You and I know that no matter if you are going to start a bakery shop, a real estate agency or an online business, your potential customers expect your business to have an online presence. In other words, a website is a MUST for an offline or online business.
You most likely have some clues where to start for an offline business. But how and where to start an online business? Before moving on, let me back up a little bit and ask you this question.
How much is one hour of your life worth? Yes, just one hour. $20? $100? $5,000? Priceless, you can’t name the price!!! You may have a job and work for someone else. Do you always think that you should have got more pay?
No matter what business, when and where you are going to start, you put time and money investing in it. You know that your time is priceless. So, you need to start it right. Otherwise, all your effort, time and money are wasted.
What made me say that? Well, many people, myself included, always go by the cheapest route. Most of the time, we pick the worst route just by looking at the “$$$”. Then, we failed and claimed that it didn’t work.
Yes, I was that person and learned my lesson in a very hard way. But I didn’t stop or give up. I continue and keep on going.
Remember there is no get rich quick. “Get Rich Quick” is a statement to get your attention. We will come back to this later as we move along.
There is always a business idea in one’s heart, isn't there? Pay attention to conversations with your friends. Do they always comment on something and say that it would be a great business idea? But taking the first step usually is THE step keeping people from taking action. After that first step, you must be consistent and keep plugging along because there is NO get-rich-quick.
I started building websites since 1998 because of my passion for creativity. I had never thought of using this channel to make money until more than 10 years later.
Throughout the past 20 years, I learned a lot and made tons of mistakes along the way. I want to share with you my experiences and why I have been with SBI since 2009 for a subscription fee $299/year. (To some business owners, that sounds like a lot. But keep reading. The mistakes I made along the way and the tools other web hosting companies do NOT provide cost a lot more.)
My first 2 websites were sub domains which were free. (To make it easier to understand what sub domain means, it is very similar to getting a blog space from Google. But those 2 scenarios I mentioned here were even worse).
I posted my own lyrics on the first “website”. The next one was used for posting our wedding pictures so that my families living overseas could see them. (It was in the late 1990s and 2002. Social media was not popular. It was almost non-existent.)
Free stuff is NOT free because you or someone else will somehow have to pay for it.
There were no choices in either of my websites when it came to design templates. I did a little bit of self-study of HTML code for doing websites back then. So, I was kind of able to manage putting up photos and “contents”. But it did NOT look beautiful at all, not to mention professional.
With SBI, there are many ready-to-use templates with beautiful pictures and color themes. If you want to customize your template here and there, there are tutorials to walk you through the steps what to do and where to go. If you are a HTML pro, you can totally customize everything.
SBI also has many short tutorials to walk you through how to use some HTML codes to incorporate into your non-HTML template. These codes will help you to enhance your website flexibility, especially when it comes to monetization related design.
All you need to do as a solopreneur is to copy and paste; customize it to your liking. Yes, that’s easy, even if you and I are not the HTML pro. You still have the opportunity and knowledge within reach to incorporate it into your website/business that was built out of any template. Sign up now.
Around 2002, I ran a Chinese calligraphy business. After 2 years of doing craft shows every weekend, I decided to bring my business online. Learning from the past, I knew that it would be a paid domain name to make it work. No more free stuff.
Back then, my online store was to have people do instant download after payment. The concept was very new, but doable. I did need a lot of coding in order to make my website work. Through a friend’s referral, I hired an oversea web developer to put this web site together.
I only paid a monthly web hosting fee with a very inexpensive price. Well, the website didn’t go anywhere. At that time, I was still thinking that get rich quick through an online business was the way to go. So, I kept on plugging without thinking much about what I had done wrong, such as gaining traffic through the CTPM (Content -> Traffic -> Pre-Sale -> Monetization) concept that SBI has been teaching all along.
Then, somehow I found a local web hosting company. They told me about one of their staff with a doctorate degree of website and blah, blah, blah...
After spending over $1,000 later for them to "analyze" the problem of my website, the only answer they could provide me was to start a blog. The report they printed out for me was only 2 pages with many print-screens and one side printed for each page.
For them to do all “this” work, I needed to move my domain over and they would be my web hosting company. Man, oh man. The price was expensive. Just the web hosting fee was $36/month. That was back in 2004.
The functions provided in the whole package was even worse than the previous provider. So, I made an overnight decision. Whatever money I wasted was history. There was no way for me to allow this to happen. I switched it back to my previous provider.
Little did I know that my website required a lot more coding work for switching back and forth between web hosting companies. It was a tough challenge. It might be easier now. Think about smart phone and ebooks were not even in the market yet at the time. So, you can imagine having a website to do all the things I described earlier could be super complicated.
The owner of my old web hosting company promised me that he would take care of it to get my website running in no time after switching back. A week passed. Second week passed. I heard nothing and my website was still down. Then, he told me that he was dedicating some time in his singing career. So, he had no time for me. With my determination, I somehow figured this out myself. Yes, lucky me. But it was many days of worry and burning midnight oil.
My fiasco made you dizzy already, right? Within those 2 web hosting companies, there has never been any customer support. When I had problems, it was the company owner picking up the phone and answered me. And they got tons of other things on their plate. My problem was not important to them and I was at the bottom of their to-do list. There was once the owner from that local web hosting company that told me, “What's the rush? Your website is not generating any money.” I know I should have discontinued the contract right away.
In SBI, you have Support Help that will responds to you within 24-48 hours. If it is something more complicated, they will let you know what the estimated time they are going to need to resolve your problem.
They will explain and send you instructions in case you need to follow the same steps to do the same things again in the future. If it is more complicated like my previous website, they would refer you to SBI certified experts with very reasonable consulting fee.
For those who have a very limited budget, you can go to the forum to search for answers. In my opinion, the SBI Forum is like a mastermind group. You can ask questions such as monetization, your plan of your website and many more. There are many SBI users have been on that same boat before. They are willing to give advice to help and share with you their experiences. The search engine embedded into this forum is very powerful. Some wisdom shared by someone else maybe a couple years ago. But you are still able to find it and apply to your business. Facebook may have some private group setting. But comparing to the power and the knowledge shared within SBI forum, it is second to none. And this is what you need as a business owner.
During this period of time while I was still keeping this Chinese calligraphy site, I started up a recipe blog. This is another free “domain” venture. If you are interested, you still can check it out here.
It was pretty much the peak time where everybody started blogging. Honestly, I had no clue, but just posting as much content under the mercy of a search engine which gives you this free space for having your blog.
Throughout all these years, including lately, I purposefully check out 2 web hosting companies which are very well-known in the industry, I found that the majority of them out there would ask you to get your domain name and get right into business.
Remember that statement, “There is no get rich quick.” What got my attention about SBI from the beginning was the planning. There is an action guide (the SBI users call it the Bible) written by SBI that you are required to go through it (although you still can skip all the steps and go straight to registering your domain name. But sure enough, you will regret it later).
There are written, audio and video versions. You can go through whichever version is best for you. You can also go through the action guide by a combinations of 2 or 3 versions together. Take however long you need to complete it. The action guide will walk you through each step with different strategies and instructions of how to use SBI tools to complete your blueprint (aka business plan). The goal is to set you up for success.
Once your action guide is completed and you are ready to start your business, it doesn't stop there. SBI has many other tools to support the execution of your business plan and expansion.
This is just one of the best features that SBI stands out among other competitors that make me to stay with them for a yearly subscription fee of $299. No other web hosting companies I had ever come across would provide what SBI does.
Interested in WordPress with SBI? Click here.
I remember when I first signed up with SBI, I called the Customer Support for this question which has been the industry standard. "How much memory space do I have with my website?" I was surprised that there was no limit. If you look at any other big players in the web hosting industry, the package always goes by how much memory/space you will get. That's basically the determining factor of the package price you pay. Think about how many pictures you take on a regular basis. Do they eat up the memory of your smart phone easily? Apply that same concept in your web site, you know what I mean. Click here to do more comparisons of SBI and other big players in the industry.
You heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimizer). SBI has been keeping eyes on these changes throughout the years and provide FREE study guides on how to tackle these changes. The best of all, there are many automatic tools in place to make sure every page you built legitimately by following the rules of the 3 BIG search engines, but optimized it at the same time. This is the tool that I had never got from other web hosting companies which helped to drive traffic to my websites/blog before.
How does SBI do it? All I know is that I only need to click a button before I publish a new web page. SBI engine (aka Analysis It) will tell me what I did right and wrong. I fix it and click on that same button again to double check. Just only this function, I have been using it since day one I joined SBI in 2009. And it has been updating regularly to match the search engine changes.
Remember my question about how much one hour of your life is worth?! This is where it comes in. Other web hosting companies only give you the space with limited amount of memory, mailbox and other very basic tools to run your online business. There are still a tons of work you need to do consistently to keep up with Google and other search engines. SBI does this for you. There are tons of materials available exclusively for SBIers. (What I mean "exclusive" is that you CANNOT find any ebooks SBI wrote on the market). For many people who love DIY, tools are basically within your fingertips with this subscription.
I can go on and on about many features. But my point is, all these unique tools SBI provides helps pave my path to success. I sure do not want to go back to early 2000s to go through those heartaches again.
If you want to start a successful business, start it right and have great support system and tools to help you in expansion. You saw all those mistakes I made and the stress I went through. Being a solopreneur, there are so many things on your plate. Your focus is to develop and expand your business. At the end, not only you will hear "ching, ching...." the money sound, but also you get to spend more time with someone or do something important in your life.
For new subscribers, there is a 90-day money back guarantee. So, take your FIRST step to your path of success. Sign up now.
Still have more questions how it works, submit your questions.
Home > How to Start an Online Business
New! CommentsBe the first of your friends to comment what you just read