Successful people are simply those with successful habits. – Brian Tracy
The internet is filled with bloggers who claim to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Other businesses have created e-commerce solutions and are raking in profits.
It’d be nice to get your own piece of the online money pie, wouldn’t it?
The good news is that you can be successful with an online business.
The bad news is that 99.9% of the authentic success stories that you’ll find for online businesses didn’t happen overnight.
It took many sleepless nights, a lot of dedication, and a ton of extra hours to get the returns being experienced today.
If you’re willing to put in the sweat equity, then there is an online business opportunity that could help you create a very successful business.
Let’s explore how you can start making that opportunity happen today.
Step #1: The 3 P’s of an Online Business
Starting an online business is much like starting a more traditional business.
Even though you might be completely digital, you must follow the 3 P’s to start building the foundation you’ll need to eventually be successful. What are the 3 P’s?
Planning: You must have a sense of the direction you’d like to be taking your business.
What services will you offer?
What products will you try to sell?
What affiliate programs make sense with your website or blog?
Far too many people start an online business without any planning, thinking that they can fly by the seat of their pants and be successful.
A few actually make it, but most end up crashing and burning.
Passion: The online community wants authenticity. They settle for nothing less, no matter what some marketer or “internet expert” might try to tell you.
This means you can’t “fake it to make it” when starting an online business.
You can try and you might even get some short-term success, but once you get found out, you’ll discover that success is fleeting.
Proper Knowledge: You need to be the best at what you do. Let’s use freelance writing here.
Some writers say they’ll write anything for you.
Others might offer fictional writing or short stories.
The most successful freelancers will give you a specific niche where they have a high level of expertise.
This is what you must find for your online business: the niche where your expertise shines.
Step #2: The KISS Method Is Outdated
Maybe you’ve heard of the KISS method of working online: keep it simple, stupid.
It’s an expression which communicates the need to not over-complicate things when you’re building an online business.
It has worked in the past. Some say it still works today.
I think there’s a better way. It’s a method that I like to call REAP: Real effort, aptitude, and positivity.
It’s the “stupid” part of the KISS method that really gets to me.
Negative self-talk doesn’t really help anyone. It tears you down. It says that you haven’t been good enough before.
In my experience, this negativity leaks into your online business and can drive people away.
That’s why I like the REAP method instead.
Without a real effort at your online business, you won’t get real results.
There must be a certain level of dedication to what you do to attract people to you.
Aptitude means more than just a natural ability to do something. It means you have a “fitness” about your online business.
You create a business plan and then you stick to it. You create meaningful and achievable goals that can help your business to grow.
Then there’s the positivity component of my REAP method.
When you’re positive about your abilities, then this confidence is contagious.
It shows people that they can be successful just like you are in your own way.
You’re optimistic about the results you can achieve, so you work hard to reach them.
Step #3: Develop Your Unique Idea
If you look at the schedule of movies that Hollywood is releasing these days, the number of remakes offered makes it seem like they’ve run out of unique ideas.
In their business model, they know they can use old ideas to make them feel new again and that can create a very profitable movie.
The same thing is true with you. To have a successful online business, you need to have a unique idea.
Guess what? You are unique.
That means your ideas are unique.
Since the internet is a global market of customers, there is a good chance that someone has had a similar [not the same] idea as you.
This means you must communicate very specifically about why your idea is so good.
How does your idea solve problems?
Answer that and you’ll know how to begin marketing your idea to potential customers.
To Summarize Starting an Online Business
You’ll need to follow these key points if you want to run a successful online business.
- Plan your business.
- Execute your plans and ideas.
- Be dedicated to the process.
- Have the expertise to stand out.
- Have a unique business idea.
- Be passionate about what you’re doing.
These six steps can be painful and time consuming. There will be days when you wonder if it’s worth going on.
Trust me. It is.
Every step you take is another step toward a successful online business.
Sometimes the journey toward that success is just as important to experience as the results you eventually receive.
Once you’ve started this journey and you’ve taken the first few steps, you’re going to be ready to begin building upon the foundation you’ve created.
The following steps will help you do just that.
Step #4: Join an Online Business Community
It can feel like you’re out on an island when you’re working hard to establish your own online business.
There are long hours, often in front of a computer that’s locked in a home office or other secluded spot, and personal interactions with people are minimized.
Your business becomes your whole world.
Then, when you’re ready to introduce your ideas to the market, you discover that there aren’t contacts available to help you spread the word about what you’re doing.
It makes you feel like you have to start all over from square one once again.
This is why one of the most important steps you can take is to join an online business community.
Instead of being out on an island, you get to join a continent of like-minded people just like you.
Some have already been where you are and can lend meaningful advice to you.
Others are just getting started and can look at what you’ve accomplished as a template for their success.
I cannot overstate the importance of this step.
