So you want to start an internet business? With all they hype and downright nonsense on the web these days it is easy to get totally confused. The end result is wasted days, weeks, months, and even years stuck in an analysis paralysis: you are so busy reading the thousands of free ebooks, each of which is telling you that you can be rich overnight, that you end up making nothing at all - or worse still, making a loss.
So, to distill it right down, what DO you need for a successful internet business?
I believe that it can be boiled down to three fundamental
FACTOR ONE: the most important of them all, yet (for the newbie) the most neglected. Yet it is this one factor, over all the rest, that will determine whether you are successful or not.
What is it? Napoleon Hill calls it a "Definite Chief Aim". Unless you have a very clear goal of where you are headed and, with it, enough belief in yourself that you can make it, you will fail. It's as simple as that.
Everything you do, every success, and every failure, starts in the attitude of your mind. So, if you really want success, you had better start by getting your mind in shape. Fortunately, that is easy to achieve - if you would just dedicate yourself to the task of self-improvement. Is it any surprise, then, that the more successful people are, the more they spend on self-improvement books, tapes, seminars, and coaching?
Professionals get personal coaching, amateurs try to teach themselves.
If you want to be rich, then do as the rich do: invest in your eduction and personal development.
FACTOR TWO: A clear and coherent business plan. "Yes, yes", everyone nods, yet how many people actually get around to drawing up a detailed, written plan? Why do you need one? Because a business plan is the road map that shows you the route to take so as to arrive as quickly and efficiently as
possible at your "definite chief aim".
Don't know how to go about drawing one up? For detailed help, why not go down to your local library and read some books on it? Or go to your bank's business advisor. In many countries the government has set up agencies with the specific remit of helping aspiring entrepreneurs to get started. Go speak to them.
But, just to give you a flavor, here are some crucial questions you need to be able to answer if your business is to succeed:
a) Who and where is your hungry crowd? It is no use trying to sell burgers to people who are just leaving a restaurant. They are not hungry. If you want to sell something, your very first task, even before you decide what to sell, is to ask "what do people want"? If people are desperately
hungry, they want to be filled, if they are dying of thirst, they want to be quenched, if caught in the rain, they want to be dry, and if feeling lonely, they want to be loved. Get the general idea?
B) When you know what they want so much they would sell their own mother to get, your next question is "what product or service can you provide them that would meet their need or want?"
Be careful to distinguish between SOLUTIONS and PRODUCTS. People caught in the rain don't want an umbrella, they want to be dry. People who are insecure don't want a fancy, expensive car, they want to be noticed, admired and envied. The mother with a newborn does not want diapers - she wants her baby to be dry and comfortable.
The products are only the means to an end. Don't sell products, sell solutions. What solutions can you provide for your crowd with their desperate "wants"?
C) If you have identified your hungry crowd, and come up with some valuable solutions for them, how will you tell them what you can do for them? How will they find out that you have an answer for their problem? In other words, what will be your marketing strategy?
D) Finally, (and this really is at the END of the list, not the beginning) how will you deliver those solutions? Will you sell them a product, or a service? How will it be delivered? How will you collect the money? What infrastructure will you need to put in place before you can even start?
If you sell burgers it is no use having hundreds of them sitting in your freezer at home when hordes of hungry fans come flooding through the football stadium gates at the end of the match. You need to be there, in place, ready and waiting, with your Burger Van fully equipped with grill, paper plates, and cans of Coke - and, of course, a permit!
FACTOR THREE: The right tools for the job. Don't try to cook gourmet meals for a five-star hotel on a single-ring camping stove, it is not up to the job.
Everyone on the internet seems to want to run their business for free. The want free traffic, free email, free websites, free autoresponders, and free subscribers. Well, yes, you can make a bit of money online using free stuff. And maybe that is what you should do, while you are first finding your feet.
But if you are serious about your business, then at some point you going to have to get serious about your tools. Professionals invest in quality tools because they make the job easier, quicker, and better. Amateurs try to make do with whatever they can find in the back of the shed. As a
customer, which would you rather go to if you wanted your roof fixed, or your ears pierced?
The details vary, but take a look at every successful business and you will find all three factors solidly in place. Making money is not hard. Millions of ordinary people do it quite successfully. You just have to go about it the right way. Concentrate on these three factors, and you will be off to a flying start.
Dr. Noel Swanson is the owner of several successful niche websites, and author of "The GOOD CHILD Guide", available from: http://www.good-child-guide.com . For his free book & e-course on how to start and run your own internet business visit http://www.7stepstofreedom.com/affiliates now.
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