Wednesday, February 13
There are many people who hold a great feeling of romance in regards to starting their own business. Many see it as a means of breaking away from the nine to five routine so that they can achieve personal gratification and professional success. The feeling of no longer working for someone, or the thought of being on the correct path to financial freedom, may be key reasons why one would want to transition from the feeling of being secure in a job to starting a small business. However, starting a business many not be as easy as it sounds.
Small businesses, which are frequently home-based businesses, are started by two types of people: the person who has had the entrepreneurial spirit their whole lives and will completely remove themselves from the nine to five environment to engage in the new business, and the other, who will gradually build the home-based business by working a few hours intermittently as free time comes up outside of their daily routine. Both are strategies on opposite ends of the spectrum and are typically decided on by the amount of cash-flow one has; but the fact is, anyone can start a small-business through low-cost methods and by consistent self trial and error. We refer to this process as “Successful Failure” because it results in the systematic discovery of the right market niche for your unique products and services.
When starting a home-based business, it is likely that the business will somehow integrate with the web; in this day and age, it is no longer a luxury … a presence on the internet has become nothing short of a necessity. If you, as the owner of the new business, sell a product or a service, start-up costs for web based businesses tend to be minimal and up-keep is also low if you have the ability to wear many hats in the business, and especially if you create your own web content. For example, in starting up a home-based business that primarily sells homemade blankets, all that is needed is a functional website with a shopping cart and merchant integration to get started. With tools like WordPress, a turn-key content management system, and a shopping cart integration, such as Google Checkout, a person can be up and running in their new business within a day and with minimal costs.
Keeping costs low in a startup is a typical goal for the home-based business owner. While the business typically starts out as a sole-venture in the beginning, it allows the owner to experiment with different tools and alternative business models since no system is yet in place. Because most home-based business owners still have day jobs while building their business on the side, the full-time job provides income and gives them peace of mind while they go through trial and error methods that go along with starting a business. In the beginning, it is not likely that you will immediately produce profits, but by solely focusing on web-based sales and content creation, it will keep most of the costs manageable.
After a few months of selling a specific product, maybe it's time to give that particular product up; maybe it's time to focus solely on selling services or intellectual content, like an e-book or audio tracks. Due to the fact that there is a (literally) unlimited suite of business tools at your disposal and your business system has likely began to take form, it's easy to transition into another product or service without feeling the negative effects of changing the business model.
There will in fact come a time when the business has really started to take shape, and increasing sales or traffic to your website might be the next big push for your business. Once you feel like you are in a niche market, or that you have an edge on your competition, the time may be right to begin on-page search engine optimization, which focuses on keywords, content and interlinking strategies on your business website, and search engine marketing, the link-building strategies from outside sources such as partner pages, directories and social media. These methods alone are the modern way of driving organic traffic to the website from the search engines.
Having these systems in place will undoubtedly set you up for success. Most business startup and maintenance costs are minimal, if a prudent approach is taken. This mitigates a lot of the risk of going bust. By keeping your costs low while consistently adjusting the strategy and tactics of your online business, it will allow you to fail, learn from your failure, make adjustments, and try again. If the second effort fails, you can continue to learn from your failures and continue to try again. By embracing the process of learning and adjusting, while keeping the costs of your business low, it will help you to achieve great success that is built on top of every failure you have experienced.
Action Item: Don’t be afraid to try things that don’t work . . . only be afraid of inaction. When a strategy fails, learn from that failure and make adjustments. Achieve success through consistently learning and action. (Top image: Flickr | Phillip Taylor PT)
The JasonHartman.com Team
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