Beginner Guide

 

I know that you are pretty excited to start your own online venture but we have to go slow in order to go fast.

First we need to analyze our Business and come with a business plan that is realistic.

We can't just jump in without having any idea of what we are doing, right?

Therefore, in today's lesson we will discuss about how to create the right business that is suited for you.

I know, I can hear it from you... You're probably thinking how is someone so young gonna help me with choosing a business? What qualifications does he have?

Well, on this area I actually have two business certifications issued from University of Santa Clara, Chicago. Both of the courses had 15 complex sessions and I passed the first one with 9.56 and the second one with a 9.67 out of 10 mark.

Both courses were great and had plenty of information that I am going to share with you right now for free.

The main topics of this lesson are:
 
  • Deciding on a Business;
  • Step-to-Step Approach;
  • Selection Strategy;
  • Things To Watch Out For;
  • and
  • Do's and Don'ts

 

You will also receive a Homework at the end of this lesson. It is very important to complete it and under no circumstances you are not allowed to skip it and to move forward to the next lesson.

Deciding on a business

By far, the most common mistake that an Entrepreneur might make is that he will not choose the right business from the beginning.

Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

Guts: A successful Entrepreneur is considered to have guts when he has an overwhelming desire to have his own business. By having guts it will increase his chances of commitment and by creating content on what he enjoys he will build his business faster.

Brain: I am not referring strictly to your school education. You should have previous knowledge about the topic of your business. You can make it about one of your hobbies like swimming, movies, food etc. or maybe a domain in which you might have prior work experience. Prudence, follow through and attention to detail are very important.

Capital: You will need to have enough money to survive until your business will produce some revenue. You will need this money mainly to cover your living costs in the transition period. You can still keep your job and to work at your website in part time.  If you are low on cash, then I suggest you to take a look at my section of how to earn extra money from home.

Vision: Many people will argue here but I firmly believe that the vision is key element in order to succeed. Without a clear vision, you will only achieve the same level as your most silly competitors. You need to surpass them. More on this topic will be discussed in the Business expansion guide.

Step-by-step Approach

Decide if you really want to be in the business:

From now on you are going to face a lot of challenges that are waiting to bring you down. You will experience doubt, frustration and hopelessness at a level that you haven't experienced before. You will need an iron will to keep moving forward so please proceed only if you are determined to change your life.

This is exactly where most people give up and choose the easier way and go back to their job where they will become a sheep once again.

You will also suffer from high stress levels since you won't have a "boss" to guide you and tell you your step to step daily activity. Don't worry, when this kicks in, make sure to contact me. I'll be here for you, I promise.

Make sure that you are determined to continue your path, because this is the point of no turning back.

Decide whether you want to operate full-time or moonlight:

There are some interesting advantages and some pitfalls in operating as a moonlight business. (A moonlight business is a business that you start in your off hours while still working at your current job.) Often the advantages of starting as a moonlighter outweigh the risks:

  • You avoid burning your bridges of earnings including retirement, health and fringe benefits and vacations.
  • Your full-time job won't suffer if you maintain certain conflict of interest disciplines, including compartmentalizing your job and business into completely separate worlds.
But there are also some pitfalls to consider in starting a moonlight business:
  • There is a temptation to spend time at your job working on your moonlight business. That is unfair to your employer and should not be done under any circumstances.
  • Any kind of conflict with your regular work can jeopardize your job and your moonlight business.
  • Overwork and mental and physical exhaustion can also become a very real problem for moonlight entrepreneurs.

My advice for you, from my own experience, is to avoid telling your loved ones about your online business. It is never a good idea to tell them about your plan until you can prove them that it works. They will start to discourage you by telling you that the only thing you are doing is to lose time. If you did this mistake try  to be more stubborn than the wall. Don't listen to them and work until your work pays off. 

You can tell them after you earned your first income in order to destroy their arguments and to avoid starting unnecessary discussions.

Just believe in yourself and remember: If you need someone to talk to about your business, I am here. Also when you are in moments of doubt, make sure to check my page about Motivation.

