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|a Dream Yet to Come True |
I Will Never Stop Until I Am free.
I started My internet business realizing the potential ecommerce has. Just image a business that runs 24/7 365Days a year. And whose to tell you go to work or your fired in this kind of business? NO ONE! You have become BYOB (BeYourOwnBoss) Thats my dream! And still is to this day I have been working on my websites for the past 2years pouring money and time. Of course you have to be able to pay for such things with a real 9-5 job until the day you break free from the typical Corporate America. I have completed one site and I have had it for exactly 2years and havent made a Cent. But I know there is dormant Potential. Off topic It is extremly hard to work 45+Hours and try to run a home business or even get one started at that. Off topic
[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 3:55 pm (utc) on Sep. 2, 2004]
I would speculate and suggest that 98% of the visitors to this site share your dream.
And whose to tell you go to work or your fired in this kind of business?
My customers. I had one suggest to me today that if we couldn't give him better service we wouldn't get his bigger business. And he is absolutely correct. You may develop a business plan that doesn't involve direct contact with any customers. In that case, you're probably dealing with web surfers who tell you even less.
But I know there is dormant Potential.
Actually, the potential is very much alive and active. I was fortunate enough to take the reins of an established web site. That allowed me to focus on the technical aspects. Now I'm beginning to develop new sites and I have to focus on getting and keeping site visitors as well.
all this focusing gives me a headache
until the day you break free from the typical Corporate America
Wow, one of my favorite subjects, and it's on topic. I'll just say that it isn't necessary to build a successful web site in order to break free. In fact, going that route probably means switching one job for another. True, the "boss" is gone, and your hours are your own, but it's still trading one job for another. Developing good web sites is work. But it is work in the right direction ... play.
Or even assisting me with it. Please be serious.
WebmasterWorld is the webmasters online assistant, and I've never seen a group of people as serious. How serious, there's even a place here at WW to let off a little steam or enjoy a bit of humor. Without it, many of us might overload - that's serious.
But seriously, there is a wealth of information here which may help you spend your time and efforts in a more productive manner; helping you to achieve your dream.
As grandpa said, WebmasterWorld is probably the MOST serious forum I have ever been to since I was online in 1995. It is getting to a point that reading posts on WebmasterWorld for a few hours per day becomes a crucial part of my job.
|"Goals are dreams with deadlines." -- Diana Scharf Hunt |
You've got the dreams and the desire, so now it's time to attach some deadlines to those and turn them into goals you can achieve.
Without doing that, you're just a daydreamer -- nothing wrong with that, at all, but it won't get you where you want to be, either.
My advice is quit your job.
That applies to anyone who is on the fence. Take the plunge. Your survival instincts should kick in and you might end up hitting the revenue you need a lot faster than doing part time.
Grandpa, you are so right about our customers being our bosses. And they most certainly have the ability to fire us.
At least in my experience, ecommerce isn't a good line of work if you simply don't want to answer to anyone. We continually answer to our customers, to the changing needs of the market, to Google's algorithm, and the list goes on... If you build a busy store, you will end up swallowing your pride to keep customers, and working when you don't want to, and working A LOT.
The most fulfilling aspect for me has been knowing that every minute I spend working has a payback. In the corporate world, it seems like most of one's time is spent having meetings, posturing, politicking, daydreaming of being somewhere else, and other activities with 0 return.
Unfortunately, running an online business is exactly like running an offline business. It takes just as much effort, capital and networking. I am convinced that the only true path the success is a "click and brick" operation. The days of starting up the next amazon or ebay are past us.
Sorry for being pessimistic.
|The days of starting up the next amazon or ebay are past us. |
Sorry for being pessimistic.
...and there's a total world market for approximately five computers, right [google.com]?
It's not easy, or going to happen to many businesses, but to discount the mere potential as impossible is just as wrong as the "market for computers" comment has proven to be.
Amazon and eBay seemed impossible at the time, but someone clearly thought it would work or they wouldn't have tried it. Same for Dell, Microsoft, Bell Telephone...every business we know as a household name, today.
The basic building block of success, other than investment (of time, money and other resources) is to BELIEVE it's possible. I don't want to be the one that tells the future CEO of whatever their venture's impossible. Difficult, challenging, costly, competitive... Sure. But impossible? Nyah. I don't buy it.
That doesn't mean I'd float a loan to every business that comes my way, assuming I were even in a line of work to do so, of course. But I wouldn't send them packing with, "What you want to do is impossible," either. Unless I thought that them hearing that would make them work even harder (reverse psychology)!
Rugles, who said anything about eBay or Amazon? I think most of us running profitable niche sites. They probably won't become huge businesses, but that's not to say that they aren't sustainable (or that they require physical storefronts).
|The days of starting up the next amazon or ebay are past us. |
Yeah, I'm sure Sears, JCPennys and Macy's thought that about themselves too, before a guy named Sam Walton opened up a new kind of store in Rogers, AK in 1962. Now most of the big department stores are struggling to stay afloat while Wal-Mart dominates the market.
|"Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead |
Ok, there is Walmart. But how many retail operations have been started and have since failed since 1962. I bet it is tens of thousands. You have a far greater chance of getting stuck by lighting while buying the winning lottery ticket than you do of starting the next walmart.
I am sorry that post had a defeatist tone but you have to be a realist, and pragmatic. Just being an optimist does not overcome all hurdles. It certainly helps, but does not guarantee success.
On the other hand Rugles the chances of creating a retail business that does reasonably and makes a living for its owner is about 1 in 5.
1 in 2, if you are a woman. ;) (Actual fact by the way. Businesses started by women have a much better success rate than those started by men)
As the proud father of a daughter, that is wonderful news about woman entrepenuers.
1 in 5 eh! Does that include restaurants because man..... those things are almost guaranteed not to survive.
|You have a far greater chance of getting stuck by lighting while buying the winning lottery ticket than you do of starting the next walmart. |
There you go then, even you admit there's a CHANCE. ;)
As long as there's even a hair's breadth of a chance, that means it can't be IMPOSSIBLE, right?
I scoffed when I read over 4 or so years ago that Amazon was planning to become (paraphrasing) "The Walmart of the Web". I don't think of them that way (don't WANT to), but the fact of the matter is... they've done it. Household name, most people know they don't just sell books and music anymore even if they haven't plunked down a credit card and ordered outside of Amazon's original book/music product selection. They carry and offer competitive prices on a wide variety of high end electronics, camera gear (just bought two EOS 1D Mark IIs from them -- $9000 I never would have imagined giving to Amazon.com in, say, 1999 or 2000. Of course, it's also $9000 I never would have imagined spending on camera gear in 1999 or 2000!)
I'll shush up now. I welcome the contrary viewpoint, but hope I've indicated why I picked at it a little. It's not naive to have big dreams and desires. What IS naive is having big dreams and desires and expecting it to simply fall like manna from heaven just because you're a nice person and work as hard as the next guy. It's going to take a lot more than that, including a good bit of luck. That's just the way it works... same way business has always worked.
[edited by: Shannon_Moore at 5:52 pm (utc) on Sep. 3, 2004]
>>>that means it can't be IMPOSSIBLE, right?
You are correct, there is a chance. However, I only joined this conversation because I wanted to point out the reality of business (online and off). Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Keep trying to build a better mousetrap for sure, just don't get all upset and suicidal if you fail because some things are beyond your control.
Your last post we're in 100% agreement on. And there's nothing wrong with making people take stock of the realities and risks. But I get a little weird when I hear someone say something's impossible for someone else to achieve.
Must be that wanting to be an astronaut kick I went though as a kid, and didn't grow out of until high school when I realized I abhored higher math (not to mention being utterly awful at it.) No one ever told me it was impossible for a gawky Texas girl to become a future astronaut, however. I decided that it was impossible for me on my own... I think there's merit in that distinction, even for adults.
Excellent! We agree. Lets go out for a beer at 5 and fix the rest of the worlds problems. ;-)
The last time I read a magazine stressing the 1 in 5 small business sucess statistic was years ago. However, I clearly recall that businesses begun with the intention of turning a profit when sold a few years down the line were included in that 4 out of 5. It sounds to me like many people do begin businesses with the main goal of selling it for a profit.
|Unfortunately, running an online business is exactly like running an offline business. It takes just as much effort, capital and networking. |
That goes against pretty much every single thing I have learned in the past three years. Lack of a capital requirement is probably the #1 advantage of a web business over brick and mortars, at least in the way I do business. There’s no way I could have afforded to put up capital (monetary or time capital) for a B&M during college but for ~$20/month I was able to start tinkering with what eventually became a very profitable full time job.
lol. Anything is possible when running you own business there are high points and low points but thats part of business anywhere. And the sky is the limit. Even though you are switching one job for another the fact that this job can take less of your time and is less strenous then your typical 9-5 in my views. Corporate America never has a guarantee to it. BYOB
|You've got the dreams and the desire, so now it's time to attach some deadlines to those and turn them into goals you can achieve. |
Without doing that, you're just a daydreamer -- nothing wrong with that, at all, but it won't get you where you want to be, either.
