How to start a small business online is a question I see regularly and it can be done if you understand a little about the rules of the race.
What business do you want?
There are so many online opportunities and you need to pick just one. The trendy ones include
The list is long and you can't do them all so pick one. Even if not on the list and let's put some ideas on paper
How much time to spend on a business?
This is your very important first question of yourself. Is it Part-time or Full time you need to recognise the hours of involvement. Everything takes time so you need to allocate it wisely.
Getting excited about your business
“A big business starts small.”
Work out your direction and don't swerve until you make it or break it. Online business is easier than Bricks and Mortar because you are not locked into premises and legal problems. No need for staff or insurance until you can see if it will work and plenty of time then to go deeper in debt
Starting a journey in business
“Spend time upfront to invest in systems and processes to make long-term growth sustainable.”
Planning is everything and it can be done on paper or using an Excel spreadsheet to plan your trip for a year ahead. Sometimes banks and consultants will want three years of planning which is a bit of a waste, However, just forward your one-year figures with fixed growth and adjust them annually.
You will need cash flows as well. I still do mine on a daily basis so that I can anticipate the future in payments and take home
Don't spend too much money
Having just googled starting a business you will see all kinds of values floated at what you need to spend. Ignore them all they are wrong and I shall tell you why.
In the beginning, you need to conserve both money and time wisely because the pathway is long.
If it is a shop you want then a WordPress site with a woocommerce plugin can be free but Shopify will cost you a small amount every month.
Affiliate marketing can be started easily with a domain cost and set up a website.
My point is to try things out to see if they work before going all spend mad.
I have a cupboard full of just training courses that I wasted a lot of time on let alone a cost for each one. That was before I consolidated my efforts to Wealthy Affiliate and started to grow exponentially.
The internet is full of sparkling opportunities developed by experts to make them money. I tell the story of MOBE. This was a great idea and got many of us involved, hey it was only $49 to join and untold wealth was yours.
People ended up paying over $20,000 on credit to advance through the company.
The end result was closed down and liquidated by the US federal authorities.
I was lucky and bailed at $49 so a cheap lesson was had.
Learning the rules
The Government will eventually want a part of your action. At that stage of earnings, you will need to declare your income like anyone earning money and pay taxes like the rest of us. You will, however, be able to offset all your expenses and only pay after you have drawn down funds. The control is in your hands.
If you start employing people in your country new rules will apply.
SEO in business
This is one of the most important topics on the page. Search Engine Optimization is the way people find you on the internet. It is a lengthy issue however you must understand the basics before going anywhere.
Keywords in business
Keywords follow on from SEO and form part of the framework of your new business. When people search for you they use what we call Keywords. They may be a single word or a very long tail phrase that leads readers in a certain direction, we do have support in this with Keyword tools that make the job easier for you.
Keywords can be done easily once you get the hang of the rules.
A quick explanation for you. Say you want to be a home-based Barber or Hairstylist. Naturally, your keyword is Barber, however, there is a lot around the world all with the same word seeking clicks on a website.
Now best barber for Mohawke haircuts in Wyoming says the same thing but narrows down the search to a location area and for you to be noticed.
A business is not a short term journey
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
Every business starts with a plan, cash forecasts, target projections and a way forward. This will be done every year without fail (or you will)
Problems on starting a business
Let me start at the top with the most common problem people encounter and a hard one to get past.
The answer is family. You will become so hooked into this venture that something has to give. If you can get them involved early it might just help your future.
The next problem is YOU.
Working for your self takes discipline and self-control. It is easy to skip tasks for a Game of Golf or a game on the PlayStation. This is ok if you are ahead of schedule but be careful of the time.
Avoidance and hiding.
Putting the problems in the drawer does not fix them. Do it and be dammed at least it won't haunt your sleep.
How to make money working from home.
Overcoming the new business problems
“There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.”
As well as selling stuff you also need to build a customer base or contact list. You will need names and email addresses as well as phone numbers and addresses where you can achieve them.
These are your future and an asset that you can make money from for years to come. You can ask for information, have a link on your Webpage or blog, run a competition or provide giveaway products
Your list building starts from day one and I wrote more about it on a local page
Further training on your new business
There is only one training venture that has it all. Wealthy Affiliate has something for everyone. By clicking on the script below I have organised a free entry for you to start your journey.
I, as well as a million or so others, really like this media as a one-shot includes all.
Domains, hosting, training, web builder, support live plus community and just so much to do in the community to learn from others just like you that want to succeed online
Using Social media in business
This is an important part of business life and the first steps are simple ones.
LinkedIn. Sign up do a BIO and nice picture and tell them all about what you are doing.
Do your Facebook business page and make a solemn pledge to do 5 posts every week. Using the schedule is the way to go.
The idea is to do one and do it properly. My current choice is Instagram, the darling of the Facebook group and many changes coming in the days ahead.
Call to action
When you are doing anything in business you should always consider that you are selling something, to make money that is what it is all about.
When I start my day I first consider what I can do to get a new customer. It might be email, or SMS, a Blog post or a phone call however the outcome I want is a sale. This pays the bills. In this Blog, there are several calls to action and that is part of the reason for writing blog posts as you will in the future.
If I have scared you it is not intentional, being in your own business and making the rules is a great idea of work, it becomes a passion and consumes your life. Far better than hating the boss or the awful job you have to put up with.
“Failure is not to be feared. It is from failure that most growth comes.”
About Peter Hanley
I have spent all my life in small business after walking out on a secure Government job at 22 years of age.
My pioneering instincts led me into the new technology business from a one-man office to a public listed corporation.
Internet became my life after turning 65 years of age and I am as interested today as I was then.