Ultimate Guide To Starting Your Business

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Live the life you deserve by becoming who you should be. The world is changing rapidly, and having your own online business gives you the flexibility to work when and where you want, and spend time with your hobbies, friends and family.

Starting a business is tough work. Nobody believes you can do it at the start, but it’s possible. I know, because I did it, and I want to show you how.

Everyone has been distracted by the businesses that the unicorn startups have created. I’m talking about Uber, AirBnB, Spotify, Facebook, WhatsApp, Dropbox, and so on. But these aren’t the kinds of businesses that you need to create at the start.

Building Good Businesses

Solve people’s problems, that’s how you start building a business that’s valuable.

I will show you how you need very little money and time to start and build an online business. Thousands of people will be happy to pay you, because you will be solving their problems. Starting a businesses isn’t as difficult as you think.

The thing is, this can be anyone. You don’t need anything special to do this. I’ve done so, and through my personal experience and knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, you will see that it’s possible too.

Who Should Read This Guide

Not everyone will benefit from this! This is not a magical guide. If you believe that you can get rich quick, then this isn’t for you. Instead of getting rich quick, what I’m going to do is to show you what it takes to start and grow your own business that you can be proud of.

I’ve had over 17 years of entrepreneurship experience running 8-figure businesses, and this is what you will be learning business strategies and lessons from.

Being Authentic and Providing Value

Give And You Will Receive

You can find thousands of people promising that they’ll help you get rich quick. How many of them actually have gone through the process of starting a business, growing it, and then exiting? It’s dangerous not doing anything, but it’s downright precarious following the wrong advice.

I’ll show you how you actually need to be authentic, true to yourself, deliberate, and systematic in order to provide great value to people who truly need it – without being scammy.

How to have the right mindsets to have a successful online business

The difference between a successful entrepreneur and one who gives up is typically just a matter of mindset. Skills, passion, and talent only play a small part in determining whether or not you succeed in business. Sometimes a gifted programmer, designer, or engineer may just be making ends meet, while another who might not be as skilful becomes a successful entrepreneur.

Here are 5 mindsets that all successful entrepreneurs share.

#1. Have A Real Vision

Money is absolutely necessary, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of why you want to start a business. For a business to succeed, you need to provide value to people. Why does your business exist?

#2. Be Always Growing

Confucius was a very well-known Chinese philosopher and politician. One of the things that he was adamant about was the concept of lifelong learning. Confucius believed that lifelong learning was necessary for self-knowledge and self-improvement.

It is this mindset that will always keep you grounded and always searching for new and better ways of bettering yourself, helping the people around you, and improving your business.

#3. Think Positive

The journey for an entrepreneur is long and fraught with obstacles. I’ve had so many failures while I was building my business that I’ve gotten so comfortable with failing. Failing was just another way that didn’t work, and brought me one step closer to success.

When you start and grow your business, you’ll need to be able to think positively, and not let failures bring you down as well.

#4. Finish What You Start

We all go through and experience motivation’s ebb and flow. What differentiates someone who will taste success and one who doesn’t is typically persistence. Choose your goals wisely, and once you’ve made your choice, commit to seeing your goal to the very end.

#5. Be Comfortable With Yourself

Your clients, your employees, and your partners will not believe you nor will they trust you if you aren’t even comfortable in your own skin. You need to understand yourself, which includes your strengths and your weaknesses.

The person who is comfortable with himself has the freedom to work on problems outside of himself. Not to mention, have a lot of fun on the journey as a result.

Learn how to start a profitable online business without much capital

Be Authentic and Provide Real Value

The conventional route is popular. A lot of my peers go through the same path of graduating, finding a job, and changing jobs/employers every few years. In the process, a lot of them get burnt out and frustrated.

However, there are alternatives which become so much easier in this information economy. A lot of us don’t realise it, but we all have interests and passions that people want to learn about. Technology has progressed so far that we can start our own websites and start sharing this information with thousands of people. And these people will be willing to pay you for the knowledge that you have.