Selection Strategy

Starting a wrong business it is the most frequent mistake of the Entrepreneurs. Therefore, here is a checklist of things you need to consider before you are choosing your business topic:

  • If you have not yet selected a business, take your time and wait for the business that is just right for you. You will not be penalized for missing opportunities. The selection process takes a lot of planning and your experience and complete knowledge is vital for your success.
  • Don't try to build an overly complicated business from start if you have no prior experience. You can start with a small business idea and see where that leads you. If you decide to host your websites at Wealthy Affiliate, you will be able to build two websites for free. Therefore, you can try and create one business, see what it's about and then you can build the second website in less than 30 seconds based on a more complex topic.
  • Try to identify a business that has long-term economic potential. Follow Wayne Gretzky's advice, "Go to where the puck is going, not to where it is."
  • Businesses to avoid are "commodity" businesses where you must compete entirely on price and in which you must have the lowest prices to survive. As Mr. Buffett has said, "In a commodity type business you're only as smart as your dumbest competitor."
  • Most service businesses have pricing power. Pricing power means that you will not need to have the lowest price in order to secure business. Your customers will be willing to pay a fair price for a better product or service.
  • If you are manufacturing a product, consider the pros and cons of contracting out production to a low-cost supplier. In other words, operate a "hollow corporation." A "hollow corporation" is a company that subcontracts manufacturing and packaging.
  • If your business is based on marketing an invention or patent, keep these ideas in mind:

a. First check to determine if there are any issued patents similar to your idea. You can secure information from the U.S. Patent office at www.uspto.gov.
b. Be cautious about getting involved with firms that ask for up-front fees to market an invention.
c. No matter what you hope for, you will need a product to test, to show and to solicit feedback.

Things to Watch Out For

  • Impatience. It won't happen overnight. All those websites that claim that their special formula will help you earn over 5,000$ from the first month are a scam. Whenever you see something similar, run as hard as you can from it. It never works. However, if you decide and try it out and it works, contact me as soon as possible. Just kidding, it never works.
  • Do not let overconfidence short-circuit you from analyzing your business carefully. You must not fear hearing the negative aspects; it is much better to be aware of them and face them early on. Set a day in every week in which you evaluate your business development and see what you are doing wrong. Ask someone you trust for feedback!
  • The lure of high rewards. They will come if you have selected the right business and if you understand every aspect of the business before you open its doors.
IF YOU HAVE NOT YET DECIDED ON A BUSINESS, DO THIS:
    • On the top of a blank sheet of paper, write an activity you like to perform (make this the heading). Do a separate page for each activity or interest you have.
    • On those same sheets list as many businesses you can think of that are related to that activity.
    • On the same sheets, list all the products or services you can think of that are related to that activity. Use your imagination and think of every possible product or service you could perform.
    • Make a list of businesses that do better in bad times (one may be appropriate for you). Some examples might be music related websites, movie review websites, e-commerce websites, blogs, news, lifestyle etc.

EXAMPLE

Let's assume you end up with three potential businesses: towing service, used car sales and auto repairs. You can now make a comparative evaluation using the following checklist (or better still your own checklist) with a 1-10 scoring system. This kind of analysis can help you gain objectivity in selecting your business. ssss

How to Evaluate the Business

Here are some questions to help clarify your thoughts:

  • Is it something I will enjoy doing? As Harvey McKay has said, "Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life."
  • Also, if you're doing something you love, you're much more likely to stick with it through thick and thin times.
  • My favorite activities are __________________________
  • I like to serve people by ________________________________
  • Will it serve an expanding need for which there is no close substitute?
  • Can I be so good at a specialized, targeted need that customers will think there is no close substitute? For example, in California, nobody comes close to See's Candies.
  • An entire session in my Business Expansion guide is devoted to buying businesses. In many cases, buying a business is less risky than starting from scratch.
  • Could I operate as a hollow corporation, without a factory and with a minimum number of employees? For example, if you have in mind marketing a line of furniture, you might consider outsourcing to a manufacturing vendor in China. Cost savings is often the prime objective, but you also free up your time and capital. The major risk is the performance of the vendor and your success in developing good relationships that provide mutual benefits.
  • Is this a product or service that I can test first? Your concept of a successful product or service may not be in harmony with the reality of the market place. On a small scale, prove it out first. As Wolfgang Puck states: "I learned more from the one restaurant that didn't work than from all the ones that were successes."
  • Should I consider a partner who has complementary skills or who could help finance the business?

