Starting a business of your own is a way to take more control of your own life. It can help you produce more income and move you step by step closer to financial independence, which will reduce your stress and allow you to live a better life.
Yet many people are discouraged and feel like there is no way they can afford to start their own business when they are already struggling to survive week to week and month to month.
Other people are discouraged and feel lost because they just don’t know where to start or what to do next.
In this article, I plan to help you see that you do have real options available to you right now and that you can really start your own business as early as today if you really want to.
Here is a table of contents for what we are about to cover;
1. Business Startup Basics
2. Income Production Opportunities
3. Online Business Options
4. Tools and Resources Needed to Get Started
5. My Number One Recommendation for You
6. What to Do Next
7. How to Keep Getting Help and Support as You Build Your Own Business Empire
Business Startup Basics
There are varying definitions of what the term “Business” means. I am going to give you my interpretation of how I see it;
“The term Business means – efforts taken to make a profit”
You can go to Wikipedia and to all the online dictionaries and beyond and find all kinds of variations of the meaning, and I suggest you open another window and do that for a few moments. Just take a quick look and then come on back here.
Traditionally in the past to start a business you had more hoops and hurdles to clear than some options that are available today require, and we will cover that more in a few moments. Some of the same underlying concepts still apply today as far as choosing what to sell and how – but you have so many more options and easier and less expensive opportunities available to you now.
The basic choice comes down to selling services or physical products to sell to start a business. For example, a service business would be cleaning houses for a fee, or cutting lawns – just to give you a quick idea.
Producing or obtaining products to sell would include such things as making or obtaining candles and soap to sell. It would also include making or obtaining and selling furniture or any other product “physical thing” that you can imagine.
Most stores purchase the products they sell from manufactures or distributors which they buy for a lower price than they sell the items for. They buy wholesale (usually in bulk) and then sell the items individually or in smaller quantities directly to consumers. This is known as retail sales.
The key thing to know is that you need products or services to sell in order to make a profit.
- Choose a product or service to sell
- Gather your knowledge and resources
- Learn how to meet any regulatory requirements as may be necessary
- Choose your business entity
- Gather tools, materials, products, or services ready
- Market your business
- Obtain customers and make sales
- Handle finances
- Continue to run, maintain and grow your business
There are lots of choices to make. You start with that basic idea of what services or what products to sell. Then you would need to gather additional information to see if there is a market for what you want to provide and assess the situation to see if it appears to be potentially profitable or not.
Once you decide it is and want to proceed, then you need to see what the legal requirements are in your area. These things do vary by country, and even here in the United States, they vary by local area in some cases. The laws and the rules are not always the same – in some areas, a given business is very easy to start, whereas the same business can be extremely difficult or even impossible to legally start in another place.
Do be aware of the requirements in your area before you launch your business though – because the fines and other penalties if you get this wrong, can be very high.
Some other considerations ;
- Business Name
- Business Entity Type – Sole proprietor, LLC, Corporation, Partnership
You may or may not need a commercial workspace, permits, licenses, and certifications, and mandatory insurance or bonds in place before you open your doors. Even if that is true in your own case, beyond the minimum requirements – there are additional risk management issues you will need to be aware of and take into consideration from before day one.
As you can see from even this brief overview introduction there are many things you need to know about, then research, consider and decide how to handle.
A simple lawn care business or house cleaning business still has insurance and licensing issues to consider. They also need equipment and supplies. Depending on your area you may be able to run such a business from home out of a garage, shed, spare bedroom, etc. and save a ton of money over needing a commercial location – or you may need or want a commercial location from the beginning. Either way, you need to know where you will base your business and what it will cost you before you start your business.
Income Production Opportunities
There are all kinds of different ways you can make more money more ways.
There are also three basic types of income;
1. Active Income
2. Semi-Passive Income
3. Passive Income
The first type you are probably very familiar with. Active Income Production essentially means working a job for most people. You exchange your time and your labor in exchange for a paycheck.
This same concept is true for many business owners too – even though they “own and operate” their own business they still must actively work to get paid. Examples include a lawn care business owner who cuts the grass personally or a Chiropractor who treats patients daily personally performing adjustments.
