What you’ll discover in this article is not the ordinary stuff, but it comes from years of experience.
And yes, I made all these mistakes before I got wise and started to invest in the right way in my business.
My name is Matt Maré for those of you who don’t know me. In 1993 my wife and I started our own computer business in a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
It was at the time when the Internet was still just a rumour and computers ran on MS-DOS.
In this article we will discuss how you get organized, set your goals, and manage your time and money well.
Your mind and creativity will be your biggest asset.
Building an online business is like starting a small business with a street view. The biggest difference with an online business is that now you should have a GLOBAL view. The good news is that it’s much cheaper to start an online business today.
Your 7 “Starting Your Business” Steps
- Get a Day Planner and get organized.
- Manage your money and plan your expenses.
- Find the vision for your business.
- Manage your time well.
- Be alert in everything you do.
- Become a real creator.
- Invest in yourself first – then in your business – then real estate and dividend shares.
These are the main topics of this article, and they represent the important things that people normally don’t tell you about starting an online business (or any business for that matter.)
Now let’s look at each step in more detail.
Step 1 – Getting Organized
Just like with anything, it helps to be well organized. The old saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, is still true and even more so today with so much more distractions.
Get a daily planner and start writing down things to do. For each day try to keep it to just five things but make notes about everything that you still need to do. We will discuss this more in step five.
To start an online business, you’ll need a reliable computer, desktop, or notebook. Some people will tell you that you can run an online business from your smartphone, but to start with you need a real computer with a bigger screen for browsing.
On this computer create folders for your business in the Document’s directory.
This is to keep things well organized and easy to find later. Set up folders like bookkeeping, domains, hosting, learning, advertising, utilities, research, memberships, social media, etc.
You’ll probably subscribe to several online programs like an autoresponder, training and more. It’s a good idea to create folders on your browser taskbar to keep all the login links for these programs.
Here is an example of what mine looks like:
I make use of Crome which will save your username and password for each program. It saves a lot of time not having to remember these details and having to type it in each time you want to open a program.
The second very important thing to do when you start your business is to keep track of your money.
Step 2 – Manage Your Money and Plan Your Expenses
If you don’t know how much you spend, you’ll soon be in trouble and sit with huge credit card debt. It is just too easy to spend money that you don’t have.
Get a good bookkeeping system like QuickBooks or at least set up a spreadsheet with columns for your expenses and income. The first columns should be for the date and what it was for and then the amount. It should be like your bank statement because you will get most of the information from there as well as your credit card statement.
It is best to plan for each expense in advance so that it does not come as a surprise to you. You’ll have to register a domain name or two for your business. I have three: mattmare.com, mattmare.net and mattmare.co.za.
Normally when you register your domain name, they also offer you a free name for the first year. It’s usually the company name for your specific country like co.uk, co.au, or co.za. They will also prompt you to get hosting from them as well, but I would advise you not to take it there.
Some companies will allow you hosting for more than one domain name and even give you reseller rights. You will then get paid commission when you refer others to use these hosting services. Soon this will allow you to get your hosting free. This is where your affiliate journey can start.
I make use of HostThenProfit which allows you hosting for four domain names plus they give you access to all the marketing tools that you need for effective online marketing.
These tools consist of:
- Professional Autoresponder Service.
- Easy Video Producer.
- Conference Service.
- Prospecting System.
- Training Academy.
In 1993 I only had about R50,000 ($15,000) to start my computer business after we lost the farm due to a severe three-year drought. Today you will need only $5,000 to start your online business.
The most important initial investment that you should make is in your training. Find a mentor who has done what you want to do and subscribe to the training, coaching, and consulting.
The fastest way that you’ll pick up all the necessary skills is by doing things. The problem is that you don’t even know what to do in the beginning, let alone how to do it. Find a mentor that is prepared to do things for you in the beginning or at least get their help to do the right stuff from the start.
This will enable you to see results sooner and it will motivate you to keep going. My mentor created a sales funnel for me stacked with all his products. All I had to do was to get traffic. His training helped me to get more and more traffic quickly.
Soon I was able to make daily sales and now I was able to start creating my own products. While promoting my mentor’s products, I came to realize what people want and what their main problems are.
Without access to a mentor, it will take you years to develop all the necessary skills to become a successful online marketer.
These are skills like copywriting and the art of online marketing. Today you can get help by using AI with these skills. It can even help you to create effective sales letters, email follow-up series, images for social posts as well as marketing or training videos.
To learn more about using AI effectively, just follow the link below at no cost:
Step 3 – Find Your Vision
To have a successful online business, you must have a clear vision for it. This will allow you to set the right goals for your business.
Once you have determined what your goals should be, you can then properly plan how to reach those goals in the fastest time. Set clear priorities and then stick to it until you see results. This will motivate you to keep going.
