The Cornerstones of Successful Internet Entrepreneurship
Why Do So Many Internet Startups Fail Today?
Online marketing is an incredibly strong tool that nearly every company can benefit from.
Marketing your products or service online will help you to reach consumers that you would be unable to reach through normal marketing means. It can help you to increase your image, increase the interest in your company, and increase the traffic to your company.
Everyday out there in the real brick and mortar world, millions and millions of people drag themselves from the warm, warm beds, take a shower, grab a cup of coffee, and head off to their jobs as they are thinking that there has got to be an easier way to make a living.
Every one of those millions and millions of people knows somebody who has quit the ‘get-up-and-go-to-work’ grind and is making a very good living by working on their personal computers from the comfort of their own homes.
Working from home sounds like an ideal solution to them. Many of these dissatisfied souls will quit their jobs and plunge head-first into internet marketing with no preparation, no knowledge of what they are doing, no education, and no hope of success. Failure is their only option and they don’t even suspect.
The fact is that according to many sources, more than 90% (Ninety percent) of all Internet business start-ups end in failure within the first 120 (one hundred twenty) days. Yes, you read that right. NINETY PERCENT!
This failure rate should be a warning to those who are considering trying their hand at making a go of working on the Internet rather than at a job in the brick and mortar world. Of course, success is possible. There IS that other 10% (ten percent) that do succeed. The thing is success doesn’t happen by accident.
And success isn’t just a crap shoot. Success happens because of some very important factors. Success happens because people have the right ideas about internet marketing and how it works. They do not expect to get rich quick or be able to make a killing over night and retire to a tropical isle.
It is strange but some how the same people who wouldn’t dream of starting a real world business, think they can make a go of an internet business even though they have no business background.
People will go into an internet business with the idea that they no longer have to get up and go to work. They think they can simply work when the feel like it and still make a good living. They simply do not expect to have to work hard or work long hours.
Wrong Perceptions about the Internet
The 90% failure rate of new Internet businesses really isn’t all that surprising when you stop to think about the people who are starting internet businesses. For some unknown reason most people think that running a successful internet business is as easy as getting a website built and hanging out an ‘open for business’ sign. They couldn’t be more wrong!
Running a successful internet business of any kind requires self-discipline. People will start an internet business and think that they can party all night, sleep until noon and then make a living in 3 or 4 hours sitting in front of a computer. They somehow think that the world is just going to line up on their website and hand over money. It isn’t going to happen.
Internet businesses do not run on auto-pilot. It is true that well established internet marketing gurus do not have to put in long, tedious hours on their businesses but it is a privilege that that has been earned by putting in a lot of long and tedious hours. It didn’t happen overnight for them and it won’t happen over night for anybody.
Most people are totally unprepared for the time investment that must be made in order for an internet business to become successful.
No Business Background
All businesses have two things in common. They are BUSINESSES and they must be run like businesses! The people who are in charge of a business need to understand the accepted practices of business.
They need to understand simple and basic ideas like acceptable over-head expenses in relation to projected income. Internet entrepreneurs need to understand profit and loss and what constitutes each.
A college degree in business in not essential for an internet business entrepreneur go be successful but it sure wouldn’t hurt. Just some basic business knowledge is absolutely vital. If you have a hard time balancing your personal check book, you probably should keep your day job and forget about starting an internet business.
It is true that you can hire accounting firms that will tell you WHEN you must make tax deposits, for example, but these firms will not be able to tell you IF you need to make them.
Accounting firms can tell you whether or not you made a profit but not how to make it. If you have no business background you need to, at the very minimum, get some good business advice before you even consider opening an online business.
The fact is that all successful businesses operate on sound business principles. Successful businesses aren’t accidents. The proof is in the numbers… only 10% of new internet businesses are successful or are even still in existence after the first 120 days of operation. It is not even reasonable to expect to make a profit from a new business enterprise for many, many months.
You must have sufficient resources available to not only launch your business but provide for your own personal needs for an extended period of time. It’s called ‘capital’ and there is no way around the need for enough of it.
The Right Mindset Just Isn’t There!
You have most likely heard the phrase, ‘He has an attitude!” This is usually a derogatory remark made about a person with a disagreeable attitude. But the word ‘attitude’ is an important one when discussing internet marketing start-ups. A good attitude…a good mind set can’t insure success but a bad attitude and a bad mind set can certainly guarantee failure.
