How to Ensure Your Online Business Is a Success

There are a lot of online business opportunities out there. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of firms offer you a chance to work from home and, in theory anyway, make lots of money. You’ve probably seen headlines suggesting you can earn a six-figure salary through a particular business opportunity. Those claims are generally true. The great variable in all this is you. The following steps and suggestions help you determine whether a given opportunity is right for you. Following them will improve your chances for success when you take the plunge.

1. Choose the right product. This comes from the fundamentals of sales. If you don’t truly believe in the product, you simply won’t do well. Indeed, you’ll probably quit after a short period of time. Ask yourself honestly: “Can I see myself selling this product?” (And by product, I also mean a service.) Would you feel comfortable offering it to family members, friends, neighbors, and others close to you? Disregard the enticing headline. Focus on finding the product that is right for you.

2. Become fully informed. Ask questions so you fully understand what’s involved in running the business. You’ll hear about capture pages, auto responders, pay per click, and click-throughs, among other elements. Learn what it takes to be successful, and follow those instructions. You should hear that the business requires time and effort. (More on that later.) Ask about follow-up training/coaching, budgets, and so forth. There should be no surprises when you begin. All legitimate online business people (usually referred to as affiliates) are happy to explain their businesses. You want to be comfortable with the firm and the affiliate you would join under (your sponsor).

3. Be prepared to invest in your business. Just like traditional businesses, your home-based business requires money. You need money at the beginning, as well as throughout for marketing and other needs. That’s normal, so don’t be shocked. Your sponsor will guide you there. You also need to spend time on self-analysis. Some questions to consider include:

1. Am I disciplined? No one will be looking over your shoulder. Are you really spending those valuable work hours on your business? Avoid the lure of texting, tweeting, and surfing unless they are devoted to marketing.

2. Am I a hard worker? With a properly designed Web page and Web advertising, that component of your marketing operates on autopilot. But you need other efforts to keep your name out there. Blog columns, tweets, YouTube videos, and articles are just some of the avenues you will use. ( is a great place for columns, but they cannot be sales pitches.) You must constantly think of ways to promote your business, and then do it.

3. Am I patient? Like a good wine, a successful business takes time to blossom. You must remain confident even if after several weeks you have few or no sales. Your sponsor can help you there.

4. Am I excited about this opportunity? Are you anxious to get started? Do you lie awake thinking of ways to market your business? That’s a good sign!

5. How much money is in the bank? Because it will be weeks – even months – before you see your first commission check, you should have sufficient funds in the bank. Some people keep their day jobs while dabbling in the online business. That’s fine. Just remember that you will need to devote off-hours to your online business. How do you feel about that?

6. How strong are my communication and interpersonal skills? You may feel it’s unfair, but the fact is that poor communication skills can hamper your ability to sell. If your speech is peppered with like, you know, um, ah, and other filler words, consider a training program. You can do that in tandem. Also, because you will be – should be – networking, enhancing your communication skills will make it easier to talk confidently and professionally to strangers.

This list isn’t meant to scare or intimidate you. You need to understand that a successful business requires time, money, and effort. The only legitimate get-rich-quick scheme is the lottery. Your online business can and will be successful if you consider the points I raise here. Good luck!