Choose An Online Business Niche You Understand
Many people see the potential to start an online business in order to bring in additional income before and during retirement.
Budding authors are usually told to “Write what you know about”. That same principle should be applied as you select a niche for yourself as an entrepreneur. Choose a subject, a product, a service, an area which appeals to you or which you know well.
Better still, choose something that really interests you. That would be the best of both worlds. Your greatest interest could become your money-making enterprise…but there must be a market for that expertise or there is no point in creating a business around it.
Know What Works For You
Similarly when you are considering your online business model you need to think about the sort of work that you enjoy doing, the style of working that best suits your skills, your temperament and your available time for this venture. Choosing an online business, then making it work for you, requires you to learn new skills and be very determined.
Think of this as a career change, which it is, and ask yourself the same sort of questions as you would ask if you were making any career change. This is the time to be very clear about
- Your personal strengths
- What you love to do
- Your interests, passions and obsessions
- What do you do really well
- Your experience
- How you like to work
- Where do you do your best work
- Your level of attention to detail
- In what ways are you creative – new ideas, design, writing, drawing, music etc
- The kind of work that makes you excited e.g. creative, detailed, numbers, words?
Commit your thoughts to paper as a starting point for your business planning.
Lifestyle is what you are striving for
In designing your ideal money-making venture you must take into account your preferred lifestyle. Of course it’s important that you develop the right venture, one that makes money and offers you a real challenge without taking over your life.
The venture must be a part of your overall lifestyle. It’s not a separate activity but a part of the whole. Decide on your criteria for your ideal lifestyle first, then plan the business around that.
What style of online business would suit you?
You will be aware of many styles of online business, but I’ll outline a few just to give you an idea of the range available. All of these are hugely popular and proven models for a successful business.
But remember there is no such thing as a “get rich quick” business. All genuine businesses involve work, dedication and some investment of money and time. Choosing an online business is no different in that regard.
All involve a level of commitment that you have to be prepared to give, especially in the early stage, to create something worthwhile.
But if you are seeking a new challenge and have the desire to create a new source of income, one of these models may be just what you are looking for.
Business Models To Consider When Choosing An Online Business
Selling on Amazon or Ebay
Amazon and eBay are internet based businesses enabling anyone to buy or sell goods or services online.
The statistics about Amazon and eBay are extraordinary in terms of how much money is spent, how many people use it, and how many run their business through it. Amazon had close to 136 billion US dollars in 2016 net sales, while eBay’s annual net revenue was $8.99 billion US dollars.
The products you can market on Amazon and eBay are almost limitless, and you can start with a relatively small investment.
Ebooks are in many ways the same as any traditional book except they are sold over the internet and you, the creator, do not have any stock to make or store. The customer can print their copy or read it on Kindle or screen. You are the author, publisher and marketer although you may have had a lot of assistance along the way.
The secret of course is to find a popular topic, write a great book and market it very well. The topic does not have to have a huge following, so long as there are enough people who really want the information you have to share and consider that information will help them solve some problem that they have.
Don’t like writing? You can easily find someone to write the ebook for you if you want to follow this business model but are not keen to write the book yourself. There are several websites that exist for the sole purpose of connecting people who need a task done with people who are looking for that sort of contract work.
A membership site is one where people subscribe for a period of time, so you get recurring income. Your clients would subscribe to a membership, usually on a monthly basis, and for their fee they receive information related to their hobby or interest. This is often in the form of e-classes. Membership sites sometimes allow immediate access to all the content, while others allow access week by week or month by months.
There are millions of people around the world with an interest in a specific topics. The list is endless – collecting things, buying shares, vintage cars, cameras, opera, millinery, stamps, dog breeding, staying fit, diet, good health, religion, raising kids, making toys, travel, etc.
Are you an expert in a particular field or activity? You can market your expertise to this worldwide audience. Your potential members are online and your information and their internet connection are only a click apart.
Like ebooks and membership sites, a successful blog has to have an audience of people who really care about the content. It involves creating content fairly regularly, whether it be completely your own content or a curation of content from other blogs and online sources. If you love writing, blogging may be something you enjoy doing, but make sure you can make some money from it if that is your goal.
It is possible to make serious money from a blog but that requires a skill I’ve mentioned a few times already – great online marketing skills. People make money from blogs in several ways, mainly through selling their own products, other people’s products or being paid by another business to place a banner advertisement on the blog site.
Selling someone else’s product – Affiliate marketing
You do not need to create your own products. You can organize to be an affiliate for another company, marketing and promoting their products as if they were your own. A major advantage of being an affiliate for a successful product, with a defined proven niche and the main marketing already prepared for you, is that you can virtually start the business with little experience, so long as you are prepared for the challenge of a fast learning curve. Many very successful entrepreneurs earn large sums of money as affiliates for many products.
If you have a particular interest in some topic, you could blog about that area of interest and refer people with a similar interest to web sites that sell products related to the activity. You would have signed up to become an affiliate for that site and earn commission from any sales that occur as a result of your marketing.
Buying and renovating websites
This is a great online business model for those who want to create a passive income over time and are prepared to learn how to make a website really perform well and earn well for you. It is a model that you can start with low expenditure, learn fast, and get success relatively easily.
Providing services to others
You can also offer your skills and expertise online, being paid per project or on an ongoing basis, depending on what you are looking for. If you just want to work for a short time, or irregularly, this ‘gig economy’ may suits you very well.
The world of internet business opportunities is limited only by your imagination and enthusiasm.
5 things to consider before you choose an online business
- Know yourself well so you choose the best model of business to suit your strengths, skills and what you enjoy doing. This is the key to fulfillment in business.
- Explore the different business models thoroughly. Will the one that appeals to you the most have the potential to make the money you want to make. This is the key to success in business.
- Don’t jump in immediately to an offer you see online because it sounds good. It’s supposed to sound good…That is the purpose of marketing. 🙂
- Get as much education as you can without committing to anything yet. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Talk to people who work in this business. Attend a workshop (but if it is a free workshop expect to be “sold” to throughout the event).
- Understand that you don’t have to know how to do everything. You can hire virtual assistants at affordable rates so that you can leverage your time.
- Plan your business idea thoroughly, based on your new education and research, before proceeding.