Creating a Business You Can Take With You – Getting Started


I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately all about how to get started online. Things like – “What are realistic timescales to make money?”, “Where do I start?”, “What do I need to do to get started?”. So in answer to your questions I am starting a mini-series here on my blog all about getting your online business off the ground!

Todays article constitutes the first in a short series of posts on ‘Creating a Business You Can Take With You – Getting Started‘. I hope you enjoy it!


Before you tackle how to create and grow a business you can run from anywhere in the world, it’s important you understand what you’re taking on!

This my friend is the antithesis of “Get Rich Quick”. With the amount of time and work involved in creating a business I can’t believe anyone actually came up with that term in the first place, as there really is nothing farther from the truth!

The official definition of Online Marketing is;

“The marketing & promotion of products or services over the Internet.”


That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. “The marketing and promotions of products and services over the internet.”

Also known as online advertisement, internet marketing, (a term people seem to love to hate these days!) online advertising or e-marketing

Whatever it’s known as though, the clue really is in the title.

It’s the “marketing” of. It doesn’t say – ‘the creation of ‘and then the marketing of. Online Marketing or Internet Marketing is about the ‘marketing’ of.

Sorry to hammer that home, but I think that’s a very important definition you need to understand!

The creation of the products & services part comes first and this I believe is where the gap and confusion is with the online marketing, internet marketing phenomenon.

My question to you is – what business are you in?


You see to create or grow a business, any business, on or offline you have to have something to sell. You have to have a business to market.

An online business could be; information products, photographer, web designer, author, coach, consultant. You name it, but the key is to have a business to start with. (Hold on all you affiliate marketers who are currently arguing this, I’ll get to you!).

Once you know what business you’re in, the next step is to master how to market it online. Again you can choose online or offline (or both of course), but it is the opportunities of reaching a global marketplace instantly and cheaply that makes marketing online so attractive!

When I started my offline business nearly 10 years ago now here’s what I did;

  1. I came up with an idea for a business
  2. I researched the market to make sure there were buyers
  3. I created a business plan to encourage a bank to give me some startup capital
  4. I purchased the equipment / resources necessary to start my business – computers / phones / fax machine etc
  5. I invested in some cheap advertising mechanisms to get my business off the ground – leaflets / flyers / newspaper ads / a basic website
  6. I walked the streets and knocked on everyone’s door to get business
  7. I networked and attended meetings to get business
  8. I worked night and day to get business
  9. As I got more clients I became a Jack of All trades working day & night to get more business and fulfill the clients I had
  10. Eventually to grow I hired staff
  11. We worked and worked to get more business and fulfill the clients we had
  12. We expanded and grew


When I started my online business 3 years ago here’s what I did;

  1. I looked for a way to make money easily (cos someone said I could!)
  2. I bought loads of products, ebooks, courses promising me I could with just a few steps
  3. I wised up super fast and came up with a business idea (see Step 1 above)
  4. I researched the market to make sure there were buyers – by adding value and networking (see Step 2 above)
  5. I purchased the equipment / resources necessary to start my business – hosting / domain / autoresponder / video host etc (see Step 4 above etc etc)
  6. I invested in some cheap advertising mechanisms to get my business off the ground – graphics / facebook ads / solo ads etc
  7. I walked the online streets and knocked on everyone’s door to get business by providing great content consistently
  8. I networked and attended online groups / forums to get business
  9. I worked night and day to add value, provide content and get business
  10. As I got more clients I became a Jack of All trades working day & night to get more business and fulfill the clients I had
  11. Eventually to grow I hired staff
  12. We worked and worked to get more business and fulfill the clients we had
  13. We expanded and grew


Can you see the similarities?

The biggest difference was in the startup capital and the ongoing costs. Without doubt an online information product style business has lower overheads and therefore greater profit margins.

Perhaps thats where the “get rich” part of the ‘get rich quick” saying comes from?

online marketingBut believe me the work needed to get it off the ground and keep growing it is no different to an offline business! In fact I would go so far as to say the learning curve for an online business is greater when you take into account all the technical know how you need to acquire.

Over the years people have been promised great riches from following a few automated steps and that’s NOT what it’s about. In fact that is simply not true! Creating and growing a business online is just as tough as creating and growing a business offline, they are very similar beasts.

What you’re doing by starting a business online is not ‘making money online’. What you’re doing is being an Entrepreneur.

When people start businesses offline you don’t say to them – oh great you’re getting into the ‘make money offline market’! You should actually say you’re going into the ‘It’s bloody hard work you fool’ market’!

