A Legitimate Online Business

Starting an online business is not a get rich quick scheme that you can set up overnight. Planning an online business is no different to setting up and running a business in the traditional sense and requires the same amount of planning and preparation. You need to know what your product will be, your setup and running costs, how much to charge for whatever you're selling, who you are selling to, etc.

The differences are that you can have more than one source of income and your income can be semi-passive, so that your company is still operating and earning money as you sleep.

Doing a business plan is essential as you need to know what you are aiming towards and you must to stick to your plan in order to attain your goals. An online business may have low overhead costs but it can still take 3-6 months before it will start to show any profit and during this time you should be working consistently to ensure that you are following the plan laid out, adapting to changes and ensuring the long-term success of your business.

Discipline is absolutely essential when it comes to running a business. Set yourself an allocated amount of time each week where you are updating, promoting and networking as there is nothing better than consistency in order to gain the trust of potential future customers.

Get started by downloading a free business plan template or software - you can find these in the business section on most bank websites. Fill it out as accurately and honestly as possible. It is not always easy to know what you could be making three years down the line but you can use tried and tested tools to test the feasibility of your business idea.

Bear in mind that a website can have multiple income streams so factor in revenue for any of the following that you are likely to include:

- Affiliate adverts

- Advertisers

- Physical products

- Digital products

- Dropship / 3rd party products

- Google ads

- Memberships

- Courses / online e tuition

- Classifieds

Spend time really thinking about what kind of business you want to run, how much time it will take to run it, what financial return you will see for your investment, how long it will take to reach each stage of your business, where you will market it, who your customers will be, etc. The more you know at the beginning, the easier it will be to implement and stick to your plan in order to turn it into a successful enterprise.

If you follow your plan consistently then you could end up with a nice, secondary income stream to supplement your main job, something that everybody could do with these days. But if you are really successful you could end up with a full-time, work from home business where you are your own boss doing something that you love.

Whatever happens, enjoy your time working on your business - it can be extremely rewarding and addictive starting your own company and a source of great pride once it starts to succeed.