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Home Internet Business – 5 Mistakes to Avoid at Startup

Author: Bob Davis

Starting your own home Internet business can be an exciting thing. Dreams of independence, being your own boss, walking 20 feet to your office, early retirement, and telling your boss where he can 'place' that weekly report is appealing to most everyone.

Unfortunately it's not all glitz and glamour and at some point the dream loses much of its luster. This usually happens around the time one realizes that running an Internet business from the 'comfort of your home' is really a lot of work, that home is not as comfortable as its cracked up to be, and that retirement is still light-years away.

Even so, running your own Internet Business is still one of the best things since sliced bread and bad clichés. In this article I've listed some initial mistakes that many Internet novices tend to make and how to avoid them. "The smoothest road to success is the one without the potholes we create for ourselves." A famous person probably already said that. If not, then somebody alert Bartlett!

1. Don't Plan to Run Your Internet Business on the Family Computer.

This is a huge mistake that's made more often than you might think. In true capitalist fashion, many newbies figure they can save a buck or two by using the family computer instead of purchasing one of their own. Believe me, you don't want to go there.

If you have any doubts, simply picture what it would be like to have your 4-year old son pounding on the keys of the computer at your office or your obnoxious brother-in-law sloshing beer all over your desk while he surfs porn sites. Think your superiors would approve? Think you'd get much work done? Getting the picture?

If you want to run a successful Internet business, it is imperative that you work from your own computer that you have absolute control over.

2. Don't Plan to Set Up Your Home Office on the Kitchen Table.

I don't know about you, but my kitchen is like Grand Central Station nearly 24 hours a day. Yes, the kitchen table can make a nice substitute for a computer desk in a pinch, but I would not want to work there on a continual basis. There is simply too much distraction in your kitchen, or for that matter, any other main living area of your home.

What you need is a quiet place that you can get away from the daily ruckus, where you can spread out and concentrate on the tasks at hand. Ideally, you'll want to be in a room with four walls and a door, preferably one with a lock on it. If you don't have a spare bedroom, den, study, what have you, then at least find a nice corner of your home where you can have some occasional privacy. If you have to retreat to a corner in your basement, then do it.

You should have space and services for your computer, a phone, and a fax machine at a minimum. You should also seriously consider a printer, scanner and copier just to cover all the bases. Some of the all-in-one inkjet printers on the market today serve this purpose splendidly. Oh, and unless you enjoy sitting on a folding chair or milk crates, I suggest you find a comfortable, ergonomic, office chair. Your back and backside will love you for it.

3. Don’t Plan to Use a Free Web Host.

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. Free web sites in a nutshell:

a) Unprofessional b) Annoying advertising pop-ups and banners. c) Typically unreliable. d) The web host can pull the rug out from under you at any time and without warning.

If you can't rely on your web site, then your customers cannot rely on you. It's as simple as that.

4. Lose the 'Build it and They Will Come' Mindset.

This is probably the mistake most often made by Internet marketing novices. Due in large part to the scams and get rich quick schemes posted all over the Web, folks think that all they have to do is build a good looking professional web site, slap a bunch of affiliate links on it, sit back and watch the money roll in. Sorry, not happening in this lifetime.

Establishing your domain and building your web site is the easy part. The marketing is an ongoing and time-consuming venture that literally makes or breaks your business. If people don't know you're there, then you're not going to make any money. Initially, plan to spend most of your time optimizing your pages for the search engines, establishing back links, writing articles, generating customer lists, adding daily content to your site(s), etc. and so on. You get out of it what you put into it.

5. Don’t Quit Your Day Job.

This last item ties in more-or-less with the previous topic. Don’t expect success overnight. Even if you could magically establish loads of pertinent back links, submit 20 articles a day, and optimize the white space out of your web pages all within a couple of weeks, don't expect any noticeable results for at least another 3 or 4 months. Why? Because Google runs the show.

It does not matter how good you are, how good your product is, or how well your web site is optimized for the search engines. Google WILL plant your butt firmly in its 'sandbox' for at least 3 months before deeming your site worthy enough to be listed anywhere near the top of its search results. The existence of this 'sandbox' cannot be confirmed, but the 'sandbox effect' is very much alive and kicking.

Even after your web site starts appearing in the search engines, establishing a good customer base and web presence will take even longer. In short, regardless of whether it's Google, MSN or Yahoo calling the shots, it's going to take some time before you start to see that first trickle of income from your web site. It will build in time, but you have to be patient and stick with it.

If you're serious about starting an Internet Business, then 'seriously' start an Internet business. Prepare appropriately and realistically and plan to put some work into it. Oh, and if you really just can't wait to give your boss those 'very specific directions', you may want to plan your time evenly between the unemployment line and your budding Internet career.

Bob Davis is a professional database consultant, web designer, graphic artist, and Internet marketer. If you'd like some solid tips on starting your own legitimate Internet business, then visit his Home Internet Business Guide for Beginners at Here are some of Bob's other sites that you'll enjoy visiting: