What would be your advice to a newbie online entrepreneur?
First of all, I would welcome them to the world of entrepreneurs. It is a world where one may find ample opportunities to not just make money, but shine and inspire. As a successful online entrepreneur, I have a lot to praise for online entrepreneurship. After going through initial hurdles, now I am in a position to advise newbies. Let’s get to it.
The literal meaning of the word ‘entrepreneur‘ according to Oxford dictionary is “a person who makes money by starting or running businesses, especially when this involves taking financial risks“, so my first piece of advice comes with seven tips for a newbie online entrepreneur, to reduce that risk and provide more peace of mind in that turbulent beginning. These tips are:
1) Represent Your Concept Uniquely
As a newbie, it is always good to start with a unique idea or a concept. You don’t have to have invented a completely new thing, just represent it uniquely. For example, if you are starting an eCommerce website, then do a bit of competitive and market research, and come up with a unique idea. The secret is either be unique or at least appear to be. The former has better chances of success due to the appeal of novelty.
2) Selecting the Right Niche
The point where a majority of the newbies fall short is the selection of a niche. For that, you need to consider various aspects, first being your passion. If you are passionate about general business, then go for it, maybe with B2B sales. You also need to know about your competition, the demand for a niche, and what the prospects are like. Some big niches include health, travel, pets, and personal development.
3) Time Management with Planning
Time flies very fast, especially when you begin. You have a lot of things to do. It would be better if you prioritize what to do and when. At the same time, you must have short term and long term plans, say for the first six months, then a year, and so on. Planning provides better control and perspective on how you’re doing.
I’m a fan of Tim Ferris, so, as for time management, always ask this question: “If I kept doing this for 24 hours straight, would that grow my business?” If the answer is no, which is the case for filler tasks like checking emails over and over, it’s time to cut off that activity. I check my email once a day, and never more often. There is no such thing as an emergency email, it can wait. But many entrepreneurs are addicted to feeling busy and fill up their day with junk tasks. Resist that urge!
4) Start Small, Then Get Broader
It would be wise to start at a small level and then grow broad. That is for the reason when you have fewer things to accomplish, you can focus better. Once you get hold over those, then expand. Tim Ferriss calls it the low information diet, I call it verticality. Set up a complete, working system, where your effort turns into money, or whatever you’re after. Only then do you expand upon it or replicate it in another niche.
5) Set Budget, Don’t Overspend
It is beneficial to set a budget for related tasks. In case you fail on a point with your budgetary expectations, think twice before spending more. Overspending does not always give more. Even if something’s working, don’t suddenly spend a lot more on it and expect an equally increased reward. I’ve made that mistake with advertising.
6) Have a Vision, Be Positive
As a beginner, you will be facing a lot of ups and downs. This is not unique, it doesn’t mean anything negative about you. It is normal. Don’t get down in the dumps over mistakes or confusion. Have confidence in yourself and stay positive. If you really want to get this handled, I would recommend pursuing a mentor, but it’s not mandatory.
7) Keep an Exit Plan Ready
An idea may fail too. Don’t get scared. When you start, keep an exit plan also, in case you do not succeed. Smart gamblers always have an out for the day. If they lose a certain amount, they stop playing and come back tomorrow. You, similarly, need a limit where an idea has lost you enough that it’s either not good, or you’re not ready to make it succeed in the market. That’s okay, again, everyone deals with this. Always be ready for a new beginning.
I hope that the above tips are helpful to a newbie. In addition to these tips, reading the success stories of entrepreneurs is always inspiring. Entrepreneurs love to share their experiences. You can learn a lot from them.
As a final part of my advice, I would recommend you to read The 4-Hour Work Week book by Timothy Ferris. It is one of the oldest and biggest books on making money online, especially for entrepreneurs. It covers how to stretch every dollar without living like a penny-pincher so that you live far better than other people making the same amount of income as you. That book has helped me a lot, particularly when I was a beginner. I would suggest you read my honest review post REVIEW: The 4-Hour Work Week.
To conclude, here is a quote by a famous American entrepreneur Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”