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

Imagine this is your life…

Imagine waking up without an alarm clock, fully rested, energize and excited to attack the day because you get to do exactly what you want to.

No, this isn’t a “day off” from work.  It’s simply another day in your brand new life… and it’s funded by an almost fully automated, profitable online business!

You pick up your phone, open your email and see that while you were sleeping, your business brought in money.

It could be a few bucks or a few thousand bucks.

No, you’re not dreaming… you simply have a business that pays you even while you’re sleeping!

You already told your boss “I can’t afford to work here anymore”.

You only started this venture less than 5 months ago but are already earning enough money to replace you’re full-time income working your online business part-time and you’ve realized how much more you could make.

How does this sound?

  • No more commuting to a job in traffic and spending 40 hours a week at a job.
  • Here is what your new-found freedom allows you to do:
  • You get to spend more time with your family.
  • You’re getting out of debt.
  • You’re excited to travel to the places you’ve always wanted to.
  • You get to go to nice dinners with your spouse and order anything on the menu without looking at the price because you know your business making money for you whether you work or not.

Here’s the bottom line…

  • You’re not living life on your own terms.
  • You’re now investing your time, money and energy into the things that matter to you.
  • Just the fact that you are reading this post proves you have already taken the first step towards becoming an entrepreneur.
  • That first step is simply realizing you can have a better life, more freedom, less stress, and more wealth.

I’m here to help you make that dream a reality.

Since 2011, I leveraged affiliate marketing to create a successful business that allows me to lead the life I want. One of my biggest joys has been teaching this lifestyle business to others.

I can show you how to escape your nine-to-five job and build a six-figure online business without any marketing or tech experience. Some of the tools I use to create this platform include Facebook and social media marketing. I also believe in the power of video marketing. Creating engaging videos that share your story and set you up as an expert in your field.

We are taught from a young age to follow the system: go to school, get a degree, get a job, and stick with it until we retire. Our parents lived this way and so did our grandparents. The educational system teaches us what society knows to be true. They can’t teach what they don’t know, and so the cycle repeats. It’s a self-perpetuating model of mediocrity.

People who break out of this mold are not necessarily smarter; they just think differently. These people are entrepreneurs and they lead the way in economic development.

Even as a child, I knew I wanted to change people’s lives and make money doing what I loved. Though I understood the need for quality education, school never made much sense to me. The school system didn’t teach real-world skills for success. I was a mediocre student, but I didn’t let that deter me from dreaming big. I already knew I was different from my fellow students, who were dreaming no further than their college acceptance letters, and then working for 40 years for someone else before retiring.

This is what I like to call the 40/40/40 plan.

  • Working 40 hours a week…
  • For the next 40 years…
  • Uncle Sam taking 40 percent of your paycheck…

Retirement is age 67.

Life expectancy is 78.

So if you start working at the age of 27 to work for 40 years to be free for 11?

Not a plan I was interested in pursuing.

Back in 2011 working the 40/40/40 plan

This drive to do something different set me apart from my peers. But there’s nothing wrong with being different. I’ve always been a bit of an outcast. I never wanted to be like everyone else. I was happy to be me. And that positive outlook is needed to succeed. Following the same model as everyone else only ensures that you will live someone else’s dream.

As long as you work for someone else, you will never have the freedom to live the life you want. You will always have someone above you who will limit you or situations in the company you can’t control. Most people become comfortable with their jobs, and even if they’re miserable, they won’t change for fear of failure. To them, the stable paycheck is better than living their dreams and being able to control their destiny.

I never knew that entrepreneurship existed until I graduated from college. I only knew that there were many successful people and that I wanted to be like them. I didn’t understand the foundation behind these success stories and making money.

My first exposure to entrepreneurship happened in 1995. I was a high school student, working part-time at a Pizza Hut. I was invited to a network marketing opportunity at a hotel. I didn’t understand the basics of network marketing at the time. I was mystified by the circles being drawn and by people recruiting others to leverage their efforts and distribute products on the front end through direct sales.

Working at Pizza Hut

When I saw how network marketing worked, I was blown away. At the same time, I didn’t have money to invest. I didn’t understand that you needed money to make money. I always assumed I’d get some job, work hard, work my way up the corporate ladder, and make money that way. I left this meeting with a vague sense of what I wanted, but no idea how to get it.

Right after college, in 2001, a friend introduced me to the concept of network marketing again. I was excited, intrigued, and a little scared by the idea. The investment cost me $3000. As a college grad, that was a lot of money. I put it on my credit card and took a leap of faith.

I was only twenty-three at the time. I decided that if I failed, I failed, but I needed to try. That was all that mattered. I didn’t realize how important this attitude would be for my success.

