Starting an internet business is an extremely exciting endeavor. When I started my internet business I remember wanting to jump out of bed every morning and get to working on my business, so much that I had a tendency to put other things aside such as my yoga, fitness, meditation and writing practice. Thankfully I didn’t push these things aside because it’s very crucial to stay balanced when going down the road of entrepreneurship.
As you go down this road, there are several things to consider. Here are the top 9.
1. Set short, medium, and long term goals.
Map out what you would like to achieve within a week, month, annual quarter, year, five years and so on. Of course goals and business plans change over time, but at a minimum, if you have somewhat of a goal plan from the beginning then every day you have something to strive for. And the goals can be simple. They don’t have to be elaborate. I’ve often found if I make my goals simple and achievable then I’m not so overwhelmed by the task of taking action towards them. Break your goals down into smaller, achievable tasks.
2. Identify all the things you are good at.
List all the computer or internet related things you are good at and enjoy doing. This could be writing, video editing, or keyword research. The beauty about running an internet business is that you can focus your time on the things you excel at and enjoy doing, and outsource the rest to a virtual assistant or freelancer on a website such as Fiverr or Upwork. By focusing on the things you enjoy, you can spend more time doing the things you love as opposed to the things you can’t stand doing longer than 5 minutes, and therefore increase you longevity in getting your business up and running.
3. Make sure that you have a strategy when it comes to starting your own business.
Make a list of all the high level tasks that need to be done in your business in order to be successful. This could be blogging, product research, SEO optimization, etc. Once you have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, break it down into smaller tasks and decide when and how often you are going to address each task. Every detail included in your business plan should be studied and reviewed on a regular basis to see if you are right on track or if you need to do some tweaking (which is normal as a business grows).
4. Identify what types of services and/or products you’ll be selling to potential clients.
Prioritize which products your’ll be focusing on. Is it an affiliate product or physical product sourced from Amazon? Identify what the target market looks like for you product. If you are selling dog training courses, make sure that your target audience loves dogs. Get what I’m saying here? It’s advisable to focus on a small number of things to begin with and you can always expand if you achieve early successes. You can’t afford to jeopardize the quality and efficiency of your work by trying to do too much.
5. You must know what you want your website to look like.
This means that you need to make sure that the layout is properly arranged, your products and services all have good descriptions, your contact details, payments options and a myriad of other factors that all go into the creation of a successful website. How do you want your prospects to feel when they land on your website? Excited? Optimistic? Educated? Tailor make your website to your target audience.
6. Customer service is also something you need to focus on.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire more people to manage your customer support section of your website. You can do that yourself but it’s vital that you always check to see if there’s anything that needs a response. Many businesses these days don’t require traditional customer support in the sense that you have somebody answering a phone all day answering customer questions and addressing complaints. This means making sure you are responsive to inquiries online and at least have a virtual assistant responding to common questions and responding to comments on social media channels such as Facebook and Youtube. Anticipate what your customers will ask and provide the answers to these questions up front in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions section on your website or Amazon posting.
7. How will you get customers to your website or product page?
Without customers, there is no business. So how will you market your product or service? Will you use an SEO optimized blog? Paid Advertising? Or a combination of the two? You need to determine who you can strategically partner with do drive traffic to your product offer or website. There a many ways of doing this, and each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. But this is something you need to address at the beginning of starting your business.
8. What value outside of your product and service will you deliver to your target customer?
In the internet business world today, everything is all about the value you can provide the customer…before they even buy a thing. There needs to be quite a bit of consideration put into this when starting an internet business. What can you give for free to a potential customer to entice them and gain their trust? Is is a free video series or report? Maybe it’s a complimentary 30 minute consultation over Skype? Decide on what you can do to gain the trust of your customer. Is it a telephone call just to make them realize you are a real person? The more thought you can put into this on the front end, the more customers you’ll be able to serve.
9. Look for a mentor; someone who can give you answers to all your business-related questions.
Of course, you can find some of the information that you need, online. But nothing beats the information and best practices that you’ll learn from someone who has been in your shoes and has successfully established their own Internet-based business.
Remember that there will be a time when all you have to do is to connect to the Internet and start reeling in the cash but that’s possibly a long way down the track. So be patient and enlist the help of mentors. I joined the Six Figure Mentors which is a community of internet business professionals that provide mentoring, coaching, and training on starting an internet business. Click here for more information.