Top Do's and Don'ts

THE TOP  DO'S

  1. Learn your business by studying your competition first.
  2. Consider the benefits of starting a moonlight business.
  3. Objectively measure your skills and training against potential competition.
  4. Consider subcontracting to low-cost suppliers if you're manufacturing a product.
  5. Test market your product or service before starting or expanding.
  6. Make a "for" and "against" list describing the business, you are in or considering.
  7. Talk to lots of people for feedback.
  8. Make a comparative analysis of all opportunities you are considering.

THE TOP DON'TS

  1. Quit your job before you have completed start-up plans.
  2. Consider operating a business in a field you do not enjoy.
  3. Be in a hurry to select a business. There is no penalty for missed opportunities.
  4. Select a business that is too high a risk or hurdle. Go for the 2-foot hurdle.
  5. Operate a business in which you must have the lowest price to succeed.
  6. Neglect to learn the negative aspects of an intended business.
  7. Permit entrepreneurial self-confidence to outweigh careful diligence.
  8. Allow the promise of a conceptual high reward to deter reality-testing first.

Homework

Download and complete the template below.

DON'T CHEAT AND SKIP IT. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO SUCCESS! 

Template to Evaluate Business

*Sharing is caring! 😀

40 thoughts on “Beginner Guide

  1. This is so true this step by step guide will help people through their journey and I think that’s what new business owners need a guide that will help them through their journey

    1. Hello Fenelle!

      I hear you! There are plenty sources of information on how to start a business, but sadly I haven’t found one yet that will take you step by step in achieving it! That’s the main reason why I decided to start this business section and help Entrepreneurs, of various ages, to achieve success faster.

      Thank you for your feedback!

  2. Hi Andrei,
    Great article! I really, really endorse your #2 “Don’t.” Do NOT get into something unless you’re so passionate about it that you know you’ll always enjoy doing it. Trust me, I have made this mistake. It’s easy to chase an opportunity that you think you see to make money … but if it doesn’t align with something you’re passionate about, trust, it will grind away at you and will be harder to stick with.
    Choose something that aligns with your passion and then when the results come, that’ll be icing on the cake!
    Best wishes
    Kevin

    1. Hello Kevin!

      I am glad that you liked the rule. That is one of the main things that I tell people everywhere to avoid. You decide to build your own business to get away from your job that you dislike, yet by building a business in an area of interest that you do not like, you will just replace your current job. One of the best things in choosing a job that you desire is that, with time, you will enjoy doing it and it will not feel like you are doing work anymore.

  3. Hi Andrei,
    Thank you very much for compiling an article based on everything you learned in school about business. The step by step approach and list of do’s and don’ts should be copied and pasted and taped to the computer desk of every budding entrepreneur. Why do I say that? Because being in business for yourself is not for everyone, that’s why it’s a great idea to go through the set of questions you supplied. Thanks for this, really really well done!

    1. Hello Peter!

      I am sorry but I believe that everyone can build an online business. Yes, it may not be simple and sometimes not seeing instant results might break your spirit and you might give up. Furthermore, overwhelming information might discourage you and without a step by step guide you will soon get lost and you won’t know how to continue. This is exactly why I decided to build this complex step by step guide, that I will improve over time based on everyone’s feedback. I try to help everyone to reach their goal and if someone will need guidance I will be here to help.

      Wish you all the best,

      Andrei.

  4. Thank you for the template to evaluate business. It is a very simple start to your very objective approach to starting a business. I look forward to a future article where you could help us with capital. I want to remain out of debt, but am unsure of what my other options may be.

  5. Hi, thanks for your systematic way to approach this sometimes overwhelming topic (for some). Love what you do and keep it up!

    1. Hello HT!

      Thank you for your feedback! I try to put the information in the most simple way especially to avoid any confusion! Thank you for your interest and I hope that I will see you soon!

  6. Great post. I like the concept of studying competition first. Even studying succesfull competition, that will give you a business plan to model. Competition is good!

    Kevin

    1. Hello Kevin!

      I believe that there are only 3 ways in which you can improve your business. First is to read plenty of information about how to manage your business and about the domain you are interested in launching your business. Second is to spy your competition, see how they develop, take notice of the way they promote their business and how they promote their product. Third and the most important is to put into practice what you learn and try anything out until you succeed. You can read and spy as much as you want if you don’t put it into practice, then you are just losing your time. Be daring and don’t be afraid of failing. For example, Walt Disney, founder of the Disneyland, tried to get credits from over 100 banks and investors until someone decided to give him a chance. So try, fail and try again until you succeed.

