I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. My brothers’ are entrepreneurs, but not me – they both own their own successful businesses and have for many years. My father owned his own business; I just always work for someone else. I assumed that was the way it would stay, and then one day I accidentally made some money on the internet. That was an eye opening experience. Suddenly I realized I could make money without benefit of a regular job. Of course it isn’t that easy after all.
Do What You Love
Making money online does require some work. Regardless of whether you sell products, services or your own expertise there is work involved. You have to
- create a website
- market that site
- get customers to purchase
- keep in contact with those customer so they will buy again
- keep updating the website
It sounds pretty simple and at its most basic it is, but there is a lot of work involved in each one of those steps. That means you should create a business around something you already love. That enthusiasm will help keep you going when it gets boring or difficult. This will also give you some insight into the marketing aspect of your business. If you do a website on running marathons and you already run marathons with a group of people then they are your first target market.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It is vitally important whether your business is online of offline to have a plan. You need to know how you are going to build your business and where you should invest your income. If you are building an online business while working a full time job it is also important to understand how much you need to be making before you quit your job. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
How much do I need to cover my current bills?
How will I pay income taxes?
What about health insurance?
How much money should I have saved up before I am comfortable quitting my day job?
How regular is my income going to be? Will it be seasonal?
How big should my business be before I hire employees/contractors?
These are just some of the questions you need to think about as a small business owner. Even online businesses often require employees. These are often contractors who help the owner answer emails or provide technical support. Think about how many emails you get each day – what if you suddenly got 10 times that many every day? You would need some help. Success is great, but you need to plan for that too.
Don't Give Up
The internet is filled with failed attempts at making money. If you are serious about building an online business you should plan on working very hard for at least 1 year. Sometimes that can seem like forever and I won’t say it will actually take you that long. It may take longer too. It depends entirely on you and the industry you choose.
You never know when something you did a year ago will suddenly take on a life of its own. I have a perfect example – my website on tomatoes and gardening. I love to garden and so I created a website on tomatoes: growing them, cooking them, eating them etc. I chose a couple of books to sell on the site and just let it run. I got exactly $0 from my effort and after a couple of months I just gave up and moved onto another subject. One full year later all of sudden I am getting new members on the site every day. I have no idea why or what happened. I am taking advantage of it though and have updated the site and added new information. Again – never give up!
Being an entrepreneur means working hard to build your own future. It can be scary, but it is also very exciting. I hope you are able to find a way to be an entrepreneur in your life.