The last post got me thinking about how hard it is to start an online business for an individual or small group of people. The things are much more easier for large companies or brands that are entering online world. They have a lot of experience, already know where to look for resources and their budget is quite substantial.
If you are an individual or a small company that wants to make a living online, you are in for something special. Finding free information has become very difficult, while this wasn’t so problematic 5 or 6 years ago. Now there are many companies offering you help for a fee, and some of these are quite expensive. Besides a large fee, your other problem are companies that are out there to take your money without giving you much helpful information or proper tools. It’s difficult to determine who to trust (more about that later) and finding people or bloggers who are willing to help for free is not so easy. You will need to invest a lot of time to find helpful information, than study it, compare it with other information out there and apply something that matches your business style or niche.
I mentioned it is difficult to determine who to trust. This is why:
- It’s easy to create a facade of a reliable, successful business online while the internal structure may be awful
- Testimonials are easily faked
- Portfolio is easily faked as well, while it’s difficult for you to confirm the real clients
- Results can be faked as well (Rankings in search engine, the number of sales or social media signals)
- Not many online businesses will create a binding contract with you, at least not without a hefty fee that comes with their service
- Difficult interaction due to all communication being through a cell phone or Skype
These are just some of the obstacles I came up with. There are certainly more and you stumble into them as you try to build up your online business. Creating a website is just one of the issues you will have to deal with, then you have to take website security into consideration, how to ship your goods or whether you should use PayPal or not. No wonder so many people fail to succeed online.
There are too many dangers lurking arround, especially if you stumble onto people who promise to help you with their useful eBooks, tools for website promotion or marketing campaigns that won’t reach any potential customers. If you are unable to hire an expert or invest in a company that will develop your business idea, you should dedicate a lot of time to do the research. You will need months to figure things out, to learn the basics on getting started and how to promote your website/business online. It is possible to do all this by yourself, but unless you really have a fantastic idea, you will need to implement a lot of work.