For the purpose of this post, I am going to be talking about a small business in it’s truest sense. A one person operation, a start up, a “every one said I am going to fail and I’m wasting my time but I am going to spend my evenings and weekends trying to get this going” type of venture. I am going to assume that you have a very limited budget (Under $1000) but that you are willing to devote your evenings and weekends to this new venture.
Why should I start a small business?
The first question before you even start is to ask yourself why do you want to start in the first place. If you’re unsure of why you want a small business of your own, you should stop now. Starting a small business requires a lot of effort and dedication and so your intentions need to be clear from the outset. Some good reasons for wanting to start a small business would include an extra source of income, wanting to start something and grow it so you can be proud of yourself or fostering a passion into an income so that you can do what you truly love. Bad reasons for starting your own business would be things like “nothing better to do” or “My spouse thinks it would be a good idea for me to do something.”
What should my business be about?
The next most important thing is deciding what your business will be. A lot of people come up with ideas that are doomed to be failures from the outset. Perhaps most important about choosing what your business will be, would be answering a few simple questions.
- What is my value proposition?
Meaning, why would people come to your online business as opposed to others? You can’t just make a copy cat business and expect it to take off. You need to either be more knowledgeable, different, cheaper or have some sort of competitive advantage over other people.
- Do people want what I’m offering?
Some people think they can basically write an online diary and sign up for Adsense and they’ll get paid, it doesn’t work like that. The audience that would be willing to read your online diary is not large enough to create an income for you.You need to find a niche that you can offer something that people want.
- Am I qualified to be a leader in this field?
You might think it’d be a good idea to start a site about trading stocks and bonds, but if you don’t know what a stock technically is or a bond, then chances are people aren’t going to flock to your site to read it. If you know a lot about gardening and can share that with the world, that’d be a better idea than starting a site about something you have no clue about.
What should be my next steps?
The next step should be execution. Don’t waste time by over planning and research and everything else you can get bogged down with. Admit to yourself that your first online business venture may not be a huge success and it might take you a couple tries at it before you see the fruits of your labor. Being able to get that experience of the first go around is infinitely more valuable than spending weeks, months or in some cases even years fretting about the details.
Dedicate yourself to your plan and be disciplined in seeing it through. It’s the only way you’re going to get started and have the motivation to see it through. Most importantly, smile and have fun while you’re doing it. You’re going to get frustrated and feel like pulling your hair out but you need to enjoy the small victories to keep a balance and stay sane!