Now I have made myself deadlines before but to no avail. Only because you cant really put a deadline on something that you are working on by yourself and the last time I tried, I worked on it like the Enegizer bunny on crack while doing a double over time shift. Thus my body reacted by me developing carpal tunnel syndrome. So you cant really put a deadline you can only make your determination factor strong and take it day by day.(feels like forever). But i will never rest till i acheive what i have longed for....
|FREEEEDDDOOOMMMM! Mel Gibson Braveheart |
|And whose to tell you go to work or your fired in this kind of business? NO ONE! You have become BYOB (BeYourOwnBoss) |
Welcome to working for the worst boss you've ever had in your life.
He'll be far to willing to sympathise on on those days you want to goof off.
He'll have a very hard time being objective about the quality of your work since he likes you so much.
He'll be absolutely useless when you are feeling indecisive and want input from a different viewpoint.
He'll let you go off on silly timewasting tangents at a whim.
When you get a bit down on it, he'll be just as down as you and no motivational help at all.
He'll get an idea in his head at 4 pm on a Friday and you'll end up working all weekend and all hours of the night.
He'll interrupt you in the middle of dinner, dates, lean around the shower curtain and wake you from sleep to fuss about a detail of this or that.
And if and when you do get round to taking a proper and well-deserved holiday, he'll insist on coming with you.
If you really want to work for him eventually, you better start training him now.
|Now I have made myself deadlines before but to no avail. Only because you cant really put a deadline on something that you are working on by yourself and the last time I tried, I worked on it like the Enegizer bunny on crack while doing a double over time shift. |
Shannon Moore is perfectly correct.
Jason, with all due respect, with what you've said above and if you've run a site for two years 'without making a cent'... you need to take a good hard look at HOW you are working.
Your goals need to follow the SMART guide.
Without that timeline, it really is still dreaming.
What's your plan? If you've been doing what you're doing for two years, are you actually making progress, or are you stuck in repeating an unproductive pattern?
Presumably you had a plan to start with, and you have implemented it on your site. Have you evaluated it? Have you adjusted your plan and implemented those adjustments? Have you evaluated the adjustments? APIE is a continuing cycle that you need to be using all the time with your business.
<edit>Added "Assess". Evaluation is really about evaluating your business, your plan and its results. "Assess" is really more about assessing the opportunity in a wider sense - a market view rather than just your business, and yes, it needs to be part of the continuing improvement cycle and not just an initial step.
Consider wagon-wheel makers - don't know any? That's because there ain't many wagons around these days... the smart ones assessed the market when cars started to come into vogue and went into another business. The silly ones just went. </edit>
"1 in 2, if you are a woman. ;) (Actual fact by the way. Businesses started by women have a much better success rate than those started by men)"
Failure rate stats are almost meaningless and are probably overstated. You'll be listed as a "failure" in many studies if you start a business, make a quick fortune, shut the biz down and move to your own private island. You'll be listed as a failure if you soon drop dead while making a $1 million a year in a new professional practice. Many business close within a few years, but don't "fail" in a bankruptcy sense. Some entrepreneurs simply discover opportunities that are EVEN more profitable and move on.
Most university/gov't studies would list you as a failure if you opened "Bob's Bed and Breakfast" in Yonkers and later became "Robert's Resorts International," HQ'd in Manhattan!
BTW, I've read many things on the topic and have never heard that success rates are higher for women...especially within the same fields.
Two tips on opening a business:
1) Run from franchises. Despite what their powerful trade organizations advertise, franchises are much more likely to fail. For every McDonald's, there are hundreds of sleazeball serial-franchisers looking for a quick buck. (Fortune and WSJ have done several very negative stories on franchising)
2) Yep, restaurants are sucker bets. Just read in the WSJ that 96% of publicly owned restaurant IPOs issued in recent years are selling below their offering price (one rare success mentioned, Krispy Kreme, has problems now) And those are supposedly pros!
Some franchised restaurants amount to modern slavery!
[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 8:55 pm (utc) on Sep. 4, 2004]
This topic is suddenly front page worthy. Great posts, DeeJay.
To add my two cents, NO business will succeed without demand. If you're selling Beenie Babies, you will fail.
You guys are doing it all wrong ... That freedom you're so desperate to achieve can be obtained in days or weeks by making a couple of strategic moves and knowing who to talk to. I say this with confidence because I've done it both ways - I've built successful businesses the hard way and the easy way.
It's easier than you think. If you have access to $10,000 - $20,000 you can do this on your own. It's a little more work, but it's also more rewarding in the end. If you don't have access to that kind of cash, the "knowing who to talk to" aspect means find someone who does.
Unbeknownst to many people (but 'knownst to us) there are a lot of websites out there that are making in the neighborhood of $1,000 - $2,000 per month with little to no advertising. Most of these are content sites making their money from advertising, and their traffic comes primarily from search engines. You want to target the sites that are spare-timers to give the owner some extra cash - not ones where the site is the person's primary income or a company. The fact is that a lot of them would sell it in a heartbeat for $10,000 or less just to get a lump sum in their pocket and be free from the burden of maintaining the site in their spare time.
