Sunday, April 14, 2024

6 Tips on Overcoming the Obstacles to an Online Business

On the Internet, it’s ‘easy come, easy go’.

Opportunities are everywhere you care to look online. Tempting promises of easy riches and instant millionaires stare us in the face. People fall for the hype, discover that it’s much more work than they’d thought, and dump the ‘business’.

Half-hearted attempts at making money online simply aren’t enough. If you’ve been online for some time now, you no doubt have come to the same conclusion: building a viable Internet business takes time and effort – just like any other business. We all lead busy lives … but if you truly want to start a home business, it’s going to require a commitment to overcoming whatever obstacles lie in your path. Some of the most common include …

No Time. Lack of time is definitely one of the biggest obstacles to starting your own business. Many people are working full-time at another job, have children to care for, do volunteer work, and generally lead busy lives.

There is no doubt about it: starting a business is going to require sacrifices. Think about any time-wasters you currently indulge in; can you use the hour you spend watching TV each night to work on your business instead?

This isn’t to say you should cut everything else out of your life. Everyone needs to relax, eat right, and exercise to stay healthy. But it’s never going to be the ‘right time’, so getting creative about organizing your time is a must. You can find some wonderful time- management tips at

Frustration and Complaints about Using a Computer. This is *very* common; obviously you and your computer are going to have to be on the best of terms if you’re planning to do business online! Yet many people ignore this, get frustrated, and give up.

You don’t have to be an ‘expert’; you just need to be comfortable. End PC rage by taking a little time to learn how they work. Check with your local college or community center for appropriate courses, or get yourself a copy of the excellent ‘Windows for Newbies’, a wonderful book that uses a picture-driven learning system,

Uncertainties about Learning HTML. HTML is the language used to create web pages. It’s often called a ‘programming language’, conjuring up intimidating mental images of techno-geeks madly coding complicated software in some dark, dank basement.

Have no fear. HTML is a really just a simple formatting language – much like what the old word processing software used to use. There are plenty of excellent tutorials available. The one I recommend is Joe Barta’s excellent online tutorial, available at

Worries about ‘Technical’ Stuff It can feel somewhat overwhelming to try to figure out what’s what when you’re new to the world of computers or the Internet. And it can be hard to ask questions that may seem ‘simple’ to others. For a set of great (free) tutorials written in Plain English, visit

Money! Surprisingly, this is one of the LEAST mentioned worries I’ve heard from my visitors and newsletter subscribers. Starting an online business doesn’t have to be expensive at all; so long as you already have a computer, your expenses can very easily be less than $100 a month – and often much less. My own expenses in the first few months online were less than $50 a month, just for Internet access and web hosting.

Some options for covering your business costs include:

Continue to work full-time while working on your business part-time; Work part-time at your job and part-time on your business; Use some of your savings; Borrow from family or friends; Take out a small business loan. Check out the Small Business Association’s list of financial assistance programs at

Fears About a Lack of Support from Family & Friends. This is a tough one. Family and friends are supposed to support us because they love us, right?

For many of us, family and friends who are seeking to ‘protect’ us from scams may either deliberately or inadvertantly make discouraging remarks.

There are no hard and fast rules for handling family and friends; if you’re not yet comfortable telling others about your online ventures, then don’t. Otherwise, just be firm: state that you are working hard to build a viable business and that you would appreciate their support.

Building a suport network of like-minded individuals may help. Search for suitable forums at or join the Small Business community at .

Make a conscious choice to put forth the time and effort needed to build a viable business. Make this your year to increase your online income!

Cathy Bryant has been marketing online since the last century, so she knows what works and what doesn’t. Right now she’s offering a terrific 5-part mini-course titled, “Promoting Your Business Without Busting Your Budget!” You may access a copy by sending a blank email to:

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