In all the excitement to create your first business, it is easy to overlook some important facts about how to start a small business online. Here is a comprehensive look at what a business entails for you.
- Will you make the time for a business
- Which business and where?
- How will you promote your business?
- Will you stick to it until you are successful?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Old Chinese proverb.
Will you make time for a business?
I know you have heard this before but any business takes a lot of time to create, nurture, and sustain. It is totally worth the effort if you treat your business as the most important new part of your life. Having said that, will you make the time? We are all busy, family, work, play, so something will have to give for you to make the time. What will it be?
Any business will initially gobble up time while you learn the ropes. You could buy an established business that is making money, either bricks and mortar or online. This can be great but you will still need to put a lot of time into maintaining and growing this business. Nothing is set and forget!
There will be a massive learning curve
If you think buying a business is easy be aware that if you don’t know how to run that business you risk it dying. Or you will end up paying someone else who can do it for you. In the end not knowing the basics will cost you a lot of money, maybe even your business.
A better way is to learn the basics of building a business online from scratch. This way you can craft the business to suit yourself and make changes as you go along. Just as exciting is the skills that you will learn and develop. There is no greater feeling than knowing how to build from the ground up. This way no-one can take it from you. You will feel excited and empowered.
Which business and where?
- Find a niche. …
- Evaluate market viability. …
- Conduct market research. …
- Review competitive analysis. …
- Learn online business laws. …
- Analyze your target market. …
- Source your product. …
- Choose the right e-commerce platform.
There are two rules to online businesses that you need to remember if you want to succeed:
Online business rule #1: It’s about your customer…not you.
If you really want all those things, you need to learn to dig deep into what your customers really want and put their needs first.
Only by factoring your customers into your system can you turn your dream or passion into a real business that’ll make you money.
Which brings me to…
Online business rule #2: Passion isn’t everything.
Here are the 6 options for online businesses you can start.
- Software (including apps)
- Physical products
- Affiliate marketing
- Online courses
- Draw out a simple framework to let you see instantly if a business model will work (most people never do this). Understand the components of building a business.
- You don’t have to quit your job and raise millions in venture capital funding or mortgage your house.
- Online courses and coaching look like the best businesses to start. They’re both very attractive…so how do we decide?
- If you can’t create a course or coach yourself you can promote other people who have created these products and make a commission. (Affiliate marketing.)
If you can create it yourself, some other benefits of online courses are:
- You’ll be able to reach out to tens of thousands of people all over the WORLD
- You can create something ONCE and create passive income
- You can scale your course LIMITLESSLY and watch your profits grow every time you do.
Some courses that you could create:
Leadership, Weight loss, Parenting, Dating, Healthy Eating, Gardening, Guitar/Piano lessons, Positive thinking, Tourism, MS Windows videos, Programming, and Writing courses just to name a few!
A blog post to help you;
- Clean your home
- Train you at the gym
- Cook you dinner
- Train your pet (maybe to use the toilet?)
Whatever it is, take just a few seconds right now to jot down a list of things you ALREADY pay people to do and courses that you have done. Maybe you felt you could write a better course. Here’s your chance.
Question #1: What skills do you have?
Now, what are you really good at? These are the skills that you could tell a friend or partner how to fix a problem — and people want to pay you to teach them.
Some examples include:
- Fluency in a foreign language
- Knowledge of a computer program like Excel or Photoshop
- Cooking ability
- How to clean an oven
- Creating a garden you can eat
- How to build a website business
Write down a list of 10 of these skills. I don’t want you to hold back. Write down ANYTHING that comes to your mind and you’ll start seeing what people might want to pay you for. Make that list now while your mind is full of ideas.
Add any problem that you recently Googled online. Did you look up a problem? Buy an E-Reader? Look at a recipe?
Question #2: What do my friends say I’m great at?
I love this question.
Not only can it be a nice little ego boost — but it can also be incredibly revealing.
Are your friends always telling you that you cook the best meals? Maybe they’ve been asking you more for fitness advice and gym routines? Have they ever complimented you on how great your apartment looks or how well you dress? Are you a fabulous singer or guitarist? Do you make beautiful patchwork quilts? Are you a great motivator?
All of those things can be turned into successful businesses.
Women in Business is an NSW Government and TAFE NSW initiative that offers a fully subsidized* online program for women who are looking to establish a micro-business, a small business, or who are already operating a business. There is training everywhere and it doesn’t always cost. There are lots of free resources online.
One of the best that I have found is where I host my websites. For the price of hosting, security, a massive amount of training videos, and a really supportive community I can run a whole business. That’s about $45 a month. Less than buying one meal out. I’ve never had so much fun and now it’s making me money. Check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate here and read more details about getting started for Free.
Niche Ideas for You
If you know the ins and outs of search engines and have technical skills in platforms like Google Ads and Google Analytics, becoming an SEO consultant could be a lucrative option for you. Many small business owners don’t realize how much of an impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Start your online consulting business by educating those business owners on the power of SEO to help transform their websites and increase their conversion rates.
Social media consultant
Larger enterprises can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their social media accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed, or undereducated. To understand the importance of a social media presence. It takes a lot of time to develop and implement a great social media strategy. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses determine the best tactics, posting schedules, and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.
Niche market e-commerce retailer
There’s an audience for everything, even if it’s as specific as a designer pillow or organic food. With a niche e-commerce site, you can reach customers who seek specific products.
Building a business in a niche market can help you differentiate yourself from other brands and build your credibility and expertise. Look to social media or your own consumer needs to come up with a product to sell on your online store.
To get your e-commerce business up and running, all you need is a web hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or e-commerce software. To simplify the shipping process, you can work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf. This can reduce the amount of inventory you need to keep onsite.
You can even connect with Shopify or Amazon to create a store on their websites and they hold the stock and do the shipping for you.
Blogging may seem like an outdated business strategy since nearly everybody already has one. But don’t let the competition deter you from starting this online business journey. If you love writing or have important information to share, blogging may be a profitable business for you. By putting affiliate (commission) links in your blogs or promoting your own E-Book or Courses you can make a great monthly income with a tiny outlay. Digital products are quick and cheap to promote, sell, and deliver!
Starting a blog as a business is very simple with a website builder like WordPress, but the key to success is consistency and quality. To gain a steady following, you must continually write and produce high-quality content that provides value to your readers. Content that educates, informs or entertains your readers gives them a reason to follow you.
By placing a sign-up form on your website you will be able to collect email addresses so that you can deliver top information to these people regularly.
Once you’ve mastered the creation of consistent content, you can make money through your blog by selling products like online courses, digital coaching, e-books, or webinars. You can also sell ad space or sponsored posts. This business strategy may take a little more time and effort to monetize, but it can be very profitable in the end.
If you love leaving customer reviews on sites like Amazon, you may want to look into affiliate marketing as a source of income. Word-of-mouth advertising is still a huge lead generator for many companies, and many businesses are willing to share a portion of their profits with persuasive individuals who will promote their products to the public.
Affiliate programs break down into different levels of involvement: unattached, related, and involved. Unattached affiliate marketing is a basic pay-per-click campaign that requires little to no involvement with the product you are promoting. Related affiliate marketing requires you to have some authority and content on the product you are marketing, but you don’t personally use the product.
Involved affiliate marketing is perhaps the most effective, as you’ll be marketing a product that you actually use and enjoy.
If you want to run an e-commerce site, you might be worried about storing inventory. With drop shipping, you can take customer orders on an online store and send them directly to a third-party retailer for fulfillment. As long as your business model involves selling items at a price higher than what you’ll pay to the third-party retailer, your dropshipping business will be set for success. This is basically you buying at wholesale and selling at retail for a profit. The only difference is that you never have to handle or store stock and it is delivered for you.
Just because somebody is taking classes in a subject doesn’t mean they understand the material well. If you’re great at explaining things to somebody in a one-on-one setting and have ample experience and knowledge in a subject. Consider starting an online tutoring business in that field. You can use video chat tools such as Skype to conduct tutoring sessions remotely and offer your knowledge to anybody, anytime, anywhere. Consider incorporating a budget for ads on Craigslist and Fiverr into your business model.
Or you could create tutorial videos using Screencastomatic to show your screenshot and talk about the lesson. This is a huge industry in itself.
Similarly to tutoring, people all over the world might benefit from you sharing your expertise with them. Starting an online business that offers digital courses to anybody interested in the topic can easily earn you money – you can sell prepared written materials or other downloadable content for a fee.
YouTube makes starting an online education business especially easy. Upload videos of yourself educating viewers on any subject, whether beginner or advanced and use social media to spread the word of your channel. As your number of viewers grows, you’ll be able to monetize your videos and make a profit from them.
Skype or Zoom Coaching
Some people looking for one-on-one help might want something more than lessons. People who want help advancing their careers, improving their nutrition, or finding more meaning in their lives could benefit from your coaching through Skype.
As a Skype coach, your goal is to offer advice, guidelines, and support for your clients. If you run a blog for your business or regularly post to LinkedIn about the topics in which you’re coaching, you’ll appear more trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Out of the online business types above, corporate counsel consulting is the highest paid, followed by app development. Some experts in online businesses also expect educational businesses – tutoring, digital courses, YouTube channels, and even Skype coaching – to reap higher profits in future years, with e-commerce sites following close behind.
With all these ideas you will surely find a niche to get you excited and solving problems for people all over the world. There is no time like the present to start your business online and move towards financial success.
Live the life of your dreams
Let me know if you enjoyed this post in the comments and I’m always here to answer any questions and help.