An online entrepreneur is someone who conducts business via the internet. There are numerous types of online entrepreneur, from those who make some side income selling crafts to multimillionaire CEOs of internet monoliths. There are at least equally as many ways how to become an entrepreneur online.
Top 10 Tips to Becoming a Successful Online Entrepreneur:
1. Have a unique idea.
If you're wondering how to become an entrepreneur online, this is a huge step. It may seem simplistic, but, given the staggering amount of competition, the difference between being a successful online entrepreneur and just another option balances on a razor's edge. You either need to offer a unique product, a unique service, or a unique method of delivery and implementation.
Do your due diligence, and research what's out there already. How does what you offer differ from other similar products or services? That's your niche, the unique value you'll provide, and that's how you'll become a successful online entrepreneur.
2. Create a solid business plan.
Once you're satisfied that you are offering something unique, build a plan detailing how you're going to deliver it. What are your steps to become an entrepreneur online? How are you sourcing your product? Who's building your ecommerce site? Where's your startup money coming from? If you become rapidly successful do you have the infrastructure to meet demand?
All these questions and more need answers before you jump into your online entrepreneurship.
3. Know your competition.
You'll likely have done some competitive research while looking into the unique qualities of your produce or service, but you need to take a deep dive. Becoming a successful online entrepreneur depends on knowing your competition. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? Are they active on social media? How big is their community?
Find them on social media and follow them. Read their customer forums. See where they show up in search results for applicable terms. When you know your competitors' strengths and weaknesses you'll know right where you need to be.
Types of Successful Online Businesses:
- Web design.
- Niche ecommerce.
- Virtual tech support.
- Craft creator & seller.
- Stock photographer.
- Social media consultant.
4. Understand your value.
This is of special concern to service providers, but online entrepreneurs who sell products need a firm grasp on value as well. Does your pricing make sense given the market? Does it make sense given the time and effort involved in getting it to your clients? Either under- or overcharging can cause considerable issues.
What you charge is going to reflect the cost of doing business, the geographical area you operate in, the current market value, and many other variables.
5. Market cleverly.
Know where to spend your time and money on marketing efforts. Social media can be a great way for an online entrepreneur to spread the word about their products or services, but does every platform make sense? Are you in danger of spreading yourself too thin and diluting your impact while possibly falling short in other vital areas?
Don't do anything just because everybody else does. You have a unique product or service - finding a unique way to market it can be critical in becoming a successful entrepreneur online.
6. Keep your day job.
Starting a new business can be intoxicating. You've got a great idea, you've done your research, and you want to put everything you can into your company. However, the stark reality is that many online businesses fail, for many reasons, so unless you've a source of funds to pay for essentials you will likely want to keep your current job until your business really gains traction and starts turning a reliable profit.
It's difficult to apply caution when everything's telling you to jump in the deep end, but biding your time while your business becomes successful will help you avoid painful financial difficulties. Patience is a key virtue when you're learning how to be a successful online entrepreneur.
7. Find a good coach.
A good coach, especially one who has some experience with how to be an online entrepreneur, can help you considerably with both the day to day issues of selling online and the big picture. There are a number of organizations that can connect you with a coach, or, if you don't mind virtual communication, you can search for one online.
You may find in your journey to become an online entrepreneur you feel a bit adrift concerning decisions and need a sounding board; a good coach can fill that role and help you feel less alone while becoming a successful online entrepreneur.
More Online Entrepreneurship Ideas:
- Graphic design.
- Affiliate marketing.
- Drop shipping.
- Digital marketing.
- Life / business coaching.
8. Learn how to manage money.
You're in business to make money, but there are many cases in which, when running a new online business, entrepreneurs hadn't fully planned out the financial aspects of their businesses and felt the sting of financial mismanagement. Be sure that you don't fall into that situation. Your coach can help with this as well, as they should have experience with business finances.
When money comes in, have a plan that allocates some to business reinvestment (raw materials, marketing, etc.) and some to yourself as a wage. Be aware of what taxes you'll have to pay at the end of the year, and make sure you have money set aside for that. Understand that when you're starting up you'll need to invest more toward expanding the business and less toward your pocket.
9. Be prepared to work hard.
Becoming an online entrepreneur takes diligence and hard work. One of the advantages is that you're your own boss; one of the disadvantages is that, especially at the beginning, you may be your only employee. You'll have to ensure items are shipped or services are scheduled and rendered while dealing with marketing and other aspects of customer service.
Combine all the work with the fact that you'll likely, at least at first, have another job as well and online entrepreneurship can be overwhelming. Be sure you know what you're getting into, and be ready to roll up your sleeves and get at it.
10. Be adaptable.
The path to becoming a successful online entrepreneur is seldom a straight one. Be ready to follow unexpected opportunities and work through unforeseen setbacks. Many of the most successful online businesses took advantage of new developments, pivoted from their original idea and, because they were flexible, catapulted into far greater success than originally expected.
Keep an open mind, and let your business grow organically. You might be surprised where you find yourself a year from now.