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What Every Woman Should Know About Starting an Online Business


Tracey Bissett has been entrepreneurially-minded since she was just seven years old. As a child, she realized she could make money for candy from hustling – and promptly opened a lemonade stand. From there, her entrepreneurship was sealed. It was a success, and led her to graduate, at the ripe old age of 12, to earning and saving money for bigger items, like books, or tennis rackets, and eventually, university fees.

Going on to become an accomplished money coach and business professor with twenty years of experience in finance, Tracey specializes in teaching young (though not quite that young) entrepreneurs to take control of their finances, and helps clients of all ages and backgrounds improve their financial ‘fitness’ and confidence. 2020 has (perhaps unsurprisingly) seen an increase in entrepreneurs taking to the internet to start their own businesses. Here’s what every online entrepreneur can learn from Tracey’s Financial Fitness coaching… 


Got a great money-making idea? Don’t do anything without a business plan

Tracey advises that the starting place for any business idea is always with a business plan. As well as being sensible, it’s exciting, she explains, validating the idea that you have with the target market that you’re planning on selling it to. Whatever you do, get that validation upfront before you actually take a bigger step like quitting a job or investing savings into it, or even simply committing a lot of time to the project. 

Sometimes the right outcome of the business plan is that you discover that the idea doesn’t work, and that then means that you’ve realized upfront, “Hey, this isn’t going to be the path I thought it was.” This gives you the opportunity to pivot the target market that you’re looking at, or to change your actual product or service to make it work.

It’s invaluable to do that upfront, before anything. A lot of people like to jump ahead and start the business before doing the planning, but you can save yourself stress, and make a lot of money and time for yourself by doing that work upfront. 


Begin a new business as a ‘side hustle’ 

Again, doing the work upfront rather than jumping straight into starting a new business will pay dividends in the long run. Begin your business on the side of a current full-time job, after checking the legalities of it – you need to ensure you aren’t infringing on anything that your employer does, but if not, when you’re on your own time, you should be free to do that.

After validating your business idea and clients with your business plan, ask yourself, are you willing to do those late nights and those early mornings around your job while you’re building up enough of a critical mass so that you can live off of this? Could it become a viable business? Some people who do that realize that they don’t want to work that much – but it’s much better to learn that with the safety net of an existing job below you.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work and comes with more risks than a steady 9 to 5. It comes with the risk that if you don’t make the sale, you don’t get paid. Embarking on it as a side hustle is a good way to ease into it and grow that mass in the business first. 

If you are successful, then you can take that departure from your steady job – and some people do keep it purely as a side business. 


An online service-based business can be started with limited investment

If you have a relatively online type of business, where you’re providing coaching or services that you can deliver online, you can do that with relatively limited investment at the beginning. Entrepreneurship teaches you how to be very agile, how to be adaptable, and how to check in quickly on an issue, and decide, “Hey, this isn’t working, I’ve got to make a tweak.”

If you’re very focused on the numbers and you’re staying cost-conscious, you can raise some money pretty quickly by capitalizing on a skill or knowledge that you have. Lots of people are having success with that right now.


Offer something unique 

You have to make sure it’s something that’s unique, that everyone else isn’t offering. If you’re offering an online course, for example, you’ve got to be clear on what the outcome is going to be for your participants and make sure that it is valuable and that they will have some measurable gains by going through your program. There are so many people who have skills to offer that they don’t necessarily value in themselves until they start taking a long hard look at their experience in a certain area. Why not share that with the world and make money by doing it at the same time?

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