Start an Internet Business
The 4 Key Questions You Must Ask Before You Start an Internet Business
Every year millions of people answer “Yes” that they are ready to start an internet business. To many, the thought of starting your own business may seem too daunting and for many it actually is. Every year many entrepreneurs lose money, time, confidence in their business endeavors.
The Small Business Administration estimates there are 580,900 new small businesses opening each year and that number does not include the small one-person entrepreneurial ventures that pop up every day. According to the SBA, two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent survive at least four years.
So, what does it take to start your own business? Two of the key factors in the businesses’ survival and ability to thrive:
- the owner’s education level and;
- the owner’s reason for starting the firm in the first place.
How can you make sure that you are among the winners rather than the losers in this high stakes game? The answer is simple… it’s inside of you. You must ask yourself four key questions before you start an internet business to determine whether your own small business will survive and thrive.
1. Are You Ready
Have you mentally prepared yourself for the switch from employee (or student or whatever label fits you currently) to boss. You are going to be the one making decisions now about everything from office products to product line. This total control is one of the driving forces behind many people who take the plunge into starting their own business but it is also one of the elements that drives new entrepreneurs crazy. When you start an internet business there is an endless list of decisions that need to be made and new questions crop up every day.
Even more important, you will need to remember that in a small business you will wear many hats. Even if you manage to start an internet business with one or more employees you will each fulfill more than one role in your new business. And if you are running a one-man or one-woman show then you serve in every capacity from file clerk to maintenance crew to salesman to CEO. Can you handle switching from task to task and role to role like that? Are you willing to make those switches?
Similarly, before you start an internet business, have you prepared your family and friends for this switch in attitude. Your life is going to change — probably pretty drastically — and that change can have a positive or negative impact on your family life and social interactions. It will make things much easier if your friends and family are supportive going into the process.
2. Where Is Your Niche?
Have you identified your niche yet? One of the reasons many businesses fail, especially internet business, is that they failed to focus on a target audience before they start an internet business. Yes, if you are a major discount chain then you can sell everything from peanuts to wallpaper but this type of business requires vast resources that just aren’t available to the small business. But small businesses dominate the marketplace (creating more than 50 percent of the private gross domestic product last year) by finding a different approach — a niche.
Knowing your niche means you are better able to find, target, and maintain your customers as well as provide the best possible goods and services to that customer base. That focus is one of your best chances to not only survive but to thrive in a very competitive marketplace.
3. What Is Your Plan Of Action?
Another key factor in the survival and ultimate success of your business is how much planning you do before you open your electronic doors. You need to decide if your business will be exclusively based on the internet or include some more traditional models. Are you going to work full-time or part-time at your new business? Are you going to hire help or go solo? Have you written (or at least outlined) your business plan? Dreaming, thinking and planning can save you much trouble and waste later when things are hectic and problems strike. Planning can also help keep you focused and to balance your spending and time.
Any business is more likely to succeed if they have a definite plan of action to follow. Unfortunately, in reality most small business and home based businesses have no idea about developing a business plan that drives them to success. That is the reason why 70% of businesses fail within the first year. A solid plan needs to state exactly WHEN and HOW you will make money.
Before you start an internet business, make sure your business plan is laid out right to the very minor details. You need to know:
- Your target market
- The average cost of one product
- Your profit margin on each product
- Your expected break-even point
- Cash flow projections
4. Who Are You Going To Call?
At some point, no matter how experienced a business person you are, you will need help. You will need support, advice, tools, or information — or all of the above. One of the beautiful, and most frightening, aspects of growth is that it can lead you to places you never imagined. No matter how much planning and experience you bring to your new position as CEO, the unexpected will arise. How will you cope with this? It is important to recognize that no business is an island. It is not failure to seek help. Failure is when your business shuts down because you didn’t get the help you needed.
The best way to get timely help is to work on your support system while you work on building your business. That way you will already have a ready list of resources available that you can quickly tap into when emergencies strike. In today’s world there are many marvelous resources available to you no matter what your business model may be. These include:
- Publications (newsletters, magazines, books)
- People (professional advisors, mentors, teachers, consultants)
- Networks (organizations and forums in your niche as well as general business and marketing)
- Education and training (tutorials, courses, and seminars)
After you have answered these four key questions you are now ready to ask yourself that one big question again…
— are you ready to start an internet business?
At AMP we understand your need to get your business started right, so we provide the industry’s leading internet marketing program to entrepreneurs who want real skills to start an internet business successfully. Our flexible online training programs cover everything from Marketing Basics to all areas of starting an internet business, including Search Engine Optimization, Web Analytics, Sales Conversion, Social Media Marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, or Online PR and YouTube Marketing and more.
Click here to learn more about how to start an internet business.
Topic: Start an Internet Business