Starting an online business is both a very exciting and a very stressful decision but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be the later.
In this article, I’ll take you through the steps necessary to build a strong foundation for your business. Once we have the foundation all set we will move on to the tools you will have available to help you keep your business rolling.
One last point before we get into the how and what of starting an online business. There are literally hundreds of ways to start an online business, but the reality is that only a very small percentage of them actually prove to be successful, especially in terms of longevity.
Through my own experience at trying various methods, this article will take you down the path that I fully believe to be the best way to build the business that you have always wanted and keep it running for many years to come.
Let’s Get Started
There are two categories of people that are looking to start their own online business. There are those that come in knowing exactly what niche they are marketing to and what services they are going to provide, then there are those that know they want to start an online business but other than that they really have no idea where to go or what to do next.
No matter which category you might fall into, we’ll be addressing both situations in this article. Let’s start by offering some direction and a focus to those of us that aren’t quite sure what kind of business we want to create.
It’s All About That Passion
The most important thing to creating a successful and long-lasting online business is to focus your time on something that you have a lot of interest in. I can not stress enough just how important this first step is. It will determine with high probability whether your business will be successful or not.
Think about it for a moment. The niche that you are marketing to will depend on you to be an authority in terms of knowledge about that niche. This includes keeping up with current news and development for whatever your business focuses on.
If you are focusing your business on something that you really don’t have too much interest in longterm, I promise you that you will not be able to continue for more than a few months or so. I’m saying this out of first-hand experience. It just doesn’t work.
The next thing you have to think about after you decide what niche you want to cater to is what is it that you want to provide to that audience? Obviously, there is the production of some physical item but that isn’t the only way to run a business, especially an online business.
With an online business, you can provide so much more! You can provide digital goods like photos, print, or drawn artwork. You can provide information in the form of ebooks, videos, or interviews. You can also provide services for something you have experience in. This might be something like web design, programming, or even article writing. Perhaps you just want to share your thoughts on a particular subject that you are interested in and you decide to do a blog. Yes, even a blog can be an online business!
As you can see, there are many options available to you. Don’t ever feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing. Be creative and do something that you genuinely enjoy. This will make the entire process so much better for you.
Your main goal here is to fill a need that your target audience has. It is really just that simple!
Choose Your Base Of Operation
As I’m sure you are already very aware, to operate an online business means you have to have an online presence. The best way to do that is to have your own website to build a brand with.
Other options include going through social media to promote your business, but the best option really is to have a website. You can still market through social media, but everything directs your potential customers to your website.
A website gives that feeling of legitimacy and professionalism. This is pretty important to your visitors since they want to make sure they aren’t investing in something that turns out to be a scam.
There is a common misconception out there that leads people to believe that in order to have a professional looking website they need to hire a professional to build the website. This is absolutely NOT true!
Very often, these “expert” web developers will charge hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to build a website that probably took them a few hours to put together. The fact of the matter is that they are just robbing you of your hard-earned money.
Building a website has become such an automated and easy process that really just about anyone can build a professional looking website on their own with little to no cost out of pocket.
One other advantage of doing your site yourself is that you know exactly what it is that you want and you can change the look and feel of your website on the fly. Setting up your website will take you no more than a few minutes and just a few clicks.
I’ve written another article that goes into more detail how I create my own websites, like this one that you are on right now, and how you can do the same at no cost other than a little of your time. You can check that out here if you want to know more about building your own website.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that having a niche that you are passionate about is the most important thing. While that is true, it is barely true and this next section is a very close second in importance.
With a business idea that excites you and a website to launch that business from you have your strong foundation but that strength will do nothing if the structure placed on top of it is poorly planned, poorly constructed, and poorly maintained.
There is so much information available out there with solutions to your problems that is can be hard to know which information is accurate.
On top of that, there is information out there that is just completely wrong and will actually hurt your business in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Probably the worst of it is information that is wrong and is only given if you pay ludicrous amounts of money to view it. Basically, these sources of information are nothing more than scams.
Getting proper training and being able to get help from people that aren’t expecting anything in return from you is actually really hard to come by in this line of business.
I spent a decent number of years and money trying out various systems and exploring hundreds of forums in an attempt to weed out the bad information from the good. Along the way, I found a few decent sites that I could count on to get most of my answers but I noticed I was wasting so much time jumping back and forth between these sites that it was impacting my ability to produce content for my online business.
This is when I decided that I needed to look for a more complete option to streamline the entire process. After months of searching and, again, trying various systems I finally found one that put everything I needed into one website and gave all the support I needed almost instantly.
This seriously cut down on the amount of work I had to put in to produce material. It shaved hours of work off each and every day.
I wrote a review a while back of this platform, which you can find here, and I recommend that you take the time to go check it out. When it comes to top-notch training and expertise for any form of online business, these guys have it down to a science!
The Benefits An Online Business
- It takes only a few minutes to start from scratch at little to no cost.
- There is no requirement to actually own your own products.
- Don’t want to work a 9 to 5? No problem! Work whatever hours you want!
- Make money while you are sleeping or on vacation. Remember, online business means the shop is open 24/7.
- Do away with all that red tape! Being an online entity means a whole lot less paperwork, taxes, and regulations. Enjoy the freedom that only an online business can offer!
- The internet is HUGE. This means that you actually have a lot less competition statistically speaking. Take advantage of that!
Online Business Recap
To kind of wrap things up I just wanted to go over, one last time, each of the major items you will need in order to have a successful online business.
Focus your business on something you enjoy – If you want to be in business for the long haul you want to make sure you actually enjoy your work. This makes it feel a lot less like a chore and more like getting paid to have fun!
Build that strong foundation – Show the world wide web just how professional and legit your business is with an amazing website that is completely in your control. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new looks and changing things up every once in a while. Keep your website feeling fresh!
Proper training is essential – There are hundreds of tips and tricks out there to help you promote your business and stay ahead of your competition. Invest in yourself and some good training and it will pay off hand over fist!
If you have any comments or questions about the how and what of starting an online business, please leave a comment below! As always, I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