You would be easily forgiven, what with the endless barrage of “How I make $850 a day online!!” pop-ups, that anyone and everyone can, and is, making their fortune online, with little more than a few hours a day and a few clicks of a button, leaving them free to enjoy their endless cash and freedom in far flung corners of the world. Oh, how I wish this were true. I think I can safely say that if it were really this easy, we’d all be doing it.
The online world is abound with rumours to the effect of, “Online business is easy, anyone can do it.” Running any business is challenging, a successful business even more so. Taking your business online only adds to these challenges, as there is even more to learn before you can say you’ve really cracked it. In this blog post I’m going to dismiss a few myths give you some home truths about the reality of running an online business.
Online business provides ‘passive income’
If there is an online entrepreneur in the world who has genuinely and entirely passive income, I would like to meet them. By all means, passive income is possible, but in 100% of cases it is preceded by immense and long term hard work, commitment and resource investment. The business environment is competitive, the online business environment even more so; there is no ‘set it up and press go’ route to getting customers and revenue. Technology and the online world is changing daily; staying on top of all the new solutions, services and standards takes dedication, time and hard work.
All you need is a website
As before, simply not true. Yes, it is a pre-requisite – you can’t do anything without a platform. Making websites it’s pretty easy these days. This means the market is extremely busy. There are now over 1 billion websites online, and this number will continue to grow; every one of these websites is like an extra brick added to a wall between you and your prospect. Expecting your ideal clients or customers to simply stumble upon your newly built website is, at best, naïve, at worst, wilfully informed. If you take this ‘strategy’, you will fail. You need to think about who might be looking for you, and put your website in front of them.
It’s easy to stand out
Again – this is starting to sound familiar! – no, it isn’t. First of all, the internet is a very big place, and it is indiscriminate. Whilst you might be the only accountant on your high street, in your town even, online you are one in million – and not in a good way. You are literally one in a million. You need to put some serious work into setting yourself apart, getting your service offering in front of people – the right people – and convincing them to buy from you. This is hard enough in the offline environment, but at least then you don’t have the disadvantage of 10, 50, 100 similar providers just a click of a button away, just waiting to under cut, out sell and shout louder than you. Google has a lot to answer for here!
The bottom line
Sadly, as you can see, a successful online enterprise requires a lot of hard work and dedication – as do most things worth having, I would add. Taking your business online means you have a whole new set of challenges to tackle, marketing strategies to devise and tools to get to grips with. A quick win it is not, but that’s what makes it so rewarding.