So, you’ve been wanting to start an online business for a while now but you still haven’t put forth the effort necessary to make it happen? Congratulations, you’re just like the vast majority of would-be business owners who simply haven’t put their first foot forward yet on the path to start-up success and financial freedom. After all, you can’t know how well you’re going to do in the world of business if you haven’t even tried yet. To help you get going, here’s a list of nine steps that will absolutely prepare you to launch a profitable start-up by the end of the year.
1. Take an Online Distance Learning Course
If you’re like most aspiring online entrepreneurs, one of the reasons why you’re motivated to start an internet-based business is because you want to get rid of the corporate tether that keeps you tied to a physical location. Enrolling in an online distance learning course is the most ideal way for you to educate yourself about business management in your spare time without having to attend a university. However, you’ll still want to look for courses that are applicable to the corporate environment in the country where you live.
2. Start a Blog in the Niche of Your Planned Business
If you already know what niche you want to launch a business in, it’s a good idea to start building your expertise and authority in that field by starting your own blog on the topic. This will also help you keep up with industry trends, which could improve your decision-making skills and position you to take a decent share of the market after your start-up has gained momentum. Plus, you’ll find that learning how to create a blog and write great content will go a long way in helping you succeed in any business endeavor.
Bonus Tip: Learn how to make your startup stand out.
E-commerce is a competitive industry. There are thousands of similar businesses online, so it’s twice as important to find ways to make yourself stand out. Whether it’s through building a huge social media following or using branded packaging to enhance the unboxing experience, you must take advantage of every method to attract potential customers’ attention.
Your competitors will do the same, so you have to be on top of your game at all times. It always helps to be updated and informed of the latest social media and business trends, too.
3. Subscribe to Business-Related YouTube Channels and Online Magazines
Watching video content related to business on a regular basis will make it easier for you to think like a true entrepreneur because you’ll be focused on the latest trends and topics. Entrepreneurs who stay in the loop are more likely to succeed because they’re continually learning from the success and failures of others by analyzing business news headlines, case studies, reviews, and other useful information. For starters, you may want to check out a list of the top YouTube business channels or subscribes to sites like Forbes.com and Inc.com for cutting-edge content.
4. Read Business-Related Books
Whether you read them in the form of physical copies or with an e-reader, taking the time to delve into the chapters of a good business book will help you learn about very specific topics and techniques in more detail. This is always a great habit for aspiring entrepreneurs to get into because the kind of advice and information you’ll encounter in a book will usually go far beyond the scope of a single blog post or video.
5. Eliminate Procrastination
You have to admit to yourself that procrastination is most likely the primary reason why you haven’t started your online business yet. If your goal is to get the business up and running by the end of the year, you need to immediately take steps to reduce the time you spend not being productive. As the old saying goes: “what is not started today, is never finished tomorrow.” Building a truly successful company takes months, or at the very least weeks, of preparation and learning. So, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start seeing progress. A useful reminder to give yourself throughout the day is “If I can do it today, I will.”
6. Consume Motivational Content
Let’s face it, actually following through and becoming the owner of a successful start-up within less than a year’s time is something that’s going to require more determination than the average person needs to simply show up to work every day on schedule. When you’re the one in charge of your own hours and efforts, you might need a bit of motivational mindpower to put a pep in your step. You might think that you don’t need anyone else to motivate you, and that certainly is a strong and independent mindset to have, but you’d be surprised at how much a simple motivational video can do to give you an extra push in the morning.
7. Eat Healthy and Exercise to Promote Better Focus
This is a step that many wannabe entrepreneurs don’t even consider at first, but eventually, as you start to work longer hours and really push your limits in terms of creativity and work ethic, you’ll realize that eating better really helps with your energy and focus levels. After all, your body is essentially a biological machine, and like any other machine, it will only run optimally when you give it an optimal fuel source. Knowing that it’s no wonder that there’s a link between physical fitness and financial success. Likewise, starting and managing an online business can come with a lot of sitting down, so try to devise a comprehensive exercise regimen to stay active and avoid an overly sedentary lifestyle.
8. Create a List of Viable Business Options and Compare Them Thoroughly
One common mistake that many entrepreneurs make is opting for the first or second business idea they come up with and sticking to it. You’ll have a much better chance of success if you start with a broader range of options (i.e. – a list of 20) and maybe even try your hand at 2-3 of them simultaneously instead of putting all of your eggs into the first basket that you stumbled upon. Really take your time with this step and try to scrutinize each plan from a realistic or even pessimistic perspective. Essentially, you want to know what to prepare for even in a worst-case scenario so that you can plan to avoid that.
9. Become More Web-Savvy
Many people have dreams of starting an online business but they’re really not frequent users of the internet. You might think that you’re web-savvy because you use a social media app on your phone, but how much time do you spend Googling topics and just browsing the web in general? As a rule of thumb, it’s best for every online business owner to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour per day exploring the web, especially in niches related to business and self-improvement.
Everyone Starts with Baby Steps
It’s always good to remind yourself that everyone learns to crawl before they walk, so don’t try to take off running when you haven’t put in the groundwork yet. By taking the steps above before you jump into the world of business, you can ensure that you’ll be prepared for most of the difficulties and hardships that often arise when things start to become challenging in your endeavor. Remember the importance of building a solid foundation in the form of skills and knowledge before you take on a company management role that you’re by no means qualified for. Being honest with yourself about your own proficiency and expertise as a business owner is the first step in admitting that you still have a lot of work to do before you can confidently launch your business with the highest chances of success.