It also includes an owner operator truck driver – who owns his or her own truck and drives it too. They must get in the truck and make pickups and deliveries in order to get paid – and that is active income production.
Semi-Passive Income Production is actually what most of the internet erroneously calls PASSIVE INCOME. I say erroneously because there are some people who just don’t get it and don’t realize the difference. But there are quite a few more who do get it – and they do know the difference – but they use that trigger term “passive income” just because it gets more traffic and it gets people’s attention.
The reality is that there is work required – lots of work and time too usually.
Most real online businesses of all kinds – including Affiliate Marketing – for most people is going to require a ton of active work upfront and some time. Then it will begin making some money and if you keep at it over more time. Usually just a small amount of money to begin with, but it can and will grow if and when you continue to use the tools and resources that are available to you. Then once you learn them – you can switch it over to becoming more semi-passive and less active income.
An example would be the lawn care business again – where the owner operator hires employees to go out and do the work for him or her, and then hires an offer manager to do the behind the scenes work too. The owner still needs to be involved in leadership and overall management – but is no longer having to do all the work.
Passive Income Production – The holy grail of making money online (and making money offline) is to get to the point of making passive income. That is when you do nothing more and the money just keeps rolling on in. Wouldnt that be nice!
Passive income can be obtained in different ways too.
The first way is investment income. Think stock dividends, or owning a portion of some business as an investor (think Shark Tank and you get the idea) where you just put in your money to buy a part of the company and you keep getting paid a portion of its profits forever – if it is successful.
The downsides include two big hurdles – the first is that you need to already have a lot of money to invest to begin with (and most people don’t). The second is that any such investment is also a risk – that means you may actually lose part or all of your investment!
Let’s say they invest $100,000 in a start-up company for a 50% stake. If it makes a profit and survives and becomes successful you can make big money for years to come. But if it goes under and fails – as many businesses do – then your $100k investment goes poof too. It’s gone forever, and that is a risk most people can not really afford to take to begin with.
There is another way to get to passive income though – one I have not yet achieved but that I am also working toward and plan to achieve eventually. That is where you begin with active income – work hard and smart to systematically grow more and more semi-passive income streams, and get to a point where you can reinvest most of your income percentage wise back into your own businesses and investments to make more and more money.
Eventually, it is possible to hire other people to handle all the work – so that even an active income business becomes a semi-passive and eventually a passive income business. Beyond that eventually, such a philosophy successfully executed would produce enough money (and the knowledge and expertise, and resources) to make large investments into things that will produce passive income.
How far can you take it? Who knows. But you can never know if you never even try…
Some Other Income Production Opportunities to Consider
I think one of the keys to both happiness and success is to find the right things to do for you at any given time in life.
When it comes to making money and how you do that such considerations are even more important, because you are going to spend so much of your time, energy, and resources – of your life – that it really needs to be in alignment with who you are and what you want. If you want to have a better life that is.
With that in mind here are just a few things to consider as possibilities to look into and research further;
- Truck Driver – Get your CDL and become a professional trucker
- Owner Operator – Take the next step and buy your own truck and own your own trucking business
- Real Estate Agent – Get your real estate license and become an agent
- Real Estate Investor – Learn the fundamentals and start flipping homes and become a landlord too
- Real Estate Broker – Get your real estate brokers license (takes a few years as an agent generally) and open your own firm as a real estate brokerage and recruit, train, motivate and lead other agents
- Book Keeper – Take a course and in a few weeks launch your own bookkeeping business
- Shed Builder – Small sheds are in demand right now for storage and as home offices
- Handyman – People need all kinds of small jobs done – and they pay well too!
- Transporter – Get a pickup or a van and haul small loads for-profit – try Uship
- Crafter – Make and sell your own products on Etsy, at craft fairs and flea markets, and on your own sites
All of these things are options. They are all potentially profitable – and you have a lot of control over how much money you can make based on how you approach it.
For example, a rookie entry-level new truck driver can make as little as the low 30’s to as much as $60,000 to $80,000 or more their first year in trucking. The average is around $40 to $50k or so – but the opportunity exists for all, it is just a matter of mindset, information, and action.
The same is true with new real estate agents. You can barely survive if that – or you can make in excess of $100,000 in your first year depending on how you approach it and the work you put in. By the way, making that kind of money in anything is NOT simple or easy – it requires hard work and commitment.