Based on this information, you can work up a solid plan that would make any smallcap investor interested if you don't have the $10k. Basically, you're going to acquire the website and offer them $10,000 up front plus 10% of whatever the site makes for the next year. On a $2k a month site, it's a pretty good deal for the webmaster - $10,000 now and $200 a month for doing freakin nothing :) Of course you have to draw up non-competes, rights to content, make sure content isn't stolen, get rights to the domain, switch to your own hosting, etc... but this is pretty standard stuff and you can probably find documentation online without even having a lawyer put it together. The acquisition will be swift and painless for everyone.
So now you're making $1,800 a month ($200 going back to the seller). Because this was a spare time gig for them and a full time gig for you, you have plenty of time to maintain the content. If you started with more than $10,000 do it again and you're making $3,600 a month.
Assuming your traffic/revenue stays consistent, in approximately 5 - 6 months you'll have your initial $10,000 or $20,000 back in your pocket. Do the same thing again (based on $20k) and now you're grossing $7,200 a month. In another 6 months, you will be free of your obligation to pay 10% back to the original site owners so your revenue jumps up another $400 a month. Use that $400 to advertise all 4 sites for the next 6 months when your final obligation ends.
At the one-year mark you have have 4 debt-free and profitable websites generating a combined total of around $10,000 a month, plus whatever additional revenue you were able to pick up in 6 months of paid advertising. And throughout the entire period, you had a steady income and could devote your full time to it. Keep going as long as you want.
If you have any doubts to anything I just said, keep in mind that this is exactly how giants like ClearChannel and Verizon came to be. Both of these companies started as nothing more than a group of investors. ClearChannel started buying up under-performing radio stations in key markets, Verizon bought a bunch of small telco companies and then later bigger fish like GTE and the baby Bells. These guys came out of nowhere and became household names practically overnight. My method uses the same concept on a smaller scale. Remember, simplicity is key - the ideal acquisition for this is a one-person spare time operation.
I know I will never start a company again. It's much easier to pick up an established company or website - and its established search engine position and traffic - than to start a company and begin competing with everyone. When it's all said and done, you're working regular hours to maintain the content and getting a nice return on it. If you want, you can even hire someone to maintain the content and you don't have to lift a finger.
|have never heard that success rates are higher for women...especially within the same fields. |
Don't know about in the same field, but women owned businesses are growing at a phenominal rate. Could find a website to support the 1 in 2 fact (though, I couldn't find a place that supports the 1 in 5 either *no offense*) But I did find this.
I also found a statistic that women owned business where more sustainible in that after 3 years, they were more likly to be in business than their male counter parts. But that statistic was over 10 years old, so I don't consider it something I can use to hold up an argument.
Women think differently than men, and because of it, we treat our businesses differently. We are more likly to ask for help, we invest more of ourselves into customer relationships and we are better at muli-tasking. All of these traits have developed through centuries of managing homes (when customer relations were keeping your kids happy) and now we are taking it to the work place.
For those that don't want to read the paper. It basically ponts out that women owned businesses (Meaning owned by 50% or more by a female) now make up 47.7% of all privately owned companies.
But on the downside, people still won't give us venture capital. :(
But for the record, I didn't mean it as a "male-bashing" statistic, but an encouragement to women. Women going into business for themselves can have a much harder time on a more local level. Kids, family and societal perception make it hard for us to think we can. I see it here at my house. I bring home the bacon, so to speak, and my MIL frowns at me b/c my house is a mess. *heck, my husband's family is pretty sure that I am some kind of secretary* The extra time I am investing into trying to get out on my own is looked upon as selfish. In a man, it would be veiwed as ambitious. But, I will admit, those views are changing, slowly but surely.
Again you gotta look at the specific facts behind the aggregated stats on business longevity. Over ten years, women are going to inherit a fair number of businesses. (just as they inherit a lot of other types of wealth)
*IF* women are less able to borrow money, remember that leverage is a key ingredient in bankruptcy as well as great success.
We'd all agree that very few NYSE/NASDAQ corps were founded by women.
I'd also suggest that in some fields, say firms that sell to the gov't, some men simply put their business in their wife's name in order to win affirmative action influenced bids.
>On the other hand Rugles the chances of creating a retail business that does reasonably and makes a living for its owner is about 1 in 5.
>1 in 2, if you are a woman. (Actual fact by the way. Businesses started by women have a much better success rate than those started by men)
Well, it's not quite as simple as that.....
| This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 (  2 ) > > |