- Business and Employment»
- Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
What You Need To Start An Internet Business From Home
In these harsh times with high unemployment rates and the economy struggling many people around the World are thinking about starting their own business and work from the comfort of their home.
This article is dedicated to help anyone that thinks about starting a business some useful insights and tips along the way.
As this article tells you, it is not starting a business that is hard, it's the amount of research and all the steps you need to do before starting it that is crucial for your success.
It doesn't need to cost a fortune
You can basically start a company with $0
When it comes to funding your company you can do it without any money, theoretically.
If you don't have any money to start your company yourself you might have to go to the bank and get a starting-up business loan or borrow money from your relatives. Many governments grants special loans to start-up business-owners as well both in Europe and North America.
Maybe you will continue to work for your current employer and starting up your new business at your spare time. By doing so you don't need any loans and you keep the cash-flow unchanged.
For the first step in starting a company, you only need to use brain-power, not cash.
As I have stated above you can do it for free but at some point you need to invest some money in the company.
The first and most crucial step is to decide what your company should be about, e.g. tutoring, web design or affiliate marketing. What is your idea for your business? How will you make money?
Another crucial question you need to ask yourself is: Why should people buy from me? Do I have a special skill or do I have something to offer that will give my buyers more value if they buy from me rather than from a competitor?
Then you need to think about what kind of skills you already have and what kind of skills you need to acquire before you can start your company.
If you know someone that already has got a company of their own, ask them all the questions you have. They are a lot more likely to help you than any other since they know the ins and outs of having a business themselves.
Educating is also crucial. There are a lot of different seminars and online courses you can attend, both for free and ones you have to pay for.
If you are thinking about affiliate marketing or web design you might freshen up your skills or learn them from scratch by using Skillfeed or other services. For the low price of $99 for a full year you can learn almost anything, especially if you're thinking about taking the online business-route.
Just let me tell you one thing: You do need to gain special skills and Skillfeed is very good with a lot of online coach programs where you actually will learn the skills you need. This is of course a good place to start with but you will only be taught the techniques you need there.
Nothing will happen if you don't start to implement those techniques. This is also true with the next thing I am about to write about.
There is one affiliate marketing site that actually is offering education to their affiliates and that is Clickbank through the Clickbank University. This costs a lot more than Skillfeed, $1 for the first week and then a whopping $97/month.
You can learn the skills you need either at Clickbank or Skillfeed. They are very good online coaching programs. I have tried both of them myself and I have to tell you that I am satisfied with the results I have seen so far.
I feel obliged to tell you though that they will only be useful if you are going to have an Internet business. Otherwise they will be useless to you and without any significant value.
This had to be said before I continue to talk about starting your own business. Another crucial step you have to take before starting your business is to check the laws and regulations in the country where you live.
Agencies or authorities in your own country may provide you with free information. Especially if there are any special permits involved that you need to gain in order to run your company it is a good way to contact them first and find out what they will demand of you.
This is something very important and affiliate marketing is legal in most countries. Of course you need to make some ethical decisions for yourself too what to promote if you will take the affiliate marketing-route.
The next thing you'll need to decide is the location of your business. I won't lie to you, this step will cost money but it hasn't have to be very costly.
For e.g. an affiliate marketing-business you'll need to sign up for an account at a hosting company like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
The account is totally free but you will need to buy a domain-name (hub pages.com is a domain name for example) you will need to spend about $10 for a .com-domain. Especially if you are going to start a blog using the popular Wordpress.org-platform.
It will cost differently whether you decide to run your business online, from your home or from an office.
Maybe you decide that you will run something that requires your business to be both online and offline like an eBay-company that buys and sells couches that is just one example that comes to mind.
If you don't have any money you can start a blog by using free services like Blogger or Wordpress.com. You can even use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to drive traffic to different websites that you are promoting for free.
If you don't run your company from home, you will need an insurance, you have to sign a contract and pay rent but you might even need an extra insurance if you will run it from your home.
Contact your insurance company to hear what kind of regulations they have in advance so you will know when you finally start up your business.
Doing research is another crucial thing that you need to do before financing your business. This is where you can't afford to get sloppy and here your competition might be helpful actually.
How do they make money? Are they using social media (Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pintrest etc.) or are they relying on traditional media (e.g. TV-commercial, Newspaper- or Magazine-Ad)?
Just to follow through with my example above. If you are going to do affiliate marketing then you might have to check out other sites about affiliate marketing. Another helpful tool is to check the sites Alexa-ranking.
If you don't know what Alexa is I will explain it. It is a website (Alexa.com) where you can find out how your competitors are ranked in different search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckGoGo etc.).
It will not tell you how they get their visitors but if they have a high ranking (between 1-10) you can be sure that they are spending a lot of money on online marketing. It is not the full story of course but some explanation on why it is ranked that high. The higher ranking they got in Alexa the better.
In many countries you can find statistics about what those companies makes, how many employees and so on. Maybe you need to pay for getting that information sent to your home in physical form or you can do it online and for free. The latter one is preferred by me.
When you have done all of the above you are ready to start your own business.
Things To Do Before Starting Your Business
These are the steps you need to take before starting a business:
- Decide what the business should be about. Ask yourself why people should buy from you, how they should buy from you and how you will advertise your business.
- Make an "inventory" of which skills you have and if you need to acquire some new skills, check where you can learn them and make sure that you learn them before you start the business.
- Find financing for your new business and check so it is legal where you live. Here banks and the authorities and agencies in your country may be helpful with providing you advice as well as information.
- Check with your insurance company if you need an extra insurance or not.
- You need to do some ethical judgement of your own whether you can do this or not.
- Find statistics about how other businesses are making money, preferably for free and online. Scour the social media as well as the traditional media-channels to see how your competition makes people aware of their existence.