You’re not alone if you’re tired of the daily 9-5 grind. Look around you on your next commute to work and you’ll probably notice lots of faces not looking their happiest at the prospect of the long day ahead, working for somebody else when you could be building your own online business.
But there is another option. Why not take the step towards building your own online business? Nobody promises that it will be easy. It could even be harder work than your current job. But the satisfaction you could get from creating your own successful business and spending time getting paid to do something you love is unrivalled.
There are many advantages to setting up an internet-based business.
- It’s not expensive so you won’t need a huge initial investment to start.
- It’s a business model which means you can work from home, or anywhere you choose, so you don’t need to rent an expensive office or retail space.
- It offers you greater time flexibility than any other standard job, meaning you can choose to work the hours that suit you.
- It can reach a global market, meaning unlimited earning potential.
- It would be your business. That means you’re the boss and you can choose to focus on doing what you love!
Here we take a look at some great tips for building a successful online business.
Get online fast
Let’s get straight to the point: Online is where it’s at. Gone are the days when successful companies were launched from a high street shop or office block. Most people go online and to stand a chance of grabbing a slice of the action, that’s where you need to be too. So the first tip to building a successful online business is to get yourself online as fast as you can.
Know your competition
Use the online space to your advantage and check out your competitors – when you first start out and continuously. All businesses need to know who and what they’re up against in the quest for customers, so you need to make sure you know what your competition is up to, that way you can stay ahead of the game.
Check out your competitor’s websites, visit their social channels daily, sign up to their newsletters, and utilise the Google Webmaster tools that allow you to get their online stats.
Protect your reputation
Whether you’re offline or online, you need to think about protecting your brand and your reputation. The key here is to be ahead of the game. Set up Google Alerts so you will be notified of any mention of your brand online. Make sure you always respond to any comments made about your business online – especially if they are negative. If you don’t handle your own social media, make sure you have very clear brand guidelines so your staff know exactly how they need to represent you when writing online or responding on your behalf.
If you’re a creative person, the chances are that you may have already dreamed of turning your artistic skills into a business. There are lots of ways you can do this. For example, if you can write well, start an online blog. Not only does this give you a chance to share your skills with a wider audience (and perhaps spread some joy), but you could also start to attract an income from advertisers as your popularity grows. Some bloggers have even become published authors as a direct result of their online blogs, so if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a writer, you have nothing to lose by sharing your prose online.
Other creative ideas that can work really well include selling your crafts or artwork online or offering your expertise as a service, such as photography, video or design work. An online presence can have a huge impact on the potential recognition you can get for your skills, and therefore your earning potential.
Remember, the key to having a successful online business is about identifying what people want or need and then giving it to them.
Starting a business online needn’t be expensive. In fact, the biggest cost is likely to be your time and effort in identifying what people need and how you can give it to them. You need the idea, of course, but once you know what you want to do, it could be as easy as 1. buy a domain name, 2. create a website, and 3. you’re ready.
Becoming an entrepreneur is hard work and only you will know if it’s right for you. Of course, once you have your idea, there is always help available to help you turn it into a reality should you feel you need a little additional support to get started.
There are many online courses available designed to help potential online businesses get a foot on the ladder. Alternatively, there is a wealth of information available online which you can use to do your own research before deciding on which direction to take your own business.
Will it really allow me to ditch my 9-5?
Many people have! But let’s be realistic. It’s unlikely you’ll develop a business that generates high profits overnight, so if you already have an income that pays your bills and puts food on the table, it makes sense to hang on to this while you establish your online presence. You want to be confident in your revenue streams before ditching your regular income to live the dream.
Of course, if you do have a regular job and embark on setting up your own online business, it’s essential that you check whether your employment contract has any restrictions in place regarding what you can and can’t do on the side. Make sure that you are familiar with any legal conditions, ownership issues, and tax implications too. These are areas that will require ongoing attention along the way to becoming the owner of your own successful business.
Remember, it’s never too early or too late to turn your dreams into reality. If you want to be an entrepreneur, put in the work and make it happen.