Before you give up your cubicle, however, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about how easy it is to start a successful online business. Take a look at the five most common myths about starting an online business to make sure this is the right decision for you.
Myth #1: You can start an online business with little to no money.
Everyone has searched the internet for online business opportunities at some time or another and seen the websites that advertise how easy it is to start a business with no money. While it doesn’t take as much capital to start an online business as it does a brick and mortar one, you do need to have some cash on hand for upfront expenses.
When considering how to start an online business,know that, at the very least, you’re going to need to purchase a domainname, hire someone to design your website and logo, and purchase orproduce products for your e-commerce store. These expenses don’t include your advertising and marketing expenses, or any required licenses,taxes, or fees.
While there are a number of free online services available, remember the old adage: You get what you pay for. If you want your internet business to succeed, it’s worth investing the money from the start.
Myth #2: You’ll have a lot of free time on your hands.
If you’re already dreaming about lazy afternoons, long vacations, and constant travel, think again. While starting a business online gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility, you’ll still be spendinglong hours—sometimes upwards of 80 hours a week—building and growingyour business in the beginning, and it requires a lot of hard work anddedication on your part.
Books like The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss have lulled a new generation of entrepreneurs into thinking that all they need to dowhen starting an online business is to check in on it a few hours eachweek while the business generates passive income. If you want youronline business to succeed, you’ll need to take an active hands-on role, at least for the first few years.
Yet along the way, you’ll discover that trading in the traditional40-hour workweek is one of the most rewarding things you’ll everhave done.
Myth #3: You’ll be your own boss.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While technically you may be in control, there is always someone that you have to answer to. Andthese individuals can be much more demanding than your old boss everwas. There may be days when you wonder why you decided to give up the9-to-5 routine.
Your number one priority is to keep your customers happy and to dowhatever it takes to make that happen. If your customers aren’t happy,you’re going to hear about it. It will be up to you to resolve thesituation if you want to keep them as a customer. Keep in mind thatthere are plenty of other online businesses that will be more than happy to meet their needs.
Myth #4: You only need to promote your online business on social media.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is relying only onsocial media marketing campaigns to launch their online businesses.While businesses need to use social media sites to build their brand and connect with their target audience, it costs money to create paid adstargeted to your customer demographics. And additional types of outreach may be required.
It takes time and energy to build a buzz around your online businesson social media and to leverage this into followers, with no guaranteeof direct sales. In fact, social media, while great for communitybuilding, may be least effective as a sales tool. In the end, you mayend up hiring a social media manager because of the time it takes awayfrom running your business.
Myth #5: You can run your online business alone.
Often it feels as though you have to do everything yourself whenyou’re running an online business. There are times, however, when you’re going to need help with tasks outside your skill set. At that point,you’ll need to have someone on hand who can help with developing website content, doing email marketing, writing advertising copy, or managingyour social media presence.
Why hire a full-time staffer when you can hire a freelancer?
A quicksearch of the internet will bring up hundreds of freelancers who areready and willing to help you out on an as-needed basis forreasonable rates.
Also Read: 3 Basics of Successful Business Development
At the very least, it gets lonely at the top. Sometimes it’s helpfulto bounce ideas off another online business person in your industry andtap into their knowledge base, especially if they’ve been in businessfor longer than you have.
If you can avoid buying into these five myths, you will be well on your way to success with your online business.