Just like any other human venture, online business is burdened with collective beliefs, common knowledge, and myths that just are not true. Here are a few of the myths.
1) Succeeding in online business is easy. This may be a point that I haven’t quite hammered home on this site. In fact, I may make internet business seem a little easier than it really is. This is far from the truth. Internet business is just as hard as any business out there, just as competitive, and can be just as demoralizing. That being said, if you are a superstar or a hard worker with great ideas, you will climb to the top.
2) Online business takes a different skill set than “normal” business. Online business is just that, business. Everyone who has a website talks about “social media” and “web 2.0″ and the amazing benefits tools like Facebook and Twitter create for online businesses. These tools do create a lot of amazing opportunity for those who know how to use them to stay connected to their audience.
But if you don’t know how to connect to people in the first place or have a valuable service or product to offer, then these tools are not going to magically help you get your message out and make sales for you.
If you have sales skills or marketing skills or the ability to rally people around you, then you will be able to transition right into the internet business world. The same rules apply. Create a great product, give great service, and find the people interested in your product. Hit it out of the park for people, and you will win.
The only difference is that instead of having customers come into your store on the street, your store is now visiting your target audience via computer screen in their living rooms. Or on a beach in Jamaica that has wifi.
3) Online business is for tech people. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sure, it helps to have someone who knows their way around a computer, but internet tools are so easy to use that you really do not need much technical or design expertise. If you can use a keyboard and a mouse and are willing to put in the effort and learn about things you don’t know much about, then you will be able to create a viable online business.
Working on the internet can also consist of your direct skill set. ?If you’re a writer, you can start a freelance writing business, and if you are a web designer or social media pro, you can do the same. ?You can even become an information entrepreneur and create informative blogs based on different themes and monetize them in many different ways. ?For the content writers out there, read my post about how to make money with Hubpages.
4) Internet marketing is just spam. Sure there is a lot of spam out there, but there are hundreds of thousands of legitimate companies doing business online. Every single brand name company has an internet presence. If they don’t, then they don’t exist. There is nothing shady about doing business online. In fact, I would be surprised if in two years you will be able to do any business at all without using the internet.
As people gravitate more and more to the web to do their shopping, to find their directions, to communicate with their friends, and to plan trips and flights, there will be more opportunities for online businesses of all kinds. If you aren’t preparing your small business for an all-internet world, then you may be left behind.
5) I can’t start an online business because the Internet is too crowded. The internet is crowded and it gets more crowded every day. But guess what, the streets of your town are also crowded with businesses, but new businesses start and old businesses fold every day.
Google and other search engines are becoming better at weeding out the fraudulent, worthless, and spam sites, which makes it easier for the high quality online businesses to shine. Search engine traffic is a huge part of success on the internet and if you play by the rules and create a great product, service, or entertainment, you will rise to the top, as the cream often does.
6) I don’t have time to start my online business. Building an online presence for your small business is vital to your success going forward. There are few companies that will be able to avoid doing business online. A website or an e-commerce store selling your product should be a priority for you.
A good (and easy way) to start is by creating a blog. You can even do it for free. Start a free blog at blogger.com or wordpress.com, find a custom theme online so it looks a little more professional, and start pumping out content and your message. There are so many things you can do with a blog to promote your company and your brand. Even just getting out there and promoting yourself will help you a great deal.
Just like in anything, the people who work the hardest and test different ways of doing business to find what works will be the most successful. The thing that the internet does for business is the same thing it does for communication–it speeds it up. This means that you can rise quickly, but you can fall just as quickly.
One of the best things the internet provides though is free access to your target audience. You can find and reach out to your community on so many fronts, it’s ridiculous. And you can do much of this for free because all it takes it time and the willingness to do good work. Getting your message out and driving targeted traffic to your web presence are both important element in the online game. But having an amazing product or service is the most important thing.
Create an amazing product with a great story behind it and that fulfills a human need or solves a problem in an interesting or new way, and you just might be the next online success story.