You must network to grow an online business.
Communities like Wealthy Affiliate help to ease the growing pains that will be coming your way.
No one has ever made it to where they are today without at least a little help from someone.
Find that help and you’ll be ready to see what the full potential of your uniqueness happens to be.
Step #5: Be Patient
We live in a society that expects immediate gratification around every corner.
If you’re hungry, you can run down to a quick service restaurant and grab some food.
Want some ice cream? Then you go to the grocery store.
Want to purchase a product you’ve wanted?
Finance it with a line of credit and order it online with free overnight delivery.
The examples of immediate gratification are numerous.
One of those examples, unfortunately, is not the success which can be found with an online business.
You’re playing a long game when it comes to establishing a successful online business.
Imagine your online business is a fruit or nut tree that you’re planting today.
That tree isn’t going to begin producing fruit for you the very next day.
Even if you’ve planted a tree that is 1-2 years old, it could take several years before you’re able to harvest everything.
During that time, if you aren’t caring for that tree, it may die without ever producing anything.
Some citrus trees can produce fruit in just 1 year.
Olive trees, fig trees, and some apple trees need 2 years.
Pear trees? They sometimes need 6 years.
Pecan trees from seedlings can take over 10 years to produce anything.
So be patient. It may take some time for you to start seeing success begin to come your way.
When you’ve followed the previous steps, then you’re nurturing your online business so that it can be fruitful when the time is right.
Trust me. The wait is always worth it.
Step #6: Develop Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan is just as important as your business plan.
If people don’t know how awesome your product or service happens to be, then they have no way of purchasing it.
You must spread awareness of your online business to potential customers to taste success.
That’s just one component of your marketing plan.
You must also present interested people with what is called a “value proposition.”
It’s a promise you’re making that says if they purchase what you have, they’ll receive something specific in return.
There can be many value propositions.
Some help customers save time.
Others help them save money.
Sometimes you can promise both.
Your unique idea might solve a problem for your customers. Your idea might make them look fabulous.
There really is no limit to the values that can be offered. There’s just one rule: it must be a “meaningful value.”
It can take some time to determine what is meaningful to your customer base.
This is where having the support of an experienced marketer can really help you out.
Marketers who have already been where you are can mentor you in the best practices of your industry.
They can teach you what they’ve learned so you don’t have to go through the same trial and error process.
Many of the online business communities you can join today will give you access to experienced marketers.
I would also say that it is important to reach out to a local marketing agency, especially if you’re an online business with a local store or office presence in your community.
Local value propositions can be very different, so you may need to approach local customers differently than you approach online customers.
Step #7: Keep Building Traffic
“The key factor in building a successful online business is traffic,” writes Steve Pavlina in a post about starting a successful online business.
If you can’t build sufficient traffic, you won’t be able to generate much, if any, income. And unfortunately most people are really bad at building traffic. They apply completely inept strategies that don’t work, and they usually give up within a few months after starting.
To build traffic, you must be able to build excitement.
This is true no matter what your business might be.
Even offline businesses succeed or fail based on the amount of traffic they can attract to their product or service.
How do you build traffic for an online business?
There are plenty of strategies to follow that can be found online today.
Entrepreneur: 17 Ways To Immediately Improve Your Website Traffic
Sixteen Ventures: Growth Hacking: 43 Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Website
BizForDoers: How to get Traffic to my Website from Pinterest
Should you take care of your existing customers? Absolutely.
It’s financially better for you to have repetitive customers than it is to constantly have to generate sales from new traffic.
Yet you can’t ignore new traffic either.
Both prospect sets must be targeted if you’re going to maximize traffic levels.
Then keep building. Keep updating. Keep following the 7 steps and you’ll give yourself the best chance to experience a successful online business.
Now For the Secrets To Establishing a Successful Online Business
Guess what? There are no real secrets.
YOU can be successful with an online business if you follow these 6 steps.
The only real variable in this situation is actually YOU.
That’s right. You control your destiny.
That’s why you must know yourself and your limitations before getting started.
I highly recommend coming up with a pros and cons list about yourself, but we’ll call it your “Strengths and Weaknesses” list.
What are your best attributes? List them.
Then list what you feel your weakest attributes tend to be.
If you like to be constantly active and moving, then a sedentary online business opportunity is probably not the best thing you could be doing.
Be honest with yourself.
Get real feedback from trusted family and friends.
Think about what skills you bring to the table.
Pay attention to the wisdom you have based on the experiences you’ve gone through already.
Begin building your online business around these strengths and you’ll be able to successfully place the cornerstone necessary for the foundation you’re about to build in Steps #1-3.
What lessons have you learned from your efforts to start an online business in the past?What advice would you share with someone who is looking to create their own successful online business?
I’d love to hear about how you faced these challenges and conquered them in your own unique way.