  7. Had a little giggle at the recommendation to not tell loved ones. It’s very refreshing to see this because yes, starting a business can be really hard and it’s often easier for your loved ones to get on board if you can already justify it with some background work.

    Your step-by-step approach is really good. I tend to get really enthusiastic and then get ahead of myself and lose track of what I’m doing. I’m going to bookmark your site to remind me to get things done properly, in good time and not in a rush!

    1. Greetings Ellie!

      Well I don’t know about you, but at least in my case, when I told my family and to my girlfriend and friends about my plan, they were strongly against it. Even when I started to give them more information and explain how things work, it was easier to convince the wall than them. I received plenty of discouragement from everyone I know, mainly because they have this thinking methodology: “If I can’t do it, why could he?”. Therefore, I encourage everyone to work hard and only after seeing some results, to let them know. The Wealthy Affiliate community is very supportive and truly has your back. If it weren’t for them, I would have given up a long time ago. However, after experiencing this, I engaged myself in supporting anyone that needs my help.

      Thank you for your feedback on my step-by-step approach. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I will publish more content on a weekly basis. Hope to see you soon!

  8. Hello,

    What a wealth of information! Really enjoyed the step by step approach section of this page!
    No doubt you will have great success!

    1. Hello Gdarni,

      Thank you very much for your encouragement. Hope you will understand my lessons and you put them in practice. Can’t wait in the future to hear more about your progress!

      Best of luck,

      Andrei.

  9. Very detailed page. I like that I can follow along with the steps to a proper start. I Would like to see some images to go along with what you are talking about. I am a visual person and would like to see what I am getting into. I like the fact that you explained to me to be passionate about what I want to promote. That sounds like the ultimate ticket. Thank you.

    1. Hello Scott!

      Hmm, excellent suggestion!! I will work on it as soon as I will have time :D! Thank you for your visit!

  10. Hi Andrei,

    You are so right – we shouldn’t just “jump into” anything without a plan. I love the step by step approach you’ve provided; the questions you’ve highlighted are great value; and the “Do’s and Don’ts” are the “icing on the cake”. Thanks for the helpful information. #Bookmarking

    1. Hello Gaylene!

      Thank you for your feedback! I am glad that you enjoy my article and great job on bookmarking it! You can visit on a weekly basis for fresh content!

      Best of luck,

      Andrei.

  11. Really a nice clean website. Seems however to have a lot of white space between information bites/articles. Really a great spin to bring people into the WA program. Nice job!

    1. Hello Ron!

      Well, I use a lot of spaces in order to make the content easier to read for everyone. Bringing people into WA is not my interest. Here I just teach people what they need in order to build a successful business on a step-by-step approach. Thank you for for your interest and I hope that I will see you again soon!

  12. I know the top don’t is don’t quit your job. But, sometimes that is just the kick in the butt to make someone move. It will create a sense of urgency to push harder and keep trying!

    1. Hello Kurtis!

      The funny thing is that when I first get to the WA (where I learned more about internet marketing) I always laughed at the people that gave up because they were having doubts. I thought that only people that were lazy gave up, but boy I was wrong. A few months later I experienced exactly the same thing as them. Investing time and effort and not seeing instant results drove me crazy. But I started thinking about how stupid I can be. “If there are people that earn over $10,000 per month on the internet, why couldn’t I?”. So I got that stubborn that I will not give up until I will also obtain that income. You are right, the best thing is to try until you succeed. Thanks for coming by!

  13. Hey there. Great post you have there. I have wanted to start a business for a while now. I particularly identify with the section on the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, especially guts. I don’t have a lot of guts as it is now and I need to have the guts to develop it. The selection strategy is great as well. I need to bookmark this page and refer to it as I go along starting my business. Thank you so much.

    1. Hello Lindsey!

      I am glad to hear that my article helps you! Try to trust yourself more. Don’t be discouraged about other people’s viewpoint. As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”. Take baby steps and work hard such that in one day you could finally quit your job and live on your own terms!

  14. Very good article, I really liked the way you developed the subject. There is a lot of good information and tips.
    Thank you

    1. Hello David!

      Thank you for your feedback. It’s great for me to see that my content actually helps people! Study hard, put it in practice and whenever you need help, remember that I am here to support you!

