Friday 15 August, 2014

Starting an Online Business – Build Your Support Network

Starting an online business can be stressful. It’s not easy and there’s a lot to learn. There is no textbook on internet marketing. When the going gets tough, you’ll need a support network. These are people who support you in various ways and you can turn to them when you need this help.

Supportive Friends and Family

First of all, it’s good to identify supportive friends and family members. These are people who have nothing to do with your online business. They might even be people who never turn on a computer or have no idea what internet marketing is.

When you’re stuck in front of a computer all day, you need people to talk to and socialize with. You’ll need people to listen when you need to vent or offer personal encouragement when you’re having a hard time. Identify people in your life who regularly support you in this way.

Colleagues in the Same Boat

Since there’s no clear course in internet marketing, there’s a sense that we’re all learning this together. For this reason, it’s good to find a few colleagues who are doing the same or nearly the same thing as you.

Unlike your friends and family, these are people you can talk shop with. You can hook each other up and help each other out sometimes, too. Most of all, you can relate to each other and learn from each other.

Good Online Groups and Forums

It’s also good to find good online groups and forums with people who are doing what you’re doing. The key here is to find forums that are supportive. There are definitely those that are and those that aren’t. A forum with lots of backbiting and competition isn’t going to offer you this kind of support, although you may be able to learn from its members.

Mentors Who Have Been There Before

I urge everybody who starts their own online business to seek out a mentor. A mentor is not necessarily a teacher, but just someone who has walked the same road as you. They’ve walked further along. This is a veteran of online business who can offer you their experience. They’ve been where you are before and they know how to get you un-stuck when you’re stuck.

Coaches and Consultants

If you don’t mind spending the money, you can hire a coach or consultant. The downside is that they aren’t cheap. But the upside is that unlike your mentor, friends or colleagues, it’s their job to guide you in the right direction and help you solve your problems. Plus, they’re good at it. It’s what they do.

Decide what kind of support you need and start putting together this support network before you start your online business. It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be just a few friends you feel comfortable talking to or an online forum that always makes you feel better when you need it. But running your own business online is tough and you’ll need all the support you can get.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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