Over the last ten years the world has moved online…business, learning, shopping, marketing, even ordering a takeaway dinner. The advantages and convenience are obvious. But what does it mean to you if you are considering an online business of some sort for yourself?
Increasingly baby boomers are considering an online business as a very viable alternative to seeking employment. They want a way of creating a business that brings in an income through their own endeavors, skills and preferred style of working.
The thought of having to learn how to make a business succeed online can be daunting for those who can see its potential but haven’t been actively involved in how to make it happen.
Learning About Online Business
I have been working in this space for some years. I have been to so many seminars, attended so many workshops, participated in so many webinars, that if I had put that effort into a PhD I’d have completed it by now. I’d probably have also written a followup book! It’s become a bit of an obsession for me I think.
By nature I’m a lifelong learner. I love learning about new things or hearing similar ideas expressed from a different perspective. I have been fascinated by the possibilities of the internet. I’ve watched the “normalization” of working in this space over the last few years. For a lot of that time I was dabbling in online business but did not feel comfortable telling people of my interest. It seemed such a departure from my previous career choices.
I was embarrassed to say I was starting an online business
Ten years ago if I was attending an internet marketing workshop I would tell people I was going to a “business” workshop. This was true but was definitely putting up a smoke screen. Why? Because I found then that people treated internet businesses with mistrust. I would have to explain to them it was the way business was going. I got the impression in conversations sometimes that people thought I was being “sucked in”. Now I happily proclaim my interest in blogging, social media and internet marketing to anyone who will listen. 🙂
I now blog about working online, particularly from the perspective of baby boomers considering an online business that uses their skills, experience and expertise while giving them new challenges and their choice of working environment. I love working in this way and having the freedom it gives me.
Do you want to start an online business?
Are you thinking about starting an online business but do not know how to start? Would you like to utilize the power of the internet to grow the profit of your offline business?
What model of online business suits you?
The first thing you need to consider is the model of online business that would suit you best. This decision is crucial as there are so many different models and, whilst they all have online marketing in common, there are major differences. Your own skill set, the time you want to spend on the business, the level you want to have with clients, your finances, all are critical issues. There are so many decisions that can only be made when you have some knowledge of what is available. Believe me, it is a lot easier on you if you start with a clear direction and keep going along that path. (I’ve been down many different paths – Not a good idea!)
Be clear about your niche
Once you know what model of business you are starting you need to consider your niche. Who can you best help online? Do you have special skills or knowledge you can share? What will you sell to potential clients?
Create a good business plan
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a well-organized business plan before starting any business. Your business plan will serve as your reference in all the actions that you are going to implement in your business. To some, creating a good business plan seems overwhelming, but let’s be realistic and recognize this is just a preliminary task.
There are many more steps that you need to take if you want your business to succeed and the next steps can be more challenging, but don’t be disheartened. When done correctly a good business plan is the key to your online business growth. A business plan helps keeping you organized and focused on the actions that you will take in running your online business.
A good business plan should have realistic financial projections or forecasts. Do not set figures which are unrealistic and impossible to achieve. Your business plan must be clear and straight to the point and should be action-oriented. It must present a clear understanding of the business processes of your company.
Research your Market and Monitor your Competition
An important step is to do solid market research before you make any commitment to any other aspect of the business. Gather as much information as possible about your target customers, your type of product or service and your industry trends. All of this information will help you recognize if it is a viable business idea and, if it is, this will help you implement the perfect marketing strategy for your online business. You can get information from the internet, business journals and government publications.
It is also helpful to look at the websites of businesses similar to what you hope to create. Studying and monitoring competition is one of the most important steps in creating a successful online business. Monitoring your competition will help you identify your competitor’s weak points and create a good business campaign. With this you can emphasize strengths of your business where you have identified their weaknesses. This will also help you get a glimpse of your competitor’s operating systems and so you can endeavor to make your service or product a better one than your competition.
The process of creating a business plan that will work, doing market research and using strategies to monitor your competition can be confusing and complex. Make sure that you’re maximizing your opportunities by seeking the right advice and getting genuine help.
Before you start an online business read our tips:
Educate Yourself When Choosing an Online Business
Five Tips To Create Your Own Retirement Lifestyle Business
5 things to know before starting your own business
Financing options for boomers who want to start a business after 40
So my big question is:
What would you like to know if you are considering an online business?
Let us know through our Contact page and let’s have a chat. If you’d like to suggest a topic for a blog post I’d love to hear from you and will respond with an informative blog post as quickly as I can.