The Ten Essential Things You Need To Know About Starting An Online Business

There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you’re starting a small business online. I’ve seen thousands of people start and grow successful businesses.

As you may have noticed that the internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. The core principles of how to start and grow a successful online business have not changed. It will always remain evergreen.

If you’re brand new and starting a small business online, follow the steps I’ve laid out here in this blog post. If you’ve been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there’s a step you’re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can’t go wrong with the basics. The basics are still relevant today as they were 10-years ago.

One of the common questions I get asked often is how to get started with an online business.

We’re going to take the next few minutes to take a look and get some answers.

There are ten essential things you need to know before you start your online business.

Additionally, I am going to offer you a way for you to escape the ‘9 to 5’ if you’re ready to get started.

More information about this program will be at the end of this post.

By the time you have read this post, you’ll have a good understanding of what it takes to be successful with an online business.

With that said, let’s dig in!

Making money from home is a real business; not a hobby

Internet marketing is a business. The only difference is that you work from your computer and you can work from your home. Working from home is not a myth. Don’t let this fool you.

Working as a self-employed entrepreneur will mean putting in a lot of hours to learn and research. You will also experiment, test, and optimize your business. There are great joy and freedom in working from home.

  • Plan on at least 3-4 hours per day if you are working a full-time job.
  • Plan on 8-10 hours per day if you do not have a full-time job.

Online marketing requires discipline, patience, and persistence

Any email or ad you see that claims that you can make $500 per day with no effort are a scam. There is no such thing out there. It takes hard work like any other business.

Be disciplined and keep even if you fail at first. Keep failing forward. You have to be willing to wait for the results. You will not get it overnight, no matter how good it sounds.

If you don’t have discipline, patience, and persistence, then this may not be for you.

You may not make your first dollar until your first year

I hope you are ready for it. Remember, this is a long-term play.

There is no such thing as a get-rich-quick program. Don’t get sucked into anyone who claims you can make money fast. Plan on at least 182 days and up to a year to see consistent success.

Most of the successful marketers will tell you it took them 2-5 years before they started saw success. Believe it or not, it has happened to me too.

Don’t think for a second that you will be any different. You can short cut the process with good training in the basics.

Having a good mentor for guidance is important too.

Even then, your business will take some time to become sustainable.

Expect a steep learning curve with huge overwhelm

You will have to master many skills, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Traffic generation
  • Funnel creation
  • Copywriting
  • Optimization
  • Split testing

Good training will help introduce you to these skills. None of them are difficult to learn. There’s a lot of information, tactics, and strategies that you have to master.

Can I keep it 100% with you?

There is no avoiding overwhelm.

The difference between success and failure is your ability to push through the overwhelm.

Early success is dependent on luck; long term success is based on hard work

You will read and watch testimonials that the gurus will put up from their student’s success. These are the students who made the big bucks right away.

Don’t think that this is typical. It is not.

The truth is that those students are not as smart or as hard-working as you are. They got lucky. I sure didn’t have that luck. It took me months before I made my first dollar.

I knew I was smarter. I worked harder. I had more discipline and was more persistent than those guys that got big sales right away.

What I finally realized was that Lady Luck smiled on them and not on me. Don’t expect Lady Luck to smile on you either.

You need money to invest; working capital

No business opportunity exists that does not need working capital to get started. The idea of making money without any money is ludicrous. Your basic expenses will be for training, services.

Such as email services, web hosting, and webinar hosting, and advertising.

You can do this on a shoestring budget, and that will slow you way down. At least $500 per month of working capital, not including your initial training costs.

Getting started the proper way will cost you at least $10,000 over the course of the year.

Yes, this sounds like a lot of money, and it is. Spread out over a year, its $833.33 per month.

Imagine you had a brick and mortar business. Having a low initial investment for the possibility of sustainable profits.

As I shared earlier, online marketing is a real business. It needs working capital to get up and running.

Be willing to fall flat on your face over and over

There is a lot of failures involved in internet marketing. Even the big guys have more campaigns that fail than make money.

It’s that they have learned how to make big money on the winners that cover the losses on the losers. In the beginning, unless Lady Luck smiles on you (not unlikely), you will fail, fail, fail.

However, it’s the failures that teach you.

  • What did you miss?
  • What other ways could you approach the market?
  • What other knowledge or skill do you need to master?

Failure is the best and fastest teacher there is.

I wouldn’t be where I am right now had it not been for failure.

Failure is not sexy but it was the #1 important factor for me to grow and evolve.

If you are trying to avoid failure than this business may not be for you!

Track your numbers daily

Online marketing is a game of huge numbers. Email click rates are in the 1-3% rate. Conversions to sales are usually 1% of clicks.

This can come from emails, webinars, websites or ads. In the beginning, all you can track is impressions and clicks. Do that every day on a spreadsheet without fail.

You need to watch your numbers.

There is an entire science to tracking numbers.

In fact, this is so critical, I’m putting together a short course on this very topic.

Watch your emails for its release. There is also a vocabulary you have to master.

Terms like CPC, CTR, hops, impressions, page views, delivery rates, open rates, are data points.

You must track to understand what is going on in your business.

Base all decisions on your hard numbers, not on emotion

By trial and error, I’ve learned how to use my data to make good decisions.

This is important because I did not want to waste my money. I had to learn the art of ad optimization, split-testing, conversion rates, and much more. As you track your numbers over weeks and months, you will see what works and what doesn’t.

Plan on hard work

Online marketing is not as hard as you are sitting at your desk.

