Are you thinking of starting your own business, say purchasing your own website store? I did just that six months ago and thought it would be helpful to write about and share my experiences with you all.
My reasons for buying a website are irrelevant in that they matter only to myself. It's what happens after you've bought your website that's the issue and more importantly whether or not you make your website work for you. Make no mistake, as with any business you must put in the time and effort to drive your business forward.
Having said that, it is not easy and if things don't work out as quickly as you'd hoped or were led to believe, it's very simple to become more than a little disheartened. Which is the stage I am at now. I can honestly say that I have never worked so hard for no pay in my entire life. To say that I am frustrated and angry and in desperate need of motivation (but preferably an income) at this point is an understatement.
The initial information I was given, or sales pitch if you prefer, seemed to me to be quite hopeful perhaps even optimistic. Who would, especially in this time of recession (or maybe depression?) turn down the opportunity to work from home for only 2-3 hours per day in order to be financially rewarded within 2-3 months and to make more money doing this than you ever did or could in a mainstream 40 hour per week job! Well not me, obviously!
Initially I was very excited about starting my online business and couldn't wait to get cracking with it. The online training provided helped me to get my website set up and linked with certain organisations and companies which sold my particular niche products so that I could download them to my site. What I wasn't told at the outset was that there was a limit to the number of products you could download so unfortunately I fell into this particular trap quite early on so I would urge you not to repeat my mistake (although as far as I'm concerned it wasn't my mistake).
As I had never done this type of thing before I was totally unaware and unprepared for just how much writing of things such as articles, web content and press releases it required in order for my website to attract online traffic and eventually rankings through the use of good key phrases, which are in themselves rather problematic in the beginning. It is possible to pay someone to write all these articles for you, in fact you can even pay someone to get your website ranked and save you all the bother. However, if finances are somewhat tight I would recommend that you persevere with this yourself. Plenty of time to do this once finances are stable enough to allow you to outsource these things.
The worst part of writing an article is choosing a title which will stand out and make people want to read it. I haven't so far managed that yet. The next thing is the beginning of the article. How do I start? I'm still having problems with these issues even after six months. I am of course hoping that it will get a lot easier.
It's a surprise to me but I have had other people like my articles and a few have even subscribed to them so I guess I must be doing something right.
Social networking is another obstacle you have to overcome. Until I bought my website I had never been involved with this in my life so far and could have gladly proceeded through the rest of it without this association too. I use it quite often now for business purposes but still don't understand the point of it at all.
What has the last six months taught me? That there's so much information to take in and digest and lots of new skills to master. That I have to try and be patient (not an easy task at the best of times) and trust in all that I hold dear that the paltry fifty pence I have accrued thus far will increase a hundred-fold, preferably in the next five minutes (told you I wasn't the most patient person in the world didn't I).
From the outset I had many hopes and dreams for a successful venture and maybe if I'd known sooner that it would take much more of an effort and time than I was led to believe I'm almost certain I wouldn't have purchased this business in the first place. But there's no point dwelling on that now. I took the risk and I just have to keep working at it and trust that all my hard work will eventually pay off. I'm always being told these days that if it was that easy everyone would be doing it! Unfortunately that doesn't make me feel any better.
Now, after robbing Peter to pay Paul I have paid off my initial investment but at what cost to me only time will tell. The business is now entirely mine and if nothing else it gives me something to keep me occupied during the day. Will the risk pay off - I really don't know. At this moment in time it doesn't look like it to me but I'm determined to try and be optimistic because basically I have nothing else. It has to work, there's no two ways about it. So I am stuck with it. Would I do it again? Probably not, although if I wake up one morning and find zillions of pounds (mind you I'd settle for zillions of pence at this point) in my bank account then my answer would almost certainly be a lot more positive.
So to all you prospective online store owners reading this I hope it has helped with your decision making process and has prepared you in some way for what may be about to come. Personally I wouldn't attempt this unless you have another source of income. In my experience it is foolhardy to pin all your hopes on the success of this type of venture and most certainly if you can't afford to lose your investment my experience should at least make you think twice about doing it at all. Whatever you decide good luck and I wish you every success!