The Internet is amazing place. Only online can unicorns go in search of Candy Mountain, babies dance their hearts out, and cats can LOL. With the Internet we can connect with friends we haven’t spoken to in 20 years. And we can meet new amazing people every day. Because of all of these amazing things the Internet can do, it’s no surprise that many small business owners think the Internet can perform magic for their small business. However, what many fail to realize is often starting a business on the Internet can be more challenging than starting one off-line.
It seems almost on a weekly basis I’m approached by a local small business to help build their Internet presence, and, every now and then, by an individual without a business that dreams of riches from the information superhighway. Both of these parties are looking for a simple solution to making money and think the Internet is their answer. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet that can build a business or increase wealth.
3 Common Myths About Doing Business Online
It’s cheap. I will admit that often times opening an off-line brick-and-mortar business can be costly and can result in higher overhead for long-term growth. However, if you are a budding Internet entrepreneur with absolutely no experience in web development, design, or marketing then you can expect to make a substantial initial investment to get your business started. I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. There are many ways to start a business online for little money, but the probability of success is extremely slim because most of the cheap strategies rely on amateur labor and substandard services.
It’s easy. If you build it, they will come only works in cheesy Kevin Costner films. Whether you are building a business on the Internet or off-line, you will be required to constantly market and promote your organization in order to grow. We see this attitude many times within the SEO community where business owners will build a website and automatically assume it’s a part of Google. Sophisticated SEO and Internet marketing firms spend millions a year to promote their clients’ businesses. Oftentimes an off-line business success is dependent on its location. However on the Internet, location is nonexistent. On the Internet, promotion can make or break a business.
It’s highly lucrative. Most with experience will tell you that 95% of Internet startups fail with the first year of existence. Many of the 5% that survive barely generate enough revenue to keep the business self-sustaining. Very few are purchased as part of an acquisition. The truth is that most successful Internet entrepreneurs have failed dozens of times prior to making it big. It takes years of experience to understand what works and what doesn’t online.
So now you see there is no magic secret to wealth on the Internet. Like all successful business endeavors it requires time and hard work. But in the end, whether you have succeeded or failed you’ll learn skills and gain experience that far surpass those that have never tried anything at all.
Photo by Chris Walton