Starting an online business is still the biggest hurdle I’ve ever had to jump through in my life. There was so much to do and too much verticals to take into perspective. Irrespective of the startup ideas I had in me – I discovered I really didn’t know much about what starting a company felt like.
It was hard.
Mistakes were everywhere – in fact my former business partner and I learnt everything by making mistakes. Funds were sometimes lacking, customer acquisition were infrequent. And there were lots of areas we had difficulties operating.
But the biggest hurdle I remember we overcame – was launching the startup itself.
That’s where majority of people ever get to. The sheer difficulty of this section cripples a lot of people that they give up even before they start.
And it’s actually understandable because launching out is always hard work. It’s not easy to turn an idea in your head to fruition in the physical. But it reality, it’s really not that hard to do it.
In this post, I’ll be showing you 10 tips that will help you turn those startup ideas in your head into a small business that will end up making you money.
First tip is:
During the early days of the Internet, starting a small low investment startup wasn’t that hard at all. Few people who did became big names in a matter of months.
Now fast forward to these days, where research shows that 543,000 new businesses get started each month somewhere in the world. This depicts a very tough competition for the first pages of search engines.
It’s no longer a child’s play where you come and make quick millions. We are talking about a market with the potential to see $989.6 billion as yearly revenues. We are talking about a market where companies are willing to spend millions of dollars to outrank or beat their numerous competitors.
The statistics themselves are scary. In a world where 90 percent of startups fail — largely due to adequate funding — this doesn’t leave any hope for rookie startups.
So the questions lies: How will the small players market themselves and make some money to sustain themselves?
This was the question I found hard answering. I had a startup that was soon going to close for the day.
How did I finally save it?
The most important goals you set for yourself as a startup entrepreneur will take time to achieve business stardom.
That’s the ugly truth.
At some point, you are going to feel frustrated. Things won’t always work at out well. I know this because I’ve started many startups in the past four years.
And the truth is this: It doesn’t take a geeky person to succeed in a business, what it takes is a highly motivated person. If you aren’t motivated, you won’t be moved to carry the startup where it should go.
Enthusiasm is the fuel of any business. With motivation you aren’t depressed when your stats are discouraging, you aren’t paranoid when clients don’t come, and you aren’t moved by the fact that you don’t have any business connections.
Am I saying that I was never discouraged or depressed when I started some of my businesses? No. But the difference between those who close business and those who stay is that the latter picked himself up no matter how many times he fell.
I did that a lot of times. You can too, and I can show you how I did mine.
I know a thing or two about being an entrepreneur. The realization that, hey, I’m going to start my own business or build a side income, or even be my own boss, is such an exciting feeling.
That thrill of being the one to call the shots and making your own hours cannot be compared — at all — to the life of the cubicle dweller.
That said, there are a few downsides to this risky business of entrepreneurship and they are not pretty.
Building a profitable business takes time and the bills still need to get paid.
Sometime ago, Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank told an entrepreneur point blank to get a full-time job while she built her business.
But for entrepreneurs that have made a vow not to return to corporate work, there is good news. You can actually not go back and still make a side income while your main business strives.
How do you do it?
The advancement of the internet over the past two decades has spelt positive things for trade and store businesses – especially for those in e-commerce business. Businesses continue to leverage on the global reach of the internet to expand their customer base and increase revenue.
This, naturally, is a trend that continues to establish itself, as more and more brick and mortar businesses are seeking to create an online presence to maximize profits.
In 2013, e-commerce transactions in the US alone were reported to amount to over $1.2 trillion and this number has only grown since then.
The flourishing of e-commerce, however, comes with a downside that is common to all businesses – competition. The competition for customers by the plethora of already existing online e-commerce stores has grown fierce with the growing number of trade and store businesses online.
Breaking into this business now requires more serious forethought and analysis than ever before.
Do you have products or services to sell?
The stakes are high.
The media and the world have always celebrated the next Wunderkind, the next “revolutionary” business, the next Google.
It seems sometimes that everybody has eaten the entrepreneurial bug or at least no longer find the employee ‘steaks’ palatable.
I am going to be the voice crying in the wilderness saying that not everybody can or should start a business. At least, don’t go quitting your job anytime soon. Starting a business isn’t for everybody and not everybody is meant to get a job.
Here are 5 reasons for my stance:
As a startup, you likely have a list of essential business tasks that you have to do like marketing, hiring employees and product delivery. Security can often be an afterthought. But to guide your startup isn’t a thing to play with.
For most startups and small businesses, security is a bit like getting in shape. You know what you need to do – but you don’t do anything about it until it’s too late or in the case of the startup – you have a security breach.
Security is especially important for startups that have access to sensitive information about individual customers like their credit card details.
A breach in security not only endangers the internal network of your startup, it can also put your customers’ data in jeopardy.
Fortunately, this does not have to be the case. With these five easy and actionable tips, you can secure your startup cheaply, easily and effectively.
It is good practice for you to establish a business around something you love to do.
The problem comes when your love for what you are doing overwhelms you and you forget that at the end of the day, you are running a business, not a hobby.
Many entrepreneurs do not have the requisite knowledge of common business practices to run a startup. As a result, they make monumentally terrible business decisions and try to take shortcuts thinking that this will hasten profit. Shortcuts will only hasten the death of your startup.
So, would you like to avoid these common pitfalls of business?
Here are some life-defying shortcuts to stay clear of if you want your startup to survive the harsh conditions of 21st century business climate: