Probably one of the most important things to get straight right from the start is what your domaining strategy is going to be.
Think of it like starting any new business, you need a business plan before you start investing money. I will have a series of posts on various domaining strategies but here I will just cover the generic issues.
Read, read and read
Read everything you can get your hands on about domaining. You do not want to start a business without understanding its strengths and weaknesses. Skip the “get rich quick” books and look at this as a business that will take time, money and hard work.
Get rich quick
If you are getting into domaining to get rich quickly, then stop right now. The domains that sell for over a million dollars were bought many years ago or were bought a few years ago for many thousands of dollars. Good profit opportunities present themselves every now and again but that is not the way to make a sustainable income and profit.
What are you looking for?
- Are you looking to build a business that you can do full time?
- Are you looking to supplement your income?
- Are you doing this just for fun?
The strategy and investment of time and money will vary depending on your goal. Be clear about your goal and the timeframe to accomplish that goal. Understand whether you are investing to make a profit on the sale or if you are investing for regular income
School of hard knocks
Starting any new business means that you will make mistakes. How you handle the mistakes is much more important than the mistakes you make. Limiting the damage and learning from mistakes are critical.
Invest what you can afford to lose
Any new business has the potential to fail and is at high risk early in its life. Again simple business rules apply. Have sufficent capital to carry you through the first year or two. If you are doing this part-time, plan out how much you can afford to invest each month. Do not creep into debt by using credit cards and loans.
If you are going to start a business full-time, it is not unusual to get a loan to start the business and domaining is no exception. This is a high risk business with no guaranteed income however so it becomes doubly important to have a clear business plan with clear go/no go decision points built in. Knowing when to get out is as important as knowing when to continue. On the other hand, this is a business you can start part-time and you can build up experience before you take the plunge into full-time domaining.
Domains seem cheap to buy and they are. However it is not unusual for new domainers to plunge in and buy many domains within a short period of time. The catch is that the renewal fees will then be due around the same time meaning you will have to part with a significant sum of money all at once. Some will panic and sell to avoid the fees, often taking a loss.
Spreading out your registrations will spread out your fees and avoid panic selling. You must make sure you include the cost of renewal fees into your financial plan from the beginning unless your model involves turning over domains quickly.
These are just some of the general comments and pitfalls in domaining. Good planning and time spent learning will give you a good start. The rest will come from experience.