What Do I Need to Do Before Starting an Online Home Business?

Internet marketing and online home business opportunities are often wrongly represented to the hungry masses of people who wish to make money online. The idea of making money overnight and becoming rich is more or less a fantasy, a dream. In reality starting up your own online home business should be no different to an offline business. Here are some practical requirements you may need to look at once you have decided that the online home business world is for you.

The Product

First of all you need a product or service to sell on the Internet. This does not necessarily mean you need to own or create the product, it would be just as good for you to be an Amazon affiliate and sell their products. Bottom line is you need to know what you want your online business to be about. You need to do some research on the product you wish to promote. Is it a profitable product? Is the product or service in demand? Is there much competition? Make sure you learn these facts before diving into a business you know nothing about.

The equipment

A computer, Internet connection and basic software are the minimal requirements for your online business. Although it may sound obvious there are still some tips to be noted.

Your computer will contain everything you need for your online home business so it would be advisable for you to have a copy of everything on an external hard drive. Sometimes having a laptop would be more beneficial as this allows you to work and check your emails anywhere.

You should have a reasonable speed internet connection as you may need to download or upload large files as well as video files. If you tend to move around a lot you may consider wireless broadband as your internet connection.

The software that you should acquire before starting an online home business would include: antivirus (you may receive a lot of spam email so this will come in handy), a spreadsheet program, a word processing program, WinZip (to compress or uncompress files) and Roboform (to save your personal details and passwords so you don’t have to enter it in all the time).The last one is optional but does come in handy.

The Communication

With an online home business your number one form of communication would be through your email account, MSN or Skype. The last 2 forms of communication can sometimes be difficult due to time differences between the different countries in the world so emailing is probably a more popular option. With you email account it is probably best you have at least 2 email accounts. One for signing up to programs, ezines, newsletters and membership sites. Unfortunately these can sometimes clog up your email accounts and it is therefore useful to have a second email in which you can use for the actual business. If you are planning to have a website, you may opt to have an email account through your own domain name (eg name @ yourdomain. com) for all your business liaising.

The Money

Although there are many claims from others making money online for free, it is probably more optimistic to think that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If you start online with this prebuilt idea in mind then it would be hard for you do succeed and properly run your online home business. If budget is tight you can always start off with a small investment. Maybe you can sacrifice $1200 for the first year. Does this sound like a lot? Not if you break it down to $100/month or $25/week or $5/day excluding the weekends. That’s just cup of coffee you can give up on! Compare this to a franchise that would cost you at least 200k to set up.

In addition make sure you have access to a credit card and open a PayPal or Alertpay account. PayPal and Alertpay are online payment processors. They are free to use when you wish to buy items online. If you are planning to have an ecommerce website then there would be some merchant fees involved.

The Legalities

Next is the nitty gritty stuff of making sure you don’t break any rules. Consult an Internet lawyer if you are unsure of anything such as copyright laws, licensing, contracts and regulations in your country etc. You also need to think up a great business name and get your business registered. This is the time also to think up a great domain name and register your own domain if you are thinking of having your own website.

Once you have consulted all these aspects, give yourself a pat on the back and relax. You’ve already done most of the hard work. You can now start building your online home business empire and reach for success.