Are you starting your own affiliate marketing business? That is not just anything, and there is quite a bit involved. Okay, registering with the Chamber of Commerce is one thing; it is done in no time. But actually starting an affiliate marketing business is all that comes before and after.
Ensure that you get customers that money is made. It is no secret that 40% of the companies that register with the Chamber of Commerce no longer exist after three years. In this article, I will help you avoid that scenario and tell you everything involved in starting your own business. I also take you through the process based on one example; one of my private companies.
Why do you want to start your own affiliate marketing business?
Everything starts with the ‘Why,’ Simon Sinek would say. Why do you want to do something? Only later will you look at how you will do that and what you are actually going to do. But of course that often goes the other way with real entrepreneurship. You have probably seen an opportunity in the market, or you simply have something that you really like and want to turn it into a company. Whether it is an eshop, a catering company, or a door-to-door hairdresser, it can literally be anything.
In any case, it is important to ask yourself why you actually want to start that company. Starting your own affiliate marketing business is a difficult road from which you only reap the benefits after a while. Many people do not get through the first period because it often turns out to be more difficult than expected. Having a realistic view can help to avoid disappointment. So take a look at how you can correctly estimate your chances.
For example, I was on holiday to Ibiza with a friend. We brought such an air lounger from the Action to relax on the beach. When we were there, many people came to us and asked where we had bought it. We found out that this product was not yet available at all in Ibiza. And so a new business idea was born, selling air loungers in Ibiza!
Market research is essential and can also be a lot of fun.
Before you register at all, you will first be able to see whether what you want to do is desirable. See if there is a chance of success. Of course, that can never be said with certainty, but it can often be said with certainty when something has no chance of success at all—certainly an important step to do some market research. Don’t think too hard about that, either.
You can do market research by talking to your network and asking what they think of your idea. You can launch a survey on Facebook or just address random people on the street. You can also visit your competitors’ websites at this stage to find out what they are offering.
For the air loungers I mentioned earlier, I decided to do some market research through my friends on Facebook. I asked what they thought of the product and what they thought people would pay for it in Ibiza. That way, I could reason whether it was a good plan to buy them. I also used the same network to make choices for the logo, the product, and even found my logistics partner. Sharing is caring.
Share and learn from others.
During your market research, don’t be afraid to reveal your idea. Many people always act secretive when they start an affiliate marketing business. But the truth is, if you’re one of those types, you’re not going to learn anything about the market. Openness is essential. An idea is a start, but not yet a business. It is only a company if something is done with that idea.
Research yourself before starting your own affiliate marketing business
A final part of the research mainly concerns yourself. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are and prepare yourself for risks in the future. Also, look at your network and financial resources and map this out. This gives you an overview of the chaos, and you may just end up on the part of your network that you had not yet thought would help you further.
Now gather and analyze all the results of your market research and your research. Does this match your assumptions, and is there a chance of success? Then we can proceed to the next step. We can register the company.
With the air loungers, which eventually became Ibiza Loungers, I came to the conclusion that I knew a lot about marketing, sales, and design (logo, etc.) but simply NOTHING about import. From this, I could conclude that a logistics party was needed to advise me. If you don’t investigate yourself, you will only find out later in the process, and that is a huge waste because it will cost you money.
Starting your own business starts at the Chamber of Commerce.
You will register with the Chamber of Commerce. This can be done quite easily. That is why many people who only have an idea do that too. You make an appointment online at the Chamber of Commerce and suggest your company name.
It may be useful to check the trade register beforehand to see if someone is not already registered with the same name because then you can forget about it. Your company name must be unique and should not be confused with competitor company names. That would be unfair.
Is your company name already listed? Then invent a new one, that should be fine.
Legal form for your company
When starting your own affiliate marketing business and registering in the trade register, you will also have to choose a legal form. When you start your first affiliate marketing business, this is most likely a sole proprietorship. Other legal forms such as VOF, BV, NV, or a Foundation are less common in a start-up company but are interesting. However, you will have to read a lot more and be well informed before you start.
In 2017, of the 1.6 million registered companies, more than 1 million were one-person businesses. So the great majority.
Starters day own company
When registering, you will have a chat with someone from the Chamber of Commerce. He will ask you why you want to start your own affiliate marketing business and ensure that you fall into the right category. It will also invite you to attend a starter day where you will learn more about taxes and entrepreneurship. Be sure to do this. These days are the start of your professional network and help you to understand the affiliate marketing business. Starting your own business is difficult enough, so support for each other is welcome.
After registering with the Chamber of Commerce, you must submit your VAT return every quarter (in case of a sole proprietorship). Look for a few tutorials and screen the website of the tax authorities. Then it should be all work. Would you rather outsource that accounting? I have a friend who is an accountant, does a top job;). Now on to the interesting part of starting your own business!
Get started with actually starting your own business.
I can talk about it long or short, but I have seen so many times that people in my area wanted to start their own business, but the idea was not converted into an activity. The reason for this was often that it got stuck with fear of the rules and legislation. When it feels like it would be too difficult to implement or the risks it entails.
The reality is often that you will indeed fail if you start your own business. That cannot be prevented. You start on something new, and then mistakes are made. The most important thing is to accept that and estimate in advance. When you do that, you accept the mistakes and realize that we all have to start somewhere. Only then do you actually get to work instead of always remaining an unrealized idea?
The first steps as an entrepreneur
Now is the time to start doing affiliate marketing business! Here it obviously differs enormously per company how this is worked out. In general, you can say that you first have to get customers before the money is made. Or there must first be something to sell. But assuming you have already arranged the latter, now is the time for business because those customers do not come naturally.
Do you already have a logo, business cards, website, linked-in profile, press release, Facebook page, or folders? It’s time to take your ‘brand’ out into the world. Shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know you’ve started a business. This will no doubt help you with your first customers. In many cases, those first customers are acquaintances of acquaintances.
Make sure everyone knows about it, and you’ve started!
For the Ibiza Loungers, we made a logo, printed t-shirts, and caps, and had our own beach flags made. We wanted to make sure everyone would see us at the Ibiza beach sale. Now it was time to sell!
Conclusion starting your own business
I have already started (and stopped) several companies myself. I fell hard a few times (read this story), but got up just a little more often. And that is entrepreneurship. The way is not always clear, but when you start, you will find out automatically. Sometimes it is the process of trial and error in which you learn the most and can achieve the most. This means that starting your own business is not for everyone. After all, not everyone can motivate or discipline themselves enough to go through that process.
And just to recap, the steps to take into account when starting your own business are the following.
- Put the why, how and what on paper
- Share your plans
- Research the market
- Examine yourself
- Choose a legal form
- Register with the Chamber of Commerce
- Visit a starters day
- Provide visibility
- Find customers
- Business through trial and error
Good luck with starting your own business!