In order to change my lifestyle and give up external work, I feel an online business is the best way to go. These are my thoughts on what a good business should look like.
What is a good business to start?
When I think about what my dream business would look like, I believe that this business would be one that helps you live well rather than just provide a job.
I feel that a business that continues to make you money with only minor adjustments (like new product research) is the ultimate businesses.
A good business, in my opinion, has a product that provides ongoing income as this usually requires less work than selling a one-off product.
A good product is one that works well, is high quality, and has consumer demand. Some ideas of the type of product I consider really worth thinking about are:
A consumable product that is sold with a monthly resupply, or maybe an ongoing membership fee.
A product that has high sales volume and is easy to manufacture and supply using your own brand name.
A product that others can promote for you, through affiliate links, means others can do the marketing for you
A business which forces you to spend hours and hours each day presenting information and trying to get new customers is not my idea of a dream business.
A good business may provide the actual product, or simply provide the information that sends people to a good product for a fee.
I have been working on this blog as an information provider and the means of getting my message to people.
I do promote products that I use through Affiliate Links and will later move to other promotional methods.
In order to work like a business, I believe you should have a plan of action.
It does not need to be complex, but rather just a to-do list so you know the direction you are heading and the jobs that need to be done.
Do you have a business goal?
A business Goal will provide a plan of action. If you know where you want to end up, then it will help you create the steps required to make it happen.
The actions you take will constantly change as your business grows, so constant review is always required.
How do I find a product to sell?
How do I find products to recommend and sell through my blog?
I recommend products that I use and find works well. I recommend these within my blog through affiliate links.
Many online products these days have an affiliate program. This means that I can receive money simply by referring people to programs that can help them. It does not cost people any extra if they buy a product through my links, so it is a win-win scenario. I wrote a blog post about affiliate marketing called is affiliate marketing passive income.
How can I build my offline business?
I am building websites so that I can turn my current offline business into an online one. My goal is to improve my product line and sell through both Amazon and my own website, with the products fulfilled by Amazon.
How do customers find you?
Once you have a product to sell or service to offer you need customers. How do people find you? There is no one simple answer to this question. There are many ways to promote your message. Depending upon the business you may be able to combine traditional as well as internet advertising. You need to consider the product, whether it is perishable, easily broken and how easily it can be delivered.
I have made this list of promotional ideas. Some are relevant for my physical product and some for my blog, many can be used by both businesses. This list is nowhere near complete, but it is certainly a start.
- SEO – A website needs to be seen by the search engines so that when someone is looking for a product your offer is seen. This is true of your own site, or within a selling platform.
- PPC – Pay per Click advertising, is where you pay to be put forward on a search page results.
- Social Media promotion. You build followings within various social media platforms and tell people about you, your product and the platform it is sold on, and about your website. This can be as a part of your interaction through those who follow you. This can be on your personal site, or as a business site or both. You can also do paid advertising through the platforms’ advertising arm.
- Social media shops, Facebook now has a shop section and so does Google.
- Facebook Groups. Some allow advertising, some offer like-for-like, others allow comments and if you are helpful may lead to people checking out your profile. You could also build your own Facebook Group around your niche.
- Twitter lists. Subscribe to the Twitter list of influencers in your niche. Add people to your own lists so that you can easily see tweets relevant to a particular niche. You can then comment and draw attention to others who may need your product.
- List in directories that relate to your niche. Local directories and country of origin directories can also be used to list your website and contact details.
- Paid advertising on other peoples’ sites, usually through a banner or advert.
- Paid promotion. This could be getting your offer emailed to someone else’s list (solo advert).
- Sending information to others and asking them to tell their readers about your product either in their own words, or a prepared statement. Guest blogging on others’ blogs is an example of this.
- Traditional Television, magazine & paper advertising telling people of your product or offer with your website details for ordering. Sometimes you can target a smaller audience in country areas, where there is less competition, in a more cost-effective manner.
- Build an email list and send weekly or monthly ‘specials’, similar to a supermarket’s weekly specials. There are many ways to build a list. The method most people use is by offering a ‘free’ report of some kind and marketing through various online sites. You can also add a newsletter opt-in to your website.
