Is starting an online business different from starting any other business? Yes and no. Yes, the technologies change. And no, most basic principles still apply. You still need to understand your target market, learn what they want, and provide them with it in a cost-effective way. You still need to learn what their buttons are and how to push them. You still need to know about finances, leadership, management, marketing, and sales.
Don’t think for a moment that just because you open a store online and Internet reaches the whole world people will buy from you. Venture capital firms call this “The China Myth” because so many entrepreneurs pitch investors on the idea that all they need is 1% of the Chinese market to be successful. The question is “How do you plan to sell to that 1%?” Don’t even think that because so many people have an Internet connection and you open an online store “someone will bite”. It just won’t happen unless you make it happen.
As an Internet Marketing consultant I’ve spoken with several people who start an online business, a month later they haven’t made enough money, and they decide that the business was a bad idea so they start a new one. Another month down the road they are in the same place. Nothing happens.
So many people are always looking for the next “hot” thing to do, the next “hot trend”, the next easy way to get rich overnight… so many people follow the so-called gurus who make money online by selling them e-books on how to make money online!
Don’t give up so easily. When you start a company, work on it until it becomes successful. Don’t give up after a few weeks. The truth is that a couple of weeks aren’t enough to figure out the right business model.
Another mistake I see often is people thinking too small and not considering the monetary value of their time. A woman told me the other day “I have an online business. Last month I made a profit.” When I asked her how much money she made and how much time she invested she said “I made $45 last month and I usually work 3 hours a day.” After doing the math we figured out that she was making $0.68/hour. McDonalds pays a lot more than that. I said “Good, that’s a great start. Now let’s think big.” and we went over a plan that helped her make $1,500 the next month. Your time is worth money. If you want to become rich overnight or make some easy money, don’t waste your time. If you are determined to building a solid business, Internet is one of the best things that could ever happen to you.
One last thought. I often see people spending 80% building a website and 20% promoting it. You should do it the other way around. If people don’t know about your website, your website doesn’t exist.
If you enjoyed this article, visit my blog at www.TheOutsourcingCompany.com/blog for more great tips on entrepreneurship and online marketing
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