Like many, my desire to start a business online was one born out of necessity. A decade ago, I was a struggling single parent working for minimum wage. I worked 9am to 3pm to be there for my children after school. Often, all we had left for groceries was $25 a week. I became an expert at making rice, spring onions, garlic and bacon go a long way. Times were hard, despite receiving support from family and friends. I didn't want to burden them any further so I decided to start a business online.
Before I had children, I worked for several government departments
in a variety of clerical, secretarial and administrative roles. I asked myself
what skills I could draw on to start a business online.
I had zero experience as a business owner and zero experience online. I also had zero money in the bank, but I knew I had to do something to improve our lot in life. So I began my journey as an online virtual assistant and quickly realised I had a lot to learn. Eventually I settled on résumé writing. It was the perfect fit for me, combining all of the above skills. I completed a course written by award-winning Beverly Neil and thoroughly enjoyed it. I knew that at the heart of every job seeker was the basic need to support themselves and their families, and that resonated with me.
Soon after, I began helping hundreds of job seekers achieve their career goals, with many becoming repeat customers. My only downfall was that I could not bring in a steady flow of new clients due to poor online marketing efforts. I did not have much money and what I did have I lost on traditional marketing and advertising.
A digitally 'enhanced' younger version of me!
Attempt No. 1
Originally, I began by building my first website using free templates online. I mistakenly thought true of the adage "if you build it, they will come". How wrong I was I. They did nothing to address SEO/SEM or anything else for that matter. No traffic = no business.
Attempt No. 2
I then stumbled across SiteSell known as SiteBuildIt or SBI, which offered a one-stop shop for all your online marketing needs. However, I made the fatal mistake of rushing the process. I did not follow the recommended Action Guide step by step, instead continuing to dig my own grave. I quickly became exhausted and quit.
Attempt No. 3
I was enticed by yet another glamourous-looking website builder. It was easy to use and had all the bells and whistles but sadly no substance.
Attempt No. 4
I then took out a personal loan and decided to hire what I thought were experts who promised to build a fabulous website that would attract customers like crazy. Wrong again! Instead, I lost a small fortune. By now you’re probably thinking “this girl is crazy!”
At this point I was close to closing shop. I had even returned to full-time work. However, not one to walk away easily, I looked back at my many failed websites and businesses and realised the only one that brought in a regular income was SiteSell. I remembered regretting not following the Action Guide to the letter and wondered what would happen if I did. I decided to give it another shot, this time taking my time, asking more questions and learning from my mistakes.
Attempt No. 5
Currently on attempt No. 5 and I am so grateful I came back to SBI. My only wish is that I had started here first and stuck with it. It truly is the one-stop shop for everything you will EVER need online. It takes all the guess work out of it. The hard part is done for you.
Don’t get me wrong. Not only will you have to do a lot of work writing content, uploading your own pages etc. but you will have to get your head around everything else that you need to learn to start a business online, i.e. taxes, legalities, insurance - the list goes on. But with SBI all the technical "online" stuff is already built in or, at the very least, available to you. You will be in FULL control of the whole process and the results.
And bonus: it’s so easy on the finances. I have heard others who advocate that WordPress, Wix, Weebly are much cheaper options. They criticise SBI, saying the price ($29.99US a month or $299US per year) is too much. But what they don’t understand is that everything is included with SBI i.e. research, planning, domain name and hosting, metrics, security, excellent support, SEO - and much more. And you can try risk free for 90 days. I reckon it proves to be a very affordable option.
I had to go through a lot of wasted years to get where I am now, so if you want to start a business online, please don’t let that be you. Learn from my experience and save yourself a lot of time, effort, money and heartache.
To your success,