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Starting up a business is more about you than the business itself.
Starting up a website is more about you than what your plan is to make money with the site itself. If you can't sit down and work for hours on end to not make a profit or just break even, you may not be cut out to be a business owner. There are plenty of things that I've learned over the years which I wish someone had told me prior to starting up, but I didn't really have a mentor. I learned everything as I went through my day to day process of trying to figure out what worked online and only after a year or two I started to plan everything out. Below are a few points I'd like to cover, which you should read if you plan on starting a business.
If you think being a business owner is easy, you should probably not get into being an entrepreneur lol. Being the CEO of your company means that you make all the decisions and if you happen to make the wrong one, sh*t could hit the fan. You need to be strategic when making plans and doing the work so you can save time and also avoid mistakes.
You Need a Plan
If you're going at your business blindly, you'll usually fail. You need to sit down and write out a 5 year plan and also an exit strategy. Write down what you want to do within your first year whether that's get your website up and running or making your first product, it always has to be profitable within a year or you'll likely be falling behind too far to be successful.
I know that when I started out I didn't make much in my first couple years, but that's when I wasn't planning anything and I still had a full time 9 to 5 job which paid the bills. When I got serious about working online I sat down and wrote out a plan, I actually still have the papers somewhere and I should frame them lol.
You need to know that your plans will change. You usually won't be doing the same thing you thought you'd be doing in 5 years from today. My plan in year 5 was to bring on investors to scale up exponentially, but that didn't happen because by the time year 5 hit I was smart enough to know what works in order to make more sales and then boostrap my profits for more sales. So remember, what your plan today probably won't be exactly the same in the future, but you should try to stick with it
You Need a Lot of Time
Running your own business will be a complete time suck. It will pull all the hours of the day out of your schedule and you likely won't be able to hang out with friends and family as much as you had wanted to. There are programmers who work on websites for 20 hours a day, sleep for 4 hours, then work for another 20. This is because they are designing what they feel is going to be the next facebook, google or youtube. They are working on their own creations and putting their blood sweat and tears into the work in order to make it successful.
If you're unwilling to invest your own time into the business, why would anyone else? If you plan on starting up and just hiring a bunch of staff and managers, you will need to at least train the managers and keep the moral high. If an army saw it's leaders just sitting back and not doing anything, that affects the troops in a negative way. They will think "Why does he get to sit back and relax while we do all the work?" Even if you're paying for everything, your employees will want to see you doing something. So get out there and invest a lot of time into your business and it will likely be successful
You Need Money
When it comes to a startup, you usually need a little bit of an investment. You can use your own money, ask family, ask friends, apply for a credit line or try to get a startup business grant. If you're going to be fully online, you won't need a ton of money before you're ready to go live. If you want to do a brick and mortar type business then you'll need a significant investment and that's usually hard to come by if you're not from a wealthy family.
You will likely need to bootstrap your profits and that means you put in whatever is made through the business. If you make $1,000 your first month, you put that $1,000 back into advertising in order to make even more sales the next month. Only at a certain point do you not have to bootstrap, and that's usually when you can withdraw money while still investing a significant amount and still push you business to success. Think of that point being around $10,000 a month where you get $2,000 to $3,000 and the rest goes back into the business to make even more money.
You Need Help
Going into a startup is a lot of work and will take an enormous amount of time to be successful. To counter that slightly, you'll want to look for a partner to help you out with everything. When I was working 16+ hours a day it was because I was trying to fill orders manually and couldn't set aside any time to try and figure out how to automate it. I reached out to my friend and he partnered up with me to figure out how to automate a lot of the processes I was doing and he did it very well.
I wouldn't have been able to figure it out because I didn't have the time. I brought on my friend, now partner, and he had everything coded up in 2 weeks and then took over what I was doing so I could focus on R&D for the company. He basically set everything up so that he could run campaigns and send campaigns automatically with the click of a button lol. He was working for a few hours a day answering emails and an hour setting up campaigns and sending reports. So instead of working 16+ hours doing what I was, he automated it and did it in an hour.
You don't even need to have someone partner up with you. You can actually just hire VA's (virtual assistants) to help you out with little tasks that are so repetitive that they take up a ton of time. By hiring a VA to do these annoying tasks you will free up yourself to focus on other aspects of your business.
You need a Plan, Time, Money and usually a little bit of Help. Running a business isn't an easy thing, and I want you all to know that if you think these overnight online millionaires weren't working 20 hours a day to make money, you're naive. Bust your @$$ and get out there, but be smart about it so you aren't wasting your precious resources such as time and money. Bring on a partner to lessen your burden or hire a VA to help out, it's up to you. I can't tell you how to run you business, but if you don't listen to what I wrote above, you'll likely fail in the long run.
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