Online Business - Struggling To Start Part 2

Ok, presuming you have not given up in your struggle to start your online business, you need to do two basic things.

A very common question people ask in this situation is: How or where do I start?

Too many people start with the money or a website or a product.

If they start with the money, they could have any figure in mind between having a living income or several millions. It doesn’t really matter because they still don’t know how they’ll do it.

If they start with a website, it might be one or several thin niche sites each selling different products in different niches. Or a site where they put very similar stuff as others they’ve looked at in their niche.

If they start with a product, they believe this one and only product will sell like hot cakes in their niche, that everyone is just waiting for it to come on the market. They might be right – but they’re usually wrong.

Can you see a common problem here?

They’re investing money, belief, commitment and hope in one thing.

There’s nothing here about having a business that will generate the money, be fronted by the website, and through which they sell the product.

The focus needs to be on building your business, big or small – which will include the above but is not any one of them.

Briefly, here are steps to get you away from that kind of limited thinking and focus on actually starting your business.

1 How to begin? Forget about internet marketing! It’s like getting lost on marshy ground at night and being sucked in, while all those firefly lights glowing in your darkness attract you one way and then another.

Instead, imagine, at first, you’re setting up an offline business. What would you do? Go and buy or lease some property though you’ve no idea what you’re going to do with it? I’m sure you wouldn’t. It’s the same online.

2 Always start with YOU. No you, no business.

Now is when you might start with types of product you want to sell or there’s a subject area (niche market) you find interesting or you know a lot about. You might want to sell anything from road mending machinery to crocheting equipment, and therefore be in that market or some sub-niche of it.

But you have to have knowledge about that machinery or equipment or whatever. Otherwise you’ll have nothing to communicate to prospects about it.

So, what are you REALLY interested in selling, ignoring any specific products (you have to have more than one)?

3 Once you’ve decided on a market, check that there are enough numbers of people in it to begin with. Crocheting, yes, but crocheting winter coats for pet hamsters, maybe not so good if there are only three people interested. However, you could have small numbers if you’re selling high ticket products plus people in the niche are willing to buy. It’s no good selling high ticket expensive yachts to people who haven’t got the money and/or don’t want a yacht.

4 Having chosen a market, decide how your business will be different from others already in it. How will you stand out, and attract customers?

Go to your competition. See what they’re selling, how they’re doing it, and how much they’re charging. Buy some of their products if you can, especially to see into their sales funnel. You only need a small, but significant, difference to give you the edge.

5 You’ve already partly done this through your competition, but go further in finding out what buyers want. Of course, you want to know what YOUR buyers want, what exactly YOU can sell.

Use relevant forums, blogs, eCommerce sites, and offline magazines to see what is selling.

6 At first, you can partly, or completely, guess what people want. If you can find problems people have, it means they can’t find satisfactory solutions elsewhere. You can create, or buy in, products to provide any solutions.

7 Set up your site with relevant useful information. You can also have a sales page for your first product. Buy into an autoresponder and put an opt in form on your site with a relevant valuable freebie. The freebie is downloaded from your website host.

8 Build your list, and ask them what they’re stuck on and what they need for their business. Some will tell you, and you can create products directly appropriate for your market.

Your market is part of the larger niche market. This is where your buyers are. Find out as much as you can about them and target your information and products to them.

9 At the same time, grow your visibility online through your content and/or marketing such as ads, banners, pay per click or whatever you decide to use.

These steps get you started. The first thing you need to do is decide on your niche or market, and how you position yourself in that niche – so you’re not a clone of your competitors. It will be your business, different from other people’s.