Thinking of starting up your own ecommerce website? Here are some cardinal rules that you should follow if you want to create a successful online business.
1) Always tell the truth
I've seen in happen far too often where people get excited about starting a new business online and before they know it all that excitement goes to their head. Next thing they know they begin to actual state things and make promises on their website about their product or service that are untrue. Sometimes justifying it with excuses such as, "If I could just make enough money then I'll improve that", or "I'll add that feature later", or "I'll fix that when the time comes", or "no one will notice."
So please don't fall into that trap. Never ever sacrifice your integrity in the pursuit of wealth as it will almost inevitably backfire in the long run. Always tell the truth in your marketing. Making what you offer sound exciting is one thing, but making it exciting through shear lies is another.
Just remember if you want to be able to claim something grander than what your product or service really is, then it's time to actually make it into that grand thing you're envisioning by doing the work, or hiring the right people to do the work for you. Don't "fake it, till you make it" - rather, just roll up your sleeves, do the work, and make it happen!
So never lie to others online, in your marketing, about your product or service and I guarantee you'll steer clear of problems such as: people bad mouthing you online, complaining about you, ruining your name, doing refunds and charge backs, law suits, police and government intervention, people hacking you, or worse.
You really can do far more business, better, and for the longer term, with a clear conscious and actually achieve higher income and a much better reputations, than you ever will by cutting corners, and telling lies. So keep that in mind when you're building your business and website. This is something you want to pass onto your kids one day with pride and joy, no a skeleton you have to hide in your closet!
2) Don't be evil
Be extra careful when considering what products and services you plan to render in the market place. When you've narrowed down what products and services you're considering selling or endorsing, be certain that the product isn't going to harm anyone.
Often when someone's just starting out in business in can be so easy to start selling something unknowingly realizing the harm it could be causing.
So be sure to carefully think out the long term effects that any type of product or service you decide to promote is going to have. Because it's going to effect your customers in some way, it's going to effect their families and friends, it's going to effect society as a whole, and it's going to effect you, your reputation, and your family and friends. Most people don't realize that but it's true.
Also be sure that any business decision you decide to undertake, whether it be a marketing tactic or a partnership or key decision, falls in line with this principal to "do no harm". The net is riddled with businesses that are profitable but yet actually do harm to others. Sometimes people try to justify things to themselves, or pass the blame onto the end users, but ultimately the responsibility falls on your shoulders, as you know, prior to selling your items, more than your end users as to what the effects are going to be for them (this includes affiliate programs you want to promote).
You got to find a business that you can look yourself in the mirror with out a guilty conscious. And if you're in a business that already gives you a guilty conscious then why not look at other businesses, selling, redeveloping, or other ways to get out from your present situation. There's a heavy price to be paid by getting involved in anything that doesn't meet with this principal. On the light side of things you're only dealing with minor issues such as a guilty conscious or minor complaints, but in the worst case scenario you could end up facing major, major problems if you get wrapped up in the wrong type of business, such as: government intervention, law suits, criminal charges, abusive clients, your reputation being ruined, or worse.
By simply finding a business that "serves the greater good" you'll be able to have a long term business that you can feel great pride in working on each day and that with have a much longer useful life that you can one day even hand down to your kids with pride and joy.
3) Rome wasn't built in a day
Although you do want to get off the launch pad as quick as possible, Rome wasn't built in a day. Your website and project is going to take time. It's going to take time to refine your business skills, get elements of the business set up, advertise and eventually start to take orders. So you're objective needs to be to work on studying and applying the knowledge you're gaining a little "each" and "every day" over the next year. By doing that you'll assure your success. Alternatively I know that some people are in a urgent rush to get started. That's understandable.
However, just like anything in life through study, commitment, and perseverance you will prevail. As long as you're taking baby steps in the right direction, just a little bit each day, over the course of a year all those baby steps will grow into reaching some basic objectives, such as perhaps replacing the income from your job, or learning all the basics to own and operate your internet business. It can and will happen but it takes time. So please be patient. Don't look at the whole picture. Just look at each small part. Eventually your confidence will grow and in no time you'll be well on your way to online business success. So please give it time.
4) Make Time
Commit 2 hours each day to your new ecommerce website. Listen, there's so few legitimate "get rich quick" scheme's out there. Although it's true you can get rich faster online than many conventional businesses it's still going to take daily effort. That means finding at least 2 hours out of your busy day to commit to your website.
