e-business and uses the Internet to sell olive oil. While the suggestion that anyone with a product and a laptop can easily set up shop on the Internet may be marketing oversimplification, it would also be a mistake to downplay the role that entrepreneurs have had in shaping and driving the phenomenal growth of product and service offerings via the Internet.

So how do you start your own e-business? Where do you get capital, how do you create a business plan, what technology do you need to learn, and what sane person would even attempt to try?

As with any set of complex business questions, there isn't a single right answer or method. And in a short article we can't pretend to cover every detail surrounding starting a new e-business venture. However, we can walk you through some of the basic areas you'll need to consider to launch your own e-business.

As for the question of personal sanity, you should be able to determine that for yourself.

We break the process of building an online business into two basic phases: the business phase and the technical phase. This article takes you through the key steps in both phases to help you prepare for getting your dot-com up and running.