This article is for those people who are thinking about setting up an online business from home. In the article I will give an overview of the many things that you will need to consider when starting and building a successful online business.
The reason why I suggest that you may wish to start your online business from the comfort of home is that many people are interested in building their own business, but often don’t pursue the idea as they rely on the regular job income.
This is what makes building an online business from home so attractive, there are over 3 billion people online every day. You don’t need to serve everyone to be a success!
You can start building your business with just a few hours per week alongside your regular job. Once, you start building an income you can then make the decision about quitting your job, if that’s your aim.
Which leads to the first consideration, the analysis of yourself and your motivation.
It’s all about you!
If you are reading this article, then it may be fair to say that you are interested in starting an online business from home. However, interest alone is not strong enough motivation!
From my experience your interest in something tends to disappear when the difficulties arise. I’ve been interested in pursuing lots of opportunities in the past but once a difficulty arises, such as, networking to finding the money to buy the target business my interests was gone.
Therefore, I suggest that before you start the online business journey you need to understand your own personal motivation for starting. For example do you:
- Want to build an online business from home to generate some additional income alongside your regular job?
- Want to build an online business in order to be able to leave your regular job?
- Want to build an online business in order to become wealthy so that you can work less and live more?
All of these are possible, but the stronger your motivation and the more committed you are the more like you are to succeed.
Once you have that commitment to build a successful business then you must start and keep going until you succeed.
Which online business model should you choose?
There are many different ways to make money online and the key is choosing one that you are really interested in.
If you really like working with tangible products, then choosing to create a niche blog would be a mistake. You also need to be realistic and choose an online business that will make use of your existing knowledge, or one that really appeals to you and you can learn quickly.
If you are just starting out and not really sure what different online business models there are then I would suggest giving some consideration to the following:
Niche blogging/Vlogging – you create a specialist website/blog in an area where you have expertise and provide your subscribers/followers with helpful and valuable content. Once you have built an audience you can monetise your site by promoting your products or other people’s products.
Affiliate Marketing – as an affiliate you earn commission from finding customers who purchase products from the companies that you represent.
Drop shipping – this is a form of supply chain management, where you work with a retailer and take care of the supply of products to a customer for a fee.
E-Commerce – this is where you would build a website to sell your products or services directly to your customer base. You could be a local supplier, or you could be national operator. Once you have set up your virtual shop you will need to concentrate on finding web traffic i.e. visitors to your web page.
E-Books – if you like writing and are able to create useful books that help solve people’s problems then creating them in a digital format is a great approach, it overcomes the expense of publication. You could promote your books on social media or your own website.
Article Writing – again if you like writing there are many opportunities to create quality content for other people’s online businesses/website and blogs.
This is just a brief insight to the opportunities that are in demand currently. I will create some more detailed posts in future about the various online business models you could consider.
Which niche should I consider?
Once you have an idea about which type of online business model you would like to operate, you then need to consider which niche to work in.
A niche means a segment of a particular market. For example, you might be interested in creating a business aimed at the ‘Hobbies’ market, but the whole Hobbies market is too big to make a start. Therefore, you may choose a segment, such as, Watercolour Painting, or, Knitting or Kite Surfing as your niche.
If you are really stuck thinking about a niche then, a method that was suggested to me was to, look at the Amazon website and look through the department listing.
Each department can be considered a Market. If you hoover over a ‘department’ for example ‘electronics and computers’ a sub-list appears, this sub-list can be considered as a different niche within the market. In my example you could choose the niche of ‘Headphones’.
Once you have your business model and niche established you now need to plan your business.
This is most important even for an online business run from home! Without a plan you are planning to fail.
I’m just going to list a number of things you will need to consider. I suggest writing down your thoughts on each one as the basis of your business plan. You will be able to refer back to your plan when you start setting up your online business.
- One of the first things to think about is the company name. Are you going to trade under your own name, or are you going to create a ‘brand’ name? You will need this name on your website, banking and social media pages.
- Are you going to be a sole trader, a limited company or a partnership? I suggest keeping your private and business worlds separate.
- Banking – you will need a business account such as PayPal if you are going to do Affiliate Marketing as this is where most affiliates receive their money. If you are going to run an online store you will need a high street business bank account and credit card facilities. You will need to set these business accounts up with the company name.
- Brand design – for an online business you will certainly need a website at some stage, think about the colour scheme, the text styles, the images and logos you may require. Look at the websites you like and make a note of these things.
- Social Media pages – to promote your business online nothing works better than social media. Therefore, you will need to think about you page design, logo, page name, etc. It would be useful to create the ‘about’ page information that can include the ‘about me’ and the ‘about the business’ content, it will save time when you come to set these pages up.
- You need to do some keyword research for your niche. This will mean searching for the combination of words that include your niche in google and find the popular phrases. Don’t use the most popular keywords as there will be a lot more competition than using the less popular ones.
- You will need to research your target customer. It will be necessary to build a profile of the type of customer that you will be servicing in order to market your product and services too. Thinking about your audience will be key for your marketing and sales planning which will involve creating adverts.
- Website – if you are going to build a website/blog what content will you want to put on your site? Plan a series of article you can produce it will be easier than trying to write a random set of articles when your are building your site.
- Choose your products or services that you are going to promote and create some marketing ideas for each product/service you are going to promote.
- Consider the software resources you will need. Keep it simple early on – you will need an accounting package (or spreadsheet) to keep track of your costs, and an autoresponder which is a communication tool to help you email your customer and build a customer database as a minimum.
Once you have written down your thoughts about these aforementioned steps you will be ready to make a start setting up your business.
Are you ready to start your home business online?
This article has provided an initial overview of the things you will need to consider when starting a home business online.
There are many concepts and considerations in the above article that will require more detail in order to commence your online journey and it is my intention to produce more posts which will provide the detail.
This article was aimed primarily at those people who wish to start their online business adventure from home alongside their regular job. This will provide the easiest, low cost, low risk way in to world of business.
By working just a few hours a week on this approach you should be able to go from ‘thinking about’ to ‘planning’ to ‘start-up’ in about three months. Depending on your business model and niche you should begin to make money within a few weeks of start-up.
If this time scale is too long and you want to get in to your home business online much quicker there are ways to do it. However, the trade-off will mean you will need to invest more time or more money!
For those that are interested in a faster start-up phase I an article called ‘How to start your home business online – a faster approach‘ which outlines some different ways you can accelerate your journey!
So hopefully the key take-away’s you will have gained from reading the article are:
- You need to be motivated and committed – have a strong reason why you want to build a successful online business.
- You need to determine which online business model you would like to operate and in which niche you would like to work.
- You need a plan to guide your decision that you will need to make when starting up your online business.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions about how to start an online business, or you would like to make a comment, please use the box below.