I’m KerryAnn and these are my thoughts about making money online and how to set up an online business.
These are my thoughts and frustrations only.
Online there are many people searching for information, myself included, trying to find out ideas to try that will suit our lifestyle, education, abilities and budget and many online ‘entrepreneurs’ are reluctant to share freely. They tend to dribble a bit of information telling you the ‘what’ but not the ‘how’. This leaves you the choice of spending money to find out whether the how is beneficial, but wait there’s more… with just this extra amount of money, they can show you how it works even better, and wait there’s more… with just this further amount they can offer you some more information so that you can work out how it may work. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell.
Imagine if you went to a restaurant and ordered a meal. Then the waiter said ‘for a little more you can have salt & pepper with that’ and then ‘would you like cutlery to eat your meal, that’s an extra $’ and so on. This really frustrates me about the online model.
In the bricks and mortar world, to grow your business people say once you have a customer, you sell them a little something more and invite them back time and again. This works well. An example would be if you offer a service such as a hairdresser. You sell some product and you ring them in 6 weeks for another haircut, and maybe another product or hair service.
In the online world though, this seems to mean you offer a product, upsell on it then next month you offer a completely different product. Sometimes, this can be a similar product by a different supplier or another product by a supplier to do a similar job to the first one. We, the consumer, then either buy a lot of products that we don’t need or get confused and give up. A membership website, however, could mean that as a member (repeat customer) you can get updates and further information automatically. I aim to make my future membership website in this way. Some membership site do do this now but some don’t.
Not always is the process easy
Many claim the process of operating this new software is newbie friendly and you just do this-this and this and all is great. However, when I try my operating system is different or I don’t have a software programme that is compatible and I need to go out and source something. It’s a bit like getting a PDF document to read and having to download Adobe to read it, (although this is a free software). For the computer novice like me, there is a lot of disappointment and individual coaching is suddenly available after about the third upsell… and often at a cost.
A lot of information and offers on the internet I find actually turns me from a possible buyer to a non-event. This is because they just make it so much about sharing information to a few people for lots of dollars rather than sharing with lots of people for a smaller fee.
As I have already stated, I would like to set up an online business and I think I can do this through both digital and physical products. Today it is not just the big multinationals that can have customers worldwide, we all can. Whilst for physical products we do have to consider delivery costs and well as licensing and quarantine restrictions within different countries. However, with digital, it is often just a case of language translation.
When you start a bricks and mortar business you decide on a product or service to sell, find a location and premises, then let people know who you are and what you offer through advertising.
Likewise, to set up an online business, I believe you should find a product or service, then find a selling platform and let people find you through advertising and other promotions. It is just that the internet is such a huge marketplace that without promotion, people are unlikely to stumble upon you.
They find you through advertising, self-promoting on social media or referrals. Unless people know your name through external advertising and branding, it is harder for a new business to be ‘found.’ A lot of work needs to be done with the website or you join a selling platform like eBay or Amazon. Again though, there is a lot of competition and work needs to be done to your listing to be successful.
So how do you set up an online business?
You set up an online business with a lot of thinking and research to start with.
Firstly, I recommend you work out whether you want to sell a product or service. This could be any product that someone would want to buy, or a range of products (either on your website or a platform), or maybe some type of software, a subscription membership site, books, information sites and the like.
Depending on your product or service, you will then need to consider your online business premises, a website is most often the place to start. Either a standard website promoting your products and their benefits often with a blog so information can be shared, or a website within a marketing platform such as eBay and Amazon. There are many others including industry-specific selling platforms as well. There are also some platforms where you simply have a landing page that has your offer on it that you can send people to. However, once they leave, it is more difficult to get them to come back again and again unless you have a consumable product.
Some platforms allow you to contact buyers and get their email, others do not. Your own website can allow you to collect emails for future promotion of consumable and new products.
A business plan should be put in place once you have a rough outline of what you think you might like to do. I will cover this later, for now, this post is all about the thought process so that you start thinking in one direction.
Finally you need to get people to find you. So how do people find a needle in the haystack?
Good Question? There are many ways to advertise and promote. Social media being just one of them. This is a whole new topic to be covered later.
Hope this has given you something to think about.