Starting Your Own Internet Business
That's it. The downturn in the economy has frightened you into taking action.
You don't want to take a chance that your employer might not downsize you out
onto the street. You still have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and savings that
are close to non-existant. You've decided that it's finally time to start up
an Internet business just in case the paychecks stop coming.
What do you do first? Well, if you have decided to take a trip, the first thing
you normally do is decide where you're going to go. Same thing with starting a
home based business. Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve? What
do you want to do? You have to decide what kind of Internet business you want to
start. Then you have to figure out how to get there.
The Importance of Planning
As with starting any business endeavor, you must have a business plan. Think of
it as your roadmap to where you want to go. You figure out the best, and easiest
way of getting to your destination. But you also come up with alternate routes.
What happens if this freeway is blocked due to traffic? Or if that bridge is
closed for repairs. You plan ahead so that if something does come up, you know
exactly what you need to do to get around or through the problem.
The same thing applies to starting your own business. You do a little research,
you figure out the best and easiest way of achieving what you want to achieve,
then you prepare alternative plans in case roadblocks get thrown in your way.
There are many books out there that can help you in developing your business
plan, but the easiest way to come up with a basic business plan is to ask
yourself these important questions, then answer them:
- What legal requirements do I need in order to start my business? (For
example -- licenses, registration, fees, zoning, etc)
- What do I do if my sales revenue isn't as high as planned?
- What do I do if my costs are higher than expected?
- What related businesses can I spread into in order to reduce the risk of
Plan first. Think everything through as best you can. Learn as much about the
business you want to get into before starting. Then build your plan based on
the information you gather.
In order to be able to sell anything, you have to let people know that you are
there ready to sell. With any Internet business, the key factor in your success
is going to be "traffic". How many people are coming to your website every day?
You can't sell someone something if they don't know that you can sell it to them.
And the only way they will know is if you get them to visit your website.
To be sure, there are other factors involved -- your sales pitch, the look of
your website, how confident they are in your honesty, and other "conversion"
factors. But if no one comes to your site, it doesn't matter how good the site
looks, or how well it can convert visits into sales, your sales will still be
zero. Website design and pitch writing are vitally important, but marketing
your site and your business is even more important.
Fortunately, there are Internet marketing books available that can teach you
everything you need to know about how to develop traffic for your website, and
other books on how to write good sales pitches. Again, you need both to be a
success, but getting traffic is paramount.
Don't stop working
This warning has a double-meaning. Firstly, don't stop working your dayjob until
after your Internet business is making at least double what your regular job
pays you. Many beginner webpreneurs start their business and quit their jobs
right away, assuming that they'll be swimming in money in a matter of days.
I hate to break this to you, but it doesn't work that way. Your business
doesn't just spring up into being -- it grows. Just like a tree grows from a
seed, to a sapling, then to a full-sized tree, your Internet business will be
small at the start, and will gradually develop and grow into something
marvellous. So don't quit your dayjob too soon!
The other meaning is the reason why the business will slowly grow into something
marvellous -- you will need to work at it continually. Despite popular opinion,
an Internet business is not something that you work on for a few days, then
never have to work on it again. Borrowing Ron Popeil's slogan, it is not a case
of "Set it and forget it". You will have to devote time every day to
growing your business, either by enlarging and improving your website, or by
increasing the amount of traffic your site gets. This takes time, and effort,
and sometimes money. A successful Internet business is not a 52-week annual
holiday -- you have to work it to grow it. Yes, a successful web business will
allow you some personal freedom, but it doesn't allow you to abdicate your
responsibility to keep working at it to make it grow.
Some naive webpreneurs start up with the goal of being a millionaire in 6 weeks
or some other ridiculous time frame. While some web businesses can make their
owners wealthy -- there are enough Internet millionaires out there to prove that
that's true -- don't expect it to happen in the first few years. Remember, like
a tree, your business will grow, and probably grow slowly to start. Some people
like to keep a chart on the wall by their computer. On the chart they mark off
how long it has taken to achieve $x in daily profits, usually marked off in
tens of dollars. For example, once you've consistently reached $10 a day in profits
(not just revenues), you'd mark the date that it happened. You may choose to
make it the number of days or weeks from your start date instead. At $20 a day,
you'd mark down the date that that level of success was achieved. And so on. It
may sound foolish to do this, but every time you sit down at your computer to
do more work on your business, you'll see how far you've come, and how much
farther you have to go. If your goal is get double the amount of money you
earned from your dayjob (let's say $300), you'll have a visual reminder that
you're successfully growing a business from scratch, and the inevitability that
you will reach your goal eventually.
But don't stop when you hit that goal. After you hit that mark, create a new
chart, marked off by hundreds instead of tens. And so on, until you no longer
need to see that you have become successful.
To sum up -- learn, learn, learn, before you start. Plan, plan, plan, until
you're ready for anything that might come up. Don't quit your job until it is
completely safe to do so. Then work, work, work, to grow your new business to
its maximum potential.
Copyright 2008 Mirroreyes Internet Services Corporation.