During most of the past 10 years, I have been selling physical products online, but recently had the opportunity to start a service business to sell web design to other people. There are various pros and cons to each type of business and in this post, I will discuss these in as much detail as possible.
But Don’t Have Time Right Now
I’ve met many people that want to start their own business one day. When I tell people that I run my own business from home, I often get into discussions about people’s business ideas.
Unfortunately, I know that most people will never achieve those dreams because they’re not doing anything right now to move towards it. In this post, I’m going to talk about a few things you can do to get motivated and prepare yourself for running your own business one day, even if you have a full-time job or don’t have time right now.
Become a Student of Business and Marketing
One of the biggest problems people face is that they don’t have any good ideas for their own business. This was also a problem for me early on and since I was laid off from work, I was forced to come up with an idea quickly and get started right away.
However, the problem nowadays is having too many ideas and not enough time to pursue them. One of the best ways to get ideas for business is to keep reading and learning about what other businesses are doing. Figure out what’s working and think about ideas on how to make it better.
If you don’t have any ideas for starting your own business, then it’s highly likely that you haven’t done a lot of reading or learning on business and marketing. When you see what other people have done and how they became successful, you will also get more excited about starting your own business.
Try to Make a Little Money on the Side
One of the most motivating things about business is when you start actually making money. It’s a reward for your efforts and can motivate and inspire you to work harder.
So even if you have a full time job right now, try to make a little money on the side. Perhaps enough to pay off you water bill to start with. There are websites like Elance, where you can try some freelance work or Etsy and Ebay where you can try selling stuff.
You can also start your own website, try to get people to it and put up some ads. Some people have even successfully turned their hobbies into full time profitable businesses.
Network with Other Entrepreneurs and Successful People
Growing your network can be helpful in many ways, even if you aren’t ready to start your business now. Some of these people may become future customers, partners, and mentors.
Surrounding yourself with successful like-minded people will also help you become successful. We tend to become more like the people we surround ourselves with.
Go out to business networking events and don’t just go once in awhile. Try to do this regularly and get to know some of the people that are active at these events. As an additional benefit, you can also learn a lot about business from them.
Grow an Audience Around Topics You Enjoy
In a previous post, I talked about how blogging can be beneficial to your business or even as a stand alone way of making money. Even if you have a full time job, you can still run a blog on the side and build a following that can one day become your customer base.
You can also grow followers on social media sites, like YouTube and Pinterest. Although having your own website is beneficial and doesn’t cost much to start.
Be Consistent and Schedule Time to Develop Your Skills
Don’t just do these activities here and there. Schedule time to read, learn, and execute your business ideas and make it a habit to do this every week.
Consistency is very important to success, so start getting into the habit of building healthy routines that will make you successful in the future.
Last week, I went to a php Meetup and had the opportunity to talk to someone running a successful online marketing and web development business. As one of my most recent projects is starting my own web design business (you can check it out at www.webdevelopersetc.com), we discussed some things about hiring and managing employees.
Even if you are just starting out, if you really want to grow your business, this is a very important topic. Most people think that if you just give people money for their services, then it’s enough. But here are a few tips to get the most out of your people.
One idea that I got about making passive recurring income was selling web hosting. I purchased reseller hosting from Hostgator awhile back because I have a bunch of websites, so I figured I could just get that instead of individual hosting for each site.
After reading their free e-book, I realized that there was good potential for creating a real business with ongoing passive income from selling web hosting. After all, once a client gets their website set up, they usually don’t need to bug you any more.
A few ideas are as follows:
1. Create a website and sell it for super cheap to get the hosting client – With WordPress and other content management systems and software, creating a website is actually pretty simple and can be done quickly. In exchange, they agree to host with you.
2. Target a niche, like bloggers or E-commerce users and become a specialty host – This will allow you to position yourself differently from generic web hosts.
3. Sell to local businesses – About 50% of local businesses don’t even have websites yet. And just about any brick and mortar business can afford $12-$20 a month for hosting.
On August 1, 2002, I sold my first item online. So I guess today is the 10 year anniversary of me making a living online. In this post, I want to talk about some of the most important lessons that I have learned about business and what I plan to do differently going forward.