So, I started my first business. I didn’t make enough to cover my initial investment, and after a few months, I quit the business and that left me in debt. I felt frustrated, traumatized, and betrayed by my friend who brought me into this business with promises of success and millions of dollars —promises that now felt false. No one explained to me that this was a long-term opportunity. All I saw was the potential for immediate gains. Even so, I had been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug.

But what, exactly, does it take to become an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are just like everyone else in daily life. They eat, sleep, and put on their pants one leg at a time just like everyone else. The only difference is how they implement their ideas and take action. As an entrepreneur, you look at the business from a different perspective. Instead of relying on hard work and putting in countless hours, you have to think outside the box and find ways to leverage your skills into something bigger.

Many would-be entrepreneurs struggle because they try to figure out systems and marketing strategies that are completely new to them. Or they listen to the wrong advice that leads to mistakes. But in truth, there is no good or bad experience, only knowledge building. You will put in many hours of thought, implementation, and management in your business. Not every hour will be fruitful. You will experience setbacks, make mistakes. That’s all part of the learning curve, but you will figure out the game and catch your stride.

Whether you want to escape your nine-to-five job or simply supplement your income, in the following chapters you’ll find all the information you need in order to design, set up and run your online business. Then, you’ll learn how to create content that will act as the “gasoline” for those “digital vehicles” and grow your business at a rapid rate.

Once we get all those things built, we’re going to talk about how to light a fire underneath everything by driving traffic with Facebook, Social Media, video marketing and Email. All these things will help you become a household name in your industry. All along the way, we’re going to leverage your new celebrity status into getting you new business and putting more money in your bank account every month.

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.

Since my first attempt at starting a business, I have experienced both success and failure. I’ve had more failures than success. And I am as proud of my failures as of my successes. They refined me, not defined me. Success is not a destination. It is a journey. Before I discovered the value of mentors, I struggled as an entrepreneur.

Let this blog post be your first mentor, your first guide on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, and I wish you all the success that I have enjoyed.

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!

1. Start a business that fills a need

Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.

To boost your chances of success, start with a market.

The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:

  • Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they’re trying to solve.
  • Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but don’t have a ton of competition with other sites.
  • Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and created a product for a market that already exists — and do it better than the competition.

2. 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.

3. 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.

A lot of people think there’s something mystical about making money online or they think if you click a few buttons, copy & paste or take a paid survey you can just go back to bed and watch the cash roll in!

Almost everyone (including myself) chases the end result first… the money.

When you do that though without promoting a product with real, tangible value, then you’re building your house on sand and probably won’t ever make any real money.

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.

Do you remember your first job?

Was it easy at first?

Probably not, right?

It takes time to gain the skill sets needed to become successful.

Starting an online business is no different.

Having a good mentor for guidance is important too.

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

4. Earn passive income with affiliate marketing

For 99% of people, affiliate marketing is how they get started.

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another.

The idea behind it is that you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network, earning a commission if people actually end up buying thanks to your marketing.

It’s based on revenue sharing. If you have a product and want to sell more, you can offer promoters a financial incentive through an affiliate program. If you have no product and want to make money, then you can promote a product that you feel has value and earn an income from it as an affiliate marketer.

5. Benefits of becoming an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate programs offer a host of benefits including:

Easy Management

In the case of many affiliate marketing programs, all the marketing material is provided by the merchant. No need to design banners or create links. They just use the merchant-generated content on their marketing channels.

No Financial Risk

What is interesting is that affiliate marketing has almost no financial risk. In many cases, they do not have to invest a single penny in the merchant’s business.

Multiple Sources of Income

If you have free time, you could promote online products and services and increase your income by receiving a commission for the sales. The good thing is that it could work with several affiliate marketing programs to generate multiple income streams.

Easy to Join

You do not need to be a business graduate or expert in order to be a success in affiliate marketing. All you have to do is sign up for an affiliate program and start promoting the products. So the cycle of an affiliate marketing program is: Join, Promote and Earn!

6. The online business model is comprised of several working parts:

  • Traffic and lead generation
  • Sales funnel and automation
  • E-mail marketing
  • Conversions

Good training will help introduce you to these skills. None of them are difficult to learn.

Here is a break down of what each part does:

What is traffic and lead generation?

  • Traffic generation: Marketing and advertising actions to bring people online to your website or online store. Traffic generation is all about generating views on your website. You can track all of this information via Google Analytics. When you go into there, you’ll see the number of page views for your website. The more page views and the more users, the better.
  • Lead generation: Researching specific types of people or companies within your target market, finding their contact information, and reaching out to sell them on using your business or product.

You want to generate leads for your business so you can have more clients and make more money.

In order to do that, you follow these lead generation steps:

  • Identify your perfect customer → let’s say you want eCommerce companies. That’s your target.
  • Research them online. Search for them on Google. Search for them on directories, etc.
  • Get their contact information → email, phone, etc.
  • Reach out to them with a customized pitch inviting them to check out your business and ask questions if they have any.

