Are You Treating Your Online Business LIKE a Business?
Despite high expectations, a majority of them failed and continued in the nine to five grind.
One of the causes of their demise was their inability to treat their endeavor as a true business. Why? Some fall for the hype, you have seen it - "We do all the work, no recruiting required!" or "This is a ground floor opportunity, company spillover will build your organization!" or "Work one hour a day and make $1,000's!". You have seen those claims and I sure have seen many of them over the last fourteen years.
Like any business, you need a plan, even if it is just written down on a piece of paper with some very simple goals and time frames. It doesn't have to be very complex, it can just be a simple road map or checklist.
Like any business, you are going to have to spend some money to be successful. One of the biggest traps is believing the hype that you can associate with a business opportunity that is free and you will make thousands of dollars. Think about it logically.
Let's say you become an affiliate for xyz company. It doesn't cost you a dime to become an affiliate and all you have to do is promote their product and/or services and you earn a 35% commission. Great! No problem. They even give you a free website with all the products set up on it, they furnish ads you can use, they handle all the order processing, delivery, customer service and they mail you a commission check at the end of the month. A great deal.
But how are you going to promote the product and/or services on the web site? Yes, you can place free classified ads all over the Internet which will get you some traffic and maybe some sales. You can become a member of some traffic exchanges and that will help. But the bottom line you are probably not going to generate the kind of traffic and sales that would meet your expectations of a nice fat check each month.
I want to be clear here, I am not putting down affiliate programs as a good source of income online, I have used them for many years as part of my overall business activities. But I also have to do a lot of paid advertising and mailings as part of my promotions or else I wouldn't have the traffic I have coming to my sites every month.
Likewise, look at network marketing programs, many of which you can initially join for free. Yes, you can join for free, but at some time you are going to have to upgrade to a paying member. A company cannot pay you commissions if you are not contributing to the funding of the program.
What I am saying is that at some point you are going to have to spend some money. You cannot run a business without spending some. True, you can run an online business for considerably less than one down at the local strip mall but both have one thing in common, they both need prospects. If you don't have the prospects visiting you web site or your local store, you will not have many sales and you sure won't be in business long.
Working from home eliminates one of the highest expenses, overhead. Promoting digital products online also eliminates another cost, shipping. Advertising is not eliminated. But online you can reach thousands of people in minutes. For instance, I can reach my 9,000 plus newsletter subscribers normally within a ten minute period. If I had a store at the mall, that would be pretty unlikely.
You have to treat your endeavor as a business. You need to realize that you are going to have to devote time to it and that you are going to have to spend some dollars on it. This will apply whether you are going to promote affiliate programs, a network marketing business or online services. One fortunate aspect is that an online business endeavor can be much more lucrative in a shorter period of time compared to a conventional offline business.
Bottomline - treat your endeavor as a business, have a simple written plan and goals, work out a budget, commit to devoting the necessary time and make sure you are flexible and make adjustments when necessary.
About the Author:
Joe Reinbold is owner of The Entrepreneur's Home Business Link and an autoresponder service at 123Response.com
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