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4 Tips for Online Business Success

The Internet can be a big, intimidating place for anyone thinking of starting a new online business.  Much like the hungry person facing        the all-you-can-eat buffet, a small business owner goes online, sees so many programs and webinars and systems, each one shouting Buy Me!  Buy Me! that he can’t help but sample this and that.

But eventually, our new online business owners doesn’t feel so good.  His credit cards balances are bloated and credit limits are maxed.  He’s committed to several hundred dollars a month in website hosting , autoresponders, co-op advertising plans, and other various programs and systems.  He has 100 emails a day flooding his four email accounts, each one touting another sure-fire marketing program to buy.   He signed up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Tagged, Friendster, and four other social networking programs.  He starts to spend time, not on building a business, but reading and deleting emails and tweets, writing on walls, bouncing around the internet to see if that NEW marketing system fills in a blank in his business plan he didn’t even know was there.  After two months, he becomes so discouraged by his lack of progress and overwhelmed by the sheer effort of just trying to keep up, he quits.

It’s okay.  Most of us have been there.  You are not a failure as an online business owner, you are human.  But you are also proof that online marketing works.

While there is no one solution that is perfect for everyone, here are four easy steps that should take you from overwhelmed newbie to money-making pro in record time.

1)  Make a Business and Marketing Plan and Stick to It

Finding your way through the myriad of opportunities online can be a daunting task.   And having the perseverance to work through the chosen program until you succeed is the difference between business success and failure.

Write out a game plan before you even buy your first domain name.  Do your due diligence.  Check out. your online competition.  Do an online search and see if the marketing program or online income system is getting good reviews in forums, on Squidoo, HubPages, in articles, and on blogs.  You have to read every review with a grain of salt, of course, but in my experience, I have not found a single program that didn’t have both pros and cons discussed somewhere.

Your first decision needs to be what kind of online business you want for yourself.  Some of your choices are:

1)  Promoting other people’s digital products as an affiliate

2)  Recruiting other marketers in a Multi-Level Marketing program

3)  Promoting your own products on your own websites

4)  Purchasing other people’s products to re-sell on your own websites or Ebay-type sites

Any of these business strategies can be successful.  There are people making hundreds of thousands of dollars each year doing each of these strategies.  But you can’t do them all at once.  It will make you crazy, unfocused, and ultimately, unsuccessful.  The marketing strategies that make digital-product affiliates successful are not exactly identical to the online marketing that works for Ebay.  There are similar concepts, but the devil is in the details.  Pick one type of online business and commit to it.  The other types of programs will still be out there after you’ve mastered your first choice.  The beauty of the Internet is that there are no limits.  Conversely, the problem with the Internet is there are no limits.  Give yourself the best shot at success.  Pick one online business, make a plan, and then work the plan until you succeed.

2)  Learn All You Can

Becoming a successful online business does not happen overnight.  Do not believe any program that says it’s easy.  If it says you are going to plug-in this program and viola’ you’ll make $30,000 in the next 3 months, it’s most probably a scam.  Could it happen?  Sure.  Will it happen for you if you are a complete newbie?  No.

3)  Set an Initial Budget and Stick to It

It’s so tempting.  Every program on the internet sounds like a winner.  It’s just another $197, and look, I’ll get $5,000 is free software that will let me beat Google Adsense at its own game.  Really.  Before you buy that first program, set a budget.  Do not spend a dime over that initial set budget UNTIL you have made your first sale.  This is a cardinal rule, and you shall not break it.  It doesn’t matter how tempting the offer sounds, if you have to spend more than you have budgeted, you can’t buy it.  Period.  There are tons of ways to promote products and services online for free or at little cost.  But even at a little cost, it can add up quickly.  The free methods take a little more time and effort to see results, but it’s worth it.

4)  Take Advantage of Any and All Support Offered

The most successful online business owners are the ones who reach out and take advantage of any and all help.  They participate in forums, they read blogs, they continually read and learn.  Take advantage of coaching programs if it’s within your budget.  If it’s not in your budget, use the free resources until you have made enough money to afford coaching.  The answers and solutions are out there.  You can find it if you look.

Building an online business takes time and effort, but for many, the rewards can be enormous.  Just stay focused and don’t give up.

If I can help you develop your online business plan, or create your online marketing strategy, please let me know.  Helping small businesses succeed is what I do.

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2 comments

  1. Lisa

    I am a recovering attorney and M.B.A. student who is starting a company that makes upper-middle class jewelry for “refined” women. I know a lot about marketing and how to differentiate my products, target markets, etc. But, I don’t know much about technology. I definitely want a Website, but not until my first sale like YOU said!!!

    What are some of the best programs which fairly easily let you design your own Website? Or am I better off paying someone $500 to do it?

    Thanks in Advance

    1. teelady

      Lisa,

      Congrats on your new career path. As for build-it-yourself websites, I like the sitebuilder program at Register.com and Yahoo sitebuilder. I have used both personally and have been happy with my end-results. I have never used GoDaddy’s sitebuilder, but others tell me it’s easy. Register and Yahoo make it really easy to tie-in to paypal and to build a simple shopping cart.

      These solutions should be only temporary until you get sales going. There are limitations and you will want to invest in a custom-built website when you have the funds. Plan to spend $5,000 to $8,000 for a custom-built website that is search-engine optimized and with a robust shopping cart. When you get to that point, my preferred provider is http://mywebwow.com.

      Good luck and if I can ever assist you, please let me know.

      Trina Johnson

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