If your goal is to start a small online business that replaces andexceeds your current income this may be the most important article youread this year.
Here’s the deal: I’ve been working online full time for almost 10years, since age 19. I’ve had a lot of failures and a lot of successes.
There is no better way to learn how to succeed than to learn from someone who has already done it.
Tip #1: Focus On What’s Important
What’s important? Action.
In the beginning, just get started. Don’t get too caught up in details that don’t matter.
Dealing with the paperwork, business cards, and other ancillaries isn’t absolutely necessary.
It’s an online business for a reason. Save the time, paper, and money and don’t get business cards.
If you happen to meet someone who wants to know more about you orwants to visit your site ask for their e-mail address and activelyfollow up with them.
Handing out business cards is passive, and even more than that, ineffective.
Other paperwork a lot of people get caught up in is registering acorporation or other business entity. That will be important eventually. But you can (in the US anyway) start a business in your own name withvery minimal paperwork (a simple Doing Business As form) and cost.
Consult a tax advisor for specific insights.
Tip #2: Invest In Education
Whatever business you want to start, be it blogging, eBay sales,information product selling, affiliate marketing, or any one of thecountless other ways to make money online, there are hords of people who have done it before you.
Sometimes those people will have written about what they did tosucceed. In those cases, if their business aligns with what you want todo, don’t be afraid to invest money into their products.
Personally, I have easily spent upwards of $40,000 on non-Universityeducation. That includes buying eBooks, print books, seminars, coaching, membership sites, you name it.
As a general rule, the most important skill you can learn, no matterwhat business you’re starting, is marketing. I don’t make a distinctionbetween online and offline marketing. Once you learn marketing you canuse it anywhere, with a few tweaks of course.
I liken it to learning computer programming. The language you learnisn’t as important as the logic behind it. You can adapt to anylanguage.
Tip #3: Ask For Help
If you’re a bit introverted like me you might be shy about asking for help.
Don’t let that be a barrier to your success.
In other words, feel the fear and do it anyway.
You will deal with rejection. Many people won’t respond to your e-mails, phone calls, or tweets.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter.
Starting a business isn’t supposed to be easy. That’s the filter.
I promise you, if you talk to enough people, you will get the helpyou need. I’ve been quite surprised by just how accessible some people I was initially afraid to contact are.
Tip #4: Participate In The Community
Whatever niche you’re in there is a community.
For example, back in the days when I used to sell on eBay, I hung out on a few eBay message boards. I helped people where I could and I gothelp where I needed.
As an added bonus, when I decided to start selling eBay how toproducts (I haven’t sold them for over 5 years), guess who helped melaunch that business? The same community that I had participated infreely for over a year.
These days, whichever community you should be a part of is larger and more easily accessible. Take advantage of that.
Tip #5: Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Your ultimate goal may be to quit your job, but don’t jump the gun.
You will find tons of stories of people who quit their jobs before they had their businesses going, but there’s a reason for that.
People who failed furiously because they didn’t have an income tosupport themselves in the lean business startup phase don’t usuallywrite about it. And because they don’t write about their failures, younever hear about them.
I want you to quit your job as much as you want to quit your job, but I don’t want you to do it before it’s time.