Well, can you?
Do you really have to be a computer wiz to be successful with an online business?
I speak from first hand experience – you DON’T have to be a born “brainiack” or a computer programmer to run a successful online business.
To give you some inspiration before I tell you how to get the ball rolling, check out this “motivational speech” from a 5 year old:
“Everybody, I know you can believe in yourself…you will get the hang of it, I know. If you keep practicing, you can get better and better at it…Thumbs up everybody for rock and roll!”
You just gotta believe and give a thumbs up and…VIOLA, you’ll be successful.
Oh how I wish it was that easy and “turn key”. Unfortunately, in most cases, IT’S NOT so don’t be fooled to think otherwise.
Running an online business takes hard work. It takes patience. It takes failure. And it takes more patience.
But the best news is, you can do it! Yep, I’m talking to YOU. And here’s how in five simple steps:
The Five Simple Steps to Success with an Online Business
Step 1: Start with something you’re passionate about
As some of you know, my first website was built in 2004 with the help from Mat. I still run that site today selling clogging shoes and taps to people all over the world. Has it made me a million dollars? No! But it makes money and has taught me so much about what it really takes to run an effective online business.
I’ve been clogging since I was 6 years old and have been all over the world. I know lots of people in the clogging world. Yep, there are actually a lot of cloggers out there. The passion I have for clogging and business have gone hand in hand as I built this ecommerce website. Not only did I expect to succeed from the start, but I knew I wouldn’t give up because I was using a website business as a way to stay involved in something I already knew a lot about.
Take Away: Don’t chase after the hottest selling product online. Most likely you don’t know ANYTHING about it and there are millions of “competitors” trying to ride the same short-lived trend.
Step 2: Begin making connections with your target audience even BEFORE you officially launch your website
This may sound a bit odd, but connections are what it’s all about. About 4 months ago, a friend and I decided to follow a trend. We jumped on the Jimmer Fredette band-wagon and created a website. But before we did that, we started reaching out to some of our contacts. We made a list of people we knew that may help us get in the right doors.
About 3 weeks ago some of those connections really paid off as we were able to have an official photo shoot with the Naismith Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette. Our connections helped us get officially licensed to sell Jimmer Fredette T-shirts and are opening doors every day. Often times, business is not about WHAT you’re selling, but more about WHO you’re selling to. The more you can start making contacts, getting feedback, and building business relationships, the quicker you can start moving product when the website is officially “open for business”.
Take Away: It’s never too early to start making connections and sales. Ask questions, take notes, and the deliver what the client wants.
Step 3: Don’t be afraid to ask what seem like stupid questions
My motto since I started teaching other people how to start an online business has always been “There’s no such thing as a dumb question except the one you don’t ask.” Even though some questions leave me wondering if the person has really even thought through things, I still stand by this motto. If you don’t know something, ask someone that does. It’s a good idea to look for answers too, but from my experience, I’d rather ask a few questions from people who know and get the answer right away than search around, find an answer, test it out, find that it doesn’t work, and finally give up and ask someone later on.
Take Away: Let go of your pride and ask the experts in your field. Not only will this help you achieve your goals quicker, but you may form a contact that will help you get to a new level you hadn’t imagined.
Step 4: Don’t be afraid to fall on your face (aka FAIL)
If anyone tells you that running a business is not that difficult and that their business has been perfect with no pitfalls, THEY’RE LYING. Seriously. All businesses make mistakes. The ones that are most successful are just better and learning from their mistakes quickly and making the necessary adjustments so they don’t repeat the same mistake over and over again.
All new businesses have the possibility of not working out. However, those same businesses also have just as much chance to succeed if they are following the other steps we’ve already talked about.
Take Away: Expect Success! Know that failure will come but do your best to recover quickly and not repeat the same mistake over and over again.
Step 5: Celebrate the “Small Success” – it will lead to “Big Success!”
This is my mantra for my business: “Small success leads to Big Success!” And it does. I still remember the first sale I ever made online – it was a pair of worn out jeans that sold on eBay for $0.99. I remember thinking “Wow! I actually sold something…” That first small success has led to some pretty substantial “Big Success” that I would have never even seen had it not been for the mindset that every small success will lead to bigger success – I just have to duplicate what’s working.
A classic example of this concept is with our city league softball team. We’ve been playing together for about 3 years now. We have always had about the same team and played in the same division. Our name pretty much sums us up – “Basura Blanca” which is Spanish for “White Trash”. We haven’t ever really had “sluggers” that could hit the ball out of the park whenever they wanted. We’re not the youngest or fastest either. But this year our captain started something that I feel has improved our team dramatically – he started recording our stats for hitting. To many, this may mean nothing, but to most of us who grew up playing some form of competitive sports, it has turned on the competitive juices. We talk about our hits, we post our stats on a Facebook Fan Page, and we give each other a bad time if we count a fielders choice or an error as a base hit. Anyway, the point is this – by monitoring our “small success” we’ve all focused on hitting for AVERAGE and not just for power. By doing this, we’ve 10 (or 20) runned almost every team we’ve played this year. And trust me, none of us is getting any younger. To me, this is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of the power of monitoring and recording small success – it leads to big success, even in old men’s softball. 🙂
Take Away: Record your small successes in a business journal or on a blog and review them often. Not only will this help you SEE the progress you’re making, but it will lead to big success sooner than you think. Sharing them with others can also be helpful to hold you accountable.
How do you plan to use these simple steps to speed up the success of your online business?
Are there steps I’ve left out that have been beneficial to your success online?
Thanks for sharing this with all your friends and family!
Nate Moller works with businesses who want to improve their online business. For over five years, hes worked with thousands of companies who are looking for answers in their online marketing journey. Follow Nate on Twitter and become a fan of Moller Marketing on Facebook!