Here are some wrong attitudes that will absolutely guarantee failure:
1. I can work when I want to. Wrong, wrong, wrong! You can’t just work when you feel like it. You have to expect to put in many long and very tedious hours of very hard work to make a new internet enterprise succeed.
2. I can get rich quick! You couldn’t be more wrong and you are not only wrong but you are putting yourself in danger as well. There are bazillions of crooks out there on the internet who are waiting for their next easy mark and if you are looking for a quick way to get rich, you ARE the next mark.
It is possible to make a very comfortable living with internet marketing enterprises but if anybody ever tells you it is quick or easy, they are lying to you.
3. I don’t need a business plan. There you are…wrong yet again. Internet business is still business. All of the same business principles apply to online business as apply to brick and mortar business. It is imperative that you have a plan for success that is based upon these sound business principles.
4. When you have an internet business of your own, you don’t have a boss. Wrong again! You are your boss. If you aren’t a good boss who sees to it that work is accomplished on time and in full, you will doom yourself to certain failure. Unless you are a boss who sets up a working schedule and establishes goals that must be met, you will find yourself working at a job under a boss who does do those things and maybe for minimum wage.
How You Can Avoid Joining the Failing Masses
The thing about starting a business…any business…..is that there is no guarantee of success under any circumstances. Even big international businesses can fail at new business ventures. Failure is always an option but the possibility of success can be optimized.
You can optimize the possibility of success by:
1. Having a good solid business plan in place BEFORE you launch your online business. There is an old saying: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. A detailed set of plans for success needs to be made. You need to have the steps from getting from point A to point B listed in great detail that include realistic cost estimates for accomplishing each step.
2. Expecting to work very hard to accomplish your goals. You must never expect anything to be easy. You will be right most of the time because things are rarely as easy as they look. Each step toward success requires work, time and patience. Sometimes things don’t work out right on the first try. You have to be willing to try again and again until you do succeed.
3. Not falling for ‘get-rich-quick schemes. The internet woods are full of those who prey upon those who are looking for quick and easy ways to become rich. Those ways do not exist. Get over thinking that there is an easy way. There is NOT.
Remember those statistics! Ninety percent of all new internet businesses fail in the first 120 days. You don’t have to be part of that majority. You can become a part of that 10% minority of successful internet business enterprises.
The Cornerstones of Successful Internet Entrepreneurship
Running a successful internet business can look so simple when you are on the outside looking in. You look at a successful internet entrepreneur and he doesn’t look like he is doing anything special but he is living the good life. It really doesn’t look like he is working all that hard. He seems to be enjoying life immensely.
Really…all he is doing is sitting comfortably in front of his own computer in his own very comfortable home a few hours a day. He talks on the telephone and seems to be enjoying every conversation.
Apparently, running a successful internet business is the proverbial ‘piece of cake’! Right? WRONG!!! Wrong, wrong, wrong!
You are looking at the results of a very, very long and tedious process that consisted of many very long, late-night hours and a lot of blood, sweat and tears over a period of several years. This successful internet entrepreneur worked very, very hard for the success that you are looking at.
It is more than a little bit likely that he first placed four corner stones first as he began the long process of building his successful Internet business. Those four corner stones upon which he built his success are:
1. The right mind set.
2. Recognizing and using leverage.
3. Building a set of useful contacts.
4. And he probably had a mentor.
We will discuss these four corner stones that must be laid down first so that a successful internet business can be constructed.
All of them are important, even crucial to the success of any business but especially to the success of an internet based business.
Constructing a successful business in cyber space has many things in common with the building of a successful brick and mortar business but there are significant differences as well.
Having the Right, Healthy Mindset
The success of any business both of the online variety as well as the off line variety require the right mindset from the get-go.
A right and healthy mind set will not guarantee success but a wrong and unhealthy or unrealistic mindset will most assuredly guarantee failure. So the right mind set is the first corner stone that must be laid upon which a successful business can be constructed.
What is a right and healthy mindset?
There are things that it is as well as things that it isn’t. A right and healthy mindset IS the willingness to work as hard and as long as is necessary to achieve the goals that has been set. A right and healthy mindset ISN’T the belief that success will be easy, quick or painless.