5) Be committed
Be prepared to commit a full year to this new career move in your life. Listen, if you think you're going to just get online and somehow pull off a successful website project in a month or two or three, you're kidding yourself. Even I'd be hard pressed to make something happen in that time frame. I give myself at least a year on new projects and you should to. You could devote 8-12 hours a day to a project if you don't have anything else on your day to day schedule but even then you run the risk of burning yourself out. So please be prepared to devote 2 hours each day for a full year to this. And by the time one year is up I guarantee you'll be online in business and taking steady orders daily!
6) Why re-invent the wheel?
You don't have to reinvent the wheel online either. You don't need to necessarily come up with the most revolutionary online product or service to ever hit the net. In fact most of the boring mundane businesses you don't think much of are the ones making a great deal of the money online. If you can figure out the next eBay or HOTorNOT you could quickly be on your way to easy street. But the safer bet is actually just finding an industry online that you know is working.
- Research that industry, find out what your competitors and the successful people do in that industry and model that success.
- Another approach is to just find a successful affiliate program. Join, and start heavily promoting it. That's another way to almost guarantee your success because someone else has already refined and perfected the business model for you. All you have to do is promote their products or services and you get paid each time you refer a successful sale to them. The best part is that many of the programs out there these days are paying out sizable amounts of there profits per sale to their affiliates
- One last point is this. Can you make a better hamburger than McDonald's? Most people would agree that "Yes, they could make a better tasting burger at home". But could you distribute billions of burgers like McDonald's has done? The point is that you do not, repeat, do NOT need to have the "absolute best product". Although, you're product should be of high quality, and competitive in the marketplace, more importantly you need to be sure that you have the "best delivery system". The more people you get the product out to the more money you make and the more people you help. What good is it if you spend all your time developing what you think is "the best product" if you then have no time left to advertise, or you get burnt out in the process, and nobody ends up knowing about your product, buying it, or benefiting from it? Therefore you don't have to reinvent the wheel. But you must be sure to get your item out there for people to buy. You must have a good delivery system. And that's another reason why I recommend my affiliate program because you could get the best of both worlds.
7) Have the right approach
The way you approach this new career move in your life will most certainly shape it's outcome. So you should really try to look at this as your "new career" in life. Career's don't happen overnight. They take years of dedication to become successful in. This is not another "get rich quick scheme" unfortunately as get rich quick scheme's rarely work, or last. So think of this as a field of endeavor that you're prepared to spend the next year in, if not 3 to 5 years. Think of it as your new career in life, or one that you're going to start working on in your spare time until you're earning enough income so that you can do it full time, and soon after that even retire off.
8) Positive Reinforcement
Now here's a really important key secret. This might sound crazy, and you might even laugh or smirk when you here it, in fact you might not even believe it will work, but I want you to do this for me anyway.
- I want you to not only think your going to one day become rich, but I want you to actually tell yourself everyday that you're in fact rich right now.
- You can start by affirming 2 things to yourself everyday which are: "I'm a successful internet millionaire." And "I earn $1000 (or more, but not less) per day through my own successful internet business."
- If you're goal is to become wealthy through your own internet website then you honestly have to do two things: First: Start to change the way you spend your time working which you'll be doing as you'll finally be "working smarter" by running your own website. Second: You also have to start to change the way you think about your ability to earn and your existing financial mind frame and mental associations. The only way to do that is to begin actually affirming to yourself that "it is possible for me." Without that deep inner belief that you can become rich and change your situation you'll probably end up reverting back to doing what you're use to in order to make a living (i.e.: your 9 to 5).
- Here's what you need to realize about yourself and life… Right now you are the exact sum total of your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. If you don't change your beliefs about what you're use to earning, then you might be setting yourself up to fail. So even if it's not true yet, affirm those positive mantras to yourself each and every day. Your mind is very much like a computer, it simply takes in your thoughts and processes them. And everything you currently believe about yourself right now your mind has helped to manifest in your life. Whether that belief is positive or negative your mind has still done the work of helping to manifest that for you based on the programming you've given it over the years, and ultimately leading to the choices you've made. Now it's time to reprogram you mind for success by using affirmations as your programming language.
