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online-business-start-online-business-riskStarting your own business is scary.

I did it gradually, as my kids grew and my husband was working — we had room, board and a small stipend as backup. For me, the scariest moment was after I’d had my business for several years with a steady income and we built a house and took on a mortgage. My business was the sole basis for paying that mortgage. I’m grateful that it has all worked out, but it was definitely a risk.

No matter what your situation, you’ll need to take a risk when you start your own online business and especially when you depend on it full time as your livelihood.

So you need to plan

  1. Write up a business plan, as if you were asking for funding from a bank. This should include your target market, proposed products and services, and how you will market them.
  2. Set up a series of goals for product development, list growth, self-education, and income.
  3. Create a timeline to meet those goals.

Reduce your expenses. Can you take in a boarder? Move in with a relative? Or at least have that option if necessary?

If you have a partner’s second income to work with, how long can you manage with that income alone?

Create an in-between time

It’s hard to quit cold turkey. Many people create an in-between time. For example:

  • Can you reduce your full-time work to part-time work? That would help a lot as you get your new business up and running.
  • Can you get some clients while you’re still working full time? For example, perhaps you can help some local businesses set up an email newsletter for their customers and have some income coming in from that before you quit your full-time job.

In both these situations, you have some steady income coming in while you get your online business up and running.

Develop your online business before you quit

I certainly recommend starting your online business before you quit your full-time job. Yes, you’ll be working a lot of hours and you’ll need to be very efficient. That efficiency will serve you very well when you depend on your online business for your livelihood.

Once you have your business plan and know what your business should be, you can start with the following:

  1. Buy a domain name and web hosting. (I use A2 Hosting for my hosting and have been very happy with them.)
  2. Install WordPress and find a theme. I highly recommend using WordPress.org’s software for your website, because it will give you maximum control, flexibility, and ease of use.
  3. Create a home page, a blog, a Contact page and an About page.
  4. You’re going to need to send out emails, so sign up for an email account. I use AWeber and recommend it highly.
  5. You’ll need a free offer to give people who sign up for your email list. Create a short report or video that provides your target market with valuable information. If it’s a document, save it as a PDF.
  6. Using your email service, such as MadMimi, create an opt-in form, configure it to delver the free offer, and add the code to your website’s sidebar as a text widget or using an add-in.

Start blogging!

Your blog is where you start creating content. You need to create content, for several reasons:

  • It establishes you as a person who has knowledge and opinions that are valuable to others
  • It attracts people who are searching for what you are writing about
  • It will attract potential customers

Of course, there’s more

To really have a business, of course, you need to sell products and/or services. I can’t cover ALL of Internet marketing in this one post! But you can — and should — do the above steps before you quit your job. And these steps will give you a firm foundation for:

  • Growing your list of potential customers
  • Creating and selling products

(Note: This blog post contains affiliate links of products I use every day.)

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Is quitting your day job and making a full-time living online something you want to do? What’s stopping you? Leave a comment!

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