Visualize what it would feel like when you reach your goals each day until it is as if you have already reached your goals. Your subconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary. You will start to be that successful person in how you think and how you act. This will enable you to see success sooner.
Take it one step at a time and complete each project before you start working on the next thing.
Your mind works better with clear data. Set exact and attainable goals for yourself.
It’s better to say: “I want a monthly income of $5,000 before Christmas”, than to say: “I want to make more money soon”. Also tell your spouse and mentor what your goals are and that they should keep you accountable.
See yourself paying off your credit card debt once and for all and just think how great that would make you feel!
Step 4 – Manage Your Time Well
We have already touched on this in the previous steps, but it is so important that we must discuss it in more detail.
Decide what is the priority and what would make you advance faster towards reaching your goal.
Focus all your attention on this one important thing until it’s done. Too many people get easily distracted and jump from one thing to the next without ever completing anything.
Listen to your mentor and just focus on what is important to move forward.
Initially it would be to start building your prospect list. This entails the creation of a landing page, a lead magnet and follow-up emails for your autoresponder.
Next your focus should be on getting high demand affiliate products that you can promote to your list members to start earning a commission. Once everything is set up properly, you then focus on getting traffic to your landing page.
To learn more about list building, follow the link below at no cost: https://mattmare.co.za/list-builder/
Planning what you’ll do each day in advance will prevent you from wasting time each morning to decide what you’ll do that day.
This brings us to the next step…
Step 5 – Be Alert in Everything
This is one of the things that I learned from my mentor that made a huge improvement towards my productivity. He showed me how to use the acronym BALERT.
B – Blueprint or plan for the day.
A – Action on what is most important.
L – Learn to improve your skills and to add to your knowledge.
E – Exercise to keep fit and agile.
R – Relax to refresh your mind and body.
T – Think about your future. Use your journal.
This is worth more than gold and if you do it each day, you will accomplish more than what you ever thought possible. It will make a huge difference in your life and your business.
It is living with a purpose and purpose is the best motivator there is. You can even use it when going on a holiday. I’m certain that you will enjoy it much more than just letting the days slip by.
So far, we have covered your vision, goals, time, money, and now we come to the creative part of being a business owner.
Step 6 – Become a Creator
To really advance in big strides, you must be more creative. When you learned the skill of marketing and practiced by selling other people’s products as an affiliate, it’s time to start creating your own stuff.
If you have the necessary skills, you can even get others to do the work for you.
My father always told me that you cannot tell somebody how to shear a sheep until you can do it yourself. You first need to experience the pain and struggle. This is true in everything you do. You first need to become the expert before you can teach others.
In the words of Michael Cheney, my mentor:
“The ones who create things, earn the money. In marketing you will stand out when you become the creator.”
Create your own lead magnet, landing page and email series to build your prospect list with the people that resonate with you and love your style.
I wrote this guide about creating the Ultimate Lead Magnet and you can download it by clicking the link.
Create your own angles, your own stories and then create your own unique products.
To learn more about course creation, check this out: (It’s just $29 er month)
This level of creativity is where the big money lies!
Once you start making money on a consistent basis, it is time to look at investments and how you can make your money last for longer than you live.
Step 7 – Invest your Money Wisely
Before you can invest money, you must make profits. The biggest mistake new business owners make is that they spend more than what they earn. It is not wrong to spend money if you spend it on the right things though.
You should for instance never start paid advertising before you have tested and optimized your sales funnel. You do the testing with free traffic. Test different ads and landing pages in that sequence. Find out what works best and then always try to improve it.
I learned an early lesson while playing with my black friends on the farm as a young boy. There was an old man that told us stories and he taught us the rule of three. He started by showing us that you can easily break a stick, but if you bundle them up, you cannot break it that easily anymore.
He went on to lay out the rule of three:
- The first cow you slaughter and eat to stay alive.
- The second cow goes to lobola (bride’s price).
- The third cow runs with the bull and produces a calf.
I later learned to use this same rule in my business with great success:
- With one third of your income, you pay all your bills.
- With the second third, you buy more inventory or use it to create products to sell.
- The last third you must invest for your future needs.
The investments you can also do in three parts.
First you invest in yourself by buying books, training, and a mentorship.
The second part you invest in your business by employing people or to buy the right tools and accessories to improve your business service for the customers.
The last part you invest for your later years in real estate, dividend shares or a study fund for your children.
If you follow the advice in this article from the start, you will be much better off than me who had to learn in the school of hard knocks.
I even had to “die” before I realized the value of my loving wife Martha to whom I am married nearly 45 years now. Read all about it here in my blog:
I hope you enjoyed this article and would love to hear your feedback. You can contact me here: https://mattmare.com/contact/
If you are interested in making money online quickly, I might talk to my mentor, Michael Cheney, to see if he can also fit you in as an apprentice.
To see what he has to offer, have a quick look at my new website: