Understanding Finance – Starting your first e-business

Do you have your own e-business? No? Why the hell not? What is wrong with you? In this new Web 2.0 era, running e-businesses is surely the only way to guarantee enough money for retirement. To date, I’ve started 9 e-businesses, but most of my friends have started well over 20 each. Here’s what you’ll need to get start an e-business:

  1. Capital. This is money that you will use to fund your investment. Luckily, this is next to nothing for e-businesses since the Internet does not actually exist. I started my Treadmill-powered-segway e-business with nothing but two roasted chickens from Safeway that I used for bargaining.
  2. A value proposition. This is the explanation of why customers should choose your e-business over your competition. It should be unique to your business and convey value to the customer. For example, the value proposition for my “book shirts” e-business is that it’s the only place where you can have your autobiography published onto an item of clothing with multiple pages – the way it was meant to be read.
  3. A computer. Computers put the ‘e’ in “e-business.” You’ll need a computer to run your e-business. When you’re not using your computer for starting your e-business, you can also use it for other things. I have friends that use it to play Minesweeper. I personally use it for Internet dating. To each his own.
  4. Persistence. I was told a thousand times that no one would ever want Porcupine Slippers. And you know what? The critics were wrong. When I went out to do my own research, I found that porcupine slippers ranked second highest in popularity in the “defensive and comfortable” category of clothing (beaten in a narrow margin by the “echidna pajamas”). Point being: don’t get discouraged when people call your idea stupid. Tell them that their faces are stupid. But don’t give up.

To start your first e-business, you will need all 4 of these. An initiative with lots of capital and computers but not enough value proposition will result in an unsuccessful e-business. Once you start your first e-business, make it a goal to start one every few weeks. Use holidays to boost your sales. My one-way chimney valve, for example, sells great around Christmas. And in ten years, when you have a thousand e-businesses and you’re sitting in a Winnebago in Tahiti, you’ll think, “damn, I am sure glad I took the time out to understanding finance.

’til next time, folks. Thanks for taking the time to get closer to understanding finance.

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