So consider these opportunities and these options – then do your own research.
I would also like you to very seriously consider an easier and simpler, and far less expensive option too – starting your own ONLINE BUSINESS.
Let’s look at that next.
Online Business Options
Like more traditional businesses have many different ways to make money – so do online business opportunities have many options to choose from. Here are a few to consider;
- Teach Online Courses – Learn to become an Instructor and teach your own courses
- Sell Print On Demand Products – Another fully automatable business
- Drop-Shipping – You market and sell and let other pack and ship for you
- Digital Marketing – Market all kinds of products in multiple ways and interconnect them all
- Affiliate Marketing – One of your BEST options!
- Author/Publisher – Write and publish on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
- Youtuber – Monetizze from day one with affiliate marketing and en eventually get paid by YouTube (Google) too!
- Blogger – Start your own blog and monetize it using other methods here and beyond
- Digital Marketing Agency – Help others build and manage their own sites and other media
- Build Your Own Business Empire – Use multiple options and interconnect them all systematically
There are advantages and challenges with each type of business. Which one you should choose depends mainly on YOU and on your situation right now.
The more money you have available the more choices you have.
Likewise, the more skills and expertise you already have in any given area the more likely you can quickly monetize that and make more money faster than someone else who does not have that experience and skills would be able to do.
So you will need to take some time and do some personal reflection and assessment and make your own decisions about what you think would be best for you to begin with.
Before you decide though – I really want you to very seriously consider starting with Affiliate Marketing.
While all these other businesses offer exception Income Production Opportunites affiliate marketing has some unique benefits. So take a look and see what you think.
Affiliate Marketing is One of the Easiest and Cheapest Options!
Affiliate marketing is a business you really do seriously need to look into and consider o matter what your ultimate business aims may be.
This is true whether you want to pursue affiliate marketing as your primary business – or as a secondary or supplemental business to something else you are doing.
You do NOT need a license, certification, business entity, commercial office space, or much else at all to start your own affiliate marketing business from most places in the world. Always check your own requirements in your area, but in most places in the world, there are no outside mandatory requirements.
All you really need is some basic information and training, and a computer of some kind (even just a smartphone!), and you can be up and running in almost no time at all, from idea to launching your affiliate marketing business.
The key requirements and investment you need to make is your time. As you get started and begin making money – and learning more – there are ways to reinvest some of the money you make to get other people t do work for you, which can give you more leverage and allow you to make more and more money while taking up less of your personal time and less effort from you as your income continues to grow.
Do keep in mind though – it will still take work and time to build your business into something that consistently makes a good and steady profit, and there are no real secrets to success in affiliate marketing. There are just basic fundamentals you need to learn and then consistent work you need to do overtime.
But you can really get it started very quickly once you know what to do.
Affiliate Marketing means selling other people’s products for a fee.
It is a performance-based marketing method where you produce content that attracts potential purchasers who consume your content and then make a buying decision. Some will click on links you provide in your content and that will take the buyer to the actual seller’s site where they will complete their purchases.
When they buy a product using your links – you earn a fee.
This is great for all kinds of reasons. You do not stock or handle and y actual products, nor do you have to worry about shipping or customer service or other issues. The seller does all that. You are essentially a specialized information entrepreneur – and you provide information that helps potential customers make informed decisions of their own.
When you do that effectively you get paid.
Keep in mind that Affiliate Marketing is a HUGE industry – and it is growing. As of now it is estimated to be a $12 BILLION dollar industry and is expected to continue growing over the next several years to come.
All major companies use affiliate marketing, for the most part.
Amazon, Walmart, and thousands of other companies all have affiliate programs – and they will all pay you a fee if you bring them, customers, as an affiliate.
So you need to consider your options and make a decision. do you want to start some other kind of business now whether that be a brick and mortar business or an online business of some other kind – or do you want to start an affiliate marketing business today?
Tools and Resources Needed to Get Started
At a minimum, you need an internet connection.
Beyond that you need a computer of some kind – even just a smartphone and a hotspot or wifi connection is enough to begin with, though a decent tablet or laptop in addition to a smartphone is better,
As long as you have that as a minimum the next thing you will want to do is to get more information and begin learning the basics of affiliate marketing.