Those who believe that they can make an internet business enterprise thrive without having to actually put in any time or effort are simply doomed to failure from the beginning.
There are schemers and scammers out there in cyberspace that are just waiting eagerly for those to come along who are looking for easy riches. A right and healthy mindset IS the willingness to take the time to make a good, solid business plan that is based upon sound business principles.
A right and healthy mindset ISN’T just jumping in feet first and hoping for the best. The best that can happen under those circumstances is that you get out with anymore than two cents to your name.
Flying by the seat of your pants’ is NOT a plan…it is just plain suicide in the world of internet marketing. If you don’t have a formal education in business, you need to find people who do have that kind of education and seek then follow their advice.
Recognizing and Using Leverage
There are dozens…maybe hundreds….of business models out there. Some are, of course, more successful than others but they all come with their own set of pros and cons. The idea is to get the most bang for the buck. You need to use all of the power of the Internet to make your e-business successful. You really cannot afford to leave any stone unturned.
If you are a real go-getter, the temptation is to do everything first and that isn’t possible. You need to make a realistic plan and build one thing upon another until you have a good solid base from which to operate. Once you get a website built, you will need to begin leveraging SEO (search engine optimization) and gaining page rank.
One thing does lead to another, of course, but one of the quickest ways to leverage SEO is to add a blog to your website. This is a way that you can get much more quickly indexed by the search engines.
Leveraging also includes branding yourself, your website and your products. One of the quicker ways to begin to get yourself branded is by investing in PLR (Private Label Rights) products and changing the names of those products to include your own name or logo. (Don’t forget that there must be some rewriting done.) This is probably the quickest way to become branded as well as gain credibility on the internet.
For example: you might buy a PLR E-Book about Easy Dog Training and change the name to ‘John Doe’s Easy Dog Training Methods’. You can sell the book, give it away as a free gift on your own website or list it in E-Book repositories for others to use.
Remember that reputation and credibility are everything on the internet. Don’t take any shortcuts and never damage or allow others to damage either.
It Is Not What You Know, But Who You Know
That is an old saying. “It is not What you know, but Who you know that counts”.
Setting a corner stone of good solid relationships is an important aspect of building a successful e-enterprise. Working hard at building good solid business relationships is worth every minute of time that you invest in it. Business relationship building should be one of your top priorities.
When you build social relationships, you insert yourself into social situations where you come in contact with people who have interests that are similar to or complimentary to your own interests don’t you?
That is precisely the same way that business relationships are established. You insert yourself into business situations where you will meet others who have businesses that are similar to or complimentary to your own business. You develop relationships over a period of time.
There are several ways in which to accomplish this task. One way is to participate in teleseminars or webinars that are related to your business.
You will learn a lot, of course, but equally important, you will come in contact with those who are already succeeding in the niche market that you are working in. Of course, attending real brick and mortar world seminars is an even better way to begin to build friendly business relationships with not only your peers but also with those who are in a position to help you….which brings me to the final corner stone that you need to lay.
Find a Capable Mentor
It isn’t likely that there is a more valuable asset that a new e-entrepreneur can have than a good and capable mentor. Someone who has already made all of the mistakes can help you to avoid making all of the mistakes yourself. They have the wisdom that comes from experience to point out pitfalls and to help direct you toward the better of choices.
Why, you ask, would anyone who has it made want to take their time to help a newbie succeed?
Maybe I can answer that by telling you about my friend who is an accomplished musician. He played with some of the biggest stars in the business. He is a very, very fine guitarist who is now in his 70’s.
He has about three young guitarists that he spends many hours not only teaching how to play but counseling them on career choices. I asked him why he spent so much time doing that and he said, “It is like gaining immortality. If I teach them and they teach others, then what I know lives forever.” Successful internet marketers want that ‘immortality’ as well. The ones who are the very most successful are the ones, amazingly enough, who are the most likely to mentor an up and coming e-entrepreneur.
Of course, these successful internet marketers are not going to be interested in wasting their time on a person who has not already worked hard to lay those first three corner stones themselves.
These potential mentors are looking for new comers who show that they have a right and healthy mindset, who are working hard at leveraging and who are well aware of how important it is to know all the players and the RIGHT people.
In short, the newcomer most likely to get a mentor is one who is already working hard and helping himself and not looking for someone who can just smooth the way for him.
