Business model is a description of how your business makes money. It’s an explanation of how you deliver value to your customers at an appropriate cost as you get paid for it.
For an online business to be successful, it needs to accomplish two things:
- Choose the right business model for the market
- Find traffic sources of potential customers
It will be your job to mix and match the combination of online business models and traffic sources for your market. The internet offers everyone the chance to become a small business owner with more ease and less capital investment than ever before.
For instance, if there’s a particular thing that you know how to do very well and you feel very at ease when doing it. Most times your family members or close friends all tell you that you’re very good at it and praises you each time you do such thing, it could be something you enjoy doing and have a great love for such as cooking, hair making, writing, reading, talking etc.
You can turn such thing into a business and start right away by building an online presence for it. But first thing first, you must take time to decide about the business model that best fits your kind of business in the internet market place.
Starting an online business, no matter how small you aim to have it can take time and money. It can also involve legal research and some accounting knowledge so you may find some upskilling involved in many different areas. Have no fear though because once you get the wheels moving on your adventure, starting an online venture will be fun and motivating.
The most important first step in how to start an online business is to:
1. Decide Your Business
This is the most important step as without it you don’t have a business. Check out list of the most popular online business ideas below and choose which one suits you best.
2. Research Your Industry
Get to know what your industry is like. Maybe there is a pricing structure most of your competitor follow that will be good for you. Or maybe once you discover your competitors you will decide that your industry is over-saturated and you need to change your business idea slightly to compete.
3. Create Your Brand
With every good business comes a good brand and if you figure this out at the start you can become a more successful online business in the beginning. This includes having an amazing website, and social media (if your customers are there), killer logo creation, promotional materials and some more outreach and marketing activities.
There are three basic business models for online businesses, and you can choose the one that best fits your vision. But first, which Online Business Model Fits what you do?
- Sell a digital information product.
- Sell a physical product
- Sell a service.
You can try another form of business that has become very popular online which is Affiliate marketing that is, if you don’t want to deal with the manufacturing, storage or shipping of a physical product, and you don’t want to provide a service. Affiliate marketing is the concept of promoting other people’s products (physical or digital) or services and simply receiving a commission when a sale is made.
Selling Information Products Online
With information products, you don’t have the hassles of traditional businesses like overhead, inventory, employees, being confined to a single location, etc. making money online by selling information products online is the business model of choice for most entrepreneurs and internet marketers (myself inclusive).
You create the product once after which, you only have to focus on marketing and driving website traffic. Every other part of the business is completely automated including electronic delivery, payments and invoicing are automatically handled by your shopping cart and payment gateways.
You can process one order per day just as easy as one thousand transactions. There are several benefits attached to selling information products online as this business model requires very little maintenance time, once the product is actually created because is scalable and you can easily handle large numbers of buying clients.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to convince someone to pay you for your content and also, digital content is easy to copy and steal. You will need to think about how to protect your content and how to handle the theft and also ensure that the information is comprehensive and can solve real problems, let it not be like every other blog post because often times people don’t pay for information that can’t give them value.
Selling Physical Products Online
There are several benefits to selling your physical products (goods) online. Compared to selling from a physical location. First of all, customers can check out your varieties of product offering without having to go to your physical location (if you even have one).
Customers get to see all of your options including things like customer reviews, ingredient lists, and related uses. Videos and photos of your product in use and FAQ sections can give customers more information than they would ever have in a brick and mortar store. you’ll be able to reach more people and increase sales from an online presence. As more and more consumers are switching their buying habits to online.
However, there are challenges to selling physical products online which are; You have to actually make something, have a place to keep it (warehouse), Physical goods can spoil and are time-consuming to produce, inventory and shipping, if you make too much and it spoils, you lose. If you make too little and you run out of stock, you lose potential sales and most times clients might look elsewhere for a more reliable supply.
Selling Services Online
Selling services online usually involves using a website as your sales tool. You can also choose to provide services that are sold and delivered. Professionals of different fields can easily generate leads for a service-based business when they have presence online. Customers can get instant reply and complete their purchase directly online rather than having to wait to speak with someone or make an appointment.
