The World Wide Web is where the jobs are.
With down-sizing, lay-offs, buy-outs, plant closings and a double digit unemployment rate in many parts of the country, there are a lot of people looking for ways to supplement family or individual income. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Building a web-based business is low-cost and offers virtually any would-be entrepreneur the opportunity to grow a business on-line on a shoestring budget. Where else can you find all the tools to build a paying business for less than six bucks a month? A green web hosting provider that offers environmentally friendly website hosting is a great place to start looking for your home-based business.
The W3 is the last bastion of the creative entrepreneur working with a budget based on what’s in the penny jar. It isn’t easy. Don’t be fooled by the snake-oil salespeople selling eBooks on how to make a million dollars on the web. You think if they knew how they’d tell you – for $19.95?
No, building a web business takes time and hard work but lots of people are doing it right now. There are more than 130 million web sites on line right now and 6,000 go live each day. Somebody’s making money. Why not you?
So, here are eight things you should consider when considering the start of an on-line business. You can earn a few extra bucks each month or become the next Steve Jobs if you have the imagination, the time and the ambition.
1. Know what you're doing.
This is so obvious but a lot of site owners go into businesses about which they know zip. An accountant opens an on-line shoe store. Huh?
Stick with what you know. If you’ve been selling insurance locally, start a site that provides rate comparisons or enables people to buy different insurance lines ON line. Build on your experience. And even if you don’t have any experience, there’s still hope. Read on, entrepreneur.
2. Do something you enjoy.
If you’re about to graduate and they just aren’t hiring, start a web-based business focused on something you actually enjoy. If you collect sports memorabilia, doesn’t it make sense to start a memorabilia web site rather than one that sells bricks? Especially when you don’t know diddly about bricks!
You’re going to be working on this for a lot of hours so you might as well enjoy all that time doing something you actually enjoy doing.
3. Create a real home office.
You don’t need to rent office space. That’s the great thing about on-line start-ups. They don’t cost a bucket of dough to start up.
Your home office doesn’t even have to be a separate room if space is tight. However, keep the kids off your business computer. That’s where your livelihood is stored and you want it protected. Use one system for the family, one for your business. And password protect your business computer so no one “accidentally” logs on and downloads a data-eating virus.
Your out of business. Thanks, kid.
4. Cash is king.
Why? Because you don’t have a lot of it. Cash is always king with any start-up because it’s all outgo with no income. So, pinch every penny ‘til it squeals. Find a web host that delivers a basketful of freebies like a free checkout or a free blog module.
Or how about a few thousand web site templates from which to choose so you don’t have to pay your kid $500 to build you a web site. Keep your start up capital in the bank. You’ll use it, that’s a fact.
5. Learn the basics.
You don’t have to know how to write lines of code – use a template and just plug in the text and pictures you want. You don’t have to know the difference between CSS, php and api. But you should understand a few basics:
- What is a search engine? (Google, for instance.)
- How do search engines work?
- How do site visitors find you in all that digital quicksand?
- What do site visitors expect?
- How do you make it easy for the site visitor to buy your goods or services?
- What are keywords and why are they important?
- What is web site navigation and how should it be arranged?
These are the basic basics. And there’s a ton of good information free on the web. In fact, you’re reading some right now. Nice, eh?
6. Know your target market.
What are their needs? What do they want? How can you make their business or personal lives better, more productive, more fun or just a little easier?
That’s why you stay in your area of expertise, or at least, interest. You don’t have to start at square 1. You already know what’s on the minds of people who visit your site.
And that’s VERY valuable information, indeed.
7. Patience is a virtue.
With all of the “Make a Million $$$ on the Web” books floating around, a lot of new web site owners figure they can retire in October. Ain’t gonna happen.
You work hard and long to build a profitable web-based business. You lay out a business plan that is accurate and one you can actually afford. No high hopes. Be realistic.
It will take time to turn a small business in to a profitable business but because start-up costs are so low, you can afford to be a little patient. On the other hand, a work-at-home mom who sells virtual services like typing, data entry, records keeping and even customer service can have five or six clients in a few weeks and, son-of-a-gun, you have yourself a business.
It happens every day. It can happen to you.
8. Choose a solid web host.
Your web host is your on-line business partner so take your time, comparison shop and go with the web host that delivers free tools, 24/7 toll-free client support, redundant layers of security and everything you need to build your on-line business – from FREE domain name registration to 100% up-time.
Good web hosting costs less than $6.00 a month if you do your research. Remember, your web host is your on-line partner. Consider green web hosting and set your business apart from many other start ups.