20 Things You Have to Know Before Starting an Online Business – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my series on 20 Things You Have to Know Before Starting a Blog. If you are just joining us then it’s important to go back, and read Part 1 before going any further. I’m trying to follow a sequence going in order, so make sure you go back and read Part 1. With that said,

I’ll like to continue my series by going at 5 more important things which you have to keep in your mind when starting out online. It’s been a long journey for me and I’ve been able to go back looking at the things which I’ve had to tweak to grow my business. It can be hard I’ll admit however if you have the right combination of skills and experience then you can streamline the entire process. Today we’ll be looking at the following, and how they play an important role in your success.

  1. Patient
  2. Costs and Budget
  3. Work Ethic
  4. Continued Research
  5. Email

Patience

No matter what type of business you’re starting it’s going to take time to grow and prosper. I’m surprised at the amount of people who give up before giving it enough time to pick up. For example, it’s stated that you should give any business you start at least 1-2 years to flourish. This can be a long time especially when it’s going to be your main source of income. You’ll learn why having a budget is important in the next step, but, for now, let’s look at how patience is important to meet your bottom line.

Here’s something else you want to consider,

Since you’re starting an online business by marketing the right way, you might be able to flourish quicker than usual, however, this takes some hard work. It will help reading through this series and applying the strategies listed.

Costs and Budget

As mentioned above by the time you start seeing a profit could be a few months to a year. This is why it’s important you plan ahead with your budget making sure you have cash on hand for a rainy day. When I first started online, I calculated completely wrong so end up running out of cash which put my marketing on hold. I had to get a side job to help pay for the extra costs involved. For example, when starting out online, you have to take the following into consideration:

First, purchasing a domain and hosting which is reliable. As your business grows, you’ll have to increase your hosting plan which will cost you even more monthly. It’s hard to give you a breakdown of costs because each hosting provider does offer something completely different. Next,

Website design and template purchase which is going to be expensive if you have NO programming skills. Why? Your website will be your identity, and you want to stand out compared to your competition. Don’t forget, you’ll have to pay someone to get a logo ready for you too. Next,

These days you want to make sure you have the right security on your site for two reasons. First, you want to protect customer information especially if you are selling products. You want to make sure no one gets a hold of their credit card information. Secondly, you’re going to have so much data within your database so it’s important everything is backed up automatically. All of this does cost money, and many of the backup plans I’ve seen work monthly.

With the costs I’ve listed above, you have to understand you’ll have hidden costs pop up while whatever marketing costs come along the way. If you consider that your business won’t make money for the first few months, you understand how it’s important to have this liquid cash on hand at all times.

I usually tell my customers that it’s important to have a bankroll of money which will last you anywhere from 3-4 months.

Work Ethic

Very important to succeed in business. The funny thing is I know so many who are very educated but fail in life especially business because they lack the right work ethic. Starting an online blog or business is damn tough, and you have to outwork your competition. This means put in more hours than them while never giving up. These characteristics don’t come from education but come from your work ethic and how hard you want what you are aiming for. Here’s something else…

Most people don’t succeed online because they just don’t know how to push an extra mile. The thing which distinguishes you and your competition is your ability to stay positive while never throwing in the towel. Some characteristics of a person who works hard are the following:

Brute Motivation – Always stay motivated no matter how many ups and downs you have in life. Stay motivated to reach your end goal.

Never Give Up – Keep trying because an extra 20% push can make the difference between success and failure. If you are clear about what you want in life, then nothing should stand in your way.

Honest – you have to be honest because customers will feel comfortable doing business with you going forward. It’s a good way to avoid bad karma from catching up to you.

Help others – if you ask anyone whose successful they’ll tell you how they had a mentor. You should always give back by helping others within your industry. This means helping them with work, providing training, funding or even a job.

Never Cut Corners – If you cut corners, you’ll be ruining the quality of your products. Follow the Apple strategy and create the best products ever. If your writing content, then provide even more value compared to your readers.

Your work ethic matters enormously so it’s important to ensure you work harder than anyone else to reach your end goal and your bottom line.

Continued Research

The thing with any online business is that things can change quickly so it’s important you continue to research news, trends, etc. You then want to find ways to implement them going forward into your blog or website. If you don’t, then the tides can shift to your competition very quickly. I encourage all of you to always research your niche making sure you are up to date. I’ve lost a competitive edge quickly because I failed to research how the products and my audience was changing over time. Research doesn’t have to be a tough process because you just need to have the people in the right places. Here’s what I’ve done going forward to keep me ahead of my competition.

I’ve hired 2-3 people within my company who are responsible for making sure that all the changes taking place within my niche are reported to me. This will allow me to get a jump start on my competition, and implement changes which will ultimately influence my bottom line. For example, I know where I can find up to date news on my niche, and make sure the people I hire regularly check those channels.

They write out a report which should be delivered to me on a weekly basis.

Setup Email

The money is in the list, and you should make sure you have an email service auto sequence setup right before you start. This means less delay in you building a list, and working towards customer retention. However, customers still manage to delay their list building and they ultimately pay the price in the end. With that said, there are a few things you should keep in mind on why and how to build an email list. First, some reasons why building a list is important:

  • Continued marketing
  • Customer retention
  • Brand awareness
  • Updates
  • Trends
  • Product marketing
  • Solo ads

These are just some of the benefits of building a list, however depending on your niche you’ll have other reasons why your list will be important to your growth. Let’s look at the right way to setup your email service provider.

First,

Make sure you sign up with a reliable ESP because the last thing you want is to run into problems collecting email addresses. Next, you want to go through the tutorials learning how to put the right forms and sequences together. This is great because you’ll learn how to put forms together, write emails, split test forms, etc. Once you have put everything together, you can start testing your forms and email sequence. Why is this step important?

When you split test, you’ll be able to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Sometimes your visitors will respond to specific offers and forms better than others which will increase your opt-in rate. Remember this clearly, in order for you to succeed with online marketing using email, you’ll have to ensure you get people on your list. If they opt-in, you’ll have a hard time running a sequence to them. It’s stated each person on your list has the potential to generate $125.00 towards your business so you can see how the potential is there. However, this potential is only applicable to your business when you can get them on your list. I suggest creating a free information product which your visitors can download if they opt-in. The more value provided through this free information product, the better for you going forward because it will increase your opt-in rate.

Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com created a FREE eBook which provided people will value on how to create a podcast. He was able to generate 10,000 in about 3 months which lead to more money down the line.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our second part, and I hope that you learned a lot from this content. Again, if you haven’t read the first part, then it’s time to go back and read it. Implement the strategies discussed in all of the content, then come back and implement what you have learned in this content. Utilizing all of what’s been mentioned will help streamline your setup process because it’s NOT knowing these things which delayed my overall launch strategy. However, if you can take out the value from this content and apply it within your startup, then you’ll have no problem growing, and converting your visitors.

Let’s jump into the third part where we’ll be looking at five more important elements.