Times are changing and the business practices that used to make people successful may be heading to the dumpster to join the local blacksmith and Blockbuster.
What is a good business to start?
The old business model of finding a product and a good location to sell it is, for the most part, coming to an end. More and more shopping is done online and that is only going to increase in the years to come as more people learn to trust things like online payments. The technology of tracking and delivery improves at such a rapid pace that sooner, rather than later, most purchases will be made online. And many of them from a phone…… Impossible just a few short years ago!
Being in the restaurant business for many years and seeing just how tough it is to be profitable really had me looking for opportunities that didn’t require me to be physically present at a brick and mortar location. I am reminded of an old joke that was popular but not really funny if it happened to you. “How do you get a million dollars in the restaurant business ?…… “Start with two million.” An old joke but it’s true in a majority of cases. Most businesses relying on a physical location either do well for a limited amount of time and then fade, or they never get off the ground due to a lack of traffic. You lose your investment and the next guy takes advantage of your leasehold improvements. Obviously, there will always be restaurants, although if you think about it, Amazon and Walmart have started home food delivery, so who knows?
Well, where is all that traffic these days?
Online, of course, and there are ways that the average guy with not a lot of money can take advantage and learn to sell anything online. In the past ten years the tech world has become so advanced and competitive that using it for your own small business has become a whole lot easier. If you want to start a website today you can do it without even knowing any coding. Impossible just a few short years ago. And if you couldn’t do it yourself it would cost thousands of dollars to get someone to design it for you. Technology has allowed the small business to compete with the big guy in certain areas. A small business owner can now use automated software to do the work that would have required many employees in the past. And the software has become so user friendly that anybody can do it with a little training and practice.
What am I getting at? Well, if you guessed, start your own business online, you would be correct.
Online retail is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States and across the world. Most brick and mortar businesses sell online as well as on location and the reason is that they would be missing out on huge businesses if they didn’t. It’s kind of like the fast food business and the drive through. Restaurants got along fine without them years ago, but now it’s a must. Consumers bypass outlets that don’t have one. And in the same way, retailers need to provide online service or lose an incredible amount of business.
Online selling is important to a retail business because not every place in the world has a physical location. The online world also levels the playing field a little bit for the smaller guy who can now sell anywhere there is an internet connection. Some of today’s most successful online retailers don’t even have physical brick and mortar locations. In a lot of cases today, consumers will check out a product (especially electronics) on location and then shop and buy it online.
Amazon is unquestionably the leader in online shopping and averages over 150 million unique visitors per month. One of the great things about Amazon is that anyone with a website can sell their products by becoming an affiliate of theirs. More on that later.
The benefits of starting an online business as opposed to a physical location.
- Online business requires far less capital to get going.
- It can be started at your own pace meaning that you can still keep other income sources going while you do it.
- You can start with no inventory expense.
- Although any successful business requires a lot of time and effort, having one online means that you don’t have to be physically present to make sales. (Making money while you sleep sounds good to me.)
- Your business never closes and automation allows you to sell 24/7.
- Make your own hours and the ability to work from home.
- The need to pay employees is minimized.
- When your business takes off you can scale as you go with employees or virtual assistants.
- Your customer base is unlimited. You can sell anywhere, anytime and to anybody with an internet connection.
- That’s a few billion potential customers last time I checked.
- It is easier to make changes. If something isn’t working you can change it quickly and move on. It’s a lot harder to do that with a physical location, employees and inventory.
What Is A Good Business To Start Online?
Plenty of routes to go if you are looking to start a business online.
Drop Shipping: Drop shipping is a business model that allows you to sell products without keeping a physical inventory of your own. You accept payment from the customer on your product website and in turn you place that order with your drop shipping supply company at wholesale price. They ship the product from their warehouse and your customer receives delivery as if it came from you. The profit is the difference in the wholesale price that you pay and the retail price that you charge.
Sounds simple enough and it can be a very profitable business. The cons with drop shipping are that even though you don’t ship the product yourself, you are still selling under your brand name and you are responsible for processing payments and all other customer service such as returns and complaints. There is a learning curve associated with finding the right suppliers and alleviating potential headaches. You also need to set up and run an e-commerce website and attract traffic to it.
Affiliate Marketing: The concept of affiliate marketing is this. You as an affiliate get paid (Commission) when you refer a customer from your website to the product website and they buy something. You can become an affiliate for many different companies that sell absolutely anything that you can think of. Sounds a little complicated but in reality it is the easiest online business to set up. The technology today makes this process easy to do and the tracking process is reliable for payment. A whole bunch of people are making great money as affiliates. You make more money for each item as a drop shipper or with your own store and inventory, but as an affiliate marketer you don’t have the hassle of customer service at all. Once the potential customer uses your link you are done. If they buy something you get paid.
- No Inventory.
- No payments to accept. (That is handled by the company you refer the customer to.)
- No customer complaints or product returns to you.
- Easiest Type Of Online Business To Start.
No matter what type of online business you decide to set up you will need a website and some training to help you get it going. You will need to learn how to get traffic to your site and guidance on how to maximize it’s effectiveness online.
The Wealthy Affiliate is a one stop shop when it comes to starting and running an online business. All the training that you need as well as hosted websites and ongoing support are available with a membership.
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- Step by step training at your own pace.
- Training videos and peer support.
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- This is not another get rich quick scheme and it is not MLM.
- It is an internet marketing training center with a helpful community and all the tools and resources to teach you to make money online.