The title of this article is:
Starting Your Own Online Business Is Actually Too Darned Easy.
Life is difficult enough for a great many people, so why in the world would anyone say that anything with the potential to make life better is “too” easy?
Well because it is. Starting an online business is literally so easy that anyone who is not living in abject poverty in some third world country can quickly, easily and cost-effectively start one.
Still sounds like a good thing, Right?
Not exactly. Unfortunately, that means that the entrepreneurial door has been flung wide open to everyone and their brother—including the good, the bad, the lazy and the ill-prepared.
We will address the bad aside first and hurriedly get them out of the way. Everyone with an email account is already well acquainted with the fact that the Internet makes it easy for liars, con-artists, spammers and thieves to thrive.
Despite attempts at regulation, the Internet is still largely unregulated, and speaking as a proud citizen of a country founded on free speech, I think that is a good thing...for the most part. The Internet has already revolutionized the world and I'm sure that the benefits will only increase with time and innovation. Unfortunately, with the good must come the bad and that is probably going to remain a fact of life for many years to come.
So let us move onto the good. A smart, ethical, honest and reliable person, with either good business sense or lots of business experience, or natural talent and a dream puts up a website. Wouldn't you want to patronize that business? Of course you would, and so would I and everyone else.
The problem is--as the sayings go--either sorting the wheat from the chaff or finding the needle in the haystack. Because setting up an online business is so darned easy that pretty much anyone, anywhere can do it, that also means that the competition is even greater than it would be in your home town.
The good news is that with time and a little innovation, being able to compete online by effectively promoting your online business can be reasonably free and easy to accomplish. It is also fairly easy to do offline as well—although promoting your online business offline it is not quite as free and easy to manage as is promoting your offline business online.
For practical step by step advice on how to accomplish the reasonably free and easy part, see my articles on:
Free Website Promotion for the Beginning Entrepreneur
Your Own Community Service Websites - The Golden Key To Success!
Promoting a business online takes one of two things—time or money. If you spend the time you can—for the most part—forgo spending the money. If you spend the money—you can for the most part—forgo the time—but you absolutely cannot forgo both. That is good news for our good entrepreneur, it means that their competition will either be worthy opponents who are either spending time or money, and not harming any one's reputation in the bargain. Or...the competition—or lack thereof—will be the ill-prepared and the lazy ones who will soon-enough either run out of money or be unwilling to put in the time and will thereby fall by the wayside from sheer laziness.
So that leaves only one problem with the ease of it all—because it is so easy, it is also easy to get in over your head. Domain names are cheap and hosting is down-right inexpensive compared to brick and mortar rentals. Perfectly good turnkey and other Biz in a Box websites abound by the thousands, you just have to find the one you want and customize it for your needs. Thus, when all is said and done it is also very easy—even with hard-work, a healthy influx of money, or the world's best intentions—to be overwhelmed by it all.
To make sure this doesn't happen to you and ruin your dreams of an online business of your own. Follow these simple rules:
* Make a list of Basic Realities comprised of things:
You think you would enjoy doing
You think you are capable of doing
You know you can do
You know you will do
The amount of time you realistically have to spend on a weekly basis
The amount of money you have to begin and can afford to risk each month for at least one year
* Use your list of Basic Realities as a guide to create a list of Viable Ideas
* Use your list of Viable Ideas as a starting point for several weeks or months of research:
Use Google, MSN & Yahoo to find out who will be your competition
Use free online SEO tools to analyze how they are marketing their website
Decide what you can offer that is a good or better than they offer
Determine what free, or low-cost online tools are available to help you
* Plan your strategy for implementing, maintaining and promoting your website
* Find a mentor you can trust--then thoroughly research them to make sure you can, before you spend
any money with them.
* Fall for any guru promises of automatic overnight miracles—It will take time or money or both.
* Buy or acquire your domain name from the same place where you purchase your hosting
* Ever send spam--The best way to avoid this is to use a double opt-in maillist provider.
* Believe that anything, anyone is offering to sell with a deadline attached is the last, best or only chance you will have to succeed online—They don't call them squeeze pages for nothing!
* Compromise your integrity to make a quick buck—There's more than enough of that already.
* Let the plethora of free giveaways and free advice available on the Internet put you into an information overload brain freeze
* Go off in 15 different directions at once—Start small and grow naturally because it is really is too darned easy to start an online business!
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to
be generous, frank and independent.
– W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915