Establishing and running a successful and profitable Internet business isn’t all that different from doing it with a traditional brick and mortar company. Most of the rules about good business apply in both cases. Most of the experience you may have in running a traditional company can help you with your Internet startup. Both must be run like businesses in order to be successful. That is good news. The not-so-good news is that there are some peculiarities that you need to pay attention to be successful internet entrepreneur.
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Mindset of Successful Internet Entrepreneur
This will sound cheesy but bear with me. Many people jump into Internet business lured by false promises of “just play and no work”. They get a nasty shock when they discover that reality doesn’t conform to their expectations. It doesn’t matter if you want to start a business to escape from the routine of usual working hours from 9 to 5 or to get rich, you must be ready to make an effort to make this dream come true.
If you don’t have that mindset, you are only setting yourself up for a massive failure. There are certain aspects all successful entrepreneurs have, and you need to be honest with yourself when assessing your chances of success.
Locate a Niche
A niche is something you excel at. The rule of a thumb is that the more profitable niche is, the more completion there is, but there are many exceptions. There are niches you’ve probably never heard of that have made some people very rich just because they are very narrow and highly specialized.
Now, it is possible to succeed in a niche that is highly populated and contested, but it is very hard. You need something that will set you apart from the crowd and help you compete with established players who have been on the market for a long time. You have got to find that something or try your luck with a less competitive field.
Do Your Research
Before plunging in headfirst, spend some time researching your field. Who are the most prominent players, how did they succeed, what are common pitfalls you can expect, etc. Read all about your niche, including things that you are sure of. If your goal is to create a site that ranks the business opportunities for single moms, you need to put in countless hours of research to make a ranking your customers can rely on. If you don’t, your career as internet entrepreneur will be a very short one. When you have that much information, you can make smarter decisions later.
Develop a Business Plan
If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail, it is as simple as that. Making a plan and sticking to it is a crucial aspect of creating a successful Internet business. Your business plan will dictate everything else that follows. Like how many people you need to hire and when, what are your key weaknesses and strong points, what jobs to outsource, etc. One important caveat is to keep it flexible. Regardless of your planning, you will encounter obstacles along the way that you could not have foreseen, and you will have to prepare for them.
Manage your time
There are plenty of tasks that needed to be performed when creating a startup, but there is only one you, so you will need to learn how to manage your time. The key aspect you will have to get comfortable with is delegating. Identify the most important matters and focus on them. Everything else gets delegated to your staff. It can be scary at first, as it will feel that you are leaving your future in someone else’s hands. Especially if you don’t have much experience managing people, but it is an essential aspect.
First of all, you probably won’t have enough money to place ads on the web. You need to create a budget and identify the best advertising platforms. Do you remember the research we talked about earlier? Now is the time to put it into use.
What are your key demographics? Where do they congregate? What platform will allow you to reach them? A good marketing agency can and will do all this leg work for you, but the chances are that you can’t afford one at this stage, so it comes down to you and your team.
Get to know people. This is best achieved by visiting seminars related to your field. See who is who and how can they help you advance. Perhaps there is a partnership you can form that can help both sides move forward. Remember, after all is said and done, it all boils down to human touch.
Congratulations! You survived the first 120 days as an internet entrepreneur. You have beat 90% of people who have started an Internet startup and failed. Surely you can relax now, maybe go on vacation? Not just yet! It was a simple game until now. The real challenge is about to begin. Now is the time for consolidation and forecasting.
Consult your business plan again and see what changes need to be made, and there will be changes. Keep up with both your competition and technological development. Always keep an eye on new digital trends and think about how you can incorporate them into your business because the competition surely will.
If you want to start an online business only based on the online course you have attended, you will have a nasty surprise. You can’t do internet work (or anything else) on autopilot while having fun all night and sleeping until noon. If this is your plan, you might save yourself a big mistake and stick to your office job. All successful internet entrepreneurs have a will and motivation that is strengthened by self-discipline. That allows them to work long hours and months, even years, without taking a day off. If you’re not ready for that, it’s probably not for you.