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Some useful hints and tips for starting up

The basic principles in setting up a sustainable online business are no different than those used for any other kind of business. However, setting up an online business can be done quickly and cheaply and has the potential for great returns on your initial investment.

Although it is easy to set up an online business it is not so easy to make it work. There are costs involved although the financial ones can be quite small and then there is your time and effort. If you are investing 20 hours a week of your time and after three months are still only generating sufficient income to buy a cup of coffee then you need to look at what you are doing and be prepared to make changes.

Here is a short list of some of the things you should avoid doing:

  • Buying into any kind of scheme that promises to make you a fortune in next to no time. Contrary to what most of them claim they won’t be revealing any ‘closely guarded secrets’ and they certainly won’t be making you rich overnight.
  • Expect to make big money quickly without putting in the time and effort. A successful business takes time to develop.
  • Selling or promoting products that you don’t believe in. Keep your integrity. Customers are more likely to return to you if they see that what you are selling is genuine.
  • Buying email lists. You have no idea if any of the addresses are genuine and if even they are genuine are the people interested in what you are trying to sell them? If you hate getting spam email don’t subject others to it. There are ways of building up legitimate email lists which can generate income for you. The only people who make money out of this are the ones who sold you the list in the first place.
  • Allowing insufficient time and money to develop your business. Initial start up costs may be low but you will have to put time and effort in order to develop your business.
  • Making your website difficult to understand and navigate. Most visitors to your website will spend less than a minute there. If they can’t see what you are selling quickly and clearly they will leave.
  • Depending on a single income stream to make all your money.

Here is a short list of some of the things that you should be doing:

  • Make sure you have sufficient financial backing. While the costs for an online business are low it is not free. Likewise make sure you have sufficient funding to support the business for the first few months. Again this may not be much but it needs to be there.
  • Do your research. Identify the customer base you want to target. Find out how much competition is out there. Targeting a small niche market can be far more profitable than trying to sell financial products for the simple reason that you will not be competing with big companies that have huge marketing budgets.
  • Give yourself sufficient time each week to manage and develop your business. Poor time management is the downfall of many a promising new business.
  • Develop a simple business plan and stick to it.
  • Be prepared to put the time and effort into developing your business. Don’t think that just because you have set up a website that you will start to make money instantly. You will still need to attract visitors to your website.
  • If your first attempt is unsuccessful don’t give up. Try another avenue. Because of the low cost involved in setting up an online business it is quite easy to set up several websites targeting different markets and run them side by side. If one doesn’t work then drop it and try another.
  • If you are selling or promoting a product on behalf of someone else check out any claims that are being made. Integrity is the key. If your visitors see that what you are selling or promoting is genuine they will be more inclined to revisit your website and also tell others about it.

 

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