This is the third article in a 3 part series on growing your online business.
- Part One: Basic Things You Need To Start a Business Online
- Part Two: Get a Credit Card and Bank Account For Your Online Business
- Part Three: Make Money Growing Your Online Business
Hello, this is Stefan from projectlifemastery.com. This is the final article on my tips for growing your online business.
You Need Money to Make Money
Make sure you have money for your business, to get it started. Without money, you will be limited. Without money, it will be way too hard to do it. You need cash for basic expenses to build your business. Even if you have excess time but no excess money, it would be more efficient for you to use some of your time to make money in a job, to fund your business. Money, rather than spare time, is what will help you fuel on the fire.
Your Business Needs Money to Start
You’re going to need it to sign up for certain things if you want to sell on Amazon. For example, to sell physical products you’re going to need to set up your Seller Central Account. You’re going to need to order an inventory. You might have to buy hire a designer who will design the packaging and logo for your business. If you want to set up a website, you might have to hire and pay for different things that can allow you to do that. You must pay for hosting and a domain name. Money is definitely something you are going to need in order to start and grow your online business.
Better to Work a Job at First?
You might have to get a job, or work extra hours of overtime. You may have to sell some things you don’t need. Money is going to allow you to grow your business the right way and to be able to take it to the next level. Having a job and receiving extra money to invest in your new business, to help it grow, can often be more important than investing time into your new business.
You Don’t Have To Work Your Business Full Time
You don’t need to work full time. That’s a misconception that a lot of people have. They think, “Well, I’ve already got a job, I can’t give it up to work on that online business.” Most people don’t work full time building their business, initially. They’re working in the evenings or the weekends, whatever free time that they have to be able to grow it. Work a few hours a week to get your business off the ground, if that is all the time you have to invest. If you can discipline yourself a few extra hours per day, put that time in to grow your business. Spend that time to learn and improve yourself with proper training.
Make Enough to Quit
Your only first goal for income should be to make enough money to quit your job. Once you are making enough in your online business, you can quit your job and then your time is freed up. At that point, your business should not only support yourself, but be able to reinvest back into the business to be able to grow it even more.
Education and Training
Education and training is the shortcut. It’s buying you a shortened learning curve. If you’re already limited on time, that’s even more important for you to find courses and training resources that you can buy and invest in. That’s going to save you a lot of time in the long term. If you only have a few hours a week, you’ve got to even be even more efficient with what you’re doing. You need to make sure you have the right guidance in getting to where you want to go.
Make sure that you have the time that you can invest, whatever amount of time that you have. I recommend trying to discipline yourself to set a schedule. Sometimes you can spend a whole day, maybe on a Saturday or Sunday, to just dedicate the whole day to working on your business. You’d be amazed how much you can get done and how fast you can progress over a matter of a few months.
Handling the Books and Finances
This is something many people know nothing about when they first start their online business. It is very important. You need to make sure you handle the book and finances of the business properly. Use something like a Google spreadsheet or an Excel document to track your income and expenses. It can be fairly simple. Just doing that, when you are first starting, should be sufficient. This is because when you are first starting, there shouldn’t be that much income or expenses.
Eventually, you will need an actual bookkeeping software. Something that is professional. It should be able to handle all the books and keep everything organized. When it is time for you to do your taxes, you can hand it to your accountant and they will be able to follow it properly. What I use in my business is QuickBooks. QuickBooks is very popular software. Start by tracking things on a spreadsheet. Once you start making more transactions, invest in quality bookkeeping software.
Get a Paypal Account
You will need a paypal account for your online business. In a prior article I explained how you need a bank account. I said you would need to verify your bank account will function for all the online services you will want to use. Many online services will accept Paypal payments. This alone is a good reason to get set up with a Paypal account.
I was talking to someone the other day. We were talking about PayPal. He said, “I don’t like PayPal. I had this issue with them years ago.” I explained to him, if you are really serious about building an online business, you’re going to need Paypal. Every successful business person I know uses Paypal. I get paid much of my affilaite income through Paypal. It is an alternative method that customers can use to pay me. When I need to hire a graphic designer, I usually pay them through Paypal. It’s just one of those things you need, and you need to make sure that your Paypal account is in good standing. You need to maintain a good relationship with them. Don’t get in trouble with Paypal, because that can affect your ability to grow your online business.
I’m amazed by how many people don’t use Skype. Its one of those things that every online entrepreneur that I know of uses. It’s the most common way for me to interview people in business. If I want to hire an employee, it’s done over Skype. If I’m interviewing someone for a podcast or a YouTube video, it’s done through Skype. It’s one of those things, for networking purposes, you need to have for your online business.
Skype is how I and my team all communicate. Sometimes I’m blown away when I meet people or outreach to certain customers. I discover they’re trying to build a business, but they don’t have a Skype account. They don’t even know how to use Skype. I tell them if they want to build a business, they need to use this extremely important tool. It is free. Make sure you have it. It is very important for you to grow your business.
Have a Website for Your Online Business
This one may be controversial. Some people might say, “I’m selling on Amazon, I don’t need a website.” They may say, “I’m selling on this platform”, but you’re not really running a business. The business belongs to Amazon, not you. You have no control over whether Amazon discontinues your ability to use their service. That is not a real, long term, stable business model.
