Obviously, the answer this question is “Yes,” right? Well, uh, no. Actually.
You would think a guy like me would try to convince everyone to start an Internet business so I can snag them as customers of my SEO business. But that’s not the way I do things.
Truth be told, I love doing business online. I think it is fairly safe despite all of the talk about phishing and online payment schemes. If you’re careful, though, e-commerce can be safer than doing business off line. But that’s an aside.
The question asked in the title of this post gets to the heart of passion. Namely, what is yours?
Is Internet Marketing For Everyone?
Internet marketing isn’t for everyone and everyone won’t benefit from running an Internet business. I know, I know, you’ve heard it before … everyone needs a website in order to succeed in business. I don’t think so.
Of course, I think most businesses would benefit from a website, but a website isn’t absolutely necessary in order to succeed in business. A friend of mine decided to start a business and found out that most of his business was coming from online sources. He had been attending a local networking breakfast and did so for a year, but got no business from that commitment. He quit going and put more of his energy into pursuing online relationships. Today his business exists entirely online. Good for him!
It could easily have worked the other way around. What if 90% of my friend’s business was coming from his local relationships, networking breakfast, billboard advertising, etc. and none of it from online? Well, then I’d tell him to focus his energies where his money is coming from. Hey, that’s just business.
How Do You Tell If Doing Business Online Is For You?
The first thing I would tell someone who is thinking about doing business online is to first go up and do some feeling around for your area of interest. Hint: If you do decide to do business online, do business in area that you know and understand and that you have a passion for. One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a new business is doing something they don’t enjoy. You’ll burn out and won’t make any money, which will only discourage you more. If you are successful to any degree, your lack of passion will show through and it will hurt you in the long run.
OK, so back to the discussion …go to message forums, blogs, and other social media sites to see what other people are doing in your area of interest. Ask a few questions about how Internet marketing works. Be sincere and be yourself. You’re only feeling around right now. Ask who the leaders are in your niche. Which websites do people visit for _________________ (fill in the blank). This is an information market study, a necessary step in your business travels.
Next, do a little bit of keyword research. Don’t know what a keyword is? Google it. Before you do anything online you’ll need to learn the terminology and the rules of the game. Don’t just jump in. Find out what people are search for and how they are searching for it. If you want to start an Internet business because someone told you it is easy to do and doesn’t cost much then you aren’t ready for an Internet business. Nor are you ready to take your off line business online. Before you do anything you need to survey the playing field and find out
- If you like being online
- If you feel comfortable in that venue
- Who your competition will be and what they are doing
- Is there an online niche you can fill?
Bottom line: There’s more to starting an online business than just throwing up a website and selling a product. Like any business, you have to plan and that requires starting with research.