Let me say upfront that like any business building a domain name business takes a lot of work and a keen eye for detail. There is not gold lying on the ground waiting to be picked up but there is still gold available if you are disciplined enough to mine.
The first thing that you should do is work out what you’re good at. Are you a developer? A really good negotiator? A supreme traffic optimiser? What skills are you going to bring to your business that will allow you to add value?
Once you know how you are going to add value to your business then I would recommend seeking a partner that you can outsource the other options to. It’s not worth your time, pain and suffering to waste effort on something that you’re neither passionate about nor good at.
The next step is to build a plan. A typical plan will consist of:
A financial cashflow – This will model your business and help you set realistic goals that are achievable. It’s much better to make the mistakes in Excel than burn a pile of cash.
Marketing Plan – This will probably be your biggest project and cause you to face some difficult challenges. A marketing plan will help you define your product or service, who will be your target market, what price you’re going to charge, what are potential competitors doing etc. The most important thing that a marketing plan should tell an entrepreneur is how they are going to acquire a customer, do the work and then collect the money.
Technical Plan – Assuming that you’re building an online business there will be a number of technical hurdles to overcome. The majority of websites can be quickly built with Joomla, Wordpress or any of the other content management systems. They take a little bit of effort to become familiar with but they’re not too hard to master. Always remember that you’re not building the ultimate solution….you’re building the one that will give you the first $1 of revenue.
Resources – What resources do you have for your business? How much money do you have? How much time can you commit to your business (by the way, make sure you account for it)? There’s no point in starting to build a business if you can’t provide the necessary resources to get it off the ground.
You and your support! – How focused and committed to the new venture are you going to really be? Remember that you have other things in your life that will suffer when you throw yourself into your new dream. There’s no point in building a huge business if your kids don’t know who you are and your wife divorces you. Make sure that you get your family and loved ones onside and excited about what you’re about to do and whatever you do be open with your partner.
So that’s the first few steps…..the challenge is to unpack them and work out what needs to be done and in what order. Whatever you do, don’t spend a penny unless you really, really, really have to! Do whatever you have to do to conserve your cash until those first few dollars of revenue begin to flow.
Good luck! It’s one heck of an adventure running your own business!
Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions or contact me regarding your own adventures in business. There's nothing quite like sharing with one another.