So, where am I going with all this?

online marketing puzzleWell, let’s get back to the Online Marketing part of the puzzle, because that’s what it is, it’s just part of the puzzle, but it’s the part of the puzzle so many people (and certainly my audience) want to master. And rightly so, because the rewards are amazing both spiritually and financially.

Marketing is a skill like any other. Content creation is a skill, web design, copywriting, blogging, affiliate marketing. These are all skills.

It stands to reason the more skills you have or that you employ in your business the more likely your business will succeed.

Therefore when looking into ‘Creating a Business Online’, it is imperative that you hone your skills. That you educate yourself in all the little facets of the business so you understand how it all works. That you’re prepared to start climbing a super steep learning curve and that you arm yourself with the knowledge that this ain’t gonna happen overnight!

If it was as easy as many says it is, many more would be making millions by now!

This brings me to affiliate marketing as I know many people may say, ah yes but Jo, if I affiliate for other people’s products I don’t need my own business right? I’m just marketing for someone else’s.

But affiliate marketing is a business in it’s own right. Just like being a party planner for Virgin Make up or Ann Summers.


Just like being a re-seller or a franchisee! You are taking someone else’s brand and reputation and using that as a stepping stone for your own business.

The same amount of work is involved as if you were setting up your own business. You still need to advertise, market and generate leads. Plus what makes affiliate marketing even harder online is the sheer amount of people doing it badly and all the online scams. (Please note we will address affiliate marketing in much greater detail in later articles.)

Therefore nowadays affiliate marketing isn’t just about the right marketing message, it’s hugely about trust and credibility aswell.

People will buy from people they like, know and trust!

Ladder of Success

So, my lesson here? What’s your business? Choose your business first. Then you can work on getting and building the skills necessary to make your business go!

The faster you learn, the faster your business will grow.

Be realistic, be passionate and be downright determined to make it work. Anyone in the world can be an entrepreneur. You just need to decide if you want to be!

Look out for my next article in this series – “10 Steps to Building an Online Profitable Business!”

Where are you on your journey? I’d love to hear your story, please tell me in the comments below! :)

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  • Julie Zommers

    Good post Jo! And you’re right, it’s not fast. But it’s exciting! My biggest thing was overcoming all the fear … fear that it won’t work, fear that everyone else does it better, and fear that it would have all been in vain. A cheer squad is definitely needed to keep you going which you’ve provided at SNA, thanks!

  • Tina Sibley

    This is so true! And keeping on track with the momentum is hard work – but very rewarding :-)

  • Ligia

    Online marketing surely is hard work and what gets me is the technical stuff. But I’m still persevering! Thanks for the post, Jo!

  • Clair Trebes

    Love this post Jo, so inspiring to many different people! Knowing your journey is what makes you and a few others stand out …. not hiding behind a cloud, it’s so important to find people like yourself (and Mr Farrell) who really do walk the walk – there is no razzmatazz just straight honesty. I admire your work ethic and I learn so much from you all the time! It’s great! :)

  • Sheryl Anderson

    Jo – I have been going through the SNA 2.0 training along with YouTube, Linkedin etc. All the information is valuable training. What I enjoyed also is the side training I’m getting as you go through a topic. A great example was the blogging tutorial. I loved you showing how to create a pop-up opt-in form. Little trips and tricks you show along the way are so valuable. So thanks for the great training and I’m looking forward to utilizing the information.

  • Tony Bayliss

    What an excellent article from you Jo. I confirm the validity of the points you made, they are all valid.

  • Eugene Perkins

    I tried to build a Facebook page, but when I put in a URL for the page, Facebook denied everything that I put in. What can I do to have them accept a name in order to get a URL.

  • Joe_Valley

    Yes. Yes. It’s about butts on seats and writing, creating, putting ideas into action. Magic and mystery is built into believing I can do it. For me, I think the important factor in my biz success has to do with connecting my followers to each other so that they can create ideas TOGETHER. I believe that’s when the change can happen. I believe that’s when we are making a difference and a living, something that will sustain us indefinitely.

  • Roger, in Bangkok

    I’m in the people helping business, with the main focus being at the lower end of the food-chain.

  • Marty Simons

    Hi Jo, This is a post that every marketer should read. I did notice the similarities and it actually helped to compare one list to the other. Just as in the music school business, I need to attract people who know, like and trust me. It’s pretty much the same philosophy no matter what business you are in.

