Things You Should Know Before Starting An Internet Business

Starting an internet business can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, if you jump right in without doing a little research first, you could find yourself becoming overwhelmed very quickly. Some people make it look easy. The truth of the matter is that the people who make it look easy are people who did a lot of research beforehand. They understood what they were assuming to such a significant degree, they were able to avoid some of the common pitfalls of starting an Internet business.

To be sure, you can avoid those pitfalls, as well.

Before You Start An Internet Business

The great thing about the concept of an internet business is the fact that you are referring to a very, very wide spectrum of possibilities. The business can be as large or as small as you want/need it to be. Here are a few things that any internet business entrepreneur should keep in mind before they do something like run out and buy a domain:

  1. Have a plan: While you don’t need to have a detailed, formal business plan, you still need to come up with some mode of attack. This can include researching potential competitors, developing a sense of what you want to market to which group of people
  2. Establish a budget, and keep something else in mind: Your business is going to need a budget, regardless of its size. When budgeting an internet business, there are two things to keep in mind. First, remember that your budget needs to be realistic. Secondly, you want to appreciate the fact that in all likelihood, you’re going to lose money before you make money.
  3. Customers will want to meet you: Standing out from the pack with an internet business can be really challenging. Sometimes, it gets awfully close to impossible. With that in mind, remember that one good way of establishing a unique brand is to filter your own personality into everything that defines your internet business. People are going to want to know who they are buying goods and services from. Don’t reveal more than you are comfortable with, but understand that you will have to create a public identity for customer service purposes and more.
  4. Do something you’re actually going to enjoy: Large or small, an internet business can be a lot of work. Make sure you are doing something you will be able to enjoy, which comes in handy when things take a turn for the challenging.

Treat your Business like a Business, Not a Hobby, Your Internet Business is not a Hobby

A hobby can be turned into a business but a business can never become a hobby. There are some rich and famous people who have the luxury to conduct business while indulging in leisure. For the lesser mortals, business and leisure don’t go hand in hand. Any business requires serious investments, be it material such as money and infrastructure or immaterial as time and effort. 

  • A hobby is more of a pastime in which you have substantial passion. A business can never be a pastime. There are serious consequences. You may lose money. If you have employees, then those jobs are at stake and hence their livelihoods. If you have products or services that people depend on then you are risking that and your consumers or customers will be left high and dry if you fail to deliver. A hobby is absolutely personal. No business is completely personal. A business will have direct and indirect impacts on the lives of many people. A startup can still be treated as a hobby until there is serious money in it and the potential or actual impacts on others. Beyond that point, a business must be treated like a business.
  • A hobby has a lot to do with emotion over pragmatism. Most hobbies develop out of sheer love for something. There is little or no aspiration to monetize the skill or whatever you are creating. The purpose is to give form to your feelings or the skills you possess. Essentially, a hobby is about emotions. A business can stem from a particular or cluster of emotions but it can never be managed or run emotionally. You must always have a pragmatic take on your business and that will not happen if you treat it as a hobby or an emotional endeavor. 
  • A hobby often has to dabble through spells of procrastination. You cannot allow procrastination to seep in when you are running an actual business. There are deadlines in the real world, bottom lines and real money at stake. You cannot take your own sweet time to develop or deliver something. Treating your business like a hobby will be the recipe for disaster and sooner than later your enterprise will cease to exist or be unsustainable. Also, a hobby is principally about personal satisfaction. A business is not.