When you’re a newcomer to building a business online, there are so many worries you may have over starting your own business. Although there’s a large community that offers some camaraderie, it’s still a solo business where you succeed or fail on your own. When newbies were asked about their biggest anxiety in launching a start-up business online, there were some common themes that seemed to be looked upon as obstacles for those who don’t have much experience with this business yet.
Knowing Where to Start
You get online and hear about creating a business and when you start Googling the words, you get a huge array of opportunities. There’s not just one online business model – there are dozens, if not hundreds.
You can create products, promote as an affiliate, engage in mobile marketing, provide services – the list goes on and on. It starts to get a little overwhelming because you don’t know what’s the best starting point.
You want to ask yourself what your primary need is right now. Are you desperate for money or are you hoping to build a business for your personal satisfaction?
It’s okay to have both, but if your electricity is about to be turned off, then you might want to pursue services and work for those who are already successful before you try to carve out a place for yourself as a leader in a niche.
Some business models will take more time to see a return than others. For example, if you were ghostwriting for someone, you could get paid today with a PayPal payment.
But if you decided to start off as an Amazon Associate, using affiliate marketing as your business model, you would have to wait at least two months to get a payment from that – not including the time it takes for you to create content that converts into sales.
How to Pick the One that Meets Your Needs
Learn what the various business models are and make a list of those that interest you. You don’t need to know all of the details about it yet, but if you hear that people make money ghostwriting and you love to write, jot that down as a possibility for you.
Then make a list of the skills and talents you have that you’d like to put to good use, like graphics, research, writing, technical tasks, etc.
Go out searching for courses and information that can help you get started. And have realistic expectations. There’s a reason you shouldn’t start with online marketing if you’re desperate for money – it’s not an overnight cash cow, no matter how many people toss words around like “push button” and “done for you.”
When you buy a course, implement every word of it before you consider it a flop. And even then, go to the product creator and show them your efforts and see if they can help you get on the right track.
Expect a few failures along the way – not one person has avoided them.
Don’t buy every course and tool and one time offer presented to you. You can easily get started with free and low cost options before you re-invest in your business for a few upgrades.
There is no exact starting line you have to find. You gather information and jump in. Look for information online or buy a course that helps you get going.
Deciding Which Courses to Invest In When Starting Your Own Business
Once you have a business model in mind that you think you may want to try, start looking for a course to teach you what you need to know. Start with one and then after completing it, move on to another.
There is no one soup to nuts course for you. Every seller will have a slightly different strategy and concept – and it’s likely that you’ll pick up a few golden nuggets from each one, rather than follow one course verbatim for your entire career.
Know where to look for courses. You start by asking in a forum or asking a reputable blogger what his or her recommendation is for learning a specific business model.
You can also Google things like “best Amazon affiliate course” to see what comes up. Look for discussions, not blatant promotions written by someone who is just out to make a quick buck.
Evaluate the reputation of the sellers. Look for real information – does he or she respond to emails? Are refunds difficult to get if there’s a problem? Are they known for quality or have they had to reinvent themselves under an alias one too many times?
Look for honest reviews, not promotions. You want thorough reviews by someone who actually purchased or owns a copy of the product and is explaining to you what makes it good (as well as what’s lacking in it).
Don’t Take Shortcuts When Starting Your Own Business
Actually read the entire sales copy – even between the lines. So many people buy on a whim – using either recommendations only or headlines only to go by. You need to read every word. And if you don’t understand something, email the product creator and ask before you buy.
Don’t buy and then say to yourself, “Well if it’s not what I wanted, I’ll just refund.” That can get you blacklisted – not to mention it damages the seller’s ranking for sales.
Don’t order it until you have time to implement it. If you’re swamped without a second to spare, then now is not the time to be trying to launch an online business.
When you have at least an hour each day or a few times a week to implement a new course, then buy it and begin implementing it right that minute. You can even start a blog and conduct a thorough review of your implementation process, helping you make some affiliate sales along the way.
Coming Up with an Idea Where Competition Isn’t an Issue
It’s not just newbies who get stage fright over competition. It’s really not necessary, but it strikes fear in the hearts of newbies and seasoned marketers alike.
Competition is a good thing. It means there are people scrambling to get a piece of a profit pie. If there’s zero competition, then that’s a sign that there’s no pie at all – in other words, no profits.
Instead of being so worried about competition, learn to become one of the competitors that others should be fearful of. This doesn’t happen in an instant – it grows over time, and there’s plenty of room for you, regardless of what niche you want to be in.
Think about what niche you want to be in. Does it seem like everyone and their grandmother is in that niche? That’s okay! Even if it’s dieting or making money online, there’s a place for you.
You don’t have to pursue underwater basket weaving as your niche just because no one else is doing it. They’re not there because it’s a dead niche for making money.
What do you want to be known for in that niche? Let’s say it’s dieting. Would you like to be known for helping people stop yo yo dieting, or helping them lose a massive amount of weight as fast as possible?
You need a slant. You’re the one who is going to be creating a buzz about yourself in this niche, so you have to know what you want the conversation to be about.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Who is your competition? Don’t be scared of them – dissect their offers and topple them that way. When two groups go to war, they learn as much as they can about the other group – what weapons they’re fond of, what mode of transportation they prefer, etc. This is how they ultimately defeat the other group.
What (and how) are they operating in the niche? What products do they have? How about their services? How often are they networking on social sites? Look at every detail of how they conduct business.
Now how could you do it better or different? If there are virtually no videos by these people, then you can dominate on YouTube. Or if they haven’t bothered to release a trendy product lately, you could get into the niche by scooping something in the news.
Picking a Website Name
It’s hard to tell you not to worry so much about picking your site name because it is important. But you don’t want to let it paralyze you – and you don’t want to become a domain hoarder who keeps buying URLs because you keep thinking you made a mistake with the last one.
First things first – try to get a dot com extension. Yes, you can make do with a dot net, dot org, dot info or many other extensions but consumers typically assume everything is a dot com, so it’s best to go with that.
You need to know what the purpose of your site is before you go shopping for a domain. Is it going to be a review site? Then try to work that word in there, like this:
If this is a domain for a niche blog, then you don’t need to put the word blog in your domain URL. You just want to grab a domain that preferably uses keywords and explains what the site is about.
These domains are all pretty self-explanatory. What you don’t want to do is be vague about it. Unless you plan to become a master of branding, stick to a keyword-laced domain.
Vague domains like “FlyHigher.com” might be about self esteem – but it could also be about hang gliding. No one knows at first glance.
Handling the Intimidating Technical Tasks when Starting Your Own Business
Some people have a mountain of motivation, a ton of determination, but absolutely zero technical prowess. If this describes you, don’t consider it an obstacle you can’t overcome.
There are several ways to get around the fact that technical issues are your Achilles Heel.
If money is an issue, then you can look online for step-by-step videos or text instructions that teach you how to do something. Be very specific when you search, by using phrases like, “How to install a WordPress blog.”
If money’s not an issue, or if you feel like the frustration level and time consumption will be too much for you to take the do it yourself route, then save up to outsource any tech tasks you don’t want to handle.
What Can I Hire Some to Do?
You can find someone to do everything – install blogs, upload content, set up your email autoresponder – you name it. Sometimes the people who sell certain tools will conduct the service you need for a small fee.
For example, Sam Stephens does this with his Download Guard product, which delivers expiring download links to your customers after they purchase something from you so that they can’t share the links all over the Internet.
Being a newbie should be an exhilarating time for you, not one where you feel paralyzed and intimidated by everyone else’s success stories. Keep in mind that everyone’s made mistakes, we’ve all failed, but the ones who succeed are those who get back up and try again without shame.