For the last 10 years I was a self-sustained person, getting my income for my online business. Last year I made a successful exit from that and started a much more enjoyable activity as a personal development blogger, here at dragosroua.com. Not that having a blog as a main activity would be an easier venture, it is quite difficult if you do it correctly, but is a little bit less resource consuming than full time managing an online business.
Having a business for more than 10 years is a big challenge. Being your own boss is a transforming experience, and when you succeed at it for more than 5-7 years, the transformations are profound. And having an online business for more than 10 years is more like a lifetime in digital years. Because this field is so dynamic that financial cycles are measured in months. New technologies appears basically all the time and the market is a continuous change.
I want to share with you the experiences I had with this activity, the bad and the good ones. The fact that I made a successful exist doesn’t mean I didn’t do mistakes, on the contrary. I had to overcome a lot of ignorance, hasty decisions, bad economic contexts and so on. Hopefully you will be able to learn about those possible mistakes without actually doing them.
Please note that I don’t know the correct way of doing an online business. I only know I succeeded in creating mine. Maybe some of my thoughts are not mainstream, maybe some of them are just plain rubbish or maybe some of them are pure gold. It’s completely up to you to buy them or not.
This series of articles will contain 6 parts:
Starting Your Own Business
This is my first post on the series and it’s already published, you can read it here. It’s a little bit odd to put the introduction of a series of articles after you publish the first one, but there is a good reason for that. The first article is not so focused on the online field, but more on the general entrepreneurship qualities you need in order to start any type of business. So you can read and comment on this article even if you’re not so into the online.
Managing An Online Business – The Projects
This part will deal with various aspects of starting your actual products, which in online business are mostly named “projects”. Most of the time your products will not go over the “project” status. Most of the time you will not know in advance if something is working or not, if something will bring you money or not, if something will last for more than 2-3 years or not. This article will also deal with the ignition part of a project, how and when to choose a project, how to grow it and when to abandon it.
Managing An Online Business – The Team
You cannot really start a business, not only an online business, all by yourself. You will need a team around you. This article will outline how I picked my team, how I managed it and what are the mistakes I did. A team is extremely important in the online business, because of the fragility of this medium. The biggest challenge here is not to feed your competition with your trained employees.
Managing An Online Business – The Money
Cash-flow was the first term I learned after I started my business. Managing money was one of the most time consuming activities I had to learn. I started my business on a very hostile economic climate, when financing was an extraterrestrial term, and I had to finance my business using the three “F”: family, friends and fools.
Managing An Online Business – Promotion
You can have the best projects in the market, the best team to back them up and all the money you need, but if you don’t promote your presence it will be very difficult to be “discovered”. The online medium is overcrowded and you will need promotion. Not all advertising works and not all the proved methods for one business are effective for every other business.
Managing An Online Business – Partnerships
This is the superior level of a team. The difference is that partnerships can be extended outside your own company. You can partner with other players in the filed, with complementary players or with suppliers. Partnership is walking on a very thin ice, and sometimes it breaks.
These are the articles and please note that based on your feed-back I can alter either the order in which they are delivered, either the actual content of each article. After all, you are deciding what you want to read, isn’t it? So, feel free to ask in advance about any of the topics above, I will do my best to answer them.