Let's see how easy we can make this
1) Turn yourself into a business via D.B.A. (usually around $50)
2) Obtain a business bank account (shop around at banks for best deal)
[lets figure aroudn $100 initial deposit]
3) Setup a PayPal account to receive payments (free)
4) Find a cPanel w/ Fantastico reseller account with a good
provider [good provider being the key point] (10-20/mo)
5) Make a website?
5a) Download 30day free trial of Net Objects Fusion
[easier to use than MS Word]
5b) Install Fantastico scripts as needed and type in options
5c) Be sure to setup a forum so customers can try
to answer eachothers questions
6) Find friends and relatives as first set of customers
7) Expand to co-workers at your day job
8) Expand to local businesses
9) Conquor world
There you have it - hosting provider is up and running in less than a week with less then $200.
Oh wow, that is kind of scarry - at any rate with the exception of step 9...thats actually not an overly bad way of doing it - the only thing not mentioned is that you have to support your customers, but as long as you start with people you know locally and work out - it will give you a sense of what questions are asked, time to build an on-line FAQ (scripts for those are in Fantastico) or even build forum posts (as forums are searchable) - and that covers basic technical support.
Of course, to be honest, your not going to be a large scale hosting provider by following that - but that IS how simple it is to start doing hosting - and if you happen to know 2-6 people that would be willing to host with you (depending on how much you charge) you can atleast make a slight profit and start learning what hosting actually involves. Plus, depending on the provider you choose to get your reseller account from - your provider should act as a source of information for you as well - any customer questions that you can't answer you should eb able to research in your providers self-help resources (forums/faqs/tutorials/etc) - and any server issues you would simply open a ticket with your provider.
Sorry - just saw a lot of threads about basic starting out questions....at least this is my humble take on the subject....of course, large scale has *much* more to consider...but thats the simplistic/drumped down/small reseller business type deal...