You’ve been thinking about it for months, years, maybe even a decade or more. You’ve made New Year’s resolutions over it. Maybe you’ve started the application process for registering your business name, or you’ve spent countless hours reading success stories of other entrepreneurs and thought to yourself, I can do that, too.
If you can relate to any of these things, you are ten steps away from transforming your dreams into reality and starting your dream online business. It’s never been easier to get started and make today your Day #1.
There are hundreds (if not thousands!) of ways to make money as an online business entrepreneur. But which ones are the best ideas, and what separates a good business idea from a bad one?
My number one tip for choosing a business idea is making sure it’s an idea you’re passionate about. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking “the grass is greener on the other side” -- working online and working from home still have their disadvantages as much as a 9-to-5 office job does, and you will need the motivation to power through when times get tough. When you stick to an area of business that speaks directly to your passion, you are more likely to dedicate yourself long-term to your online business.
Some of the best online businesses to start are in the areas of course creation, virtual assisting, graphic design, and website development. As a course creator, you have the opportunity to package all of your knowledge, experience, and expertise in an area that benefits others. As a virtual assistant, you can set up business systems, project management, social media management, or technical support for a team or individual business owner. Graphic design and web development go hand in hand when it comes to designing, creating, and maintaining a website for someone’s business.
Any service you choose can be highly profitable for your online business as long as you have the long-term dedication to a service you believe in. In short, there are very few owners of growing businesses in the world who don’t need an additional hand in their day-to-day operations. Find a place where your passion and expertise meet, and create a service that meets the needs of others, AKA - solving problems!
Before you can start your online business, there are a few key steps that you need to follow:
No matter what online business you choose to start with, ultimately your success depends on how well you market your business idea to others. A great idea only goes so far -- you also need to be able to speak to others in a way that conveys the significance and value of what you are offering.
Start small by utilizing social media to your advantage. If you’re new to social media or haven’t marketed yourself on social media before, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Between Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and many other social channels, there are many options for marketing your business. Only choose one platform to begin with, and familiarize yourself with it thoroughly before branching out onto another platform. Instagram is a great place to start. You can utilize graphics, images, captions, and videos on your Instagram grid. Instagram Stories is a great place to communicate with your audience by using videos, poll stickers, and questions to clarify your audience’s needs and wants. The more information you gather from the audience who is listening to you, the better you will know how to communicate your significance and value to others.
The best advice I can give to a new entrepreneur is to make sure you have the right systems in place to support your success, and this includes support systems.
Firstly, you need to find a supportive and empowering community or an accountability partner. It’s vital that you feel comfortable asking questions and are confident you’ll get helpful, honest answers from this community. I started my online business in a vacuum and it was the hardest thing because there was no one to give me answers to my ‘silly’ questions (I know now that there’s no such thing as a silly question!). Having an accountability partner to help keep you motivated on those tough days is also a great idea. This could be a partner, spouse, friend, or someone else starting their online business, just like you.
Second, you will want to have a system in place to keep track of all of your records for tax purposes. This will always make it easier for you to file your taxes when they are due, and ensure that you remain an integral business owner.
Third, you will want a system in place for all business communications. Try to use only one main business email address for anything related to your business, and set up separate folders to file your emails and keep your inbox clear on a daily basis. If you are communicating with clients or other team members, consider a platform like Slack where you can create separate channels depending on topics, and keep track of all communications in one place.
Lastly, you will want a system in place for all project management and day-to-day operations. A platform like Asana or ClickUp can be shared with a team or help the single business owner with their daily operations. You can integrate other platforms like Slack with ClickUp, set up project management overviews, create goals, and so much more.
Invest early into your online business by making sure you have the right systems in place and finding a supportive and empowering community to help you along the way. In the long run, it will cost you time, money, and maybe much more if you do not have the proper systems and support network in place to skyrocket your business growth. In the end, you are creating an online business for one reason -- freedom! Having an online business alone does not create the freedom you crave, but in the long run, your systems and a supportive community will.
Join over 11,000 fellow freedom-seekers in our FREE Facebook community, Screw the Commute, and learn how to start (and grow) a successful online business with support from like-minded people!