Have you been wondering how to start an online business? Perhaps you have been thinking about if for some time now but are just not ready to take the leap. A whopping 70% of Americas admit to wanting to work from home.
In the past starting a business was a large undertaking. Bank loans, finding a store site, getting stock – the economic barriers stopped so many from becoming business owners. Fortunately, with the advent of the internet starting an online business has never been more attractive.
According to the Business News Daily the average cost to start an online business can be anywhere from $100 – $5,000. With price no longer being a barrier to start your own business where do you start? Virtually everyone who has created an online business started by googling “How to start and online business”.
The reality is there is so much to consider, and so little of us know where to start! Here are my top tips for starting an online business to help point you in the right direction!
1. Take Action
This might seem like a redundant step, but it is often the number 1 reason people don’t have a business. They NEVER act. So many of us like to say someday I will start a business or someone I will change my current financial situation. But someday never comes. Make your someday today and do something about it.
The online business world, especially affiliate marketing, is full of people asking for advice, and never acting on it. I started my online business for $150 (website hosting) and a marketing course. If you cannot invest $150 in your future or dedicate your time and effort to make a change, online business is not for you.
Step 1 – Take action NOW. Starting planning. Start learning.
2. Identify the right business for you.
Naturally the next step in starting an online business is finding the RIGHT business model for you. It is best to start by analysing what you are good at. What skills do you have, and what industries do you know? Affiliate marketing is the perfect industry to get involved in, as it enables entrepreneurs to sell in any area, and with any medium they are comfortable with.
You simply select your niche that aligns most with what you are comfortable selling, and have knowledge in. Then you select a communication strategy, will you use social media? Write a blog or do paid advertising.
In affiliate marketing there is literally an affiliate partner for virtually any product! You just have to find the one that resonates most with you. Still a little unsure? Jump on social media. Search hashtags in your area of interest and pay attention to people promoting products or services.
This will enable you to identify others in your area of interest, and you can learn from what they are doing. If you find a social account or get lead to a website and think this is me, I can do this, you have found your new online business!
Finally solve a problem! Think of something that has caused you difficulty in the past. Can you solve this problem? Is there a service or a product that you can suggest you found the resolve your issues, that you can suggest to others.
By considering one of these three processes you can identify the right business for you, that you will not only enjoy, but be successful in!
3. How to start an online business? Start Planning!
Have you ever heard the saying, if you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there? This is as true in business as it is in life. Without a plan you will ultimately be jumping in a car and driving to an unknown destination. You cannot expect to start an online business, and to be successful without planning how you will do it AND also what successful means to you.
Many people jump into online businesses without doing the proper planning. This ultimately can lead to a lot of waste time, wasted money and in some cases exiting online business altogether! Before I started my online business, I spent a month planning. That’s a month before I made one post, on a blog, social media or anything.
Ask yourself the question;
- Why am are you starting on an online business?
- Who are your core customers?
- What do they want and what are their interest?
- How do you define success?
- What are my marketing goals and what channels can I use?
- Can you dedicate a realistic amount of time to your business and What is your budget?
- What will your content strategy be? What will you say? How often will you say it and how will you say it!
4. Surround Yourself With Success!
According to Jim Rohn a world renowned motivational speaker, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you surround yourself with successful people, you will naturally try and emulate them.
Have you ever been in a job, where everyone was better than you? How did that make you feel? I would guess that you wanted to be better. You may have spoken to them about what they do to learn from them, or watched their day to day actions.
By surrounding yourself with successful people, reading resources or following their social profiles you will constantly be present with learning opportunities. You will be challenged daily to question the way you do things, and possibly ideologies you have followed your entire life.
When I first started out in affiliate marketing, I worked with a mentor to help guide me. I could have done it myself, I believe I have the desire and ambition. But why? Why struggle to learn the right way to do things through a costly and time consuming trial and error process?
Many people have been successful before you in your chosen online business path, and many will follow in your steps. Don’t let your ego cloud your judgement. Be humble and learn from successful people and fast track your own success!
5. Be Honest, Genuine And Add Value
The online business world is completely different to offline business in a sense, especially affiliate marketing. It is very easy only to create a false persona or profile. Their are countless opportunistic people online trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims and to scam their money.
Naturally this causes a sense of distrust. People what a genuine and honest experience. The worse thing you can do is lie – you have more to lose than gain. If someone catches you out in a lie, you instantly lose their trust and that is incredibly hard to get back.
Brands no longer have the authority they use to. In the past being a business instantly gave you credibility as an authority in your field. But now everyone is constantly questioning every message communicated to them. Consumers have an unprecedented ability to fact check EVERYTHING and they will.
Social media also gives them the ability to vent and share their findings. If you are honest, genuine and add REAL value, you will create a loyal following that will help promote your products or brand for you through referrals. Building a loyal network is one of the most powerful things you can do in online business. And affiliate marketing is built on networks. Once you have one, you can sell anything.
6. Know Your Customer
How can you sell something to someone, if you know nothing about them? Imagine trying to see someone a car when they don’t have a license. You would be wasting your time, and potentially money and your customers as well.
Knowledge is power and it is especially true in any business. Once you learn what your customers want, want they need and desire you can better target you messages towards them.
The more you research, the easier you can target the RIGHT people, and ultimately get better conversions. Which equals more sales and less acquisition costs. I have mentioned this previously, in other posts, but social media is an incredibly tool to learn about your customers. In the past you would have to conduct expensive surveys to collect consumer data. Now you have all the answers at your finger tips.
Most social media platforms have their own analytic tools. On Instagram you can see the key demographics of your followers, where they are from, their age and what posts they are liking. As you progress in your business journey you may find who you thought were your main customers are not in fact customers at all! Research is an INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT part of starting an online business. From step 1 all the way through to your daily business process you should always be researching.
7. Market Yourself
You shouldn’t always be pushing products and marketing your latest promotion. Whether you are promoting as a company, or personally you need to establish yourself as a respected and trustworthy brand. Use your social media channels to promote the value of why people should follow you or by from you.
Chances are you wont be the only one selling your product or service. Give them a reason why they should chose to buy from you!
How to Start an Online Business – Putting it Into Action
Now you have my 7 tips, its time get started on step 1 TAKE ACTION! Starting an online business can be daunting and having someone to help you along the journey will jump start your business career.
There has never been a better time to start an online business. It’s cheap, you can grow it while you continue to work until you are making enough to do it full time. And there are countless resources to help you along the journey.
Making money online doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to be daunting. Affiliate marketing is an incredibly fulfilling business opportunity that can give you financial freedom you have always dreamed about. To be truly successful you need to be willing to invest in yourself, and to be dedicated enough to commit your time and effort into growing your business.
I have been fortunate enough to review and trial countless programs that help people make money online and grow their businesses. Out of all the programs I have reviewed my number one recommendation is the Marketers Club. Once you sign up, you can enrol in the FREE 15 Day Business Challenge and work with a business adviser to plan YOUR business!