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Taking Online Business Seriously

I know there are plenty of “serious” online ventures. At the same time I think there are infinitely more webpreneurs, webmasters, and bloggers who are essentially running online businesses but not taking them seriously as such. (And of course I’m only talking about the ones blatantly trying to make money here – a blogger on a personal journal-style blog doesn’t count). Why is this?

I think the biggest problem is that it’s extremely easy to set up an online business, and there’s little to no startup capital required for many of them. Therefore it really is possible for anyone to start an online business these days.

However, being easy doesn’t make it any less of a business, and there are a few benefits to taking your online business seriously from the start:

  • Avoid legal and tax problems down the road
  • The more serious to treat your project, the more likely you’ll stick with it in the long run (and more likely you’ll earn a significant income)
  • Others can tell when you don’t take your work seriously, and it can hurt your credibility

Here are a few basic things you should consider doing to take your online business more seriously:

  • Register it as a formal business if appropriate
  • Keep thorough financial and administrative records
  • Invest time and / or money into adequate marketing tactics
  • Take the time to do market research on your audience and their behaviors before getting into your online business to begin with

What else do you think people can do to take their businesses more seriously, and what other benefits do you see in doing so?

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