I would suggest that it is a slow and challenging path for anyone starting out as an e-business entrepreneur. Once you have completed your apprenticeship though, it becomes so much easier and you will then see cumulative growth. If you have read Darren Hughe's book 'The Compound Effect", you will understand how it works, just building on your knowledge little by little over time will result in huge growth down the track. Keep this in mind when starting out as sometimes the initial learning stages can seem slow and that's when many people give up. Don't be one of them.
There are countless ways of starting an internet business, but some of the basic first steps are universal. Firstly; develop a plan, it doesn't have to be a proper business plan, but more of an outline of what you wish to achieve and some of the steps necessary to get there. Over time you may make many changes to this plan, and that's okay, that's what happens as you develop your ideas and refine your thinking.
Develop a budget. This is crucial as you will have expenses such as web hosting, purchasing of a domain name, outsourcing of some of projects, don't try and do everything yourself. You need a marketing budget, a lot of marketing can be done for free and I would recommend that you explore the free avenues first, especially social media such as Facebook and Pinterest, however, I would suggest that you look at paid advertising as well. Initially it takes a while for your business to gain traction and attract a stream of customers if you only rely on organic listings on Google or your business Facebook page.
You will need to invest in tools to automate your business. It may be okay to personally reply to email subscribers initially but once your email list starts growing you don't want to be replying individually. It's a waste of valuable time. You need to look at subscribing to an email provider such as Mailchimp, Convertkit, Aweber, Infusionsoft or Actionetics if you are using Clickfunnels. Mailchimp seems to be a popular one for entrepreneurs just starting out. It has a free and paid version. You will get by okay with the free version, however, I understand that once you opt for the paid version, you won't want to go back to the free one.
Depending on the type of website you use, there could be costs involved for extra plugins. This seems to be an issue for Wordpress users. I use Weebly as it is streamlined with all the features I need. It is very straightforward and you don't need to worry about extra plugins.
Finally, I want to mention creating a system. Successful entrepreneurs systemise their businesses. You can do this through paying for someone's course and learning how to do it their way. There are many good courses available from successful internet marketers. Choose wisely though, research the different courses available and then decide which one suits you best. You could expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $650 or even up to $2000 for some of these courses. I would suggest that you carry our your research first and decide on which seems the best fit for you. Don't be pulled in by marketing tactics such as 'buy now at this price, as price doubles tomorrow.'
The other way to create a system is through trial and error. There is nothing wrong with this manner of building your business, it may just take you longer. Weigh up the pros and cons and go with what seems best for you. The important thing is to always take action. Don't procrastinate on making your decisions. Once you have done your research, decide and act. Then move on to the next stage.
To all the new apprentices out there, I hope this has been helpful and hasn't put you off. Enjoy your apprenticeship.
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