Starting an online business is not hard. A lot of people think that it involves highly technological tools, systems and equipment to establish a business online. No! Starting an online business just need someone to have an idea and some passion, and the rest flows on smoothly.
- Hardware-wise, you just need a computer connected to internet. It does not matter the speed, RAM or storage capacity, as long as it can browse the web, you are good to go.
- Software-wise, you just need a browser to start with. I recommend google chrome or firefox since they are highly developed and supported. However, there are a myriads of browsers which are all equally good. Later, you might require other software to develop website, emailing etc
Just before you start!
When you decide to start you online business, there are a couple of questions you will need to ask yourself.
- Is there a need?
- Is the need pressing. Does it need to be resolved urgently?
- Do you have a solution for the pressing need?
- Do you have the passion necessary to resolve the need?
- Do you have the resources and tools necessary to resolve the need?
- Do you connect with the market or target group?
Tips on starting an online business
Before we start, I would like to give you some tips on how to make it possible, online. These are the lessons that I learnt through my decade-long experience in online business.
- Be patient – Online business builds over time. You make incremental money depending on the consistent effort that you put on the business.
- Start small and progress – Do not invest a lot of resources initially. It pays to start small and progress as you move on. This gives you an opportunity to learn, test and triumph. Any investment you make into the business should have a specific goal. Initially, just invest to set up the systems.
- Don’t procrastinate – Just do it. When you decide to write that article, just write it. You will be surprised how much work you will have done by just doing it.
- Have a plan and stick to it – Have a plan with measurable milestones. For instance writing one article every day to rank the website on first page of google in 60 days. Structured discipline is the key to online business success.
- Build relationships – Strive to build solid relationships especially by offering to help. Keep interacting with your audience. Engage them, resourcefully, quite often, by sending resourceful emails, giving them coupons and deals and exposing them to opportunities.
- Get to know how your clients are finding you – Most of the online entrepreneurs fail to understand the source of their online visitors. This piece of information is important since it shows areas where the entrepreneur need to concentrate on to get more traffic.
- Start and build an email list – it important to build your fan base. The email list is a list of people who adore you and are more than willing to get information from you. Build and service the list.
- Keep on learning – Don’t stop seeking for more information on your niche area and also on online business itself. The more information and knowledge you get, the better it becomes. Personal development is one of the pillars in this business.
- Be prompt in response. Most people write asking for help. If you are prompt in your answer, they always feel that you are ready to help.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. And especially the experienced and experts. They are far ahead. You will only succeed if you go according to your own pace. Learn and set your own strategies and follow them. It might take you longer, but take less resources.
Starting an online business is all about discipline and consistency. Even google loves consistence. Those who make it online make plans and they consistently follow their plans. If you decide to star blogging, then you should do it often and without fail. If your plan is to write one post every two days, then do that for years. You will definitely succeed.
What to expect in online business
Once you start your online business, there are three things that you should build alongside.
Income: You should monetize your online business so that you can get income out of it. There are several way you could make money online.
- Ad networks: Ad networks pay blog owners for displaying their advertisements. You can get paid by clicks or by impressions. An example is google or adbrite or chitika.
- Affiliate: You can signup into affiliate programs. These programs pay you for selling other peoples products or services. If you want to do affiliate business, then it will be worthwhile to register into affiliate networks like commission junction, jvzoo or clickbank. These networks will enable you promote several products without necessarily signup into individual websites. Amazon is also a big affiliate if you are interested into products business.
Followers: As you build your business, you should build an email list too. Its important to have people interested in your online business. This is your fan base. These people will give you anything. They will be your prospect list. The bigger the list, the better. To build your list, you can use mailing systems like mailchimp or aweber.
Authority: People love authority sites. They look for a leader they can follow. Everytime you are building your online business, build it to be the market leader. When you are at the top, you will easily get business. Authority gives you more and more business with less resource inputs. It however takes time and need persistence and patience.
In conclusion, planning is very important. A well laid down plan will save you a lot of time and resources. A lot of people start their online businesses without any plan. Bloggers will just start blogging, hoping that money will come any time soon whereas affiliate will set their sales pages and relax. A serious online business person will have a precise plan of how he will make money online. This plan will have a step by step procedure of the actions and activities to be done, with their timeline and outputs. This plan will show the potential income that one will get at certain set levels and timelines.
So don’t get online blindly, plan your business beforehand. Ensure that you have all the actions that you need to do on a daily basis. Then if you follow your plan, faithfully, then you will have to succeed.