Becoming an online entrepreneur is a risky move. Sure, online business is thriving more than ever, and you can become a millionaire selling across national borders, but the online market is one of the toughest to crack.
The competition is stiff and things are unveiled every single day. So, if you an aspiring online entrepreneur, here are several tips that will help you survive:
1. Chase Markets, Not Ideals
In the online world, great businesses do not begin with brilliant ideas. They start with finding really needy customers. The chance of your survival as an online entrepreneur depends on finding a good niche market where there’s customer need, and in dominating that market. So, instead of spending hours coming up with business ideas, go out there and read market research papers.
2. Look for Innovative Means of Funding
Traditional small business funding sources include banks, lending institutions, and government support for the self employed. It’s important to note that such sources of funding might not be available to you right away. Conventional lenders like banks want to see formal documentation and initial results that you might not be able to provide for an online enterprise. Therefore, look to alternative methods of financing an online company, such as crowd funding.
3. Build a Social Media Presence
Even if you have yet to launch a website for your company, you can begin to create a social media presence for yourself as an entrepreneur. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are essential during the early days, even more so than a website, to create brand awareness for your venture. Therefore, become an expert in handling social media.
Like in the real world, networking is important to popularize and finance web-based companies. Unlike in the real world though, online networking in done on forums, blogs and Skype sessions. Make friends with the people who are in the same or similar industries as you. These people will be able to give you tips and direct you to financiers. There are investors who specialize solely in online ventures, like the ones who give auto business loans to car companies. More importantly, your network will be able to create brand awareness for your company and products.
5. Be Prepared for Failure
Even Apple failed before it succeeded, so be prepared to fail when you start your online venture. Don’t be afraid of failure; it’s a normal, natural occurrence that you should use as a learning opportunity. Get ready to fail 99% of the time, and shrug off the disappointment, but don’t overlook the reasons why you failed, however.
6. Give Out Samples
Let people sample the products or services you offer for free in return for honest reviews. You will be able to find new customers, get reviews that you can use in your marketing plan, and also generate buzz for your company online. This is basically a winning strategy in all regards.
As an online entrepreneur, you should be a resilient and curious person who is willing to learn to succeed. Understand all the risks, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone once in a while.