Over the years I’ve experimented with a variety of online businesses. I start very simply by taking an idea or concept and develop it from there. The problem was, when I first started back in 1996, you had to do just about everything “the hard way.” I learned HTML and worked around the clock just to get things off the ground. By the time that happened, it was six months down the line.
Today it’s much easier. There weren’t too many short cuts around in the mid-90’s. You had to do just about everything by hand. A lot has changed since then. Now, it’s easier than ever before. While it’s true there’s more competition than ever before, don’t lose any sleep over that. Like most offline businesses, they don’t know how to market correctly and go out of business fairly quickly.
The toughest thing for most people to do today is – focus. Advice comes from people from all four corners of globe. Most of it sounds too good to be true – because it is. It’s just the Internet version of “a miracle cure.”
The easiest way to succeed is to learn from one or two people who’ve already succeeded in doing the same or similar business you’re interested in. That goes for anything, online or offline. It’s easier to learn from someone who knows what they’re doing than it is learning from trial and error.
Now, let’s take a look at the steps you can take to lay the foundation for a successful online business.
- The Idea Stage: Successful Internet Businesses are usually based upon an individual’s experience, interests, hobbies or any combination of the three. If you’re going to have a partner or partners involved, then it will be a combination of each of the individual’s strengths and backgrounds. If you’re dealing with a topic you already have a personal interest in, you eliminate the need for having to spend loads of energy with time consuming research. Plus, if it’s a topic or an area you already enjoy being involved in, it won’t seem like “work!”
- Tightening the Focus: Once you have the base idea for your business, you have to tighten the focus. Most online businesses fill a particular niche. For example, Sports in general is too vague and too broad a topic. In my case, I choose Boxing because I enjoy watching the sport and have collected magazines and other boxing related items over the years.Once I determined my niche, I spied out the competition. Most of them dealt current fighters and current match-ups. So instead of competing with that… I chose to focus upon great fighters of the past and “dream fight, ” fantasy match-ups. I found a niche within a niche to experiment with.
- Create your site – planning the project with a Marketing Mindset: Marketing is “Selling in Print.” If you followed the first step, you will be marketing something you’re already familiar with and enthusiastic about. This will give you a great advantage because you will already be familiar with what causes people with that particular interest to buy.
The Internet is one of the few mediums where you can go from concept to creation in record time. You don’t have to worry about building permits when you’re using megabytes instead of cinderblocks. It’s also a place where you have to freedom to take something as simple as an idea… and create something that’ll change the course of your life.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with working a 9 to 5 job if you’re happy with that. Some people have great jobs, there’s no doubt about it.
Just remember, there’s a whole other world out there that’s attracting more people than the gold rush of the 1800’s did. If you think there’s not room for more success stories – think again. I’ll be more than happy to go on record saying – the best is yet to come!
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