So you want to start a business? Well…
Which one is right for you? First of all — think about what WANT out of business:
* Would you like to have a ‘proper’ business – with employees, an office, perhaps a store front… something tangible?
* Or would you prefer a business you can run from home, perhaps using freelancers for much of the heavy lifting?
* Or how about a business which doesn’t really need you at all to keep on running?…
It’s very important to keep in mind what’s important to you in life, and build your business around that. Because a business can be incredibly demanding on your time and energy, and if you choose the wrong kind of business for you, it’s possible you’ll end up hating going to work, even resenting your business!
You NEED to have the kind of business that feels right for you, since there will inevitably be business set backs, and your motivation and enjoyment of what you’re doing is what will get you over those set backs.
Now, a lot of people do like the idea of a business that can be run from home, and that is quite hands off — either to create part time income, or even build a full time income…
One very popular small business in this vein right now is internet affiliate marketing. The start-up costs are incredibly low and the profits can be high – IF – you know what you’re doing.
Okay, let’s back up a little — in case you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, here are the basics:
In conventional businesses, there’s sales people of course – to sell the product or service! They’re often paid with a low ‘base salary’ and then on top of that a commission, depending upon how much they sell.
Affiliate marketing is like commission-only sales, except that you don’t actually work for the retailer…
You have your own websites that may be geared towards any purpose that you like. If you love hiking, you could have a hiking website, for example. And you would do a little searching for some relevant affiliate programs related to hiking (in this example). You could sign up as an affiliate for Amazon.com as they sell hiking books, maps and other items.
Visitors to your website would (hopefully) click on a link that takes them to the Amazon website and if they buy something, you would earn money. Amazon don’t pay a huge amount on sales – maybe 5%. So if a visitor you refer to Amazon spends $100, you make $5. Not exactly mega bucks!
However, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of affiliate programs online — most you can join for free, and some pay commissions as high as 75%!
Like all small business ideas, success with affiliate marketing depends on many variables and skill sets. First of course, you have to know how to build a website (or pay someone else to do it). Then, you have to learn how to attract visitors to your site *affordably*. And next, you have to learn how to *convert* those visitors into sales with enticing copy.
As I write this, affiliate marketing is an incredibly hot topic, and to many, many people sounds like the perfect business. However, like all businesses it can take significant dedication – those who give up before reaching their business goals – NEVER – reach their business goals. If you give up on something, you immediately take yourself out of the running…
Quick examples and points to keep in mind:
* One online marketer I know invested $20,000 into his new business and lost it all (because he didn’t know what he was doing when he started). BUT – he learnt from his many mistakes and just three short years later, his business pulls in over seven figures a year.
* MOST businesses fail, because of lack of know how, lack of skills, not enough dedication… the beauty of having an online business is that start up costs can be amazingly low. Especially compared to a ‘regular’ offline business.
* Running an online business, you CAN do everything yourself. This is what I did for many years, running my business very cheaply, learning as I went. The more I learnt about business, the more I made, and at a certain point, I started re-investing money I’d made into ‘outsourcing’ certain tasks, and that’s when my business REALLY started growing…
The more you learn about business, the more you get EXPERIENCE (theory itself will never make you a dime), and the more you get good at running a business, the more your business will naturally start to grow.
So think carefully about what’s important to you in life, and how that will influence what kind of business you create. Or if you’re not sure — if nothing else, just start a part time internet business — it might cost you a whopping $100 or $200 a month! (Where else can you have a business for $200 a month?!)
Do that seriously, two or three hours every day, and before you know it you’ll start becoming an experienced business person, who can then use that skill and knowledge to build a hugely profitable full time business.
But if you do start part time, it’s vital you work on it every single day. Treat it as a hobby, and that’s all it will be. Treat it as a business, and you’ll be amazed at what happens.