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5 Things Everyone Should Know (And Do) Before Starting a Business


The world of online business is an exciting and fast-paced environment. Every day, thousands of online businesses rise and fall with the tide of consumer interest. 

Perhaps you’ve considered entering the ring as well? 

If so, you don’t want to miss these things that everyone should know before starting an online business.

#1: Do your research and know your market!

A business without a firm understanding of its market is like a bird that doesn’t know how to fly. 

A market ultimately dictates the success of a business not just by its buying power but how a business operates and works within the market. Understanding your market is the first key to launching a successful business; without knowledge, you will never understand what to give your customers (or even who your customers are).

Luckily, market research can be completed with ease because of the web. 

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A simple Twitter search can unveil thousands of potential customers. A Facebook fan page can pull in hundreds of interested parties. A blog post can cultivate an entirely new community around what you have to offer.

Market research is essential to every business as it will identify what your business needs to offer in order to successfully enter a market. Your research will reveal who is likely to buy and from which sources you can find them.

In all, your research will tell you what your market is and who your customers are. Without research, you will blindly enter the market and attempt to sell a product that will be met with great resistance.

Figure out what people want and you start strong.

#2: Create a unique product that represents your brand

The internet is littered with millions of great products that have gone to waste because they have nothing unique to offer. Thousands more will be created each day and be introduced to a market that doesn’t care. Equally so, the market will show resistance to products that have no ‘soul’; those products that lack uniqueness and could have been developed by anyone with enough financial backing.

Customers, on the web, are different; they want to purchase items that are represented by a brand. 

brand identity

Levi’s are simply a pair of jeans. Disney isn’t just another entertainment company. Apple doesn’t just make tech products. They are brands.

Your business should aim for a lingering thought well after the point of purchase. It will be your brand that continues to represent who you are.

Your brand goes well beyond the monetary gain from the business. A brand is what creates long-term customers and evangelicals for your offerings. Your product must be unique but also identifiable in order to penetrate a market; especially one online.

In all, brand your product well beyond a logo and name by distilling everything you represent in the copy, design, functionality, and purpose.

#3: Develop a strategy and stick to it

A unique trait of online business owners is their ability to bounce off the wall from subject to subject. 

It’s hard to find an online business owner that doesn’t talk about the latest and greatest in their niche along with how they plan to pursue it. There is an overall scatterbrain effect in the business owner which prevents the progression of the business.

The best way to combat this “entrepreneurial mayhem” is to create a long-term plan for your business. 

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A business plan does not need to highlight every aspect of how you operate but it’s a wise move to have an overall goal and mission for your business. A plan will keep you focused on accomplishing the most important tasks through the day, week, month, and year.

The second most important part of developing a plan is to stick with it

The scatterbrain online business owner will quickly jump between topics because it excites them to create new projects rather than work on the “boring” bits of their business. The “boring bits” are actually the required steps to become successful.

In all, write down your goals and keep them in front of you at all times. 

Whenever you are distracted refer to your goals and business plan and ask yourself whether what you’re doing will ultimately get you closer; if not, dump the project.

#4: Flexibility is your new best friend

Traditional (offline) business suffers from one major disorder: the lack of flexibility. 

Flexibility is the best benefit of owning an online business because it gives you the agility to adapt, change and evolve in a fast-paced, online world; something that traditional businesses can never achieve.

An online business that remains flexible will remain relevant for many years. 

Online business owners, however, rarely challenge their views and keep their businesses in the same, stagnant positions as they have when first launching. The ease of creating a business has created lazy business owners that become star-struck when their business takes off but utterly dumbfounded when it tanks because the market moves on.

  • Start your business and keep it as flexible as possible
  • Don’t hire people that will only slow you
  • Don’t enter markets that will resistant you
  • Don’t start projects that you know will hamper your time and resources

In all, keep your business as small as it takes to turn a profit. 

Expand your business in logical progression by creating new products that leverage existing work. Adapt to your market based on intelligent decisions dictated by thorough market research.

#5: Learn from mistakes, replicate your success

Mistakes and failures should be welcome with open arms because these are the items that will teach you the greatest elements of your business and its practices. 

A failure simply means that what you’ve done did not work but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t work; it may have meant that your approach to online business wasn’t the correct path. Instead of packing it up you should take that failure or mistake and change the way you do it next time.


Equally so, you should strive to be boring in your business. 


Yes, your business should be boring in the sense that it does many of the same items over and over again; however, these items should be the successful actions you’ve taken to turn a profit. The actions that earn you money will turn boring over time but their proven success will mean that your business will take the same route.

In all, always learn from your mistakes and become fanatical about measuring what has worked and repeating it time and time again. 

Be ready to take new approaches to your business and also ready to cannibalize your mistakes to take the best from the worst so you can integrate them into your successful strategy.

Change. Adapt. Succeed.

Entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate; there is always something new to work on let alone the constant bombardment of information (and temptation) from the web. 

It’s important that you take into consideration all of these items discussed in this post. 

Your entrepreneurial instincts will tell you to charge forward but always remember to plan because planning, flexibility, research, and strategy will be the biggest tools in your online business arsenal.

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