Are you looking for ways to start an online business? Starting off a fresh online business may seem intimidating at times, especially to those of us who are a little older. Even young people who have not ventured in to online business before may find it daunting. However, with a planned approach and diligent effort, the procedure may well boil down to a much easier chore. Here I present the first in a series of articles that will assist you to establish a strong online presence.
The first thing to think about is what sort of business you want. Now this shouldn’t just be a case of deciding on which will bring you the most profit. Obviously you want to make money quickly but will it suit your skills, lifestyle and personality?
Your personality type is a very important consideration. If you are an introvert then you probably don’t want a business that requires you to cold call people. Sure sometimes it is good to challenge ourselves but why make it more difficult than it has to be? Conversely if you are a social bee you may be frustrated sitting at home all day with just a computer for company. Also consider start up costs. Do you have money to invest in stock or do you need an easy way to make money when you are broke?
Here are four main ways that you could commence your online business, and they are as follows:-
a) Start from scratch
You can formulate your own product or service to sell. You might decide to follow other eminent businesses and develop a similar product to theirs. Or perhaps you think nothing sells better than a novel concept. If you go for this latter option then you need to carry out preliminary market research in order to feel the pulse of the market. There is no point putting your heart and soul in to producing a product that no one wants. If you find a novel idea and decide there is a need then you need to find those people online and connect with them. This could enable you to establish a healthy customer base, which is critical to boosting your online business.
However is it wise to re-invent the wheel? Obviously innovation is great but we are looking for easy ways to make money online. A better concept would be to establish what is already selling so that you know the market exists. Then find products on the market and see how they could be improved.
This idea is brilliantly explained by John Thornhill. He will teach you this for free here.
b) Start with affiliate marketing
If you are on a shoestring budget and cannot develop your own product from scratch, then affiliate marketing is a viable option for you. You can market the products of a well-renowned company through affiliate programs. The company would typically dole out commissions on each sale accomplished by you. The advantages of this choice are obvious. You don’t need to actually come up with an idea or produce the product. You may think you will do it all yourself but you would probably need to pay someone to help. Affiliate marketing is a far less stressful way to start an online business.
The disadvantages of affiliate marketing are that you are putting effort in to building someone else’s business. You will get commission on the front end product but they will make larger products on follow up products.
c) Start an online business by reselling
This is the basis of many businesses since the year dot. You buy something at one price and sell it for a higher price. You can buy hot selling products at wholesale prices from a well-established organization. Then you can sell them at retail by promoting them on your own website or on a site like Amazon. This is arbitrage i.e. buy low, sell high. It is definitely a credible way to make money online. If you decide to sell through Amazon then you can use their FBA program. This takes away the need for you to actually hold stock of the items you are selling. Basically the Fulfilled By Amazon program means just that. You ship products to Amazon en masse and they handle the sales and shipping. This model will probably require you to set up a formal business entity rather than acting as a solopreneur. This is because you will need to convince wholesalers to do business with you and a company will give you more credibility.
d) Start an online venture via direct sales
You may become an affiliate of a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company. You can market their products and earn a commission on sales you make. Affiliates signup through an existing member. If you sign up someone they are typically placed below you in the distributor hierarchy. This means you also earn money from their sales as well as your own. So you as the sponsor earn a higher commission than a fresh entrant. So you have many streams of income, your own sales and those from your downline. If you like selling and like talking to people to recruit them this could suit you. These days you can use the internet to recruit people for MLM.
These are 4 ways to start an online business Any online business can be quite lucrative if planned well. However it is imperative that you realize the importance of choosing a viable online business. The choice of an online business should be made, bearing in mind the resources in hand, your lifestyle, time available and what appeals to you.
There will be many challenges when you start an online business and it will be far easier to keep going if you are doing something you enjoy.