It’s less expensive to capture leads and customers through a well built and marketed website than through traditional and offline methods. Customers receive lots of information about your product and don’t have to travel to check out their varieties and options. This model of business is very easy and faster to set up than selling physical products. You have to consider an aggressive content marketing plan. Because you generally don’t get the chance to establish a one-on-one relationship with your customer knowing fully well that there’s high level of competition.
Every successful business needs to drive traffic to their website. The online business model you can choose from are numerous such as the one listed below and the list is endless.
- Website Developer
- Video producer
- Graphics Designer
- Foreign Language Teacher
- App Development
- Theme Designer
- Selling Online Courses
- SEO Expert
- Public Speaking Coach
- Interior Design Consultant
- Social Media Manager
- Handmade Goods Shop
- Private Chef
- Open a T-Shirt Online Shop
- Women’s Sportswear
- Natural & Organic Beauty Shop
- Ethical Fashion Brand
- 3D-Printed Products
- Self-Published Author
- CV Writing
- Online Researcher
- Muddy Creatures
- Drop shipping Business
- Content Curation
- Lead Generation Service Provider etc… so there are so many option to pick from but be sure to go with your passion.
SEO Expert: Software business models have become very popular lately with the rise of SAAS (software as a service) companies. Instead of paying for software license once, you can provide your future clients with a lot of value and charge them by the month.
Graphic Designer: Graphics Designers are always in demand from small businesses to large multinationals. Starting graphics design business can allow you to tap into this great opportunity. Showcasing your experience with your past portfolio can help you gain customers without aggressive outreach.
Affiliate Marketing: Passive income is the dream, and affiliate marketing is a great way to start. This online business model typically means you’ll be selling another brand’s products, and earning a commission from each sale.
Website Developer: In the same vein as an app developer, website development is in constant demand as businesses are always trying to upgrade and improve their websites to get more sales. This means that you can work on new and existing websites concurrently, and get to try new things all the time. If being constantly challenged is what you are looking for, a business venture into website development is the online business idea for you.
Video Producer: YouTube is the third largest site in the world, so there’s no surprise that video is becoming one of the main communication mediums for businesses of all types and sizes. If you have video filming or editing knowledge, it won’t take you long to build your clientele. Everything from video production workshops and video editing services to soundtrack libraries and tutorials can appeal to the business world. Producing a video might be one of the most attractive online business ideas with lots of creativity and challenges.
Social Media Manager: is an integral part of any business but it’s time consuming and ever changing, so it’s really quite difficult to keep up with and, more importantly, capitalize on. Many business owners are willing to outsource, so it’s a great opportunity for social media fanatics. Bundle together a few interesting offers, such as “Startup social media kit” or “Small Business Social Media Starter Kit” that encompass everything from social media graphics to analytics reports and the seamless experience will bring you more clients than you expect.
App Development: If you are an app developer with amazing skills why not try your hand at an internet business in app development. so it is not surprising that more and more companies are investing in them. This means that there is a rising need for app developers to create their applications. Being an app developer is a great opportunity as you can work on vastly different applications on a daily basis. Apps work very similarly to software. The main principle is providing a product that your target audience will use, and to maximize your online business’ profitability, charge them for a subscription.
Lead Generation Service Provider
Most businesses are chasing conversions and looking for ways to increase conversion rates. This means investing in sales activities like lead generation that could be time-consuming. Because of this many people outsource to a lead generation service provider. If you are good on the phone and enjoy researching and doing outreach to strangers, then this is your calling.
Influencer: An influencer is someone with a large follower base on social media who is seen as an expert in a particular area, like makeup or fitness. These people keep busy by posting regularly about their lives and promote products which they feel are good to possess. What is great about this internet business idea is that you can get paid to promote someone else’s business similar to affiliate marketing. Influencer marketing is a huge online business trend right now that you can capitalize on. Try your hand at Vlogging and starting a podcast which are under-utilized channels of communication for influencers right now
Online business ideas are endless and all-inclusive. Most office-based jobs can now be done online through freelancing or remote working. The beauty of technology means that profitable online businesses will keep growing and growing, making the world a truly global marketplace. If you are considering moving away from the traditional career path and want to start your own business, read through our list of business ideas a few times and contemplate the many ways you can start a successful online business today.
Thanks for reading.