What is the best way to start your own full time Internet small business in these uncertain times? When I started my marketing agency, Azzurro Blu, it was a huge step for me but, I realise, that not everyone can take such a risk.
Of course, the answer to that question will depend on your particular circumstances. But for many people, especially people who rely on their day job for their main or only source of income, starting small, part-time and slowly may be the best way.
An Internet-based small business can be run from home, but it can also be maintained from other locations as well, such as Internet cafes, local libraries, and perhaps even actual workplace during breaks from work.
An Internet small business can be used to sell your products and services to the whole world, or simply to your local community. The products you sell could be physical products that you will need to ship to your customers, or digital products that can be downloaded directly from your website. Another option is affiliate marketing, in which you receive a commission for selling another company's goods via "affiliate links" that are coded with your "affiliate code" and which you place on your website. Many successful Internet marketers use a combination of these methods.
Starting your online business small and cheaply, and running it on a part-time basis will enable you to maintain it without giving up your day job. Once your business begins to earn money, it will provide you with a second source of income, alongside your wage or salary, giving you a much greater sense of security in these uncertain times.
When you start to look around, you will discover that there are hundreds of viable online business ideas that can be started small on very little or no capital. There is really no reason why anybody of average intelligence could not start their own business and build up a useful stream of income from it.
What you will need to do however, is to focus on your goals and set out a plan of action. Obviously, your day job and your family responsibilities as well as the need for rest and recreation will make large claims on your available time every week. Taken together, without a plan of action, these other claims could use up all of your available time. Your dream of running your own business would therefore remain just that, a dream. But as soon as you begin to set out some goals and make a plan and set to work on it, even if only by small degrees, you have moved towards making your dream a reality.
In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey recommends that you plan week by week. By making a business action plan for the coming week, you will be able to set out a list of targets, and set aside some time slots in which to achieve them.
If you find that you have very little time available, you will want to think carefully about how important your desire to start a small business really is. If you are serious about your aim, you may need to give up something in order to make time to work towards it. Perhaps there is a soap opera that you are addicted to, or some other television programs, or computer games that you might want to give up in order to achieve your ambition.
Frankly, if you are not willing to sacrifice some of your less important activities at the beginning, you will never see your project through to a satisfactory end.
The beauty of starting a small business on the Internet, while still maintaining your day job, is that it will force you to become more effective in your use of your precious time. Another advantage is that your day job will allow you to maintain your income during the early period when your business is not earning any money.
So don't despise your day job, but rather, see it as a necessary and helpful stepping stone towards setting up your internet small business.
As you work towards your goal, your business will begin to grow and turn from being a liability to being a growing asset on your balance sheet.
As your business grows, you will be confronted with ever more urgent time management considerations. This is a good thing, and when it happens to you, you will need to consider whether or not it is time for you to quit your day job and devote yourself completely to running your own small business on the Internet.