The notion of transforming your passion into your profession is the heart of entrepreneurship.

It’s the dream.

But, how do you get there?

It might be a slight understatement to say that “getting there” is simple. Rather, let’s peg it as doable.

One of the best ways to wrap your brain around this difficult endeavor is to breakdown the challenges you know you’ll face. To fill you in, here are the four horsemen of the online business world.

Deciding What to Sell

The first big hurdle is deciding what you’ll sell through your online business. Without a product, you’re pretty much left with a sticky reincarnated pickle jar donning a “donations” sign. Or, at least, the digital version of one. 

So, take stock of what really matters to you. In other words, identify your core values and follow their lead.

Gone are the days when you have to depend on brick and mortar products. In this age, you can sell your services like coaching, digital editing, or writing. You can even focus on SaaS (service as a software).

While there are limits, there aren’t many. The number of great small business ideas that you can start without a huge up-front investment is nearly endless.

Deciphering the Upfront Costs

After pinning down what exactly you want to sell, it’s time to think finances. Specifically, how much is it going to cost you to get the ball rolling?

Thankfully, most online businesses won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You also have the option of flying solo or joining a franchise. And, you generally get to keep your appendages with either option.

It’s important to think details at this stage. For instance, focus on annual domain fees, firewall costs, email ownership, etc. You know, the stuff that nobody but you actually sees.

Remember your workhorse, a.k.a. your computer. Are you still using the laptop your mom gifted you in high school or did Steve Jobs convince you into Mac territory already?

Be honest with yourself, take precise inventory, and research like mad. Shopping around is a great strategy, as well.

Gauging ROI While Shifting Growth Strategy

Unless you’re a superstar—and I hope that you are—expect to try a few strategies before finding one that works for you. Really, you’ll only know if your strategy is working by keeping track of your ROI (return on investment).

Before you even get your toes wet, you need a solid records management system.

Moving $2000 worth of product each month might give you the warm fuzzies. But, if you’re shelling out $1500 up front then you might want to call off the party.

Here’s the thing, believe the numbers. Go into this endeavor knowing that you will be adjusting and shifting your growth strategy. Start off on the right foot by gauging your ROI from day one.

Avoiding Entrepreneurial Burnout

Starting an online business is empowering. A project like this can do wonders for your self-esteem. But there will come a time when you face an unexpected level of exhaustion. After all, there is such a thing as decision burnout.

Often, starting an online business means that you play boss, employee, and probably janitor. Although you might be pursuing a passion, the grind will eventually wear on you.

Even chocolate-lovers eat real food sometimes. What this means is that you need to prepare yourself for breaks from your endearing online business.

More importantly, surround yourself with a strong support team of friends and family to keep you on the path of entrepreneurial success.

About the Author: 

Innovative businessman Alex Dee has been through it all—highs, lows, and everything in between and discovered what it takes to find success in the world of online entrepreneurship. Now, he wants to share his insights and expertise with other dedicated self-starters seeking a better life. His passion is using the experience he has endured to give great insight, tips, and techniques with people who crave the same things he did: the right income and the right schedule.