Operating an Online Business with No Internet Experience

So you’ve decided to take the leap and purchase a website business, perhaps because you would like a career change or want to work from home or you are retired and would like an additional revenue source. Another exciting reason to join the ranks of e-commerce owners might be the attractiveness of the size of this massive market. According to eMarketer, retail eCommerce sales will reach $1.915 trillion by the end of 2016, a growth rate of 23.7% rate for 2016.

The reason for purchasing a website business will be different for everyone, but most would agree that it is the freedom to work from anywhere, the flexible schedule and the opportunity to create a business to suit your specific needs that most people find appealing.

With so many types of internet businesses to choose from and without having any online experience, is this a feasible venture? As with venturing into anything new, there is always a learning curve, but it can be done! Here are a few notable tips to get you started in the right direction:

  • Start by asking yourself why you want to buy an online business. Are you passionate about your objective? What are your expectations? Be honest and realistic with yourself.
  • Then choose the most doable idea, focusing on your strengths. Do not plunge into the most difficult online business, choose a simple model at first. Perhaps an online business that doesn’t stock inventory and one that is well established.
  • Next learn the language of the online world. Make yourself familiar and comfortable with the vocabulary of the internet in general and your niche in particular. Understanding the common terms you will hear and deal with will help you gain a strong foothold on the internet and help you connect better with your customers and their needs.
  • Consider acquiring an established internet business versus building one from scratch. Typically when purchasing an existing website business, the seller is more than willing to assist and train a new owner for a period of time. You can also continue operations as is until you learn your way and then make changes you desire in order to grow the company.
  • Know your audience. Since your business will be focused on an audience, the success of your online business hinges on them. You will then be able to tailor an effective and successful marketing plan. Once you have identified your audience, you must then figure out how to reach them.
  • Differentiate yourself. Prove to your target audience that you are the best choice in your niche.
  • Now comes the technical side of a website business – analyzing your website visitors and utilizing analytics to optimize your site. One of the greatest tools is the ability to measure, track and test campaigns to see how visitors react and use this to maximize your website’s effectiveness. There are many resources online these days that explain and teach the skills necessary to understand and interpret website analytics, how to optimize your website as well as on marketing, entrepreneurship and business management.
  • Promoting your website business and continuing to reach your audience through a purposeful marketing strategy, makes all the difference. There is a great variety of internet marketing strategies available. If you are purchasing an existing online business, the previous owner should have a marketing plan in place for you to follow for the time being. You can then explore and educate yourself on all the available marketing options and which suit your needs in your niche the best.
  • Remember, you can always hire employees and contractors short term to deal with key tasks or areas with which you are not yet familiar. Understand what the duties will be, how they will accomplish the tasks, perhaps the roadblocks they may face, and for what length of time you intend to need them – permanent or short term.
  • And finally, scaling your business. Develop strategic relationships, work with vendors for favorable pricing and negotiate partnerships that allow the business to scale rapidly. Then be sure you have the systems and processes in place to keep up with the increased demand. Automation through software and technology can ensure a controlled process and speed up the time spent on doing tasks manually.

Don’t expect miracles with your first foray as an online entrepreneur. There is a lot to learn and hard work involved. But as a result of researching and applying the key components of running an online business, knowing and utilizing your strengths, admitting your weaknesses and investing in resolving them, there is no reason why having no online experience should hold you back from success.

Your efforts will bear fruit!

Marlee Simmons
Client Service
Website Properties, LLC

David Fairley is President and Founder of Website Properties.com. Having started Hamocks.com, Strollers.com and Drums.com as an early e-commerce entrepreneur, David's 25+ years of experience in the internet and Website Brokerage industry gives him a unique and experienced outlook on all things internet.