This article is all about the TRUE path to internet entrepreneurship and how you can start your online business.
If you’ve always wanted to know how to start an online business? This is for you. You’ll fully understand:
- What internet entrepreneurship really means
- What being an online entrepreneur entails
- The starting point of internet entrepreneurship
- Focusing on your 1,000 true customers
- Creating a mini version of your product
- and believing in yourself
Internet Entrepreneurship – Start a Business Online
There’s no better place to start than from the beginning..
If you’re one of the thousands of people who, at one point in your life, typed into Google search engine words like: “how to make money online?”
You’re not the only one who has done that, About 10 years ago, I did the same thing.
Since then, I’ve seen A LOT of internet entrepreneurs successfully running their own online businesses — from single ladies running online businesses in the tech niche to bigger companies today who started from scratch, right before my eyes.
For me, if they can do it, you can also do it as well; you just have to start from somewhere. I’m not promising you’ll start making millions of dollars like some people claim……. far from it.
Internet Entrepreneurship is not a Get rich quick scheme. If you think you’ll just come in and within a month or 3 months, you’ll start making thousands of dollars, I THINK you should stop reading this right now…
Though I’ve seen online business models that make massive and continuous profit, even from day one…. You should always know that THERE’S NOTHING LIKE OVERNIGHT SUCCESS.
[Tweet “Success is a combination of great efforts put together consistently, over and over time.”]
These successful businesses have paid the price for success, they’ve spent time, they’ve spent money, and most importantly, they’ve put in the efforts.
Entrepreneurs are not lazy; they work hard and smart, always on the learning curve to do things effectively and efficiently.
So once again, if you think internet entrepreneurship is that easy, STOP that thinking, there’s work to be done before rewards in profit and also, earning potential is entirely dependent on each individual.
So, what is the starting point of internet entrepreneurship? How can you start your own online business?
The Starting Point of Internet Entrepreneurship
The starting point of internet entrepreneurship is finding a problem to solve.
[Tweet “Entrepreneurship is a process, it’s a journey, and it’s about solving problems @Oasdom”]
People pay for solutions, they don’t have the time or the energy to create solutions, but as an entrepreneur, you have that time, and when you present them with a solution to their problems, they’ll be willing to pay for it.
The Fact Is: If you want to be rich, don’t go for the money, just add value to people’s lives. When you do that, they’ll pay for the value. So, be in the business of solving people’s problems.
- Find a problem you can solve
- When you get solutions you’ve automatically created value and
- With Value comes a price because price is the value placed on something.
Now let me break it down:
Finding a problem to solve means finding a gap you can fill. It means finding people’s biggest pains and presenting them with a solution.
Dry cleaners for example target busy people who have no time to wash; there target audience can never be full house wives.
Every problem has a unique audience facing that problem. So when you find creative and cost effective ways to solve that problem, you’ll be filling that gap.
Look at startups in Nigeria (businesses into the dry cleaning), with mobile apps for receiving and delivering orders, that’s an online business.
Learn More: About the difference between an online business and online opportunities.
Many people will tell you; be passionate about what you do. It’s fine, but it will be the very best if you’re passionate about what other people are passionate about.
JIJI.NG is a good example,
It was founded in 2014, dedicated to being the number 1 online classified ads company. The CEO must have taught deeply about a gap to fill.
Which is creating a unique platform for people to meet virtually for the purpose of getting items sold or getting items bought, hence establishing a Customer to Customer and Business to customer relationship.
This business and others like this started right before our eyes. They found a gap and filled it. People want to sell things fast and also they want to buy fast.
The problem here is, how will they find the people to sell to or to buy from eliminating location barriers? There has to be a meeting place online and that’s JIJI for you.
So when you’re thinking about the gap to fill and want to start a business around it online, be certain there’s market for it, I mean be certain there’s a target audience facing that specific problem you want to solve.
In other words, be passionate about other people’s problems. They’re passionate about getting solutions and you’ll be passionate about finding and presenting them that solution… and that’s how you profit online.
You don’t have to start thinking about a completely new idea to bring in, you can improve on existing ideas of established businesses and you can scale up from there, you’ll just have to start somewhere.
Currently tech blogs are on the rise in Nigeria and I can tell you it’s a nice niche.
What’s the gap? Every day, thousands of people are searching the web to get information on existing smartphones, newly released devices and more..
So, rising tech blogs feel they can bring new ideas to what already exists and they’re doing well.
But, you should know one important thing when thinking about the gap to fill in any market or the problems you want to solve.
It’s called Validating your idea or product or service. You need to know if the gap you want to fill is promising. Will you meet me on the next page?
