A bit of honest and insightful advice for starting a small business in any niche: The things I wish I knew to begin with.
6 Practical Tips for Starting a Small Business Online
Ready for some good tidbits about starting a small business (or, shoot, just a profitable side gig)? Here are a few things I wished I’d known from the start when I started my online business in 2009. I’ve learned so much over the past 13 years:
- Do YOU. No one can run your business like you do, or can make it as successful as you can – even an expert. The passion has to come from within YOU and drives your success. Find out what works for you, do what you enjoy, and contract out or delegate to someone else those things that don’t work for you or what you simply don’t enjoy. Figure out what you do best, and build your business on that first and foremost.
- Don’t compare your business to others. Similar to #1, your business is YOURS – not theirs. You will do things differently, and that’s ok. If you see something someone else is doing successfully, and you think it might work for you, too, then learn more about it and try it out. But don’t assume they are doing it the only right way. There are many avenues to success, and there is always room for more than one business in your niche. Find ways that you meet the needs of your customers/clients that are unique to you. Your growth will always look different, too.
- Find tech that works for you. There are so many apps and software that help businesses in each niche. As you begin to earn profits, invest in technology and software to make your daily work easier. It’s a wise investment and will ultimately help you scale over time! (wondering what technology might help you? Reply to this email, and I’m happy to help you decide!)
- Reputation. You have to be seen as the authority in what you do. Word of mouth is better than any paid advertising. But paid advertising works too! I built a client base solely from word of mouth from about 2014 until just this year. I didn’t even have a Facebook page or Instagram until this summer, and I still post very little on them. But when someone in my niche needs something, everyone knows who to reach out to, and everyone knows who to recommend!
- Multiple income-producing endeavors. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you have one big product that you sell, for instance, that’s great, but what will you do if it stops selling? Do you have other sources of income, such as a profitable email list or a course that provides income as well? Always plan ahead for the future because online business changes almost daily. Similarly, find ways to target customers in various places – don’t focus on just one: Word-of-mouth advertising isn’t always consistent, so invest a little time in social media or networking groups. If your business finds 100% of your customers on Facebook, but you don’t have an email list, what will you do if Facebook stops working for you? Always have multiple sources of revenue for your business because it’s very likely what you’re doing now won’t work the same in 2-3 years.
- Have a support network. Being an entrepreneur is hard, and those who aren’t in it don’t understand what you do. It can feel lonely, and there will be days when you feel like you’re failing. Find other business-building friends who see the value and worth of what you are passionately providing to your customers and clients and who can cheer you on during the inevitable times when you need validation, support, and encouragement.
Any of those in particular surprise you? Consider why, and start thinking of ways in which you can use these insights as you begin your own small business.
P.S. – If you ever need website tech support, please reach out to us here at Impressions Media! We are happy to help with:
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We are always here for you to help you create a remarkable business presence online!
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