5 Issues to Consider Before Launching Your Online Business
Is it possible to make good money working online? Yes.
I support myself as a full-time freelance writer, and several of my friends also earn or supplement their income working online. But before you hook up your computer and wait for the money to come flowing in, there are a few things you need to consider.
Choose a Business Idea You Love
Launching a new business is hard work. For at least the first several months, you’ll probably devote long hours to it during the day and dream about it at night. The only way to keep your sanity – and to make money – is to choose a line of work that you feel passionate about.
For me, it’s writing. For one of my friends, it’s online bookkeeping and accounting. For yet another friend, it’s selling high-end gifts. Whether you want to be a web designer or a sales agent or anything else, make sure you select a job that you will look forward to doing day after day.
Watch Out for Scams
There are many legitimate business opportunities online. Unfortunately, there are also many scams. Scams are a way to try to get either money or free work out of an online business person.
In a money scam, for instance, you might be offered a high-paying job. The only stipulation is that you need to pay for the training manual, or for an initial supply of the product you’re selling or for being mentored by a more experienced salesperson. Once you send the money, the scammers disappear, leaving you with nothing but a bad email address.
A work-related scam usually starts off with an email from someone admiring your online skills. The so-called customer then explains to you that it is company policy for you to complete an assignment before being paid. You spend hours, days, or even weeks on the assignment, submit it and never hear another word or see a dime of the money you’re owed.
The best way to avoid scams is to remind yourself that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Commit to Working Hard
Don’t count on a four-hour workweek a month after you found your business. In fact, you’ll probably be spending significantly more time working on your online business than you would spend working for an employer.
When you start an online business, you are usually the only staff (unless you can sweet talk your spouse or your kids into helping out). This means you are the CEO, the marketing team, the secretarial pool and the creative brains behind the venture all wrapped into one. It takes time to balance all these roles successfully.
Don’t Rest on Your Laurels
When I first started writing, I was lucky enough to find a client whose business accounted for the vast majority of my monthly income. I didn’t bother to worry about finding additional clients because I thought I didn’t need to. Then my main client went bankrupt and I was suddenly in the position of needing to find new customers very quickly.
Be smarter than I was. Never depend on just one or two clients to keep you afloat. In fact, it’s a good practice to set aside three to five hours a week for marketing no matter how many good clients you have.
Don’t Stay on the Bottom Rung of the Ladder
When you begin your business, you may need to take some low-paying jobs to get some credentials as well as to make ends meet. Starting at the bottom, though, doesn’t mean that you have to stay there. As soon as you get the credentials you need, consider raising your rates and start soliciting the bigger fish in the pond. That’s the best way to make good money online.
Launching a new online business is always a little intimidating, but knowing to avoid these five newbie traps can increase your income and your chances of success.