The Key to Continuous Growth and Expansion
Grow or die! This is one of the laws of nature that applies to all living things. All business lives by this law as well. A business cannot begin, grow to a certain point and then simply remain at that point and continue to thrive. Growth and expansion are necessary for the business to survive and if that growth and expansion do not happen then the business will fade and die or crash and burn.
Growth and expansion of business must be controlled by the business owners or managers. If growth is too slow, the business lags behind the competition. If growth is too fast, the business can easily become over extended. A steady controlled growth is the ideal. Of course, the ideal and the reality are sometimes two very different things.
Sometimes the terms ‘growth and expansion’ are a bit misunderstood. The most obvious meaning of both terms is to get bigger and broader but those meanings are not the only ones that apply.
Growth, for example, can mean gaining knowledge and becoming wiser and expansion can mean broadening the knowledge base from which a company operates. A small internet based company does not have to grow and expand until it becomes a giant multi-national company in order to survive but the owners and managers of these internet businesses do have to grow by getting smarter and expand by welcoming change with open arms.
Nothing ever just stays the same. Change is the only certainty in the world. What was hot or what worked yesterday is old news today and it will be ancient history tomorrow.
Companies and company owners and managers must grow with and adapt to changes as they happen and on the internet changes happen a lot faster than they do out in the brick and mortar world. We all agree that growing, adapting and expanding is vital to the survival of any business and maybe especially to Internet business. So the question is:
What is the key to growth and expansion of internet based businesses?
When brick and mortar businesses grow and expand, they build bigger buildings and hire more employees but that isn’t exactly an option for an internet based business. The key to growth and expansion of an internet based business is for the business owner or manager to always and continuously invest in them.
They must be willing to stay on the cutting edge of technology and they must be willing to accept and adapt to changes as they occur.
Internet businesses are not buildings. Internet businesses are people. An internet business cannot grow by investing in a larger building. It only grows when the person who is driving that business invests in his or her own knowledge and ability. An internet business cannot expand by investing in hiring more people. An internet business expands when the person who is driving it invests in himself or herself.
The bottom line is this: The key to continuous growth and expansion of an internet based business is continuous investments being made in the owner or manager of the business. The short answer:
Invest in yourself. Invest in Yourself
You have no doubt heard this refrain many times.
“Invest in yourself! Invest in yourself! Invest is yourself!”
But what does ‘invest in yourself mean’?
Does it mean you should go out and invest in a haircut that costs two hundred bucks?
Does it mean that you should go by yourself a designer suit?
What does it mean to invest in yourself?
Well, if you can afford it, go get that haircut and buy that designer suit but that is not the kind of investment that we are talking about here. Your internet business is just you, your computer and your internet connection and you could actually operate your internet business from any commuter on the planet that had an internet connection.
So basically, your business is really only you. Your business is based only upon your own knowledge and your own ability. Those are the ‘company’ assets and those are the ones that need to grow and expand constantly so that your internet business thrives.
Here is a rule that you might want to live by to insure that your internet business is a success and continues to be a success: Invest 5% of your time and income into improving yourself.
Expansion and growth are imperative to survival, and expansion and growth of an internet business means expanding and growing the knowledge of the person running the company…that would be YOU!
A tiny investment of only 5% of your time and your income per year in yourself can mean that you will continue to see positive monetary returns for many, many years to come.
You might be sitting there shaking your head and still wondering what is meant by a 5% time and income investment per year in yourself. What is meant is that you must expand your knowledge.
You must stay on top of new technological advancements and you must expand your knowledge base about your own area of expertise. Things change fast. New information becomes available on almost everything under the sun every day of the week.
It is very, very easy to fall behind very, very quickly. And unless you consciously put forth the effort to stay on top of things you will most certainly fall behind. Keeping up is easier than catching up and if you keep up, you can usually find a way to forge ahead.
Yes, you are so busy right now that you could use 48 hour days but taking just about one hour per day out of the 24 that you are allotted and only $5 out of every hundred dollars that you earn and investing that time and money in yourself can increase your future earnings a hundred fold.
There are newsletters, webinars, teleseminars and real brick and mortar seminars that can provide information and cause your knowledge to grow and expand so that your business can also grow and expand but you must be willing to invest in yourself so that you can take advantage of this information…learn it…and apply it to your own internet business.