Can you become an online entrepreneur?
There are five things to remember when starting your business online, according to Steven Dooley
Many everyday Australians have generated considerable wealth through online businesses. But is it as easy as it seems?
Like everything in life, the answer is ‘no’. There is plenty of hard work to do and potential entrepreneurs will need to spend considerable time developing and growing the business.
So, how do you go about starting a profitable online business?
According to Ben Stickland, CEO of website development and marketing firm Alliance Software, there are five major points to consider when starting an internet business.
One: Think about the market, not your product. Many new players in the internet space will try and develop a product that blows away the competition, but the market might not be interested. Try doing market research first – the product will follow.
Two: Critical mass is key. The internet is a social environment – and no one wants to be the first to the party. You either need to generate users, fake users or build something that doesn’t need other users.
Three: Don’t blow your budget upfront. Stickland says that once a website it built, that’s when the hard part starts. You will need to spend a lot of time and effort refining your website once you start receiving feedback from users. This is a key part of the process and online businesses neglect this at their peril.
Four: Focus on a niche market. While the internet provides you with millions, or even billions, of potential companies, it also results in very many competitors. The trick to standing out is to operate in a niche market. So, rather than starting a website about dogs, you might consider a focus on one particular breed.
Five: You can’t abdicate your responsibilities for marketing. Stickland says that while you can hire consultancies to do much of the grunt work, the central marketing ethos and direction is up to you.
The internet provides a wealth of opportunities for motivated people – it’s just a question of taking action, having a plan and doing it.