Making Your Living Online – Where To Start
Congratulations on taking the first step towards making your living online. You've embarked on a very profitable career, but like any career, you've got a bit of a learning curve. If you're new to the online world and are unsure of the different ways to make your living online, this article is the perfect place to start your research.
Your first step is to turn off your computer. Turn it off, get a pen and paper and find yourself a quiet place to sit with your thoughts. Write down what you would like your business to look like. What kind of products and services are you going to offer? What market are you going to service? How much income do you need to make for your business to be worth your time? Why would your customers buy from you instead of your competition? Write down answers to all these questions and anything else you can think of that will help direct you as you build your internet business.
It's important that you have a vision of what you want your business to look like. If you don't have a direction for your business from the beginning, you'll spend a lot of time chasing business opportunity after business opportunity and not actually make any progress. Even though it may take a few hours to lay out a basic plan for your business now, it will save you countless thousands of hours over the life of your business.
After you've written your basic blueprint for your business by answering the previous questions, set some goals for your business. Setting goals gives you a benchmark to work towards. Even if you don't reach your goals every time, you have a direction for your business and you'll be more successful than if you have no goals at all.
Goal setting is a bit of an art, but if you follow the formula below, you'll have a set of S.M.A.R.T. goals
that help you define the direction of your company. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for
To write a S.M.A.R.T. goal, answer the following questions for each letter of the acronym
Specific – Who, what, why, where
Measurable – How much, How many
Actionable – What do you need to do
Realistic – Can you accomplish this
Timely – When will your goal be accomplished
If you were writing a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your model train business, you could envision something like:
I will build an online business that sells model trains and accessories. My business will sell $1,000 worth of merchandise per month within the first 6 months. In the second half of the year, my business will sell $2,000 each month. I will accomplish this by advertising in magazines, online and at trade shows.
You've now created a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your business. You have a direction for your company and it gives you a benchmark to measure your progress. Your goals are fluid, so adjust them as your business progresses and grows.
Your next step is to develop short, medium and long range goals. Short term is anything you'd like to accomplish in the next 6 months, medium range goals are anything you'd like to complete within the next two years and long range goals are anything you'd like to accomplish in the next five years. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting formula for each of the short, medium and long range goals.
When you've set goals for your business, it gives you a general direction for your business and helps you gauge whether your on track or not. Use your goals as fluid guidelines, not rigid borders, so you can incorporate new concepts, products and services as they become available.