Before starting an internet business, do some research to learn about the internet and how it is different from other ways to do business. The internet is a place where the business "culture" is about giving first, then receiving.
You can't expect to just put up a website and expect sales to come rolling in. You'll need to learn strategies to attract visitors to your website and to provide value to your visitors. If you are involved with network marketing you'll need to learn how to develop relationships with people. This process takes a while!
This being said, there are many aspects of starting an internet business that are the same as other kinds of business. Much of the advice on how to start an internet business is the same whether you are planning an online or offline venture.
You'll need to make sure an internet business is the best choice for you, and that your chosen business is a good match for your talents and interests. You'll need to evaluate whether you can earn a profit, and how much you can spend to start and maintain your business.
Is Starting an Internet Business Right for you?
Before jumping in, make sure you are the kind of person who is comfortable with the challenges of running a business on the internet. Ask yourself these questions.
What Kind of Internet Business is Right for You?
In order to be successful, your internet business has to fit YOU! Don't start an internet business just because it looks potentially profitable.
Look at whether you will enjoy what you are doing. Your passion and enthusiasm will be an important aspect of your business.
Your excitement about what you're doing will help keep you going during the challenges and rough spots of business. Your enthusiasm will also be a wonderful asset in your marketing efforts
Once you have looked honestly at your own interests and values, then ask yourself these additional questions when considering any home business idea or business opportunity.
Start Up Costs
How much will starting your business cost? If you are working on the internet your start up costs will include a domain name and web design unless this is already provided for you...or unless you have an internet auction business which does not always require your own website.
How much will it cost to maintain your business? There will be web hosting and website statistics (unless already provided), and advertising costs at minimum.
How will you obtain the money to start your business? Will you need a loan, or can you finance the start up yourself?
Can you handle the start up costs or will it put you too much in debt?
Is There a Market for Your Products or Services?
It's important to know when you are starting an internet business whether the product or service that you will be selling is in demand.
For a business that will require a large, significant initial investment, you will want to hire a market research professional to help you answer this question.
One way to do simple market research on the internet yourself is to compare supply and demand for websites containing keywords related to your potential business venture.
To find out how potentially profitable a keyword is, first discover how many times that keyword was searched on like 7Search.com or another pay-per-click search engine.
Then, do a search for that same keyword on AltaVista and write down the number of site matches the search found. For example it will say found 10 out of 1,000 site matches, so you'll write down 1,000.
What you're looking for are keywords that are in high demand, which means lots of people are searching for them, that are in low supply, which means there's not already thousands of websites out there.
How Much Preparation Will be Involved?
Here are some additional questions to ask yourself before starting an internet business.
Will You Earn Enough Money
Don't think about starting an internet business before carefully considering the pay potential.
How Much Time Can You Devote to Your Business?
Think carefully about how much time you have to devote to your business, and keep your goals in line with the realities of your life. For example, if you have 3 young children, don't consider starting an internet business that requires 70 hours of work a week!
How Will You Market Your Business?
Yes! You will need to sell your products or services! This is an often overlooked fact when beginners are thinking of starting a home business. This is the most important aspect of your business ... making sure potential clients or customers find you!
Think about the different advertising methods you can use, and estimate about how much they will cost. To get an idea of what is involved to market your business online, read Make Your Site Sell which is one of the most highly respected internet advertising manuals around...and it is now free!
Don't worry, there are many free and low cost advertising methods available when you are working on the internet, but you should educate yourself about this first so you know what kind of costs to expect. Some inexpensive forms of internet advertising are described at our Internet Marketing page.
Will You Need to Provide Customer Service?
Think about whether you want to be involved in interacting with your customers, providing services or product assistance online.
If you love people you will probably do well in this area. If you don't have the patience for this kind of thing, consider another business or make sure you are starting an internet business that provides customer service for you.
Do You Have the Needed Skills for Your Business?
Think carefully about what you need to know in order to make your home business dream a reality. Do you have the necessary skills?
If you will be starting a home business without the needed knowledge, are you willing and able to learn, or do you have others to help you?
Once you've seriously considered these questions you will be well on your way to starting an internet business!
For some additional help in starting an internet business please subscribe to our free course which will coach you and walk you through the entire process of starting an internet business.