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Does that mean you immediately commit to a store and get a merchant account so your customers can pay for their orders - NO. Start your web site, and advertise it heavily. One of better bets is ezines and newsletters that target audience you wish to reach. Try to build a following on your website - consider your own newsletter.
If you are able to get a respectable number of visitors to your web site, or subscribers to your newsletter, you just might have a shot at your online store succeeding. Remember, "Content is King". If you provide good content, you will have return visitors. Return visitors are potential future customers.
Offer freebies, run contests, have guest columnists contribute; these all enhance your site. But forget some of hype you will run across. This does not happen overnight. Once established, will you make money while you sleep - you betcha.
Like any business, you will need a war chest. How much? If you're going to be selling a product, you'll need an inventory. But don't be like person who bought into Equinox (see http://www.mlmwatch.org/06FTC/Equinox/equinoxftc1.html) who has $5,000 worth of junk in their garage they can't sell.
Look for a distributor who will sell in small lots. Sure they will charge a bit more, and you will earn a bit less, but you're not in over your head. If product moves, you can then afford to buy larger lots at a lower price.
You should then know pretty quickly if it is going to work. If it is positive at that point, move to your next level. Open your online store, get merchant status so you can accept credit cards, and move forward.
Above all, use "due diligence" in any venture you take, and you just might avoid "misery" of failure.
Bob publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter Visit his Web Site at http://adv-marketing.com/business to subscribe.