23 June 2010 ~ 156 Comments

Starting Own Business Online – The 5 Gold Rules

If you want to start your own business online you should do it following a proven set of rules in order to avoid the mistakes done by the majority of new internet entrepreneurs. This set of rules is not a magical formula that will make you millionaire overnight or become fabulous rich in a few months.


It is, however, a set of rules that allows you to setup an online business that will create value for you and for your customers and will let you create a stable and long term source of income.

Before I give you the five rules that allow you to start a journey to a successful online business, there is something I want you to understand: starting a business online is simple but it is not easy.

What I mean with this last statement is that a business online, in general, follows a very, very simple business model:

  1. You setup a website with your offer (products or services);
  2. You drive traffic to your website;
  3. Some of your visitors become interested in what you are offering, becoming your prospects;
  4. Some of your prospects buy from you, becoming your customers;
  5. You can send, later, other offers to your customers.

As you can see, it is a very simple business model, but for having success you must understand that for each of the previous steps there are some skills, techniques and knowledge that you must acquire, either by learning them or by working with someone who knows them.

To get the necessary knowledge on how to implement and optimize the tasks listed above, you can find plenty of information on the internet, free or paid, that will help you to achieve the results you want.

Regardless you do it by yourself or you pay for someone to do it, it is important to acknowledge that all of those steps are just tactical, not strategic. And they are what a great number of internet marketers will try to sell you. But what are they good for if you miss the strategy?

That is what I want to present to you, the gold rules that you must use to build a strategy. When you have your strategy in place the tactical tasks will be done with in a natural way.

  1. Know your market. Before you start building your own online business you must be sure that you have a market. Nothing can be more frustrating than spend months of hard work to setup a business to discover that you have no market. If you do not have a market you do not have a business.
  2. Prepare your offer. What will you offer to your market? Your own products or services? Other people products or services? Your offer must answer to the market demands. You must provide value, a solution or the satisfaction of a desire. Remember this: every time someone visits your website is asking “What Is In here For Me?”
  3. Do a business plan. What, when, who, why and how. Your business plan must represent your business as you see it when it will be fully developed. Then you do a reverse engineering until you identify all the “W” and all the tasks and phases you must go through until you reach your vision.
  4. Identify the resources. Once you have your business plan properly outlined, you can analyse what resources you will need. Which skills you need to learn and which tasks you must outsource, how much money you need to invest, and how much time you need to spend.
  5. Know your numbers. Measure everything. Compare the results with what you have determined in your business plan. If you do not measure, you do not manage. You need to get the numbers, analyse them, tweak your business, and make the necessary changes, in order to meet your business objectives.

In summary, these are the five gold rules: Market, Offer, Plan, Resources and Measure. You must do them in the given order. Unfortunately, the majority of online entrepreneurs start their own business online jumping over the first step. Several do not do step three. In addition, some others go directly to step four! Very few do step five.

No wonder so many people fail when they start a business online. Because the model is simple, people tend to forget that is does not means it is easy. It is a business; you must treat it like any other business.

For additional information about the five rules and to get some precious resources you need to build your strategy stay tuned for my next articles. Better yet, subscribe to my newsletter to receive the new articles as soon as they’re published. Starting own business online can be the answer to your dream life if done properly.

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156 Responses to “Starting Own Business Online – The 5 Gold Rules”

  1. Amy Steelman-Prueter 28 August 2010 at 4:54 pm Permalink

    Great info! So many ppl miss this when starting their business. Its something that is truly needed. Thanks for sharing!
    Amy Steelman-Prueter´s last blog post ..Are you up for the Challenge

    • Jorge 29 August 2010 at 1:09 pm Permalink

      Hi Amy

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment. Create a great plan and you may develop a great business.



  2. Sally Neill 28 August 2010 at 6:52 pm Permalink

    Hey Jorge,

    How you doing?

    Your golden rules are certainly a recipe for success, I am glad to see you moving forward to quickly.

    Not only that, you seem determined to share your findings with others on your blog which is a very endearing trait.

    Speak to you soon,

    Sally 🙂
    Sally Neill´s last blog post ..Writing Testimonials Benefit You Too

    • Jorge 29 August 2010 at 1:11 pm Permalink

      Hey Sally

      How are you? Thanks a lot for visiting.