As a business, it’s smart to have strategies and people focused on both traffic generation and lead generation. Both of them can lead to new customers/clients/sales, but they are different approaches.

What is a sales funnel?

The sales funnel refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products. The definition also refers to the process through which a company finds, qualifies, and sells its products to buyers.

The typical sales funnel is divided into multiple steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model. One of the most common ways of dividing a sales funnel possesses seven phases including:

  • Awareness Phase – in which prospects become aware of the existence of a solution.
  • Interest Phase – in which prospects demonstrate an interest in a product by conducting product research.
  • Consideration Phase – in which prospects or prospect companies examine competitors’ solutions as they inch toward a final buying decision.
  • Intent Phase – is the signal someone is ready to buy.
  • Evaluation Phase – in which prospects or prospect companies examine competitors’ solutions as they inch toward a final buying decision.
  • Purchase Phase – in which goods or services are purchased.

What is e-mail marketing?

At its most basic level, e-mail marketing is the use of e-mail to promote your business. It is used to cultivate relationships with potential customers, keep current customers informed and updated on your brand, offer coupons to encourage customer loyalty, and more!

It is a direct form of marketing, similar to marketing through snail mail, but e-mail marketing is much more efficient for your wallet and for the environment since it’s totally paperless!

E-mail marketing is the lifeblood of any business. It is and is still one of the best ways to move a lead to a prospect, a prospect to a buyer and a buyer to a consistent customer.

E-mail marketing can be used to build trust with customers over time to turn them into repeat customers. It is also an effective way to keep your customers informed about new sales or promotions you are running. People want to stay informed about your brand, and e-mail marketing is one of the best ways to stay engaged with that audience. 

What is a conversion?

A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website completes a desired goal, making a purchase or having them do a certain type of action. The percentage of total visitors that convert is called your conversion rate.

Getting someone to open an email is a conversion. Having them click on the call-to-action link inside that email is another conversion. Going to the landing page and filling out a registration form to read your content is a conversion. And, of course, buying your product is the ultimate conversion.

Ready To Live The Life Of Your Dreams? You need to check this out before it’s too late

7. Find a product people want that pays ‘high-ticket’ commissions

Understand that having a great product isn’t good enough.

Whatever the product is, it’s essential (for a new person especially) to make sure it pays a “high- ticket” commission.

What is high-ticket?

Most people in the industry consider “high-ticket” to mean $1,000 commissions and up (maybe $500 and up but that’s the bare minimum).

This means you would earn at least $1,000 on each and every sale you get.

This is important to you because that profit margin or “breathing room” helps ensure your business can be profitable fast and that you can stay around for the long haul.

Let’s say you wanted to promote a “how-to” info product from an affiliate network. The price is $27 and your commission is $12. With a commission that small though it’s going to be hard to make a full-time income.

Let’s say you needed to make $4,000 per month to replace your salary from your job.  To earn that much selling this product you’d need 333 new customers every single month!

Not an easy thing to do, especially if you’re new to this game…

If you sold high-ticket products like the ones I promote though all you’d need is 3 customers

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve probably looked into various ways of earning extra money from home before. Maybe you even got involved with a multi-level marketing (MLM) program.

Here are the challenges with the MLM business model:

  • Usually low-ticket commissions
  • 60% to 75% attrition rate for distributors in the first year
  • You’re typically only taught how to sell to your family & friends
  • Having to build a massive team (downline) and hoping they actually do the work and make sales just for you to be able to make a decent income

Isn’t it harder to sell a more expensive product?

The truth is the price doesn’t matter as long as the customer believes deep down they are getting more value than the money they’re paying.

It takes the same amount of effort to sell a $29 product as it is to sell a $5,000 product.

Ready To Fire Your Boss? This is how I was able to replace my income

8. Enjoy the journey

There is are a lot of challenges when it comes to working an online business.

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!

Anyone Can Accomplish Success Online. 

There are now over 4 BILLION people using the Internet, regardless of the direction you head online there is a very large number of people there that you can connect with and leverage to create a business online.

Anything NEW Can “Appear” to be Overwhelming at First. 

Like riding a bike, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and even “fall” a few times when getting rolling. Don’t worry, you will quickly get the hang of things! Stick with the journey and you will achieve, and far exceed your goals.

No Technical or Prior Online Business Experience Required. 

If you have the experience that is great, but it is definitely not a requirement. Everything related to online business can be learned and you definitely do not need to be a “techie”.

9. 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.

Success is very cumulative by design. This means that everything you do now, and every step you take will contribute towards your personal success in the future.

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! 😊

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10. 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.

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 online business’.

It’s your turn!

Do you currently have an online business?

If not, are you thinking about starting one?

I would love to hear from you!

Let me know how I can help!

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.

    Laura

    • 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.

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