  • carla

    Hi Jo, you are so awesome!!! I love your straight forward, no hype approach. It’s really easy to get caught up in the hype, and I appreciate your honesty of the fact that it takes work. Too many people, even a lot right here in your group are still looking for the fast buck without the work, I’m so glad you can lay it on the line.

    I’ve been in business for 12 years, I design angel pins in memory of people that have passed away and also sell angel pins to organizations for fundraiser events, as well as the individual sales to people that just love angels. I have recently created the “Angel Club” and am giving away a free sample of one of the smaller scaled angels to anyone that would like one. Thanks so much for all you do, I’ve been following you since you started and have found you to be one of the few honest, no-hype coach out there and that is why I have stuck with you.

  • Roy

    Hello Jo, this post sort of resonates with where I’m at right now. I
    have a blog focusing on list building but the problem with that is I
    don’t want to be perceived as an expert in this field yet because I’m
    not. I have built lists in other niches which I gave out a lot of
    valuable content but the ROI didn’t even pay the cost of the websites.
    So I have eliminated all of those websites & lists. I really am
    having a problem choosing a niche where I can provide value, but it in
    return will also result in……… well you get the picture. I really
    love trout fishing. Heck any kind of fishing gets me excited but there
    is no money to made online in this niche. Do you have any ideas how we
    could find a niche if we find ourselves in this position?

  • igor Griffiths

    Well hello Jo, got your email reminder about this post today and it certainly matches where I am at the moment. Having finally begun to regain my clarity of thought now my divorce has been finalized, I have returned to the Rich Schefren course I dropped during the year long shenanigans and he asks the very same question!

    This is something I am working hard to clarify at the moment, despite having several all too vague areas of interest.

    Of course as an inactive member of the SNA and recovering perfectionist, once I have some sort of answer I can then put all of your training into action and market my hyper focussed solutions.


  • Nik Nekeare

    As I am learning from great leaders in the business like you, with Consistent Focus Action & now the Realities of Online Digital Marketing, I learn something new & of great value. Like what Andrew Grant says…. & the reassurance of my mindset to be an Entrepreneur. Thankyou for your guidance & professionalism. Being in the company of great people is very enabling. A toast to those who dare themselves & for believing that they too can do this….

  • Susan

    Tanks Jo always find your posts informative and am just starting up so pep talk was good and now I am going to get focused

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  • Andrew Grant

    Hi Jo, thanks for this, looking forward to the next installments. I have just got past the stage of believing all the hype and realising that as you say, this is a hard work business and that it is going to take persistence and application to make it work.

    So, I’m building the blog, learning about affiliate marketing and slowly staring to create my first product. But even though it’s hard work, I am loving the chance to express my creativity and build something that is entirely my own and which one day will allow me to be in control of my own life and not beholden to an employer.
    Thanks for the inspiration

    • Jo Barnes

      Hey Andrew, I love your comment! Thank you. That is so true isn’t it, the freedom of expression, there’s nothing like it! :)

  • Nourishment 4 You

    Great post Jo, you are an inspiration. I have a health business and was at the ‘pounding the pavement’ stage to launch referrals versus launching my website, building my list and selling my services. I decided to upskill in online marketing, by doing your course, and realised I really need to get a balance and do both. Thanks for the clarification your article gives. Karene

    • Jo Barnes

      Happy to help Karene! Glad it made sense! :)

  • Leah Jean

    Loved this blog…thanks..I have a photography business of which I thought I would have to give up due to being so so busy with my new business, which is property lease options, I then had an idea to advertise for two more photographers who would be willing to join forces with me and create a whole new bigger and better business which we are currently building…some great ideas flowing and we are already getting the marketing and designs for website in place..domain names purchased…exciting times being able to share others love of photography and provide a high end service!! Also I have the lease option business where we provide solutions to people living in rented houses and paying dead rent…our job is to help them be able to get on the property ladder, we have a very special team of solicitors who provide our clients with the best contracts to suit individual needs and solve their problems, also we offer a service to sellers who are having trouble selling their homes by establishing what it is they need…if they want to release equity from their homes in order to be able to move on, we can do that and find tenant buyers to move in to their homes with an option to purchase at the end of an agreed time…this is a lease option, win win situations created for people who can’t see a way out of their situation..very satisfying being able to help…we have covered many of these steps and constantly keep the marketing machine going but we will also benefit greatly from this step by step, I will be copying this to my marketing file…thanks again!!

    • Jo Barnes

      Gosh sounds very busy and very exciting Leah! :)