      I’m not moving as quickly as I would like but… I’m getting some background information and I’ve been testing some cool strategies that will help me developing my business really quick. At least, that’s my hope 🙂

      Soon I’ll be posting what I’ve found and how to take the most of some strategies that everybody talks about but really few people master.



  3. Fran T 28 August 2010 at 7:32 pm Permalink

    Hey, Jorge,
    The golden rules are very and easy to understand. Now the power will be in the implementation.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Fran T
    Fran T´s last blog post ..Nopalea and My Knee

    • Jorge 29 August 2010 at 1:16 pm Permalink

      Hi Fran

      Thank you very much for your comment.

      Implementation is a challenge because it forces you to take action. And we have been told that 95% of people doesn’t take action, that’s why they fail.

      I think it’s not so true, I think people take action but they do not follow a complete blueprint. If you buy a very nice course about Article Marketing and you start implementing what’s there without integrate Articles correctly on your SEO and business strategy, you’ll get poor results, right?

      Also if you don’t know your market, you may do tons of things and make no money at all, because they were the wrong things.

      That’s what I believe people is doing, they take action, they just don’t know where they are going and some time they take the wrong actions for their markets.



  4. Justin Case 29 August 2010 at 12:06 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    Thanks for those timely tips on getting started. I think I may leave one or two of those out from time to time. I need those reminders every now and then.

    Thanks and good luck.

    Justin Case´s last blog post ..Cost Vs Price – Is There A Difference

    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 11:14 am Permalink

      Hi Justin
      Thanks for your comment, for some weird reason it went to the spam folder :p
      But now I found it and it’s where it is supposed to be.
      Good luck for you

  5. Michelle 29 August 2010 at 4:44 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    Great to meet you through the 100 Blog comment challenge.

    Business is business both online or off but for some strange reason people react in a totally different way to these two models.

    If someone starts an offline business then everybody expects there to be a lot of hard work, money and time spent in getting it off the ground and keeping up the momentumand yet with an online business the illusion is you can do it for nothing (no time, money,hardwork or maintenance involved) you just push a few buttons and instantly POW you’re a millionare – go figure.

    Enjoy the challenge


    • Jorge 29 August 2010 at 9:16 pm Permalink

      Hi Michelle

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      It’s really funny how people treat differently online and offline business, isn’t it? And they wonder why they don’t have success online…

      I’m glad to meet you as well, the 100 blog comment challenge is great to meet new and interesting people. I’ll pay a visit to your blog soon.



  6. Bill Murney 29 August 2010 at 6:00 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge

    I particularly liked your comments –

    ‘If you do not have a market you do not have a business’.

    ‘Because the model is simple, people tend to forget that it does not means it is easy’.

    In those two statements you have summed up any business online or offline, enough said.


    Bill Murney´s last blog post ..Research- Research- Research

    • Jorge 29 August 2010 at 9:19 pm Permalink

      Hi Bill
      Thanks for your comment. The second quote I grabbed it from Alex Jeffreys, my mentor. It is implanted in my brain because helped me a lot to understand why I wasn’t getting anywhere with what I was doing: buying products expecting for a magic button.

      Phew… I never found any magic button!

      I liked your post about research very much and I borrowed the numbers you have in it. Thanks a lot.



  7. Tom Harvey 29 August 2010 at 10:04 pm Permalink


    Great post breaking down the key steps for success online. Its all too easy to overcomplicate things and lose sight of the important factors.
    How do you find the linkwithin widget? Haven’t seen it before now…
    Speak soon

    Tom Harvey´s last blog post ..Video Marketing – Anatomy Of A Successful Affiliate Campaign

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 2:21 pm Permalink

      Hello Tom

      Thanks a lot for passing by and leaving your comment.

      To answer your question, the LinkWithin widget is available in Marketing With Alex Forum and I believe all Alex students can use it.



  8. eamon@affiliate internet marketing 29 August 2010 at 11:54 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge
    I certainly did need to be reminded of the 5-rules. Because even though I have known about them for years I must admit that I have been neglecting to apply them in my online work. No wonder I have had little online success to date. Its time to get serious and treat my online efforts as a real business.
    Thank you for your sound advice.
    Good luck in the challenge and in your business.
    Best wishes

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 2:24 pm Permalink

      Hi Eamon
      Thanks a lot for your comment.
      It’s easy to neglect the rules in online business because we tend to believe that, because there is so low investment needed, we don’t need to supervise everything like we do in offline business, where the initial investments usually are big. That’s the problem… either you invest too little or too much, you need to plan your business, otherwise it will not grow.
      Good luck with your business and I wish you all the success.

