Yaro has written a post titled 8 Pitfalls To Avoid When Starting An Internet Business which contains some worthwhile advice (although i disagree with a couple in part). His points in bold – my comments after in normal type:
- Don’t start a business teaching how to make money online – very true. I see blogs start on the topic of making money online every week. Some of them are brilliant and work out well but many of them are gone as quickly as they start – often because the person doesn’t really know how to make money online or because the market is so saturated and in the scheme of things there are only so many people looking for that kind of information.
- Choose non-Internet related niches – I think there are a lot of reasons for taking this advice. While it is possible to do well with an internet related topic I’ve had better luck with more normal everyday topics that people are interested in.
- Don’t focus on making money – to a point I agree with this – although if you’re starting an internet business (the topic of Yaro’s post) you will want to consider how it will be sustainable from the start. Having said this – many successful online businesses are started as hobby sites and on topics that the entrepreneur obviously enjoys themselves. I’d much rather make a living from talking about topics that interest me than ones that bore me and suspect that the business will be much more sustainable if you take this approach.
- Don’t enter a tiny market - yes, in many cases this is good advice – although tiny markets can be quite good if you’re first in and if you have no real competitors. The thing about the internet is that it’s global and even small niches can attract enough readers to make them worthwhile (of course it also depends upon what your margins are and how you’re monetizing the space).
- Watch out for tiny margins – not something I’ve really had much experience in as I don’t really sell anything – but it makes sense. Pricing is crucial and if you’re going to have a small margin you want to know you can turn over a lot of product.
- Look for leverage points – working with others (and your readership) is a great way to take your business to the next level.
- Avoid self-employment thinking – this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. It’s all very well to build yourself an online job – but building a business that you can step away from with others operating it is another matter.
- Be aware of your own limitations – focus on what you know how to do and find others to do the rest. I’ve yet to meet someone who is good at absolutely everything (I know a few people who think they are) – surround yourself with people know how to do what you can’t and you’ll be much better positioned to succeed.
What would you add to or subtract from Yaro’s list? Head over and let him know.