It can get mentally draining. Not to mention, emotionally exhausting as you try to figure out what to try next.

Online marketing is simple but it’s not easy.

Runaway as far as you can from any claim that says otherwise.

Even the best training systems suck people in with the rare success stories.

Don’t believe that you are better than everyone else.

Do the damn work.

Every day.

Without fail.

No matter how long it takes.

Your hard work will eventually pay off. That I can guarantee! 😊

My final thoughts

Before you decide to start an online business. I would recommend that you start small. See if it’s something you are willing to work for.

If you’ve decided that you want to start an online business, you must have the following if you want to succeed:

  • A support team and system that will help build your business.
  • A mentor that will take you by the hand and help you reach your dreams and goals.
  • A constant flow of new raving fans that will buy anything that you offer.

It is not easy to be successful in this space and which is why more than 95% fail.

The next step…

If you determined to start an online business so that you can create a legacy for you and your family.

I would suggest that you check out my number #1 recommended program.

This program is the reason why so many people are having success with a ‘work from home business’.

Did you get value from this blog post?

If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you shared this post on social media. 😊

P.S. Get my #1 recommendation to build a business online. Click here to get instant access!

40 responses to “The Ten Essential Things You Need To Know About Starting An Online Business”

  1. Paul Stainton says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… patience and hard work are the keys to any success. Yes, there are plenty of people who promise that they can help you grow really fast, but – in my experience – the faster you build something, the quicker it can fall apart.

    Take the time to do it right!

    • Nate Leung says:

      Yes, you are so right. What people fail to do is to realize this a long-term play. Take your time, but at the same time do the work needed to get you closer to your goals. Do this without trying to shortcut the process.

  2. GiGi Eats says:

    Yes and yes and yes!!! These truly are essential things to know before starting an online business! I really think mentorship is VERY important, someone who has been there and done that to assure you that what you’re doing is the right step to take.

    • Nate Leung says:

      Mentorship is everything. You can have the tools, the training but without the mentor, you will not get far in your business! Nailed it right on the money, GiGi!

  3. Chad says:

    This is amazing and yes i can’t agree more with you, with online marketing you need to be persistent and patient….100%%%

  4. Michelle Westman says:

    Any business requires work, no matter what people say. Discipline is important to if you want to succeed. True success never comes in the blink of an eye. I completely agree with your list of essential things!

    • Nate Leung says:

      Yes, that is the main thing that people fail to realize. Any business doesn’t matter the industry, the work needs to be done to be successful.

  5. Such great advice here! I’ve thought about quitting my job and blogging full time but I think more experience and build up my business a bit more. I need to work on marketing what I have!

    • Nate Leung says:

      Hi Kathleen!

      Yes, that would be a smart move. Also, build up your income and when it’s enough to replace your full time then you can consider quitting. Keep doing your thing!

  6. Sophia says:

    Yes – it is so important to invest! I learned early on that it’s important to put money in in order to get money out. Thanks for all of the great tips.

  7. Laura says:

    There is so much time that go into it and it’s really hard work. Thank you for the useful info and the tips.


    • Nate Leung says:

      You’re welcome! Thank you for visiting my site and leaving me a comment!

  8. Dominique Brooks says:

    This is a great post. Everyone stating an online business should read this a few times as their business moves forward.

    • Nate Leung says:

      Yes, referencing this guide a few times will help! Thank you for your comment!

  9. Patricia M. says:

    I love this article Nate, every single work of it is trues, if you are just starting everything is going to overwhelm you and you have to persist if you want to succeed.

  10. Jasmine M says:

    One thing that I slip on doing is tracking my numbers daily. I am trying to get better with it considering I want to have more than one online business in the future.

    • Nate Leung says:

      That’s great Jasmine and very important. So many people in the online space neglect this important step.

  11. Laura Gonchar says:

    It’s a lot to learn from and take into an account. That is why learning step-by-step is important.

  12. Lex says:

    Best business plan for anyone. First is key to trusting myself to stand up again whenever i fall. Its never wasy but its what makes you thick and successful… Amazing tips from you. Thanks alot.

  13. Once you learn how to organize and put in the work you are a’ll set. Putting in the work is key.

    • Nate Leung says:

      The hard work will always put you over the top. Even if you have zero talent. 😊

  14. Catherine Santiago Jose says:

    I agree that patience and having a good mentor are necessary before having an online business and aside from that in any business patience and hardwork are a must.

  15. Melissa L Cushing says:

    I absolutely love all of the information in this post! I have bookmarked it so that I can come back to check it out more and appreciate your sharing….. it is a lot of work but it is so worthwhile!

  16. Clare says:

    I love this topic, always gives me a little bit of sense what I need to do and be prepared for. Thanks!

  17. Heaven says:

    Wow! So well-written & insightful! I have a few online businesses so I completely agree! My best tip is the “Do The Damn Work!” I learned that consistency is KEY!

  18. aisasami says:

    Thanks for the tips! I am working on making on my blog into a business. I haven’t earned anything really in terms of money but learned a lot in experience and knowledge.

  19. Melanie Walsh says:

    I think many new business owners assume they’ll be instantly successful. Knowing that hard work is what determines my success now and even more so in the future motivates me. These are all great reminders for those starting a business.

  20. Jocelyn says:

    Like any other business, patience and persistence are key. There are so many scams out there it’s unbelievable. Your article is very helpful for those aspiring to be successful online.

  21. Nate Leung says:

    Thank you Jocelyn!

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