You can do that for FREE by watching YouTube videos and going online and conducting your own Google searches then reading free posts and articles. Use a notebook or better yet – get and use Evernote to help you keep track of all the information you are gathering.
Another option is to join a platform and a community that I belong to myself called Wealthy Affiliate.
There is a FREE membership option – and I recommend you start with that. It will get you inside and let you take a detailed look at all that is available to you there. Then you can decide whether you are serious about this business or not – and if you are you can upgrade to Premium membership.
With Premium, you have access to a lot of tools and resources – including in-depth training and support.
There are training courses to take that will walk you through all the basics step by step and help you make better and more informed decisions as you systematically build your own online business.
The core training that you need to start with is called Online Entrepreneur Certification (OEC) which is a fundamentals course on all things relating to affiliate marketing specifically – and to marketing any online business more generally.
Here are the basic building blocks you will need to start your online affiliate marketing business;
1. Products to market
The way you get your products to market is to sign up with affiliate programs and get approved as an affiliate marketer for them. There are several ways to do this too.
One way is to go directly to individual companies that have their own programs and sign up with them one by one. Go to any company site – then look at the bottom of their main page – or somewhere else on their site and look for the words “affiliate program” or “referral program” and similar wording and click the link and learn about how their program and how to sign up.
If you still don’t see the link after searching their site – go back to google and search the ” ABC Company affiliate program ” and see what comes up. If all else fails – find the companies contact information and send them an email or call them up and just ask them if they have an affiliate program.
Another very common way to find products to market is to sign up with companies such as;
- CJ Affiliate
When you sign up with these companies you will have access to multiple other companies that all have their affiliate programs administered through one of these companies. From among them, you choose the ones you want to market for and proceed accordingly.
Some are automatic – meaning you select them and then – get your link and start marketing immediately.
Others will want to review you and they will decide whether to approve you or not based on their own criteria. Often that may be them looking at your site and your traffic as well as your overall content.
They may reject you if you are new, don’t have enough traffic or they feel that you cover topics that may damage their brand and they just don’t want to be affiliated with you.
Do not worry and do not be concerned about this – apply to whoever you like and if you get rejected don’t sweat it. There are plenty of others that will say yes to you today – and many of those who do reject you today will approve you later when you have more traffic, etc. You can reapply later if you like – of just forget them and keep moving forward.
There are far more than enough products for you to promote right now, so do not worry about that at all!
So what you really must have are products – and a way to promote them. As mentioned you can get products now and you can promote them for free using YouTube for free. You can also use Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram along with other platforms and social media – all for free to get started.
Traffic Sources and SEO
Getting products to market and promote is easy.
Getting traffic is a whole other story.
That is going to take you more time and more work. This is not a big deal so long as you clearly understand it going in. From the time you begin building your site or channel (we’ll talk more about that too), it will take you several months before you begin to see major gains in most cases.
How long specifically?
It really depends on you and the work you do, the market (niche) you choose, and other factors. So I can not tell you exactly how long it will take you.
Nobody likes that answer – even though it is true.
So what I can try to do is give you at least a ballpark range to think about. Let’s say you choose a good niche, one that is profitable, and you build a brand new site today.
Building the site out is relatively fast and simple. You can have it up and running literally in just a few minutes once you know how.
But building out your content is going to take you a while. You have to write and publish articles/posts that provide value for your readers. That takes time and effort to do. Some things you may already know, but many things you are going to have to research to get the information you need to build value into your posts.
Then you have to write the article.
After you write it you need to go back through it at least three times to edit it – and that is not going to make it perfect – but rather just make it good enough to publish and get it out here.
You need multiple articles and you need to keep adding to your library of content on your site and blog on a regular basis. Eventually – if you do it right – google will find your site and begin showing your site and your posts in search results.
This is known as being “indexed on google”.
Until then – the world for the most part will never even know you exist.
Even once Google indexes your site – keep in mind you are still just a tiny drop in a great big digital ocean -and that means that you are still going to have to work hard to be seen by more and more people.
When people do find you and visit your site this is known as traffic.
You need a lot of traffic to be able to make consistent sales, and you need traffic (people!) who are specifically interested in what you are covering and the products you are marketing.
