Everyone's seen those reports on TV or the Internet about people who make a pile of money running a YouTube channel. Or who make stuff at home and sell it online for a nice sum. As you sit in commuter traffic or get yelled at by the boss, those daydreams of owning your own online business probably rise up again. How hard is it really, and how much would you make?
While it's difficult to come up with solid numbers on Internet-based solo entrepreneurs, tax data shows that rising numbers of one-person businesses are making pretty decent money. About 2.4 million of them generate at least $100,000 a year in income [source: Census.gov]. Forbes reporter Elaine Rofeldt, who's been covering the phenomenon, ascribes a lot of that growth to Internet-based retail's ability to pull in customers from far and wide, not just in one town, and she expects that growth will continue.
OK, that sounds pretty good. But even so, if you're going to tap into the Internet's potential for making money, there are certain skills you'll need. Some are the same ones you would have needed to start your own shop in the pre-Internet era — good planning, effective execution and people skills, as well as having a desirable product. But there are other required skills directly related to running an online enterprise. The good news, though, is that the Internet itself provides you most of the tools and information to be successful.
Here are 10 skills that would be very useful for running an online business solo.