How to start an online business

Reclaim your life by making money online” Fiona and Greg Scott show you how you can create a profitable business from home – no previous experience necessary.

Wouldn’t you love to work in the familiar surrounds of your own home, stop fretting about the cost and hassle of organising childcare, and stop wasting time commuting when that time could be better spent being productive? What about being on hand to support your child’s development every step of the way? And how proud would you feel to know that you’re independently making money to pay the mortgage at the same time?

Well, it’s entirely possible, as anyone can set up an online business from home. That’s right – you don’t need to be a computer geek to create a profitable business online. What’s more, the internet provides the lowest cost entry to business available anywhere, and so much information is available for free. You just need to know how to surf, type an email, use Facebook, and copy and paste.

We’ve just run a two-day fast-start workshop in London where over half of the attendees were women on the plus side of 40, and most of them were mums. They all had fears and trepidations before turning up, but, at the end of the weekend, they all said how easy it was to set up an online business model that works, now they know how. We had some confident and capable mum entrepreneurs walk out that room on the second day which was fantastic.

Many people get scared thinking there’s too much to learn, or they don’t know the technology, but it’s just like learning to drive a car. Remember the first time you got behind the steering wheel of a car? What were you feeling? This is scary. I’m not sure if I can do this! But, once you’ve had that first lesson, and learnt more about what you can do, it gets easier and easier, doesn’t it?

It’s the same with setting up an online business from home. You just need to find that ounce of optimism, that burst of enthusiasm, and that focus to make it work for you. It’s not easy working from home by yourself, but the rewards are well worth the effort you put in.

We know, as we made almost every mistake in the book, literally, when we started out. But we’d just been made redundant, so had to make a success of our online business to earn a living. We learnt some valuable and difficult lessons on the way, so we’re keen to help others avoid the mistakes we made.

You see, there’s nothing special about us. Our story isn’t earth shattering and we’re not rocket scientists. We didn’t know anything about building an online business when we started. We also didn’t have any products to sell back then – so we sold other people’s products for a commission. It’s really very easy to do that on the internet.

People often ask us how much they need to get started. Many services you’ll need are free, and most information is free too if you have plenty of time to research it. You will however, need to pay for some things like a domain name and email automation software. We recommend you have at least £250 to invest to start off with – you’ll save at least this much by not having to commute or buy expensive work clothes. The less you have to invest, the more work you’ll have to put in and the more time it will take to build momentum.

So how and why did we succeed online? Well, it’s a long story, which is why we’ve written a book about it called Living a Laptop Lifestyle. Our book will build your self-belief by showing you that it is possible, with no previous experience, to build your own online business working in the comfort of your own home.

There are steps you can take to avoid the common pitfalls online, like being drawn in to glitzy sales letters that promise overnight riches and push button systems. We wish we had our book to read when we started out. *Fiona and Greg Scott are authors of Living a Laptop Lifestyle, published by ecademy press, price £13.99.

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