  9. Mike Calmot 30 August 2010 at 10:48 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge

    I like your post, nice an clear and to the point.
    Clarity is often the way forward and is an antidote for all the mayhem out there.
    Best wishes
    Mike Calmot´s last blog post ..Blog Comments Challenge- Using the “Power of Six”…to drive traffic!

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 2:25 pm Permalink

      Hello Mike
      Thanks for your visit and your comment.
      Like in any other business, we must keep this simple, using the KISS principle.
      There is no magic, just hard work, clear head and patience.


  10. Sean 30 August 2010 at 12:02 pm Permalink

    Hey Jorge,

    I’ll admit I too jumped around when I first started out online. Some things were just more exciting to me. 🙂

    It gets much easier when you layout your plan, goals, and follow those golden rules you laid out so well for us. Thanks for that!

    Sean´s last blog post ..Can Blogging About Cupcakes Earn a Full Time Income

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 2:28 pm Permalink

      Hey Sean
      Nice to see you here, thanks a lot for your comment.
      Don’t we all jump around when we start? Don’t we all try this and that, this secret technique, that untapped strategy? Only later we realize we’re going nowhere.
      The important thing is that once we realize that we may we able to devise a plan, stick to it, and use all the knowledge we gathered when we were jumping around.
      We all know much more then we suspect.

  11. Keith Alston 30 August 2010 at 1:05 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge, A fantastic post, 100% accurate, the statement as previusly posted about “If done properly” was spot on.. How many people start up a free web on a free host with no overheads at all and expect to make a million bucks before the month is over.
    Would this happen if they were to buy premises, stock etc etc – Not a chance.
    Getting online and creating a success online can be relatively cheap & easy as long as you apply the rules as instructed in your great post. Thanks for this valuable resource
    Keith 🙂
    Keith Alston´s last blog post ..Quick Update on The 100 Challenge!…

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 2:32 pm Permalink

      Hi Keith
      Thanks for you comment and for your nice words.
      You are right, if people were buying premises, stock, real state, they would be more careful and plan ahead.
      Because they don’t, they become lost, with no idea what to do next, and give up. Usually without a lot of money they spent on useless courses and fake techniques.
      Keep it simple, stick to it and plan for tomorrow. This is a simple receipt for success.

  12. John Edler 30 August 2010 at 2:22 pm Permalink

    Hi jorge,

    Great post thanks.

    You are so right in what you say. I guess a lot of people think that mindlessly following a blkueprint will become a money machine.

    As you point out, we all need to think it through for ourselves and do it so as to express our own personalityioes and beliefs.

    Thanks for the insight

    Author of ‘Sticky memory’

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 10:08 pm Permalink

      Hi John
      Thanks a lot for your visit and your comment.

      Although you can, and maybe must, follow a blueprint to get you on the right path, you must also be driven by your own personality and creativity. That will help you stand in front of your competitors.



  13. Jess Webb 30 August 2010 at 7:20 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge!

    These 5 Gold Rules are good – and so many people miss out on one or all of them when trying to start a business online.

    Thanks for the good tips!
    Jess Webb´s last blog post ..How to Install and Set Up the Follow Me Plugin for WordPress

    • Jorge 30 August 2010 at 10:10 pm Permalink

      Hey Jess
      Thank you for your visit and for your comment.
      Stay tuned for more tips and soon there will be a complete e-book on the matter with several real life examples that anybody can follow easily to create successful businesses.



  14. Kat@eBayLearningBlog 31 August 2010 at 1:29 am Permalink


    I certainly agree that starting a business on line is simple but not easy. Thanks for describing the business model then giving your 5 golden rules for business building: know your market, prepare an offer, write a business plan, identify resources needed and know your numbers. I haven’t been successful yet but, with blog posts like yours, I’m learning what I need to do to be successful. Thank you for that.

    It was good to meet you.



    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 10:46 am Permalink

      Hi Kat
      Thank you for your visit and your comment.
      I’m glad I may help other people, even if for a small account. I really appreciate your comment.
      Thanks a lot.