Validating the gap you want to fill
How would you know if the gap you want to fill is promising?
Before you start building, wouldn’t it be reasonable to carry out a test before blindly executing?
To validate your idea, FIRST you must be certain that you’re solving a problem. Once you’re sure about that,
Now ask yourself these questions:
- How large is the market?
- Who are your potential competitors?
- Are you differentiated enough?
Who is going to answer that? Google will.
Start by searching the keywords related to your idea or the gap you want to fill in both Google search and Google Trends.
For example, when we had the idea for starting oasdom.com, a knowledge driven hub, where we provide online business and entrepreneurial tips, via articles, books, videos, etc, we researched around keywords such as how to make money online, ebooks on making money online, and courses.
Google search results gave us more insights into the market size, competitors, already existing products and more.
What you want to achieve with the Google search, Google Trend or Google Keyword planner tool is to be able to say YES To the following questions:
- Is there an upward trend in search volume and industry growth related to your idea?
- Can you find existing competitors in your market that are already doing well to demonstrate there’s indeed market demand?
- Are there meaningful differences between what’s in the market and what you’re thinking of offering?
If you can say yes to those, then your idea is what trying out. The next thing is to setup a site for your online presence
Build Your Blog & Create Your Social Media Pages
An internet entrepreneur will definitely need to have an online presence and most importantly have a platform that he owns, to present what he has to offer.
Blogs have proven to be a crucial tool for every internet entrepreneur. In the online business category on oasdom.com I shared insightful reasons to consider starting a blog and other important blogging tips.
Blogs can help you carry out effective content marketing as you establish your expertise and set a tone for your online business.
Here’s a Fact: Nothing can ever replace the blog or website. It’s a valuable piece of online “real estate” for your business. It shows your prospects and customers that you’re serious… and a professional-looking website makes you more credible.
I’m sure you must have seen some businesses who have .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com at the back of their domain name; like www.yourblogname.wordpress.com or www.yourblogname.blogspot.com
That doesn’t show you’re serious. You’ll have to invest in owning your own platform and having a dot com business online.
I’m sure you must have seen some businesses that only have a free Facebook page to promote their business – they lose many potential customers.
Your blog or website is the place where you can market and sell your products, build relationships, generate leads, pass on valuable free content, test ideas, and more.
Your blog/website actively puts your message out into the world so that potential customers can find you too.
TWEET: Simply put, your blog or website is the focal point of your online business.
You can make your website work for you. Let them join your email list and you can use email to market to them further.
One key thing to remember is that while the design of a website is important, it should be easy to use and navigate.
It should be clean, with a focus on providing useful information in an easy to understand format.
There are plenty of low cost services out there. With WordPress , for example, you can have a fully-operational blog/website for your online business.
If you can send an email or post to Facebook – you can create your own website. There’s a comprehensive guide on starting and creating your blog all by yourself on oasdom.com – Just visit oasdom.com search “how to start a blog”
Our free blogging course is there to take you by hand, step by step, from the very basics on how to blog, which means, you don’t have to pay someone every time you want to update your site with contents.
Still, if you don’t want to go through the process of setting up a blog all by yourself, you can hire our services and we’ll do that for a token.
Visit oasdom.com and place an order for a basic blog setup package in the services tab. And we’ll deliver a unique blog to you in few days.
You should know that your blog or website must be mobile responsive because more than half of Internet traffic is mobile these days.
And you should update your site frequently with useful new content on topics related to your business niche as that will boost your chances of appearing higher in the results for search engines like Google.
Now, we’ve talked about having your blog.
Social media marketing is also on the rise and if you want to reach more people and get them engaging with your business, you’ll need to setup your social media pages.
One mistake you should avoid is trying to be everywhere.
Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are ok for a start. Trying to be everywhere will require much more work if you’re a one-man team.
Once you have your blog/website set up, you want to do another crucial thing to test what you’re venturing into and that is… to test a mini version of your product/service.
Creating a Mini Version of Your Product
To be completely confident in what you’re venturing into, you need to be certain there are people who are interested in what you’re bringing into the market.
So, one of the best ways to do that is to create a mini version of your product.
For example, the first book I published at oasdom.com was the importation business guide – import and sell for profit.
We haven’t setup our website, oasdom.com at that time, so we did a quick Facebook ad, targeting an audience who’ll be interested in making some extra cash importing products from outside Nigeria and selling for profit.
The turnout and feedback was massive and that was a green light for us that there are more than enough people who want’s to leverage the power of the internet for profit.
You can do the same too, You just have to think about ways to go about it. And another thing you’ll have to do is to invest in marketing.
Invest In Marketing
Investing in marketing is very important. If what you intend to do is just build a website and sit back, you’re not just ready for business.
Many people say “Build it, they will come” – this is one of those popular sayings that doesn’t actually work. Who will come where? And what are they coming to do?
If you have no plans to market your business, you’re aiming to build an unvisited business or website.
The fact is, too many small businesses are reluctant to spend any money on marketing, let alone a significant amount.
Free marketing can be excellent – but most free marketing strategies take a significant amount of time before they become effective.
Even Social media is not free, to do it properly takes unbelievable amounts of time, and it’ll typically take about six months to a year before you’ve got even slightest momentum–it not fast.”
You need to create a marketing plan, set aside a little budget maybe on monthly basis, set up some marketing campaigns and keep doing it if you want your business to be successful.
Marketing is a continuous process of getting your business in front of people and taking them from the point of contact to actually taking an action.
And there so many ways to market your business online:
We have content marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization marketing, blogging itself, email marketing, and more..
And that’s why we’ve started the digital marketing articles series dished out every week on oasdom.com.
Another very important thing you want to do is to focus on your first 1,000 customers. What does this mean? Let’s talk about it on the next page.
Focus on Your First 1000 Customers
The 1,000 true fans belief is this:
[Tweet “To be a successful online entrepreneur, you don’t need millions of fans. You only need 1,000 true fans.”]
You may have 10,000 people that you call customers but in the real sense of it, only 1,000 people are your true customers. Customers who are ready to pay are your true customers.
Here’s the math behind the 1,000 true fans ideology. A true fan is defined as anyone who will spend at least let’s say N10,000 per year buying your products or paying for your services (what you make).
These people are willing and ready to buy your products and services because you’ve established your expertise.
You can establish your expertise and gain trust through content marketing which includes everything from writing blog posts, posting to social media, creating helpful videos, audios and more.
Now look at 1,000 true fans spending N10,000 within a year buying what you offer (be it products or services), That’s N10 million Naira annual income for you.
But there’s a mistake most people make, most people just starting out aim at the masses, while they should be focusing on a specific and smaller niche.
Even the largest internet companies started with very small niches. Facebook for example was just for Harvard undergraduates (which is for about 6,700 people back then). He targeted a smaller audience size, got his 1,000 true fans and scaled up.
So, focus on a smaller niche while at the same time, building your list of true fans, then you can scale up.
If you’re a one-man team, you’ll have to find out the tasks only you can do, consistently while building your brand.
This last part is so important to me and I try as much as possible to emphasize and re-emphasize each time I’m talking about it. Please read… (next page)
Starting is important, but continuing and not quitting is more important.
They say: “A dream is only a dream until you decide to make it real”.
Making money online is real, but you’ll have to start somewhere. Just start, take action, and use what you have to start doing something right now.
I’ve always said this; there’ll always be times of discouragements and without motivation, but do not quit.
You have to keep going, if it means taking a step at a time, if it means crawling, don’t stop, and keep moving.
My team and I haven’t got to where we want to be, but we’re seriously moving, we’re making mistakes and we’re learning.
Please Watch: Motivational Video – Start today, Not tomorrow
That is what you must do if you want to succeed as an internet entrepreneur or if you want to achieve anything in life.
There’s something most people don’t know about Mark Zuckerbag, the founder of Facebook. We all know he started somewhere, from his dorm room in Havard University.
But he had to take a risk and sacrificed leaving school and going for what he so much believed in. The point is, he hasn’t done it before…
You know what Mark said? He said it took him 5 minutes to make that decision to drop out.
I’m sure you know the Tech giant – Yahoo, Yahoo offered to buy Facebook for $100,000,000 but he refused. You know why? He believed one day, Facebook will be worth more…
But his team stopped believing in his idea because they taught selling out was the best deal. So within a year, Facebook’s entire management team left the company.
What would you have done? Mark could have easily quit but he didn’t because he so much believed in his idea.
Today, Facebook is the most widely used social network in the world.
Now you see why I said you must believe in what you do…. THE FACT and BITTER TRUTH IS, It won’t come easy, internet entrepreneurship is simple but simple doesn’t mean easy, though not as tough as offline business.
Businesses almost everywhere in the world crash in their first year of business and it has happened to me as well.
My first offline business back in the university crashed within a year but I learned serious lessons that money can’t buy.
If you don’t quit as well, along the way, you’ll become stronger and braver, and every mistake you make will be an asset to you.
That’s the true path to internet entrepreneurship and how to start your online business.
I’m going to leave you with this:
If you truly believe what you’re working on is important, you should never quit.
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