You CAN start with empty pockets and stacks of bills and build a steady income, even fortune, via the Internet. It’s a long, hard road, though, so it’s best to prepare and take a good map with you.
First, a comparison to building a brick-and-mortar offline business, just for perspective. When you are young you can educate yourself in your field, work for someone else and build your experience, reputation and equity. Then you could take out a business loan, rent a shop, buy all the necessary equipment, tools, furniture and merchandise, buy advertising – and wait years to work your way out of debt and making a profit.
Unless you’re young, have a family, and all the expenses and debt that comes with it, and don’t make enough money to work for someone else to get ahead, you don’t have the same opportunities. Night school, years of part-time education and training, with your creditors following your every turn…sound familiar?
So you turn on your computer and wonder…wish…that one of these get-rich-quick promises could be true for you. I wouldn’t go there if I were you.
Here are some first steps to getting started as an internet entrepreneur:
1. Honest self-assessment: Being self-employed requires certain qualities. If you can honestly say that you’re self-disciplined, self-motivated, goal-oriented, confident, patient, persistent, and maybe even a little stubborn, you’ve got what it takes.
2. Research: You need to spend some time researching the company, the products, and the people who already work in the business. Is the company solid and reliable, are the company executives approachable and responsive, are the products of high desirability and quality and, perhaps most importantly, is there experienced, successful and friendly team support?
3. Support: Surround yourself with cheerleaders, mentors, knowledge and inspiration, both online and offline. Your family, the company, and others who have found success where you first set foot should all be available to you. You should never feel like you’re all alone.
4. Infrastructure: Decide what you need: computer, printer, fax, telephone; whatever your chosen business requires. Create an office space that fits your lifestyle and work needs. A corner of the living room can work well if you can work while the kids are at school or if you don’t mind their noise, but evening work may require a separate room. Don’t put your office in the bedroom if you work in the evenings and your spouse goes to bed early. You need your family’s support, not their hostility!
5. Realism: It’s tempting to try a company that makes promises it can’t keep. Many will tell you that one or a few people make thousands of dollars a week, and so can you. None of them will suggest that you might be one of thousands who quit before making a dime. “Put money in your pocket today!” Yes, but will any be going in tomorrow?
Accept the fact that any worthwhile deal can take time. Maybe you can start making money in a few months or maybe a year. You must be able to sustain life as you know it for as long as it lasts. Understand that it will not be a steady climb from where you are today; The path will go up and down.
6. Sell someone else’s product or your own: Obviously, the big money is in selling your own product. However, selling for another company is a great way to break into internet trading. At first you may feel like you are wriggling in an unfathomable sea of information, but eventually you will know that you “get it”. If you work for a good company, you know you have what it takes to do it yourself if you wish.
7. Business Plan: This keeps you focused and helps you develop goals, strategies and work plans; and helps to evaluate your results. It may include contingency plans and is never set in stone. As you learn and your business evolves, so will the plan.
Now that you have the roadmap, take the first step! Your future starts today!