When I entered college several years ago, I was told that before I can enter into my field of study, I would first need to complete the pre-requisite classes. Without them, I would not be allowed to start my program.
What if there were pre-requisites for someone who wanted to start a business online part time? What would those be?
There are so many voices that are telling us what we can gain from having a business online, but not many are telling us what are the pre-requisites needed to start a business online especially one that is "part time."
When I embarked upon having my business online, there was no way that I could make the leap from working as an employee all of my adult life to take on the role of a business owner without doing it part time. As of this writing, I'm still doing it part time.
Having to spend most of my waking moments doing a job that pays the bills and gives me an opportunity to invest financially in a sideline business, is a great blessing but at times, can be a curse.
It's a blessing as outlined above but a curse in that it takes time away from the time needed to start a business online. Even though this might be so, I believe it's still possible with the 11 pre-requisites mentioned below.
One consolation in all of this is that most people who are fully engaged in an online business, began by doing it part time on the side. Very few bypasses this step.
Most people today who are doing online business did so on a part time basis at some point.
That is how I started and how I would encourage anyone who is transitioning from an employee status to one of having their own business, to do.
This requires discipline. The tendency is to want to jump right in and hit the ground running. You have this burning idea that, in your mind, seem so incredible. You can see it, feel it and want others to do the same.
Patience, consistency and having some guiding principles are a must.
With that in mind, here are the 11 Insider Tips to a smooth start to an online business especially when you don't know where to start.
1. Know what business you want to start
This is a key to your success as you consider starting an online business. This is true whether you want to go part time or full time. Don't let it be driven by what's trending.
2. See if there is a market for your business idea
Validating your idea is a pre-requisite before you go all-in. Are there others doing something similar? Knowing that there are people who are interested in what it is you have in mind, is a must.
3. Know who your business is for
This can be tricky. You might not know right away but you should have an idea of who you have in mind as a consumer. Who will be purchasing your idea? Can you see that person in your mind?
4. Know where to find your customers
Having an idea and who it is that wants your product or service, is a great start. However, where to find them is a challenge. Think of where they would be hanging out online and offline and find a way to connect with them .
5. Schedule time to work on your business
Time. Time Time. Isn't this the reason that most people give as to why they haven't done some thing whatever that is? I know that I've used it a lot. The question is, how accurate is this excuse?
We find time for what is important to us. Making time to start a business online depends on how bad you want it. Block time on your calendar to work on your business idea.
6. Notify people around you about your new business
I cannot emphasize this point enough and it is one of the most overlooked of these 11 pre-requisites. Make sure people around you know what you are up to. They can become your extra pair of eyes and ears and may give you some ideas that you have not thought about.
7. Find 1 or 2 social media platforms on which to share and interact
Get on social media right away, share and interact with people who could be potential customers. Be careful that you are not coming off as desperate. Give and give and give. Share quotes and articles you find helpful to yourself, with others. Make sure you are inserting your business ideas along the way. People need to know what it is you are about.
8. Secure your business name domain - online name
As soon as possible, purchase your domain name. You can do so at Bluehost or any other site that sells them. GoDaddy is also one I have used in the past. There are many others.
9. Create a website that explains what it is you do along with an incentive
Get your website up asap. If you aren't able to do so yourself, get someone to build one for you. But DO NOT SPEND TOO MUCH MONEY for one. As a matter of fact, there are ways to create one free of charge if you are able to follow some simple steps. You can hire someone on Fiverr to build one for a very low cost. You don't have to have one up right away. You can delay this while you are focused on the other pre-requisites.
10. Collect emails
Collecting emails IS YOUR BUSINESS. You want to do this as early as possible in starting a business online. Do not build on other people's "land." You need your own, which is your website. Using hosting sites such as Aweber or Mailchimp is a start. Mailchimp is free for the first 2000 subscribers, which is a great way to start. Give incentives for them to trade their email address with you.
11. Nurture your email list
Once you have begun to collect email addresses, develop a consistent way to send something of value to your list at least once per week. This is how you help them get to know you better. The more they know you, the more likelihood they'll trust you and buy from you.
These 11 pre-requisites are not exhaustive but I believe it covers what you'll need to get started. You can listen to the audio version HERE.
If you get stuck or need someone to hold your hand and walk you through these tips, reach out to me and let's see if we can make it happen.