The better you are at SEO – which stands for Search Engine Optimization – the better your chances are of getting more traffic over time.
Even then this is just the beginning of your understanding of how to grow your online affiliate marketing business.
YouTube is A Great Big Search Engine
Once you have your products, and your site up and running and have some content, then it is time to start your own YouTube channel.
The idea is to tie your site and your channel together – and then interconnect the two.
YouTube is free by the way, and again you do not need much to start a channel. Just a camera and a way to upload your videos – which is where that smartphone once again becomes an important tool to have.
While it currently takes 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours within the last six months to get your channel monetized and start making money off the actual videos you publish there, you can monetize your channel from day one in another way on you own.
You probably guessed it – though affiliate marketing!
Let’s say for example that you decide to do a cooking video showing how to prepare a specific Keto meal in your camper, RV, commercial truck – or your kitchen in your house.
You set up your smartphone and make a video of you preparing the meal – and upload it to your channel.
In the video you used some items – let’s say you used an air fryer – and some tongs – so you mention in the video that links are below in the description box – and you put your affiliate links there.
Some of your viewers will click on those links – and some will likely buy the things you mentioned especially if you did a good job in your video. When they do you get paid! Keep in mind that video keeps working for you 24/7/365 for moths and possibly for years to come… and so will EACH new video you publish.
Over time as you create and publish more and more YouTube videos the more powerful this concept becomes.
There are also ways to drive some of your traffic t0 your site and some of your traffic from your site to your channel – that is what I mean by interconnecting the two.
Suggested Tools and Resources
1. Buy a domain name
2. Get hosting service
3. Choose a theme and build a WordPress site and blog
4 .Start a YouTube Channel
5. Get a Canon DSLR and a Rode mic
6. Use a tripod
7. Get Lighting
8. Start a Podcast
9. Find a reliable source for training and continuing education
10. Join a community for support
Finding sources of information – and even figuring out which tools you need is not all that complicated when you really make an effort to look into it. But sticking with this long enough to begin to see it start to pay off is a whole other matter.
Sadly far too many people will throw in the towel and quit long before they even give it a chance. Even worse than that many more will stop just short of achieving their goals!
They will stop less than three feet from gold – and never even know how close they came. Being part of a supportive and thriving community of like-minded people can help you keep going and achieve success.
My Number One Recommendation for You
Join Wealthy Affiliate today for FREE and start learning more about affiliate marketing – and about how being a member of Wealthy Affiliate can help you.
Then if you see the value – and I know you will – go ahead and become a Premium member. Start with the monthly plan and stay monthly for at least three to six months to be sure it is right for you and that you are using your membership.
After that decide to either stay monthly – or if you want to save a few more dollars on your membership – go ahead and fo yearly.
Wealthy Affiliate will give you a very solid foundation of knowledge – and very importantly – the community will give you all the help and support you need to make real progress.
You can join Wealthy Affiliate today using my link HERE.
What to Do Next
Well, that brings us to the end of this article my friend.
Now I have a question for you – does this sound like something you are interested in?
If so then go ahead and join Wealthy Affiliate and start your training now. Why wait – what have you got to lose?
Remember, join first for FREE and check it all out – no card number needed. That means you have nothing to lose at all and potentially everything to gain.
Be sure to set up your profile as soon as you join. Go ahead and also start your training – you will see a tab on your left-hand side as soon as you log in that says “Training” – go ahead and click on that and go to the Online Entrepreneur Certification and get started.
Make a goal to do at least ONE class per day. Do that and you will make progress.
How to Keep Getting Help and Support as You Build Your Own Business Empire
Wealthy Affiliate itself will give you access to all kinds of training, tools, and support just by being a Premium member.
But beyond that even you can get even more support from me and from other Premium members and other entrepreneurs when you join our Build Your Own Business Empire Facebook group.
You can do that HERE too.
While you are always in command of your own life – and responsible for your own choices, you do not have to do everything alone. There are other people on a similar journey, including me and many other people – and together we can all help each other.
I look forward to seeing you soon if you decide to join WA and our BYOBE group.
You really can build yourself a better life – and I wish you all the best in all you do in your work, in your business, and in life!