Long Term Business Model
If you’re wanting to build a long-term sustained the business, you need to build a brand. You must build something that actually has a value to it. It should be an asset that you control. Someday, you should have the option of selling your business. If you’re only selling on Amazon, you don’t have a sellable business. There is nothing unique about your business model that could be sold.
Maintain an Online Presence
A website is going to be the online presence of your company. People will come to your website to learn more about you. You might have content where you link to your different products or services. No matter what you’re selling, whether it’s a service or product, people will look up your company. If your company doesn’t have an online presence, or if they have an unprofessional or dated website, people are not going to do business with you.
Build a Brand
They will say, “Why am I going to do business with that person? I might rather do business with the person that has a professional website. They’ve got a brand. They’ve got something to offer. It was over 10 years ago that I went to a seminar, where the speaker stated, “If you have a business, you’ll have a website pretty soon or you’re going to be out of business.” For all my various companies, I make sure they have websites for their online presence. That is something you will need.
Websites are Inexpensive
The good news is that websites are easier and cheaper now than they were ten years ago. It used to be that a website had to be coded from scratch in HTML. It was something you could only get done if you hired someone. It was very expensive, with the cost being more than a thousand dollars. Now you can get a website and build it yourself for cheap. All you need is hosting and a domain. You can use WordPress, which is free. Even if you spend money in getting a professional template made, it will only be $100 or $200. It is very inexpensive today.
Have a Social Media Presence
The next thing you will need for your online business is a social media presence. You will need a Facebook page. You may need an Instagram page. You will potentially need Twitter and Pinterest. There’s many platforms out there. You will have to identify the most common ones that people use, based on your particular niche.
This is a requirement. If you’re going to sell products or a service, but you don’t have any presence on social media, people are going to be a lot less likely to do business with you. I come across many people who don’t have a Facebook account. They don’t like Facebook and want to avoid it. If you are serious about building a business, you’re going to have to get over that. You’re going to have to set up a Facebook account.
Sign Up For Facebook
There’s certain communities where, with Facebook Messenger, it is a really popular method of communicating. Don’t miss out on communicating with potential clients or make it hard for them to find you. Having Facebook, as a minimum, is very important. There are many opportunities to network and communicate with future potential clients through Facebook. Facebook has been very important for me in growing my business. Without it, I’d be missing out on a lot of potential business deals. There are many groups to be part of. It will simply be more difficult for yourself to grow your business if you do not participate on Facebook.
Other Social Media Companies
Facebook is but one of many social media companies. Depending on your niche, you may want to sign up for Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Periscope. You don’t necessarily need them all, but you definitely need Facebook because it’s the most popular one. Facebook and Instagram are the more popular ones.
Someting to Create Landing Pages and Funnels
The next thing you need to grow your online business is a method to create a landing page or funnel. These are also known as opt-in pages. I’m sure you guys have seen where you can go to a web page, and they offer something for free. They ask you to enter your name and email address in order to receive that free item. I have used these in my business and most business out there use something like this.
The value of your website is not just to promote your product. You will also want to use it to build an email list. This list will become your potential future clients. You can consistently communicate with them, because that’s a big part of your business. One of the downsides of using something like Amazon is they don’t give you all of your customer information. This is because Amazon understands that the real value of the transaction.
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They don’t give you the customer email address because they don’t view the customer as your customer. They view them as Amazon customers. They want people to continue shopping on Amazon. If your sole business strategy is to sell products on Amazon, you are very limited in your strategies.
It is important to get people on your website into a landing page or funnel that collects their email address. That allows you to offer different products and upsells. There’s more you can do with expanding your business this way.
LeadPages and ClickFunnels
Method of Collecting Emails
The last point I would like to make, that all online business owners should know about, is having a method of collecting email addresses and doing email marketing. There are many email marketing service providers out there. You will collect a person’s name in order to personalize your emails to them. The software will be able to construct personalized emails to your subscription list. What is the point of having emails if you can’t send personalized email broadcasts to them? The software should also have a good autoresponder, so you can automatically send emails to people who enters their email into your click funnel.
I personally use Aweber for this. They’ve been around forever, and they’re one of the best ones out there. There are other companies, like Infusionsoft. You can shop for features if pricing is something you’re trying to save on. Aweber is the one that I usually recommend for most people.
Follow the points recommended in this and two other articles on the same topic. This is important if you really want to build a long-term sustainable business as an asset. That should be the goal. Your goal shouldn’t be to just “make some money”. For many people who simply want to “make money”, they will have some successes here and there. They tend to have problems in the long run. I’ve seen so many people making some money here and there, but it doesn’t last a year or two years. That should be the ultimate goal of this, to build something that can provide for you for many years to come.
Stefan James from Project Life Mastery reveals his very best strategies to mastering and living life fully; everything from how to be motivated, his secrets to success, how to make money online, making passive income online, how to change your beliefs and mindset, being healthy and physically fit, being happy and productive, life management, cultivating relationships, spirituality, and much more!