Starting your own business is a goal of many people, particularly if you want to work from home and give up the daily rat race. By carefully using the internet in a planned and cautious manner you could successfully create an online home business with a relatively small budget and only a little initial knowledge.
The internet provides many ways to earn money and having a business that will generate a reasonable income is within reach of the average home based business person. However, you will need to avoid the many Get Rich Quick schemes out there that are only after a fast buck. These schemes are typically pyramid schemes where the initial promoters make a quick fortune but the thousands
of people sucked in at the bottom of the tree lose the lot.
So how do you go about creating a successful online home based business?
The key to making money online is knowing how and where to start. Without the right starting point you will waste precious time and a ton of money.
The business opportunities listed on our main site will give you a great start and help you to achieve online success. See the link to our site in the Authors’ credits following this article.
If you are considering starting you own online home business, then there are a number of things that you should consider.
- Research Existing Opportunities
Go onto Google and type in “home business” or “home based business”. You will see thousands of opportunities presented. How do you tell the good ones from the bad ones?
Firstly you should look at what the business is selling. Any business MUST sell a product or service in order to stay around for the long term. If the business is just selling memberships in a multi-level pyramid scheme then you may be well advised to be very cautious.
Select a short list of likely looking businesses and then check them out. Look up their history on “WHOIS” and “DNS Stuff” to see how long they’ve been in operation. Generally, the longer the better.
Look them up on Alexa and find out their traffic rankings, to see if they are popular with buyers. Look up their page rank to see if their site is judged by Google to have good content. Look up their back links on Alexa or Yahoo to see how many sites link to them and if those sites are good “authority sites” with high page ranks themselves.
Now look them up in Forums and Article Directories. See if people are saying good things or bad things about them.
If you can, find out something about their size, number of members or affiliates, level of sales, level of support and any other general feedback you can find out about them. See if they are a reputable company by the sort of things other people say about them on the web.
There is plenty of research material available on the web about almost any home business opportunity. You just need to know where to look and hopefully at the conclusion of your research you will have identified several ethical, viable and prosperous opportunities for you to try out.
- Research the Market for the Product or Service being Sold
Who are the buyers for this product or service? Where do they come from? How do you reach them so that they know the product or service exists?
How much of this product or service will they want? Will there be a continuing market for this product or service? Remember the steam train? That used to have a huge market, but not any more. Make sure that the product or service you are going to be selling has not reached the end of its life cycle.
What about competitors for this product or service? Is the market already flooded, like portable radios? Or is it a brand new market like i-Pods? The best new product examples on the web in recent years are You Tube and My Space, so look for products where you can see a genuine need and where you can see that it will grow or stay around for a long time.
Will there be repeat business for this product or service, or is it a one time capital purchase item? Both types are OK, but you need to know which type you are selling, e.g., people won’t usually buy a dozen refrigerators for the average family home, but they might buy a dozen videos or CD’s.
- Research the Effort vs. Payoff Requirement
Some businesses on the web pay – like reading paid emails or doing paid surveys – but the amount of time taken to earn a large amount may not be feasible for you.
On the other hand some products like electronic e-books can be set up to sell themselves in an automated manner, thus giving you the maximum return for the least effort.
You should also check out eBay stores. Some people make millions in sales each year just by building up a successful eBay business. However it does take time, effort and the ability to pick, source, market and sell the right products in order to make that sort of money.
You should try and estimate as closely as you can, how much personal effort will be needed to establish the home business, and how much personal effort is needed to run the business.
Creating a website and selling products on the website is not a sure-fire way to make money, unless
it is done properly, so you must do as much research as possible.
- Now Develop Your Business
Starting a home based business? Well, here are few of the key steps required:
- Business Plan
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Set yourself 5 clear objectives in a business plan. Repeat those objectives to yourself every day. Then vizualise the actions you will need to take to achieve those objectives. Put those actions into place and then check your results. If the actions are not achieving your goals, then change your actions until they do. Remember to re-state your objectives every day, check the results and then keep adjusting your actions. The secret is to keep vizualising, keep monitoring and keep adjusting. If you do this you will succeed.
- Business Name
Come up with a unique name for your business. Make it a name that you can register a website for and find keywords to match.
- Domain Name
Now register a domain, using the unique business name as part of the domain name, e.g., www(dot)mybusiness(dot)com. See the Domain Names section on our site for help with picking a good Domain Name registrar and then register your new domain.
Now that you have your domain name you will need a website. See the section on Best Web Hosts on our site to pick the best hosting package for you. For a free site you might start with a free blog, either from Blogster or Google’s Blogger.
Now that you have a website, also set up a free Blog, using the same domain name as part of your blog name. Post informational entries to your blog every day if you can. Do not just post links to your website or your business opportunities or you may get banned
as a blog spammer.
Sign up to become an affiliate for other businesses that are on the net. Only sign up with the companies that you would honestly recommend to anyone. All that you have to do is refer your customers to these sites. Once one of you referrals makes a purchase, you receive a small payment. With some of the affiliate programs the fee is quite large.
- Google Ads
Sign up for a Google Adsense account, to get Google ads placed on your website.
- Google Search
Works close to the same way as the ads. People use your search tool, make a purchase and then you are compensated.
Another great tool that will trickle in a few dollars here and there, all for 10 minutes of your time putting a little code into your website and Amazon does the rest.
- Selling Ad Space
You could sell ad space if you have a site that has high traffic. See the link to Adbrite on our home page to see an example of how to do this.
- Build Your List
The secret really is in the list. Sign up with an Autoresponder service, create a lead-capture form for your site and start building your own list.
- Build your Traffic
Join Safelists and Traffic Exchanges in order to promote your new home business and drive buyers to your offer pages.
- Sell Subscriptions to Your Newsletter
Develop a newsletter that has high demand, then you may be able to sell subscriptions to the newsletter.
- Selling Ad Space in Your Newsletter
Then promote it through E-Zine Directories and charge for ads and solo mailings to your list. Sell ad space in in your newsletter. The same as with ad space on your website. Just put a box on your newsletter with a note inside it that says “Your Banner Could Go Here” Then have a page that tells how many subscriber that you have, how often your newsletter goes out and what type of content it usually contains plus the price per ad.
- Selling E-Books
Do you know something about your craft or hobby that you know people would pay to learn as well? Then sell it in an e-book. What a great way to make a little extra money. You take the time to write a good quality e-book then just fill the orders. You could even set it up so that once the e-book order has been processed and paid for, it goes out automatically using an auto responder without you even having to lift a finger, except to go to the bank to collect your money. You can also get heaps of free e-books on the web, with re-sale rights. Download these and sell them on your site or use them as free give-aways to your newsletter subscribers.
You won’t get rich with any one of these programs, but you just may make a nice little sum every month with a combination of all of them.
Here’s to your success.
Copyright – Allan Barker 2007