So You Want to Start an Online Business?
The corona virus pandemic has created what is perhaps the greatest opportunity so far for anyone with the desire and work ethic to create their own online business.
This is because millions of people the world over are now doing most or all of their shopping online.
They are now in the habit of routinely pulling out their credit cards to buy whatever they want directly through the internet. And they've become addicted.
Even when Covid-19 is a distant memory, they will still be purchasing from online businesses.
It's an avalanche of money and you need to be standing under it.
Types of Online Businesses
There are several different types on online businesses, but they can be broadly split into 4 categories.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you promote other people's products as an affiliate. You don't stock inventory, you don't fulfill orders and you don't handle returns or complaints. You get paid an affiliate commission when you make a sale. Affiliate commissions can be quite low for large suppliers like Amazon to very high (70% or even 100%) for smaller suppliers of digital products. The software that handles the affiliate process is totally mature and your payment is guaranteed.
Get your questions about affiliate marketing answered: Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered.
E-Commerce is probably not the best online business to start. Although it can be very lucrative, it's not for the inexperienced. It could possibly be your second or third online business venture after you've created the best online business to start.
With an e-commerce website using the dropship model, you sell actual physical product, but don't hold inventory. You are a bit like a conventional retail business, in that you buy at a wholesale price, sell at a retail price and pocket the difference. Except...
A conventional retail business buys the stock (and pays for it) holds it in inventory and gets paid when a customer buys it.
E-commerce using dropship reverses that. You advertise the product as if you are holding it in inventory. A customer buys it and pays you. Only then do you order it from the supplier, who ships it (this is the dropship model) to your customer.
In other words, you take your profit up front!
A great model, but not trivial to set up. I cover it in my Internet Marketing FAST box set, so if you want to get that for free and investigate further, click HERE.
3. Your Own Product
Again, not the best online business to start. Two big advantages, though. One, when you sell your own product directly off your website, you keep 100% of the profits. And two, you can set up your own army of affiliates to sell your product on commission.
This can be difficult to do when you're starting out. Not just product creation, but how to promote it on your website and elsewhere.
You don't have to create your product from scratch. You can purchase PLR (Private Label Rights) for products in your niche and claim them for your own. But there are things you must do to make them unique. I also cover this model in my Internet Marketing FAST box set, so if you want to get that for free and investigate further, click HERE.
4. A Powerful Combination
Like it sounds, once you've mastered all three business models, you can combine them, especially if you're collecting your visitors' emails (and you should be, via a powerful opt-in). Your primary goal is to sell them your own product, then related products via your affiliate partners and your e-commerce store.
There's a "best practice" way of achieving this and I cover it in my Internet Marketing FAST box set, so if you want to get that for free and investigate further, click HERE.
The thing you have to be really, really careful of here is to run an ethical business.
Don't just grab any old affiliate product to promote just because it bears some sort of relationship to yours. Ideally, get the affiliate to send you the product to evaluate. This gets easier as your reputation gets out there. Buy the product if necessary. Your customers trust you. This trust is a precious asset. Don't risk destroying it by recommending inferior products.
The same applies to your e-commerce "inventory".
Either buy the product or really hunt up and read customer reviews (and learn how to recognize fake ones).
The Best Online Business to Start
We've examined the four broad categories of the best online businesses to start:
Your Own Product
My recommendation for the best online business to start is
Why? It's certainly not the most profitable. That would be the combination of marketing your own product and combining it with an e-commerce store and affiliate marketing almost as the poor relation.
As in almost any venture, the most important step is the first.
The one that gets you started on the journey.
The one that got me started, so that I now own 24 online businesses (yes, my profile says 22, I must update it).
Affiliate Marketing will get you started. Once you've got your toe in the water. there's no stopping you.
Get your affiliate marketing questions answered at Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered.