As the price of gasoline goes through the roof and groceries are more expensive by the day, it seems that more people are asking how to start a business for free, or at least for very little investment. Enticed by ads offering instant wealth, they eagerly sign up for online opportunities and then sit back and wait for the money to roll in.
Is that how it really works? Can you just sign up and then wait at the mailbox for checks? This is the subject I want to address. I understand that if someone is desperate for money, they might go out and find a part-time job or offer a service out of their home. But many are online searching looking to start a business for free. Are you one of those people? If so, I have a few questions for you.
Are you seriously looking for a business?
When a small business owner plans on starting his business, he draws up a business plan. He has a written document that describes his business, his start-up costs, his operating costs, his projected income/sales, his advertising plan, etc. He consults with bankers, attorneys, accountants and others as he develops his plan. Are you starting to get the picture? Long before the little shopkeeper opened those doors, he had a plan. He knew he was going into business
Starting a home business can be far less complicated, but you should consider approaching it like a business and not a hobby. Approach it with a plan and a budget. They say that 97% of all affiliate marketers FAIL at network marketing. That is, they make no real income and they quit. I suggest that it is not always the opportunity that was bad. After all, there are some who make money with each of these opportunities. But it is easy to fail if you approach your new opportunity as a hobby instead of a business, or if you have it in your mind that you will give it a little time and then quit if it doesn’t work out.
How did you choose your business?
Were you surfing the internet filling out forms? You might be surprised to know that when you fill out a form, your name and email address go on a list. Or maybe it’s a list owned by a lead company who is now going to sell your personal information to one or more (usually more) eager network marketers that will start emailing you and calling you. Maybe you found your business after being contacted by a network marketer.
Maybe you saw an ad and the company looked interesting, or they promised overnight wealth. Maybe you’ve been investigating on the internet and you have found articles raving about the virtues of certain opportunities, about how other opportunities are scams, etc. You might be shocked to know that not all that is written on the internet is true. Some sites that purport to compare products are actually sites set up expressly to promote a product. You are not always going to know.
Did you pick a business just because it was free? Or did you pick one opportunity over the other because one was $10 cheaper than the other? Price does not necessarily determine the value or potential of a business. There really are some opportunities that are absolutely free! There are also some that are very inexpensive, or nearly free. Chances are that when you invest less money, you will have to invest more time and energy, and perhaps you will wait a little longer to realize an income.
Are you willing to invest your time and effort?
You’ve signed up for your new company. You have a fancy website. You follow instructions and write down a list of all the people you know and you invite them to see your website. Now you have no one else to invite. How do you get traffic to your website? How do you get customers? For many novices, this is the time that they break down and purchase those leads.
If you don’t want to buy leads, you’ve come to the place where you will have to do the things that attract visitors to your website or you will have to pay someone else to do it. You will either invest your time, knowledge and effort or you will pay for someone else’s expertise.
You have work to do before you choose your opportunity. You may not have to come up with a business plan, but you should research the field you are about to enter. Start at the library and read as many books as you can. Read articles in objective, well-respected magazines such as Entrepreneur or Inc. You might start spending your evenings in the big bookstore with the comfy chairs so you can read more up-to-date materials. Then, only after you start to have an idea of what kind of internet business would be right for you, start looking around the internet. Start reading forums. At this point you should have developed some discernment about what might be best for you.
I also suggest that you find an opportunity that gives you access to training tools to keep up to date with the latest in internet marketing. I’m not talking about an out-of-date, price-inflated E-book. The better opportunities have an interactive forum, and a dynamic back office. Then, you need to be willing to invest your time to learn the ins and outs of internet marketing so that you can drive traffic to your website.
If you want to know how to start a business for free, or nearly for free, just be sure to approach it as a business. Be willing to invest your time and effort into learning how to build your business. Most of all, don’t give up. The lessons you learn will be invaluable and you will be able to utilize your skills with other businesses.

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