The 5 Essential Tools for Starting a Business Online

Online businesses can be fairly inexpensive and highly lucrative if setup and ran the right way. Especially since there are approximately 2.9 billion internet users/potential customers in the world. Most brick and mortar businesses don’t see .1% (2.9 million) of that kind of traffic in the lifetime of their business.

This is good and bad. It’s good because once you couple an online presence with some sound business acumen, you can truly have great success in your business. It’s bad because since it’s so inexpensive and fairly straightforward, the internet is saturated with people who are just trying to make a quick buck or have dishonest practices.

Nevertheless, I have found the 5 essential tools that you will absolutely need, in order to guarantee your online business success. With these tools you will have the power to become as successful as you have the drive to be. Without them you will more than likely fail or have little to no success.

So without further a due here is my list of necessary tools…

1. Education

I know this seems trivial but you’d be amazed at how many uneducated people start businesses on a good feeling, new idea, or encouragement from someone else. While there’s nothing wrong with starting a business for any of the fore mentioned reasons, they tend to miss the key element. The key element that is missing is a sound, practical education.

Educating yourself on how a successful business is ran (especially online) is critical to any success you have set out to have. Just think about it, before you try to get a good job you go to college to educate yourself how to work the job. The same applies to business. However, since education is not mandated in order to start a business a lot of people skip this step. With hopes and dreams to get rich, they simply don’t have to time to educate themselves.

On the contrary, I would argue you simply do not have the time and money to NOT educate yourself.

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”

The type of education I’m referring to is not necessarily a college degree. Although this may help some, it is not required. The education I speak of is real world, practiced education. Actually seeing or studying the actions of people that have achieved real results in the real world. Not theory on how business is supposed to be run, but real life studies on how business is actually run and how money is really made.

I gained this education through joining masterminds both locally and virtually, studying successful entrepreneurs and following their blogs/websites, and purchasing training programs that taught me strategies and gave insight on how to setup a successful online business the right way.

2. Research

Starting my business I had no idea just how important market research was to the success of my business. Sound research establishes credibility and can put you miles ahead of your competition. I’ve found that effective research helps both parties. It adds confidence and credibility to the person performing the research, while the consumer is given a sound, applicable solution to their problem.

Done correctly, research can yield great wealth in ANY business.

I’ve seen people with really small businesses make more money than others with huge businesses solely based on research. They took the time to understand their market. They knew what their customers wanted, understood their pain points and frustrations, and provided the applicable solution.

Google has made it ridiculously easy to do market research on anybody and any topic. A simple Google search with the right terms can land you in front of tons of websites that can provide you with the necessary market data. Forums and blogs are another great source for gathering data on your market. Visit some forums or find some blogs in your particular market and you’ll be able to find questions and comments about topics people are struggling with and what you can do to provide a solution.

3. Website/Blog

All businesses need a venue for customers to visit. Having a blog (Blogger or WordPress), or your own hosted website is an absolute necessity for anyone trying to start a real business online.

I even know of people who have started with social media alone and didn’t build a website until they had a large, loyal following. Either way, you will always end up needing a website for serious online business building. What makes this so easy is that it can cost you literally no money to start building your online presence.

Don’t believe me? Go to blogger.com or wordpress.com and you will be able to setup your blog for FREE today. You can start publishing whatever content you like. In fact, I recommend my clients start on a free platform before moving to your own paid dot com. This allows you the ability to test your topic without the risk of losing any money.

4. Autoresponder

An autoresponder allows you the ability to send personalized email messages to groups of people at a time. This is done by building a list of emails from people who are interested in your service via an optin box. Autoresponders have the capability of sending these messages to your list with or without you. For example, you can set your autoresponder to send a welcome message once someone subscribes to your site, and then set multiple messages to be sent automatically after a certain period of time after the welcome message. Once you set this structure once everyone who is put on your list in the future will be automatically sent through your sequence of messages.

This may be a new concept for a lot of people, but if you’re not building an email list, you’re not building a business. I will expound on this in later posts but just trust me when I tell you that building an email list is CRITICAL to the success of your business.

5. Faith and Determination

Once you’ve obtained the previous four tools you have already displayed some faith and determination. In order to move forward, you’re going to need some more. Entrepreneurship is a special journey filled with more valley lows than mountain highs at times. Especially when you’re starting out.

It is going to take a lot of faith and determination to prevent you from prematurely throwing in the towel without ever knowing the fruits of your labor. That’s why you need to surround yourself with positive people filled with vision. You simply will not be able to do it by yourself.

I started with enough faith to get me going and determination to never quit. That determination then shifted from not quitting to finding the right kind of help and mentor. I had faith someone out there could help me and I was determined to find who. Long story short, I found them and the rest is history.

So today take inventory of which tools you currently possess and which ones you are in need of. Start working on adding these necessary tools to your toolbox to build your business. If you feel like I missed one let me know in the comments section below.