- You must make this true for you in regard to business and earnings as well. That means you're currently "hard-wired" into perhaps thinking something like: JOB=40 hours per week X $'s per hour = biweekly pay check. That means if you need money you're brain is going to tell you to work harder and or find a job. It's not going to tell you "work harder and smarter on your ecommerce project." So you have to condition yourself to start thinking differently about how to earn money.
- You have to believe it before you can see it. And some of you might have a real challenge with this, but it's not hard, just open you mouth and say the affirmations. You might not believe them at first. But say them every day 100 times each for 3 months and you'll soon start to think differently.
- Also start to doubt what you're use to earning. Start to place doubts in your mind on what you're use to doing each day for a living. I.e.: "I doubt that my current career is going to last, because soon I'm going to be making $1000 per day in my exciting new career in ecommerce." Or "I doubt that I'm financial challenges are going to last much longer because I'm dedicating myself to building my new business which is going to earn me $1000 dollars per day." Remember you have to start working on changing your beliefs and your existing mental programming if you plan to be successful.
9) Build cautiously, but fast
I know I talked a lot about how you want to think of this long term as far as this being a career move. That is true, but you also want to build your site and ecommerce business fast. The reason is that it gives you the momentum you need to keep going. It also allows you to get something basic online and open for business which you can continue to refine as your taking orders. Although I don't recommend trying to complete your own website from scratch in a day, which would probably be a pretty crappy and ugly website, I also don't recommend taking anymore than 3 months to build a site (not including the making of a product or service). And 3 months would mean you're developing an average multi page site selling a new product or service that you've developed from the ground up. If it's going to end up taking you longer than 3 months to build a site, I urge you to either hire a company to build it for you who could get it done in 3 months, or join an affiliate program which will get you into business and profit immediately or else find a smaller website project to start on.
I've seen it all too often that someone new gets excited about starting a site, they end up dabbling with it and do it like a hobby which ends up taking them over a year to complete just the site! They finally get there website completed and open for business only to perhaps discover that their offer just doesn't pull any orders for some reason or other. Or they're burnt out from working on building the site for so long and have no more motivation to begin advertising it.
10) Plan out your day
Plan out each day of study or work on your new website project. Before you start each of your daily 2 hour sessions you should have either a detailed or generalized idea written out on your day timer of what you're going to be working on. For those of you who don't have a day timer you can either download a free software program and or get a physical one to use and carry around. For example it could be as simple as: writing out 10 of the most important things you need to do for that day. You should at least have a clear written idea of where your daily time is being spent. If you want to run a business you have to get organized and prioritized.
11) Map out your goals
Spend some time mapping out your one year goals and plan. Each of your 2 hour planned study/work sessions should be part of your one year plan. For example you could break this down into phases and then break it down even further into monthly, weekly and even daily tasks that will ultimately equate to helping you to achieve your one year goal.
12) The 80/20 rule
The principle that 20 percent of something are always responsible for 80 percent of the results. If you really want to achieve something monumental within a year and you are willing to apply 2 hours per day to making it happen then you're going to have to decide where is that 2 hours best spent. For some of you who already have skills and experience with website design and developing a home business, then you might have an idea or industry that you already want to pursue, use your skills and go after it.
However, if you're completely new to the world of ecommerce and you want to simply get into business, start earning money almost immediately, and maximize the limited amount of productive time you have to spend each day on this, then I highly recommend you read chapter 2 right away which will show you a plan for getting started and opening your own website within 48 hours. The reason I recommend this approach is because rather than waiting up to 3 months to just to get a new website online, you could be online and taking orders in just 48 hours and start to see profits as soon as next week. And once the money starts flowing in it will motivate you to continue advertising, which is going to produce the majority of your results.
13) Over-promise and Over-deliver
Offer and deliver so much that your product or service becomes irresistible. But whatever you do just don't lie about what you're offering. Just be sure that you're end product or service is set up in a way where your customer is "wowed" by it so much that they go out and tell all their friends and family. And before you offer your product ask yourself: "is this something that I'd tell all my friends about because it's so impressive?" If not, then go back to the drawing board and improve your product or service even more so that when you begin to sell it, it over delivers in quality and performance. I know this is somewhat contrary to what I said earlier but really it's not. See the world of business is extremely competitive. That being said, ideally you want to have the better hamburger and the better delivery system. Not just one or the other.
