Having started and run lots of businesses online, here’s my advice on starting your own online business.
First: The Don’ts
Before you go making a bunch of mistakes…
- Don’t Try To Re-invent The Wheel – Lots of other people have started businesses. Lots of them are willing to tell you how they did it. Find a blueprint for what works and follow it. Below I’ll give recommendations for business models I believe are the easiest/best to follow.
- Don’t Get Caught Up In Bright, Shiny Objects – As you begin learning, you’ll find that everyone has something to sell you. Almost every one of them is “THE BEST, MOST AWESOMEST, 100% GUARANTEED, IF YOU DON’T DO IT YOU’RE STUPID WAY TO MAKE MONEY ANYWHERE EVER!!!” My experience is: the more you jump from one thing to another, even if the other thing looks better, the less likely you are to succeed.
- Don’t Get A Merchant Account – Lots of people will tell you “you need a merchant account in order to process credit cards!” Don’t fall for it. It’s expensive. Plus, there are lots of other ways to collect money. Try Paypal, Google Checkout, or Intuit Payment Network. Any of them will make it super easy to collect money (just copy and paste the code they’ll give you).
- Don’t set up an LLC – At least…not until you’re making money. You’ll find tons of people wanting to set you up a Nevada LLC because of all it’s “benefits.” It’s all a bunch of crap.
- Don’t do “paid surveys” – Worst idea ever! You’ll NEVER make any money from this, no matter how easy they make it look.
I’ve seen too many people make these mistakes before the ever even get started.
Next: The Do’s
Now for my advice on what to do when starting an internet business. Most sites will give you a bunch of generic advice like “find stuff to sell” or “clean out your garage and sell it on ebay”. What a bunch of garbage.
- Learn To Sell– When I read “Learn how to sell” in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” I thought: “Nah…I don’t want to and I don’t like it. I’ll get other people to sell for me”. Wrong! Not only will you be selling online, knowing how to sell online will make all the difference in the world for your confidence as you begin any venture. Learn to write sales copy. I’m not saying you need to write your own copy (I usually don’t), but knowing it will give you power. When you don’t know how to sell, don’t know how to write sales copy, you’ll do everything else except the important part, MAKE SALES! You’ll beat around the bush doing tasks that won’t ever make you money. Learning to sell will give you a TON of confidence and will take you like 2 hours. Here are two pretty good copywriting courses: http://www.sherus.com/business/copywriting/ and http://www.copyblogger.com/copywriting-101/.
- Recognize: This Is A Business! – I see too many people who try to start an online business who treat it like a hobby or a get-rich-quick scheme. If you don’t want a “get-rich-quick” scheme, don’t treat it like one. You’re not going to make a bazillion dollars overnight. IT WILL TAKE TIME! Implement what you learn and learn from your failures. Also, recognize that as a business, IT WON’T BE FREE! (but I’ll tell you the best, most economical places to get started…at least…according to my 7 years experience)
- Get A Practical Education – When you know how to sell it’s time to learn what works online.
This involves learning tactics
and implementing them!
The best way I know of to get this education is at NicheProfitClassroom.com. I’ve seen hundreds of people go through the training at NPC. It’s the best in the world. The best part of it is that it helps you implement the tactics you’re learning. Adam makes “making money” sound much easier than it is, and maybe it is for him, but the fact his, his training inside NicheProfitClassroom is the best in the world and will definitely propel you forward in your online business. Another place you can get a really good education is at Challenge.co. Both offer step-by-step training and implementation.
Implementation is Key!
If you don’t implement what you learn, you guarantee failure!
Learn To Outsource – The reason you’re starting a business online is to that business can run itself for you, right? A brick-and-mortar store can’t run itself for you. A website can…
My experience is that a website must be updated and maintained or it will die. So how do you live the lifestyle you want?
It’s amazing what you can outsource nowadays. You just have to know how. In my not-so-humble opinion, here’ the best place to learn to outsource
- Follow A System That Works – I already told you about 2 systems (NPC and Challenge.co) which will give you the best education. However, in my opinion, the best way to make money online is as a consultant doing online work for offline businesses. It’s easy to learn, it’s easy to understand, and I see success story after success story of people doing it using all kinds of systems. It’s not what you would consider a “normal online business”, but it’s the quickest way to see profits. In my experience, the best place to get started is at OfflineBiz.com. It’s cheap, has a huge community behind it (super easy to get help), and the guys who run it are honest, smart, and know what they’re teaching, and, the best part…people who use it are succeeding!
Last: Pay Attention
- Get An Education (an online education)
- Follow A System
- Implement What You Learn
I see too many people skipping steps. They don’t want to learn, or they JUST want to learn and never implement. Or, worse, they learn, and implement, but never stick with anything and just jump from one program to another. If you don’t stick with something you’ll never succeed.
Great post here. I help set up blogs for businesses and find that most of my clients have no idea about the core message of their blog. They only see it as a one dimensional way to "sell" their wares.
I explained that it goes deeper than that. I further explain that "with great publishing power, comes great responsibility," to make a twist on Spiderman! LOL