Turn your bright idea into an online mega force with these million dollar tips (free, for you!)…
You could be sitting on a golden online idea right now, and not even realise its potential. Or maybe you do understand the possibilities, but aren’t quite sure the steps you need to take to turn it into a reality? Whether you’re a budding hobbyist with a crafty idea or an entrepreneur from way back, this little gem could be the www.bible you’re looking for.
Bernadette Schwerdt, author of Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs, has created the ultimate how-to guide for those looking to learn how to create, grow and ultimately sell an online business. Through in-depth interviews with 35 of Australia’s greatest online entrepreneurs, including Stephanie Alexander (The Cooks Companion), Gabby Leibovich (Catch of the Day) & Kate Morris (Adore Beauty), Bernadette reveals the secrets behind their success – what they did right, what they did wrong, what they would do differently, the challenges they faced and how you can achieve their success.
“Great athletes and great entrepreneurs have a lot in common,” says Bernadette. “For starters, they both know that planning, persistence and mindset are the keys to success.” Here, Bernadette writes about a few other success tips she learnt from interviewing some of Australia’s most outstanding business owners…
1. Do What Others Don’t, Won’t Or Can’t
It’s no secret that great athletes do what others don’t, won’t or can’t. That’s why they’re great. Successful entrepreneurs are the same. When Dean Ramler and his mate Ruslan Kogan hatched their plan to launch their online designer furniture site Milan Direct, they didn’t just go home to think about it, they bought a plane ticket to China. “The day after we got the idea to sell designer furniture online, we researched 150 Chinese factories that could do what we wanted,” explains Dean. “We narrowed it to a group of 20 and then we jumped on a plane to China and stayed there for weeks and weeks meeting all the factory owners, choosing the right suppliers, making sure that the people we eventually partnered with were able to deliver on the quality we needed. We chose 12 factories, all of which we still use today.”
Milan Direct is now Australia’s largest online furniture retailer and has over 300,000 customers. Dean and Ruslan would have been quite within their rights to say, ‘Why should we have to schlepp all over China, eat bad food and breathe bad air just to get this business off the ground? Why can’t we be at home eating pizza, drinking beer and watching Game of Thrones?’ But that’s not the way successful entrepreneurs (or athletes) think. They do what needs to be done.
Tip: Like great athletes, successful entrepreneurs do what others don’t, won’t or can’t to reach their goals, and are prepared to be uncomfortable and inconvenienced in the process.
2. Get Help
All the data says that working out with a buddy or a trainer is the key to success. It’s the same with business. One of the main reasons why people fail to manifest their business dreams is because they think they have to do it all themselves, especially the technical bit. It’s not the case, says James Tuckerman, founder of online entrepreneur magazine Anthill Australia. “If you don’t know how to build a website, upload a video or set up a shopping cart, get a buddy or an expert to help you,” explains James. “Sites like Freelancer, elance or fiverr offer everything you need, cost less than you think and will save you a lot of stress.”
Focus on what you do well and find experts to help you with the rest. Enormous amounts of mental and physical energy are released when we free ourselves of the burden of having to do everything.
Tip: Getting help from others and accepting you don’t have all the answers is a key factor in realising any goal, be it in fitness or business.
3. Get Started
Like all great athletes, great entrepreneurs know that success is about having the courage to start. Just as getting fit is taking that first step on the treadmill, business success starts with putting your product in the marketplace. The best way to do that is to create a prototype; something that people can buy to see if your idea has merit.
Simon Griffiths, founder of the social enterprise Who Gives A Crap, a toilet paper company that gives 50% of its profits to build toilets in the developing world, needed to know if people would buy toilet paper online before he invested in setting up a factory. “We set up a Shopify store for forty bucks and then went to the supermarket, bought a bunch of toilet paper, found some boxes, packaged it up and then started mailing it to people,” explains Simon. “It cost us a stupid amount of money, but it allowed us to test whether people would actually respond to the opportunity to buy toilet paper online.”
It worked. The business has been an outstanding success and it’s why their product has been called ‘the world’s most impactful toilet paper’.
Tip: Don’t just talk about your idea; create a prototype so that people can buy it, then get it out to the marketplace as quickly as you can and see what happens. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Bernadette Schwerdt is the director of the Australian School of Copywriting, an online marketing strategist and the author of the new book, ‘Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs: How Australia’s Online Mavericks, Innovators and Disruptors Built Their Businesses…And How You Can Too (Wiley $29.95). To download a sample chapter and access free resources on how to build an online business, visit here.
What’s the one thing you need to do to get your online business up and running? Tell us below…