So for example don't waste a year developing a better hamburger. It's totally not worth your time. Just find someone who already has the best hamburger, and start promoting theirs! The only way you want to reinvent the wheel is if you have something that could be monumentally groundbreaking, and you have the time, energy and resources to pursue that kind of good idea. Just remember though there are graveyards full of "good ideas" that never were completed and never made it to market because people got burnt out, ran out of money, and the reasons are endless.
This is why often for the average person, it's better to leverage your situation by finding someone who already has a great product and promoting theirs via an affiliate program. Or if you're going to do it yourself from scratch then find a great product, and evolve it the next level without wasting too much time "reinventing it". For example airplanes were improved on by adding the jet engine. Fortunately they did that rather than wasting another 100 years trying to reinvent it by developing a "Star Trek Teleportor". You get the picture.
14) Educate yourself
The internet is continually changing. That's why for example I'll be updating this page regularly. But the same is true for just about any industry out there. If you're not growing or innovating then you're probably going downhill. So be the expert or best at whatever it is you do by continuing to educate yourself through books, courses, CD's, videos, seminars, classes or whatever you can get your hands on. It's the best return on investment you'll find.
15) Small fish - Big pond
If you're new to ecommerce and your starting a site for the first time then I got to tell you, you're going to be a small fish in a big pond. The last thing I want to do is discourage you in anyway, because by reading articles like this one, you're already further ahead than 99% of the dreamers out there. You're someone who's willing to do the research and make it happen. But I got to tell you that if you're thinking of starting your own site for the very first time then I won't lie by not telling you that the odds are not staked in your favor. It is estimated that 75% of businesses fail in the first 3 years, then another 75% of those those than succeeded fail in the next 3 years.
16) Focus on "high yield"
Focus on developing a website that will be "high yield". If you wanted to decisively win a race and you could choose any vehicle you wish to win that race, which would you choose – A "Bicycle", or a "Race Car"? My goal that I'm hoping for you is to see you retire in the next 3-5 years off your website. And hopefully allowing you to start working full time from home within the next 6-12 months. The way to do this is to forget the hobby sites, forget the things that you think are "neat-doe" and focus on the most high yield product or service you can deliver. Find out what the marketplace needs and fill that need.
Save the hobby sites for your spare time, and focus your energy on finding a niche market that can make you rich. Then once you're rich and retired you'll have plenty of time to work on those hobby sites and topics of interest to you. Right now though you want to choose the most "high yield" vehicle you can possible develop. You're building a race car so you want to develop a powerful money making engine that will propel you toward riches and success. The way to do that is so simple, all you have to do is start to "THINK BIG", think "high yield" in your approach. For example, why sell a product that generally sells for at $5 per sale, when you could find or develop a product, that would be of equal interest to a different target market which you could sell for $5000 per sale? Or why focus on building traffic by waiting for your site to get indexed by the search engines when instead you could by approaching well established distribution networks such as: EBay, Overture, (which will talk in depth about later) and more, to instantly get tens of thousands of daily visitors to your site?
You have to start to think big! Trust me, the internet is jam packed with small fries, small thinking people, and low yielding websites. Trust me, net doesn't need anymore low yield sites, or hobby ecommerce sites. You have to start to figure out how you can create a high yield site where each transaction represents a sizable net profit and net value to the client. Too many people unfortunately focus on developing such low yield operations that it astounds me! You have so much value that you could offer to the marketplace so don't be a sell out! Instead simply do a little extra research before you begin.
Just be sure to carefully consider the long term projections of what kind of yield your site will generate in terms of revenue and value for others before you get started. Ideally you want to create something that will make a major impact allowing you to retired in the next few years. That can easily happen but you must choose the right high yield vehicle otherwise you'll never reach your destination.
17) Develop balance.
It can become so easy to get wrapped up in your ebusiness that you forget about everything else in your life. Remember to not become so all consumed and overly rushed that you neglect the most important things in life like your health, friends, family, spending time outside, traveling, going out for coffee, going to church, taking your dog for regular walks, spending time at the lake, playing sports, doing your favorite hobbies and the list goes on and on. You got to maintain a balanced life in order to be able to "happily achieve online". Just be sure that you schedule in your work and when it's time to work on your site you "actually working"! So after work and on weekends you can enjoy the fun things in life like everyone else.