- Pamphlet drop in various areas with your website and a ‘special’ offer coupon.
- Joining online groups and forums and using your website in your signature (where permitted). Sometimes you can offer a solution to a posted problem by referring, gently, to your website or blog.
- A blog, separate from your selling website, can offer advice or information that can assist people in deciding whether to buy your product. You can then link to your sales website where appropriate. You could then have your own website newsletter, and if people are interested in your subject topic, they will often sign up for that newsletter. Again, you can have reference to your website on the newsletter, but not ‘sell’ on the newsletter. You can use advertising to send people to this website to add them to your email list as well.
- Business cards – yes, the humble business card can be handed out to people you speak to in everyday life. Some of these people may require your product. These can also be used for others to share information of your offer with their friends and family.
- On a business card you could add a link to an affiliate product review page instead of just your website. This page would have an affiliate link to the product. Business cards are cheap and you could do one for each affiliate product. When talking to people, you could hand your card and send them to your website for more information. (avoids selling in person).
- Offer a referral (affiliate) program to your customers. If they introduce customers to your site give them something in return. A happy customer is usually willing to spread the word. You must be careful of tax implications, so seek tax and legal advice in the set up, and if using a sales platform such as Amazon or eBay you may not be able to do this.
- Build a YouTube channel to send people to your blog or website. I would not look at this as an income stream because YouTubers now say that they make money from adverts once they have 1000 subscribers and the videos receive more than 10,000 views. This sounds like a time-consuming practice, and not my dream business.
However, you can use your YouTube channel to send people to your blog or website and thus give instruction. As YouTube is searchable, this may be an advertising stream through your SEO strategies.
Business Goal Steps.
My business Goal steps are simplified as outlined below. Some things I have started, and the rest are the direction in which I plan to head.
1. Build a premises
(a) This blog is my online premises.
(b) I have a separate ‘about my company’ website for supplier credibility when purchasing goods.
(c) Open a seller account with Amazon and use FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon)
(d) Set up an e-commerce website, for my current offline business. This is underway.
(e) I have set up an information membership site and I am starting to add content.
2. Find products
(a) Find a physical product to sell on Amazon as well as other e-commerce sites.
(b) Continue to research products to increase my product range.
(c) Create information products to giveaway for email addresses, relevant to product topic.
(d)Create digital products to give away to find people interested in making money online and any other topics I may decide to promote later.
(e) Continue to find and promote products through Affiliate Marketing.
(f) Continue adding content to my websites and this blog.
3. Advertise and promote
(a) Continue to build social media accounts.
(b) Join groups within those accounts
(c) Join forums on topics related to products.
(d) Get business cards and fliers made up.
(e)Build an email list for newsletter subscribers.
(f) Set up Google AdWords account.
(g)Consider all other advertising options as the business starts to grow.
Work through the list above and continue to find ways to promote my blog and websites.
I believe that continuing education forms part of the business operating plan. I know what I want my business to be about and now I need to continue to get the strategies and suppliers in place to have a sound base.
It would be hard to open a butcher shop if you did not know where to source your meat from, nor how to cut it up and what each section of an animal was called – or the best way to cook each section. Accurate knowledge is required for an online business, but the good news is that you can learn this as you go.
a) Continue with my Amazon learning
b) Continue to build and learn about my online businesses.
Wealthy Affiliate is a community of people building websites and sharing information, all helping each other grow. There is a free start-up version, but the premium version has so much help and information that is freely shared.
This is specific to building a website and online business, and there is a separate section dedicated to affiliate marketing. Training is also offered by members to help you build and improve your website through their knowledge.
You can build up to 25 of your own domain name websites in the premium version, using WordPress. The monthly (or annual) fee also includes hosting for your websites. I wrote a full review of this website on my blog post What is Wealthy Affiliate all about – this may shock you.
5. Review and Manage websites.
In order to ensure that the information on my website is accurate and any links are working, time needs to be spent regularly reviewing and updating information.
I hope that you found this information a helpful guide to help you think through the process of building your online business.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below. I would love it if you would like, follow and share using the social media buttons at the bottom of this post.