You’ve finally done it, started that online business, and already you’ve had three or four orders. You’re very excited to be trying out something new which looks promising. You put as much time into it as you can, but you still have to work that full time job to make ends meet. Eventually it is your plan to not have to work outside your home at all.
A month goes by without any other sales regardless of how many advertisements you pay for, or emails you send. You’re almost starting to regret those startup fees for the business, website and domain registration fees, and the monthly credit card processing bill. Truth be told, you have spent ten dollars for every one earned, and the fees are due for the second month in a few days.
You float the “business” for another two months. You’ve had to cut your household expenditures and work overtime at the job you were trying to get away from, but you’re still a few thousand dollars in the hole. You start wondering what you did wrong since all the testimonials you read on the type of business bragged about making thousands in the first month. Was it a scam after all?
Actually it wasn’t a scam. You technically didn’t do anything wrong, but you did jump right into the venture without adhering to a few simple guidelines. Don’t let one bad experience turn you off from your dream of working for yourself.
Research, research and then research again
Number one: Research, research, and then research some more before committing one single cent. Look into affordable web hosting, shopping cart software (hosted and licensed), credit card processing, and anything else you can think of. Be wary of those business hosting websites which will set up the site for you and throw in the shopping cart, all for a “low” monthly fee of 9.99 USD. Remember the most important rule. If it sounds too good to be true, it actually is.
Those testimonials you read were either bought from paid writing professionals, employees (affiliates) of the company itself, or from people who had a huge amount of time, energy, and starting capital from day one. There is no such thing as easy money, or everyone with desire would already be rich.
After you’ve researched this business from front to back, look into ten other online business opportunities. One of the most common mistakes made in a business is having a small selection. That person who is looking for custom tee shirts will probably also want to look at hats, shorts, letterheads and even stationary. Don’t limit yourself.
The opposite is also true. The site with thousands of varied choices right off the bat will probably put a customer off, if not confusing them. It will also eat into your starting capital.
You will not get rich over night
Number two: Don’t go into your new business thinking you’ll strike it rich over night. This is the most common mistake people have. They’ll go into the business, spend all their starting capital, and lose interest when the business doesn’t do well right away.
It will take time, dedication, and energy to be successful. Almost no one has an instant internet success overnight. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll see results.
Believe in products you’re selling
Number three: Believe in the products or services you’re selling. Not everyone can be as smooth as a used car salesman. If you don’t believe in the products or services, how do you expect to convince others to? Yes, there are many websites out there who do huge volumes in the sale of inferior, almost worthless products and services. Put the question to your self – would you do business with them?
Number four: This is perhaps the most important rule. Be honest. Honesty is taking that extra step to form a relationship between your business, you, and your customers. Without honesty, you’re business is just another of the thousands of websites. Take that extra time to write return policies, provide accurate contact information, and address each customer support issue as it comes up.
Sure, you could do without honesty, but where would your business be then. Those long time websites who are dishonest are well known and established. They first went online in a time when people didn’t do much online shopping. Now there are millions of online businesses, and you need an edge over your competitors.
In closing, make your online business something special. If you want to be another run-of-the-mill retailer, then don’t expect much from your customers. They certainly won’t be coming to you for the same ol’ treatment and products.