If you wish to become an entrepreneur and start your own online business so that you can supplement your steady income then you must read this article.
If that sounds too cocky and brash, then I must tell you that having been associated with the online business industry for over a decade and having gone through many ups and downs, I am well placed to offer advice and it would also not hurt you to learn from somebody who has been through it all. It is definitely better than trying out something on your own and then realizing that with some guidance you would have done much better.
a) Concentrate on the core activity
When you are about to start something new, it is very easy to get caught in things that are more cosmetic such as the paperwork, printing of business cards and other such stuff. Remember that it is online business and that means you need not get into a lot of paper related activities to get started. If somebody does express his or her keenness to contact you, then you only need to provide them with your site address, email and take it from there. Your business card is not going to work the magic unless it is a famous name like Johnny B Truant. So getting caught up in mundane paper work and doing rounds of registration of your office or company is something that can wait. One good thing in the US is that you can anyways start your business with very less paperwork and at minimal cost.
You can get in touch with a tax or company law advisor for more details.
b) Learn more about the business
Irrespective of the nature of the business you wish to get into such as affiliate marketing, blogging, selling products, eBay sales, you need to learn from people who have already ventured into it and are generous enough to share their experiences with you. Knowing how they have succeeded will be beneficial from the point of view of finding similarities with what you wish to do and you might even find it useful to invest money in order to learn something useful to the business you propose to do.
I myself have spent more than $40,000 on such education consisting of many eBooks, seminars, and memberships to sites and so on.
It is my strong recommendation that you would do well to learn the fine art of marketing as that is useful everywhere and you only need to adapt to the requirement at that point in time. I would compare it with learning programming of computers in the sense that having understood the logic, it is not difficult to adapt it to any language.
You can make a start by going through these very important and vital books on marketing. Some of them may be well known but many are quite new.
c) Do not hesitate to seek help
If you are one of those who feel shy about seeking help, then you must not back away if you genuinely require help and ask for it anyways. Your introvert nature should not stand in your way and despite the uneasiness; you must muster courage and seek assistance.
It is possible that you will face rejection and some may not even respond appropriately to any of your e-mails or tweets. But please understand that this is where your mental resolve is going to be tested and as long as you persist in your efforts, you will be rewarded with help from somebody or the other. After all, you will appreciate that starting a new business venture is not an easy task and you must treat these as tests for your character. I myself realized this when I sought help from many people who I thought would not be forthcoming with any assistance and was pleasantly surprised at their positive response and willingness to help.
One hint I can give you in this regard is that people who are genuinely successful in their lives will go all to help as opposed to people who just think they are successful.
One tip to solicit quick responses is to be concise and crisp in your communication. Ensure that the email you send does not exceed five lines and be clear as to what you are seeking.
d) Join an appropriate community or discussion forum
Irrespective of your industry niche, you will know that there are discussion boards and communities for everything and these are opportunities that you should take full advantage of to learn about the business you are interested in. In my own case, the time that I spent on eBay boards was of great help to me and I picked up a lot of valuable tips. Moreover, it also enabled me to sell to the same community when I actually started selling eBay.
e) Don’t make the mistake of quitting your job
The above advice might seem a contradiction especially from somebody who has just written on 21 Reasons You Should Quit Your Day Job and Travel The World. However, the fact is many people quit their jobs in a hurry in order to start their business and end up making a mess of both since they generally do not have the necessary capital to support their business in its initial days. Such people generally do not write about these failures and that is why you do not hear about them.
So while ultimately you should quit your job as per your desire, it is not appropriate to do so as soon as you are just setting up your business.