  15. Mike Fleming 31 August 2010 at 3:01 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,
    Just stopped in to say hi while making my way around to all the blogs. I still have a lot of ground to cover so I can leave a comment on them. Have a good day.
    Enjoy the Challenge.

    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 10:47 am Permalink

      Hi Mike
      Thanks for you comment.
      The challenge really takes some time, I only visited about 30 blogs yet, but I like to spend some time in each blog to get a better feeling about it and the author.

  16. Thu Nguyen 31 August 2010 at 8:55 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    This plan is something we all can use yet because we haven’t yet reached that far, it’s not within our perspective. I will definitely bookmark this post for future reference as I’m only on step 1 and in the process of preparing the offer. Thank you for sharing with us these valuable insights!

    Thu Nguyen´s last blog post ..The Complete Helium Report REVIEW by Bob Younce of The Writing Journey

    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 10:50 am Permalink

      Hello Thu
      Thanks a lot for you visit and your comment.
      Time is something that people doesn’t always perceive, in the terms it takes time to do things properly.
      My father used to tell me that if you do it wrong because you’re in a hurry, it will take twice to accomplish, because later you must do it again properly.
      Once you master the rules it will be quicker to setup new businesses and new streams of income, because you’ll find opportunities to automate and/or outsource. Just make sure you know what you’re doing.
      Best wishes.

  17. Gwen Tanner 31 August 2010 at 11:08 am Permalink

    Hello Jorge,

    This is such a simple and concise plan! Probably the biggest issue with internet marketers is that they havent fully defined their market. It’s not always easy – and its not always possible. But a little creativity when finding customers is often needed too! you can find customers in the strangest of places!

    Thanks so much for the nifty flowchart!

    via 100 Comment Challenge
    Gwen Tanner´s last blog post ..10 Free Tools for Your Product Creation Toolkit

    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 11:22 am Permalink

      Hey Gween

      Thanks a lot for your visit and your comment.
      You’re right, sometimes is not easy to define a market and we need our creativity. Also some of the promising markets are not more then “free info seekers” markets. The ability is to find side doors and related markets, that are easier to get, to slowly penetrate big markets. That’s where creativity plays its role.

  18. Michael Pedzotti 31 August 2010 at 12:02 pm Permalink

    Jorge, that is good advice. Having a plan and knowing what it is you’ve set out to achieve and knowing the process to follow all work together to bring about success. It will be interesting to see how you go with this plan as it applies to your online endeavours. Michael.
    Michael Pedzotti´s last blog post ..Guess who is guest posting

    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 5:56 pm Permalink

      Hi Michael
      Thanks for your visit and your comment.
      I’m also still learning and applying the rules to my own business. So far I am getting very good results and I hope that soon I’ll be able to share details about how I am using the 5 rules to build my business.
      Stay tuned. 🙂

  19. ElizOF 31 August 2010 at 9:39 pm Permalink

    Excellent 5 rules and words to live by. I like #5 best because it is the key to the rest… Checking to see where changes or tweaks need to occur.
    This has been a great journey because I am gaining a lot of insight form the blogs I visit for the challenge. Thank you!
    Stopped by on my 11th hour visit for the 100 comment challenge.
    ElizOF´s last blog post ..Yoga Love- Learn to Add Balance to Your Life…

    • Jorge 31 August 2010 at 10:16 pm Permalink

      Hi Elizabeth
      Thanks a lot for your visit and your comment.
      This challenge is really exciting and we all can learn so much and meet new people and it’s great!
      I’m getting behind regarding visits to blogs, but I’ll do it as soon as possible.

  20. Robyn 1 September 2010 at 6:57 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    Great post and I agree, when you start a business online your have to have some rules.

    My rules are simple: research and learn.

    Research your market, what you are going to market, how you are going to market and who you are going to market to. Learning how to do these simple steps can save a lot of ‘what if’ thoughts.

    Good luck with the challenge, I will be visiting your blog again soon.

    Take care.

    Robyn´s last blog post ..Blogging Tips

    • Jorge 2 September 2010 at 6:31 pm Permalink

      Hi Robyn

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Your rules are simple but a lot of people just don’t have any rules. They buy a course about article marketing today, another one on PPC tomorrow, then CPA, then… and they never put anything in action because they don’t understand how to use any of that information in their own businesses.

      If you do not know what to do, any tool is the right for you.

