Many people dream of quitting their job and starting a business online. They could potentially set their own hours, pursue their passion, and make more money than they do in their full-time job.
If the idea of diving into entrepreneurship resonates with you, you should be prepared for what's really ahead. This way, you'll have a much higher chance of succeeding.
Here are five myths about starting a business online.
1. You will get rich quickly
There are a lot of scam artists out there who will sell courses and schemes about getting rich online to aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there are no shortcuts, and starting a successful business online—and making money from it—can take a long time.
"People sell you the dream, how they went from rags to riches with just this one formula, and it took 90 days or less," says Meredith Richardson of Meredith—The Midlife Coach. "It's a lovely fairy tale. Change is a process and, while you can do a lot in 90 days, you probably won't get rich that quickly."
2. You have to do everything yourself
When starting a business online, you may think that you have to do it all, from designing your website to setting up your social media pages and e-commerce site, and completing all the administrative tasks as well.
According to Israel Gaudette, founder of Link Tracker Pro, this is a mistake.
"Every second that you spend working on all tasks that can be delegated could be the time you should be spending growing your online business. You need to learn to outsource," he advises.
For example, you can get a mentor or coach and hire experts like an attorney or an accountant when you need their assistance.
3. There isn't room for another business
It can be easy to get discouraged by the number of online businesses that are already out there. How are you going to fit in? Will anybody even notice you?
According to Case Lane, founder of Ready Entrepreneur, thinking that everything has been done already couldn't be further from the truth. There are more calls for diversity and inclusion than ever before, and there are always populations who are being underserved and could use a new online business to help them.
"The rise of niches is the backbone of online business, and the reality that makes starting a business now such an amazing opportunity for many people," she says.
4. If you build it, they will come
While a niche idea may take off, you still have to put a lot of effort into promoting it.
Richardson says that even if you invest in SEO, or search engine optimization, "It takes a long time to get yourself showing up where you need to be in search engines," she says.
According to Gaudette, there is no such thing as free social media marketing, and in order to show up in front of your audience, you need to pay for your ads. If you do, people might actually purchase from you.
5. The technology is too hard to figure out
In the past, starting a business online meant that you had to learn how to code a website, format an email newsletter, create graphics in Photoshop, and much more. But that's not the case anymore thanks to simpler platforms and outsourcing.
"The technology is getting easier to use every year, and if in doubt, outsourcing is becoming more and more acceptable," says Lane. "Online business includes the 'gig' economy—people all over the world who offer their technical or creative services at competitive rates. Anyone with an idea does not have to do the technical work; it can all be outsourced," he adds.
These common myths may have stopped you in the past from starting a business online. But you don't have to wait to follow your dreams anymore and create the kind of life that you've always imagined.