Do you want to live life on your own terms and at the same time have financial freedom? Then you need to start thinking of having your own online business. With an internet business you are at liberty to work from anywhere and at anytime. In this article, I will take you through the required step by step guide on how you can successfully become a online entrepreneur.
But before we get started, it is important that I should let you know a few things. As with almost everything else, to start and successfully run an online business, there’s always a price to pay.
You will need to make a lot of sacrifices and life adjustments. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and patience, because sometimes it may take a while before you achieve success. And unless you’re willing to go the extra miles to succeed, you’re most likely going to fail.
I’m saying all these in order to prepare your mind for the task ahead. Success doesn’t come on a gold platter.. It’s an all or nothing affair when starting an online business. You need to have a strong mentality to become a online entrepreneur.
Having said all that, now allow me to take you through the guidelines that can help you become a successful online entrepreneur and explore some online business ideas to get started with.
Online Business Startup Ideas
Before you jump into the world of online entrepreneurship its a good idea to explore the possibilities and what the different business models offer.
- Marketplace selling (Amazon, eBay)
- Create your own content to sell ( e-books & courses)
- Affiliate marketing
The best part about all these different business models is that they can be started on a part time basis and grown into a full time income over time.
When I mention e-commerce most people immediately relate it to dropshipping.
The reason being is that it is one of the easiest ways to get started selling products online with your own storefront.
- No inventory to stock
- No need to worry about shipping products
- Can work with different suppliers
- Small investment needed to get started
You will still need to get set up with a resale certificate and credit card processing to accept orders but its not that hard to do.
I ran a successful home based business dropshipping for about 4 years.
There are a lot of successful e-commerce entrepreneurs using dropshipping as a way to make millions of dollars per year.
>> Marketplace Selling
Before I got into dropshipping I dabbled with selling products on eBay.
I would buy products at wholesale from different suppliers and then turn around and list them on eBay.
I had some success with this as well.
The key to being a successful entrepreneur as an eBay seller will depend on your ability to purchase products at very low prices.
Or have products that are unique and hard to get so there is less competition.
From there to really start making money online you will need to scale up the selling using different tools .
Let’s not forget about Amazon with so many different categories of products.
You can either sell on Amazon similarly as you would with eBay or you can become an FBA seller.
This means you buy in bulk and let Amazon warehouse and ship your orders as they sell.
>> Creating E-books & Courses
Do you have any expertise or knowledge in a specific field?
If so many entrepreneurs have found success creating e-books and courses that can be sold online.
Gone are the days where it cost an arm and a leg to get a book or course published.
Although its easy to create an e-book online creating a course can be a more lucrative avenue to take.
For example there is a demand for learning how to get your website ranked high in the search engines.
A lot of marketers pay good money to learn this skill.
There are courses that sell for $1,000’s of dollars and the creators of these courses make a good living selling them.
There are even marketplaces set up where you can create courses and list them for sale capitalizing on the traffic to get your name out there.
One such marketplace is Udemy.
Scanning through the different courses you can get some ideas such as:
- Dog training
I think this business model is worth exploring if you have a high demand for certain skill sets that you can charge a decent amount of money for.
>> Affiliate Marketing
Although I had a successful online business dropshipping it wasn’t the lifestyle business that I was looking for.
So I started learning about affiliate marketing.
This business model caught my attention because it could be started from a shoestring budget and run from anywhere using just a laptop.
Your basically selling other peoples products online to earn commissions.
For me this is the business model that fit my idea of being an online entrepreneur.
The advantages of running an online business using affiliate marketing are:
- Your not tied to one location
- All you need is a computer and internet connection
- You don’t have to deal with any customers
- Promote any products that you want to make money
- Major merchants such as Walmart offer Amazon and many others offer affiliate programs you can sign up for
So looking at these advantages I knew that I could still become an online entrepreneur while also fulfilling my goal of traveling in an RV throughout the US.
It also makes for a great work from home business because the main aspect of affiliate marketing which is creating content online can be done on your schedule.
The Reality Of Being An Online Entrepreneur and Mindset
Before I go any further on the simple steps you need to take in order to be successful online its important to talk about what I call all the “noise” you see online.
These are the marketers that want you to believe that it is easy to make money online working from home.
I’m here to tell you that it isn’t.
If it was everyone would be doing it and living the dream lifestyle.
Here is a good video that gets to the point!
Tips On How To Become A Online Entrepreneur
The first thing you need to do if you really want to be a successful online entrepreneur is to get started.
If you already have a full time job and you want start your own online business, don’t make the mistake of quitting your job. There’s high probability that you will initially fail when you start your first online business.
I failed a couple of times too.
Another thing is that people spend so much time in the research stage that they never get their business off the ground. This happens more than you know.
Don’t let it happen to you.
There is no safety net for online entrepreneurs, it is either you swim or sink. With your full time job, you will still have a paycheck coming in which will will help you to get your online business off the ground and still be able to pay the bills.
Some may argue that they won’t have time for other things while keeping your job. The response to this is that, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can easily outsource work to other people out there. There are different outsourcing and freelancing websites where you can outsource work to people.
Create A Detailed Business Plan
Before creating a business plan you need to first decide on what you want to do. There’s no business if you don’t have an idea. And to you need to carry out a market research to see if your idea is profitable. With the right idea in place, the next thing is to create a well detailed business plan.
Just like any other business, you need to think out in details how you’re going to start and run your online business. Your business plan should contain measurable and realistic business objectives. In the business plan, you should outline how you are going to generate capital to start your business. You need to highlight the steps you’ll follow to make sure your online business is a success. To be a successful online entrepreneur you must have a plan and a clear direction of how to achieve your business objectives.
Create A Website With User Friendly Features
One important step to starting an online business is to create or own a website. It is through the website that your target customers will be able to see your products and service.
Your website is the medium through which the world will interact with your business.
There are four ways you can use to create or own a business website. These include:
- You can create your business website using WordPress
- Use a website software builder to create your own website
- You can buy a ready-made website, or
- You can contact a freelancer to create one for you.
Your website should be designed with user friendly features such as adding shopping carts for easy transactions. The site should be able to provide the necessary information about your business. Also, custom make your website for easy navigation.
Make Use Of Advertising
Without proper advertisement, you won’t succeed as an online business entrepreneur. For your business to expand, you have to promote your products and services.
You need to inform your potential online customers about your business, what product or service you offer or why your brand is better than that of your competitors.
To achieve this, there are different online digital marketing platforms that you can use. Examples of such platforms are Google Ads, email marketing, and so on. However, you should also ensure you make use of other physical forms of advertisement like newspapers, billboards, flyers for customers who may not have access to the internet. Note that the adverts should target your potential customers where they operate.
Keep Track Record Of Statistics
It is also important to keep track of all the available data and metrics needed to grow your business. To do this, there are online analytics tools that you can use such as Google Analytics and Facebook conversion pixel data.
By keeping track of every single conversion, you will know which of your marketing plan took customers to your website and eventually lead to sales. This will allow you to know the areas that you have to improve upon. It’ll enable you to scale what works and abolish what doesn’t.
Control Your Expenses
Here, it is important I let you know that like any other conventional business you need to control your costs.
You don’t have to spend your business funds haphazardly in order to make your mark as an online entrepreneur. You must ensure to keep your expenses at a minimum and there must be a significant return on investment.
The aim of all entrepreneurs is to keep business expenditure to the barest minimum while making as much profit as possible.
Entrepreneurs are always known as the risk takers. Risk is always involved when starting a new business. But as an online business owner, you should engage yourself only in a calculated and manageable risk.
Never put all your eggs in the same basket. Ensure to put the necessary measures in place that will hedge your business against emanate from time to time.
As an online entrepreneur, the success of your business depends on how well you can protect it from risk and your ability to curtail the running cost.
Make Use Of The Social Media
To successfully run an online business you need to have marketing and customer acquisition strategies in place. There are many internet marketing plan that you can use attract the attention of your target audience. One of the most effective ways is the use of the different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
For instance, Facebook enables you to directly place your offer in front of large number of your targeted audience. This provides you with the opportunity to immediately generate more sales and revenue.
With little or no cost, social media marketing enables you to connect and engage with your customers. Social media is helpful when it comes to brand exposure, generating organic traffic and increased interaction with your target audience. In addition, you need to incorporate and focus on email marketing and search engine optimization.
Pivot When Needed But Stay Focused
Sometimes you may get to the point where it seems that your business is not as successful as you’d wanted. There’s a need to pivot and alter the way you’ve been doing things.
You shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. But before you decide to make a pivot, you must be certain you’ve done enough to achieve your desired result but it’s not working.
Also, it is important for you to remain focus on your initial objectives before you decide to pivot. You must keep your eye on the goal and don’t allow challenges to keep you off track.
One thing that I know is that doing things consistently will pay off in the long run for anyone looking to be successful with their online business.
For example if you were to start a blog then posting content regulary is imperative to getting ranked quickly in the search engines.
Another example would be keeping your social media content updated as well.
If you had a Pinterest or Instagram account then posting pins and and images daily can grow your brand quickly. Best of all these are free methods.
Whatever the tasks may be staying consistent is the biggest way to grow.
Now that you know what it takes to become a online entrepreneur, I’ll can tell you that the work is far from over, in fact, you’re just starting. Like I said earlier, most online businesses require a lot of hard work and you must be passionate about it. You must learn how to successfully run your business. But nothing feels better than to be your own boss and be able to live life the way you want.
You need to work with the following tips to successfully run an online business.
- Ensure you regularly update your website
- Ensure you always work on your search engine optimization
- Use high quality web contents that will attract inbound traffic.
- Maintain good business relationship with your customers.
- Social media is an effective marketing tool, always stay on top.
- Keep up and improve your customer service.
- Always respond to your customer emails, questions and regularly update your FAQ page.
For me the goal was to shoot for a life balance and the ability to work from wherever without being locked down to a specific location.
It is not just about how much money I can make but the lifestyle that I wanted to create.
Thankfully I discovered affiliate marketing and a training program that taught me how to leverage other peoples products for profit.
Low startup cost makes this business a no brainer if you ask me!
So if your your ready to get started today and find what the steps are that you need to take check out my #1 pick.
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