      Cheers and good luck


  21. Steven Wilkins 8 September 2010 at 7:53 pm Permalink

    HI Jorge,

    Very nice to meet you through the 100 comment challange and this is a very good subject you have covered in your post. I think far too many wannabe online entrepreneuers just jump straight in head first without identifying their market or even preparing a basic businsess plan before hand.

    This post will act as a good guide for anyone wanting to get started online and help them to do the right prepartion before starting an online business. Thanks for the information!

    Steve Wilkins.
    Steven Wilkins´s last blog post ..Who’s making money from the wheelie bin cat story

    • Jorge 10 September 2010 at 1:33 pm Permalink

      Hi Steve

      I’m glad to meet you also, this 100 comment challenge is giving us the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people.

      Thanks for your comment, this post came from my own experiences, because I also felt in the same trap when I started: trying to do whatever gurus told without knowing where I was aiming. Of course, no success in that path.



  22. Pierre Trudel 9 September 2010 at 3:20 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,
    Great info for anyone considering entering the internet marketing ring.

    This is Pierre & Pierrette from the 100 comments challenge. Sorry for being so late. Better late than never.
    Nice set up.
    Pierre Trudel
    Thee Quest For Perfect health

    • Jorge 10 September 2010 at 1:37 pm Permalink

      Hello Pierre and Pierrette.

      You’re not late, I’m late, I only managed to visit yet 30 blogs. Not only the IM business is taking me some time to setup, doing plenty of market research and business preparation, but also my offline business suddenly exploded with requirements that are taking all my time. I wasn’t able to work on my IM business for the last 3-2 weeks, I didn’t finished my blog posts and barely find time to answer comments.

      But I’ll get there, this is not a race, but a life changing challenge and I’ll find the time.



  23. Vance Sova 9 September 2010 at 9:53 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    I like the way you put this post together including the map of the five golden steps or rules.

    I’d say that the business model appears simple when you don’t include the necessary skills and tactics.

    But you are right that none of the steps can be left out without compromising the chances for success severely.

    Vance Sova´s last blog post ..John Chow’s Last Dot Com Pho In Vancouver- Live Event Networking

    • Jorge 10 September 2010 at 1:41 pm Permalink

      Hi Vance

      Thanks for stopping by and by your comment.

      As Alex Jeffreys told us, the business model is simple but is not easy. In fact, skills and tactics are needed and some can take a long time to master or can be expensive to pay for. I pretend to dig in the 5 rules and go into further detail about each of the steps, discuss tools, tactics, strategies and all it’s needed, at least for me, to set up the business in the right way.

      But I want to include the explanation with a real case study, so I’m creating a business from scratch to illustrate how to use the rules and reach success. Unfortunately I don’t have so much time available, so it will take I think a couple of months yet.



  24. raj @ jessie costume 18 September 2010 at 8:53 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    This was a wonderful post. It good to read a post that teaches and suggest the right thing to do as well. I believe this is the kind of information that every blogger must put into consideration. Its amazing how much you can learn from visiting and reading other peoples blogs and the lessons they impart.

  25. Peter Beckenham 21 October 2010 at 10:27 am Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    Apologies but I have been “off the air” for 2 months.
    however, slowly, slowly getting back into shape.

    Another excellent post mate – your 5 golden rules are very easy to read but…..

    They are not that easy to implement and maintain! You have provided some real golden nuggets here Jorge and I hope your readers truly grasp the importance of things like “knowing your numbers”

    Best wishes

    Peter Beckenham´s last blog post ..Marketing Reality…Lessons from a Thai Village

    • Jorge 20 December 2010 at 10:55 pm Permalink

      Hi Peter

      I’ve been away too from my blog for more than two months. I’m back and I’ll start picking up with it and I’ll develop my gold rules. I have so much to tell.

      Stay alert, there will be some interesting stuff to publish.



  26. Karen 21 November 2010 at 3:24 pm Permalink

    Hi Jorge,

    I am a student of Mark Terrell’s Coaching Newbies, and I was blog hopping today and I am glad I did, thank you for breaking down the five steps even though this is easy it can get overwhelming and complicated. I would love for you to stop by my blog and check it out

    Thanks Karen

    • Jorge 20 December 2010 at 10:53 pm Permalink

      Hi Karen

      Sorry for the long absence, I’ll definitely visit your blog. I’ve been away for two months, or more, but I’m back and I’ll restart with my posts about my experiences and my successes and failures.
      Stay tuned.



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