It’s no different from people paying for a personal trainer or a personal chef. Or the people who pay for tuition and classes. All these people are paying for knowledge, and this is knowledge that you can provide.

Finding Business Ideas

With just $100, you can start a website providing products and services to people. Here are just some examples of what people are willing to pay for. This list can go on and on. You’ll find that you can design your business to suit your needs – depending on how much flexibility and freedom you desire from it.

Do you know your city very well? Do you travel a lot? Help with tips and tricks to travel to your city or country. Help others with their itinerary planning. (See: LittleThingsTravel.com)

Do you love Disneyland? Some families go to Disneyland only once in their lives, or only have a fixed amount of time that they can spend at Disneyland. Help people with tricks and tips on how to maximise their Disneyland experiences. (See: DisneyTouristBlog.com)

Do you cook? What are your favorite recipes? How can someone save time or eat healthy by cooking? (See: SmittenKitchen.com)

Do you know games that you can play with your kids? This family blogged about their whole journey of finding family-friendly games so that they could play together as a family, and now they’ve got a popular blog. (See: TheFamilyGamers.com/)

Do you know a language? Help others learn it, with the tips and tricks that you’ve known from years of speaking it. (See: English-Grammar-Revolution.com)

What’s Your Idea?

How To Hit Your First Goal of $30,000/year

One of the excuses that people give whenever they think of businesses is that they don’t know how to generate revenue. They think of big businesses, businesses that do $50,000/year, $100,000/year, $500,000/year, or even $1,000,000/year, and they get discouraged.

But that’s just an excuse because they don’t know how to comprehend these numbers properly. It’s not their problem, humans are known to have difficulties comprehending large numbers. The trick is to break a large number down into something comprehensible.

How much is a significant income to show you that a business is profitable? Maybe $2,500/month? That’s $30,000/year. Let’s break it down and show you how possible this is.

For example, if you love cooking, you can come up with a PDF ebook on your top 30 easy-to-cook recipes for the family, and you can price this at $25. Depending on what you do, this can be an ebook, a service, whatever. If you sell a $25 product and make just 4 sales a month, you’ll get $1,200/year.

The thing is, when you get 4 sales a month, it’ll be no time before you get 20 sales. You’d be hustling to make it happen. 20 sales a month is just 5 sales a week. That will net you $12,000/year.

Once you have this traction, you can further increase your revenue by creating more products. If you had an ebook, maybe you can look at creating a video course or a coaching program. For example, if you work out, you can create a video guide on the exact steps that people need to follow in order to change their physiques. This will be priced much higher, at maybe $250 a sale. You’d get fewer customers, but you get much more per sale. Just 6 of these a month will result in $1,500/month, or $18,000/year.

20 sales of a $25 product every month = $12,000/year

6 sales of a $250 product every month = $18,000/year

And that’s how you’d be making a total revenue of $30,000/year. When your business is at this stage, the choice is yours as to whether or not to scale it up further, or to just keep it at this level.

Having People Pay For Value

Sales isn’t a bad word.

People have the misconception that selling, especially to friends, is a practice that is frowned upon. However, real selling isn’t pushy nor scammy. In fact, people will be happy to pay you for the value that you’re creating.

To do so, you have to first of all clearly state and explain what you’re going to be selling. Next, you can get testimonials from satisfied customers. No customers? Provide a review copy to someone in exchange for a testimonial. Lastly, it’s important to provide a money-back guarantee so that your customers know that they can buy from you without risk.

However, it’s critical that you realise that to have someone appreciate the value that you’re getting, you shouldn’t be giving it away for free. I’ve learnt over the years as an entrepreneur that if people don’t pay, they just won’t value your product or service.

Finding Good Business Ideas

Find a profitable business idea is not difficult, no matter what skills or credentials you have.

One of the biggest hurdles that people face when wanting to start their own business is to come up with a business idea. People tend to think of moonshots, such as the next Uber,  AirBnB, Twitter, or even Google. However, because the scale is so huge, they end up freezing or going around in circles, and never getting anywhere.

That’s why I always tell would-be entrepreneurs to just think realistic, and start small. I use a framework that I developed called the “5P Framework” to help people identify and come up with business ideas that are personalised and useful.

The 5Ps are: Passions, Phobias, Problems, Pains, Proficiencies

5P Framework to finding business ideas

#1. Passions

All of us have things that we are passionate about. It’s this passion that can help drive us to do more, motivate us to get up early, and sacrifice our time for. For example, if you love reading, you might be able to teach people how to read fast, or even provide book summaries as a service.

#2. Phobias

Fear is a very strong motivator. Knowing what fears people have can help you come up with a business idea. For example, some common phobias are with public speaking or with dating the opposite sex. If you have a great strategy to deal with this, or if you have a personal story overcoming any of these phobias, you might just have a business idea.

#3. Problems

Whenever we go in our lives, there are bound to be problems. Perhaps it’s something that you face in your workplace or at home. For instance, maybe you know that a lot of people in your neighbourhood are clamouring for healthy home-cooked meals. That could be a viable business idea where you cook and provide meals on a daily basis, and then scale the business up from there.

#4. Pains

We all have pains that we face in our lives. Perhaps it’s snoring, or a chronic headache, or indigestion. Whatever it is, maybe it’s something that you’ve managed to overcome. Now that’s a great business idea, because so many other people suffering from it would be interested in it as well.

#5. Proficiencies

Everyone is proficient at something. Maybe you’re really good at Microsoft Excel, or at the violin, or at some enterprise software. People would love to know how to get to that level of proficiency, and how to do it fast. This can be a business where you teach them precisely that, and help them bypass all the obstacles that you faced when you were learning.

Tech Tools

Discover what tech tools you need to start your business.

A lot of people have the mindset that technology is scary. They’re intimidated by it, but it’s mostly because they don’t understand technology. It turns out technology isn’t that difficult to grasp, and this is because technology has advanced so much that it is infinitely easier today than it was when I first started my first business in 2002.

While you can go crazy and get all kinds of fancy technologies and tools, there are really just a few that you need to get started. I highly recommend these as I’m actually using them myself.

Content Management System: WordPress.org

There’s a reason why WordPress powers over 25% of the world’s websites. It’s fast, easy-to-use, and powerful – not to mention, free. Check it out

Web Hosting: SiteGround.com

If you want a website, you’ll need web hosting and a domain name. While there are many web hosting companies around, I use and recommend SiteGround. Check it out

Sitebuilder: Elementor

WordPress has a good built-in WYSIWYG editor named Gutenburg, but to truly get a nice website the way you want it, and quickly, you have to try Elementor. Check it out

Marketing System: MailerLite

Once you have a business going, you need a way to stay in touch with your tribe. MailerLite provides an affordable email platform that allows you to not just build a subscriber list, but to have comprehensive tracking and analytics too. Check it out

Grow Your Business

These are the first steps that you can take to start your business. Do them, then grow your business. Leave me feedback or questions in the comments below.

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About the author

Alvin Poh

I've over 17 years of entrepreneurship experience, having built a tech company to be the top in the country, which was subsequently acquired for an 8-figure sum. As CEO, I led the company through robust growth to 150 employees across 4 countries. After the acquisition, I embraced minimalism, sold off my personal possessions, and started living around the world.

Read more about my story here.

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By Alvin Poh

About Author

I've over 17 years of entrepreneurship experience, having built a tech company to be the top in the country, which was subsequently acquired for an 8-figure sum. As CEO, I led the company through robust growth to 150 employees across 4 countries. After the acquisition, I embraced minimalism, sold off my personal possessions, and started living around the world.

Read more about my story here.