Is it Your Passion to Start an Online Business?
Want to start an online business but not sure where to begin?
Firstly, forget the hype, I am not going to try and sell you the latest state-of-the-art computer, a domain name, or mastermind group. You do not need a WordPress site to publish your content, a business plan (though it helps), or any of the other things people push at you.
So, what do you need? Well, the only thing you really need is you.
- Remember: “It is not the things we do in life that we regret, it is the things we do not”.
To Find Success, do Not Follow Your Passion
You have probably heard the phrase, “follow your passion”, as this will lead to success and a fulfilling career or business. What a load of rubbish.
When it comes to real career and business decisions, your interests and passions are not a decisive factor. Other things such as your skills and mindset matter much more. Your interests and passions change over time, and usually in a very short period. Not a good methodology. An astronaut one minute, a carpenter the next?
- Your present interests are not a solid basis for career or business development.
What should you do? Do what is valuable. Focus on something that helps others and makes the world a better place. That is the secret to success.
How much belief do you have in yourself?
Your mindset is critical to starting your own online business. When you were a child, nothing was impossible. Get back to that mindset.
Make no mistake, there will be times when you feel like giving up. Someone will criticize your content; your product will not sell as well as expected; your family will complain that they never see you. Your energy will wane.
At times like these, your mindset is critical.
Just remember, nothing is perfect, not even you.
Do not give up. Nothing has to be perfect. Stop over-analysing your problems, just deal with them one at a time.
It’s Not How, It’s Why
There are questions you should ask yourself before you do or buy anything.
When starting an online business, it is not the how of starting a business you should be initially asking, it is the why.
Here are the most critical questions for you to consider before starting an online business.
What is your Objective?
Do you have an objective? Something that could last for many years, maybe even a lifetime. It should not be just an interest or a fad. It must be something that catches your imagination, excites you, makes you come alive and can take over your life.
Running and managing an online business is exciting and hard work, but can be quite isolating. You will need lots of stamina, determination, and persistence.
You must find an online business niche you are excited about. This is critical if you are to sustain long-term commitment and see your online business succeed.
So, what energizes you? What excites you?
What would motivate you to continue when everyone was telling you you’re a fool and just wasting your time? Would you give up all your time, maybe even family and friends to attain your objective?
Make sure your online business reflects your commitment. Your followers and customers will certainly appreciate your enthusiasm and you will reap the rewards.
Why Are You Different?
You are probably starting an online business very similar to many others.
So why should people come to you? Why are you different?
Think about that carefully. With dozens of choices from other websites, why visit you? Competition may be fierce, how will you ensure your site is the one that survives.
This is nothing to do with coming up with the next big idea. It is about why you and your brand will add value to your customer’s world. What will make your site stand out from the crowd?
You are a unique individual. Your perspective within your niche will be authentic. You have a story to tell, knowledge to impart. Your unique voice on your subject is what will set you apart.
Do not become intimidated by the success or otherwise of others.
Do You Put Your Customers First and Listen To What Your Customers Want?
How much do you know about your potential customers? What are their most pressing issues, wants, interests, fears?
Do not fail because you solve the wrong problem or supply the wrong goods.
Have the confidence to ask your customers what they need. Your customers are the best people to ask about their needs. What solutions are they looking for? What will make their life easier, more enjoyable, or safer?
At this point, you might be thinking, but I do not have any customers yet!
But you do. They are surfing social media sites, forums and sites similar to yours. Be where they are, read their questions, supply an answer. Once you have your website and you start to build loyal visitors, build an email list and ask them directly.
You will not have all the answers, but your customers and visitors also have knowledge. Get them to help you, help them. Maybe even start a forum or membership site.
Do You Want to Start an Online Business, or Pursue a Hobby?
The best websites begin by publishing well-written, accurate, high quality content. You are building loyalty and making your mark as an expert in your niche.
This is the foundation for an online business, but it will never make you a regular income.
If your website is a hobby then that is not a problem. A hobby communicates a passion about a particular subject to the world. It is not there to make a profit.
An online business on the other hand is there to make a profit. After all, it is a business. If you love what you do, that is excellent. If your readers love it too, that is even better. However, you must always remember, your goal is to create a sustainable profit.
So which do you really want? If you are not in it for the money, then it is a hobby. If you want to be financially rewarded for your efforts, then it is a business. Do not mix the two.
Are You Prepared To Take Risks?
You know you want an online business. You know you want to make a profit. Are you prepared to take risks? Not with money, getting a website costs very little, but with your self-esteem.
Why? Because you are fantastic offering might be a total flop.
Asking for money can be quite hard, but the sooner your visitors learn they must buy something, the more you will learn and the closer you will come to creating a sustainable online business.
Remember, your site visitors are a mine of information. Ask them what they want and need.
Try to have a contingency plan. You will make mistakes. No one is perfect. Do not stop just because of a failure. Learn from it, and move on.
Time, Energy and Commitment
Creating a website, especially if you have never done anything like it before, is a big undertaking. It involves a steep learning curve. There is technology to be grappled with, hosting to be found, jargon to be comprehended.
Writing well researched, good quality content does not happen overnight ether. It evolves over months, and years. Everything requires time, energy, and commitment.
Working from home is many people’s dream, it could be your reality. But be honest with yourself, how much time can you commit to the task.
Do you have a full-time job? Can you grab an extra hour by getting up earlier each day? Can you work on your business during your lunchtime? Can you grab free time at weekends?
- A successful website can be built with just a few hours each week, it just takes longer.
Do not be over optimistic with your time. If your expectations are too high, you will lose the enjoyment.
What Support Can You Rely On?
As a sole trader you are both the business owner, and a member of your own workforce. It can be quite isolating and lonely at times.
Do not expect that everyone, especially your family, to automatically be pleased with your decision to start an online business. They may even think it is foolhardy.
Unfortunately, there will always be doubters, cynics and distractions to discourage you. Their negative attitudes will undermine your confidence, wear down your optimism and make you doubt yourself. Starting any business is hard enough without having to deal with that.
Just remember, life is also full of opportunities.
Try to find support from other entrepreneurs. They will understand your struggles and be able to offer advice when needed. They too have been through the same struggles as you.
Try to surround yourself with positive, like-minded people you can relate to, and who offer positive reinforcement. Post on forums, join platforms like Linkedin or Twitter to make connections, and identify groups in a similar niche on Facebook.
Find encouragement in places like the Solo Build It! (SBI!) community. They will share your ups and downs, and provide you with genuine support. One day, you will be able to offer them support and encouragement in return.
Are you ready to do some work?
Is Starting an Online Business Right for You, Final Thoughts
Here is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you are starting a small business online:
- Find a need and fill it
- Design and build an easy-to-use website
- Write copy that sells
- Use search engines to drive traffic to your site
- Establish an expert reputation for yourself
- Follow up with your customers and subscribers with email
- Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling
Anyone, from newbie to seasoned online entrepreneur, can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online.
- Here is a final question for you.
If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do, what you are about to do today?
Well, I hope you liked this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any comments, corrections or items you think should be added to, Is Starting An Online Business Right For You, please do not hesitate to let me have them in the comment box below.