We’ve talked about whether you’re the right kind of person for an online business, and whether it’s the right kind of business for you. So today let’s talk about what resources you need to have if you want to start an internet business.
Is it as simple as having an internet connection and a desire to succeed?
(Watch this video…)
(Note: for your convenience, there are links within the list below for things I recommend, some of which are my affiliate links)
What you need…
1) A computer
-Doesn’t need to be the latest and greatest
-Can’t be a total dinosaur
-Recommend Windows XP or newer
-Consider a laptop
-spend $200-$1000 for a desktop, $400-$1500 for a laptop
A few places to shop for a computer:
HP Shopping (where I bought my computer and my laptop)
Buy.com (I’ve bought a lot of stuff there including backup hard drives)
Amazon (A good place to compare prices and look for specials)
2) Internet connection (Broadband recommended). I used Qwest DSL (Now CenturyLink) for many years, and they were been good. I then used Comcast broadband for a few years, and loved it, as the speeds were much faster. Now I live out in the foothills, with no DSL or cable available, so I use Skybeam, which is a wireless Internet service. The speeds are not blazing, but it’s good enough for my business, and fast enough to stream Netflix too. If you live in an area not serviced by a major provider, you might want to look into something like Skybeam, or satellite broadband.
3) Antivirus program. I use AVG; their website is www.avg.co.uk.
UPDATE: I believe AVG is still good, however I think there are some better ones. On my main PC, I’ve switched over to Avast, which is also free:
And on my laptop I’ve switched to Microsoft’s free progam:
4) Email (free options available). For example: http://mail.google.com/mail/signup
5) Zip program (free options available). This is a good freeware: www.7-zip.org
6) Productivity software (free option available). Here’s a good free option: www.openoffice.org
7) Startup capital (highly recommended). I recommend having at least $200 available.
8] Credit card (highly recommended). If you’re afraid you’ll abuse it, you might want to consider a prepaid visa card.
10) Business checking account (highly recommended).
11) Business registration (requirements vary – might be optional).
12) Business Entity such as an LLC (Optional). In general, you can probably start as a sole proprietor, and decide later if you want to form an LLC.
An LLC may help save you from paying self employment taxes. It also can protect your personal assets. Consult with an attorney or tax accountant.
If you want to avoid paying an attorney to help with the paperwork, you can often do it the cheapest directly through your state department. I’ve also found LegalZoom to be a helpful shortcut. I’ve used them to form three LLC’s, one non-profit, and two wills.
13) Accountant (Optional).
14) Lawyer (Optional).
15) Telephone (Optional). If you have broadband, you might want to consider Skype for your phone service.
16) Insurance (Optional).
17) Backup drive (Highly recommended). I added this one after making the video. A decent external hard drive can be purchased for $100 – $400. It’s not so important what kind of drive you get; what’s important is that you use it to backup all the files on your computer on a regular basis. I’ve bought several hard drives (including Maxtor, Lacie, and Western Digital) from Buy.com with good results.
There are a few other things that you’ll need which will be specifically covered in upcoming lessons, so don’t worry about them for now.
1) Go through the list, and make sure you have everything that is required. For the highly recommended ones, do as best you can to get them. For the optional ones, do some research and decide whether it’s something you need.
As I mentioned back in lesson 3, you don’t need to be a computer expert, but there are some things you’ll need to know. I’ll go through those basic computer skills in the next lesson.
As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below.
Have a great day!