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How Long Before an Internet-based Business is Profitable?

by Austin Smith

Many people heading into internet-based businesses don’t have realistic expectations of how long it takes be profitable. This is because of all the hype about how easy it is to make a fortune online. You can make money selling goods and services online. However, there is USUALLY a learning curve or more. From discussions with others earning a nice income online, it seems to take between 8 to 12 months before things take off. You can shorten this learning period though.

How Long Before an Internet-based Business is Profitable?

During this learning period, the struggling business is:
1. Building name recognition.
2. Finding products or services that really sell.
3. Developing a business system.
4. Making lots of mistakes.

1. Building name recognition and an online presence are very necessary for many circles. People like buying from someone they know. Your potential customers want to know that you are going to be around tomorrow. If you have been in business for a while, then customers feel that you must be doing something right. Since you are successful they want to associate with and learn from you.

2. There are tons of products and services that you can offer from your website. New affiliate programs spring up every day. The problem is knowing which product or service is really in demand. Most of us have joined affiliate programs that proved disappointing. The key here is to really look at the products. Ask yourself if is something really needed. Also, make sure that the commission paid is high enough to allow you to really earn some money. I think 40 to 50 percent is needed for some products. If the product offers a residual income, a lower commission will still allow you a decent profit stream over time.

3. Developing a business system takes time. You should have a business plan before you do anything else. Have a plan for how and where you will advertise. Know how much web hosting, site promotion, and outside support will cost. Have a complete system thought through to include such things as using autoresponders, following up, and delivering the products. Not having completely thought things through is what causes most of the mistakes.

4. Finally, you make lots of mistakes during this learning period. Fortunately, you can learn from others mistakes and avoid repeating some of them. Read all of the how-to articles you can get your hand on, but be critical about what you read by questioning things that are not (yet) make sense. Read good books on the topic(s) of your interest. Let others who have already set up a working system show you how it’s done. This is how you accelerate the process and avoid making so many mistakes.

Building your online business begins with knowing what to expect so that you are prepared. Study and do enough of the right things and your business should take off. It doesn’t usually happen overnight, but with careful consideration and perseverance, success does happen. There is a great quote that said, “Luck favors those who are well prepared.” I couldn’t agree with it more.

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