      Best of luck,

      Andrei

  15. Hello and thanks for sharing, rons of good helpful information I know that your readers will love what you are offering. I can see that you put a lot of work into this post. Your post is awesome and so well detailed. Thanks again.

    1. Hello Norman!

      I also hope that my visitors will enjoy my article :)! I am glad that you liked it and if you have any improvement suggestions please share them with me! Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I fell into the trap of thinking I could make money fast online. 🙁 There really are no shortcuts, especially if you want to make money ethically online (i.e. not con other people out of their money). This is a really helpful resource. A lot of information, but if it’s broken down into steps, it’s doable. 🙂

    1. Hello Vanessa!

      As one of my Wealthy Affiliate colleagues says “Fast Cars Go Quickly, Businesses Don’t”. There are sources of income that you can access fast and you should check my how to make money online section.However, in this section is about building a business and if you want for it to be successful it will take time and dedication. Keep a positive attitude and never give up.

  17. Just like to say, your step by step approach and do’s and don’ts list is fantastic. Thanks very much for the information it has helped me alot. 🙂

    1. Hello Aaron!

      Thank you for your compliments! I am very glad that my information helped you out! I hope that you will feel the same about my further articles!

  18. Hi Andrei,
    Lots of information in this article. Very helpful. You’re so right about being determined and not giving up. It takes quite a while to build up a business, it doesn’t just happen overnight. And you have to be willing to put in a lot of work, especially at the beginning.
    Listening to great advice from other well established entrepreneurs and mentors is very important too. Finding a community of like-minded people to hang out with is the best thing to do. A community like we have at Wealthy Affiliate is amazing and well worth being a part of.
    Thanks for this blog post.

    1. Hi Susan!

      Yes, the WA community is lovely. They are there for you 24/7. However, having such a friendly community it might be a disadvantage. Many people tend to spend more time on chatting with others in the live chat and completely forget about their website. I think that I need to create a tutorial of time management there. Anyway, thank you for your comment and I wish you good luck in your business!

  19. Hey there….. I am just a newbie in the industry and this article is all I needed, for me to have a strong foundation, but I still have a question rolling in my head. You’ve mentioned somewhere that we need some cash to sustain our needs before the business picks. Actually, I am thinking of quitting my job to concentrate on the online business but I am not so sure when these things are going to start generating money in my account. So, please can you clarify for me? How long does an online business take to bring in cash? Thanks in advance

    1. Well it is pretty hard to say because there are no 2 people that will start making money at the same time. I suggest you keep your job at least 6-7 more months. The main problem that we face is that Google needs to trust your website in order to appear in the first 2 pages of google search. This will take around 5 to 6 months if you are working on your website. Before popping up your website, Google and other search engines need to make sure that you are a responsible website owner. Search engines will avoid sending you large amounts of traffic if they sense that you might give up on your website. Imagine that you recommend a delivery company to your friends and the delivery company makes their experience a living hell by not delivering in time, by breaking the products shipped etc. That’s what the search engines try to avoid. So, until the 6th month do not expect to have a large audience.

      Your other alternative is to promote your business through social media. It isn’t that hard and I will soon make articles where I take each social media and explain how to do it. Here will be the link.

      So it’s hard to say how fast you will start to earn money. It depends if you’re a serious person. You can also check my how to earn money online section, where I will post other sources of revenue from where you can earn money instantly until your website finally kicks in.

  20. Nice Guide Andrei, the part about running away from those that promise you quick success needs to be made again and again. This is why Internet marketers have bad names, they promise you the earth and deliver absolute rubbish.

    It takes time and effort to build any kind of business and starting an online business venture can be rewarding but only if you do it right and don’t get fooled into those get rich quick schemes. Those can really demoralise people (talking from experience)

    1. Hello Minhaj!

      This is exactly why I am trying to build this section. Many people lost large amounts of money from those scammers. Basically, everyone should run away from those that promise them success overnight. I remember that I encountered an add on Facebook named “Facebook make money program”. At first, I thought it was a program from Facebook itself, but later I saw that it was promising revenue of over $14,000 in the first month. This is the typical scam.

      I believe that people should learn that there are no shortcuts in having success. You have to struggle and leave your comfort zone in order to build a business. And more than that, you have to invest a large amount of time and patience.

      Thank you for reading my article and I am sorry to hear that you experienced it on yourself! Remember, it is never too late to start again!

      Best of luck,

      Andrei.

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