If you are caught in the middle of planning on what type of online business you want to do, there are several factors to consider before delving into building your website.
The Type of Business
The first thing to consider is precisely what type of business you want to start. There are two types of online companies out there: an actual online store that sells a product or service, or an informational website that generates revenue from commissions and advertising from affiliates.
1. You may want to consider starting an online store if you fall into any of the following categories:
- You own a product that you already sell offline, and you want to use the Internet to expand your market.
- You provide a service (such as advice or web design) and want to use the Internet to offer and provide your services and increase your customer base.
- You don’t have a product or service, but want to start a webshop by cooperating with your business’s product manufacturer.
2. Also, you may want to create an informative website and earn from affiliate commissions and advertising. This is possible if you belong to one of the following situations:
- You want to create a website about something you like or care about.
- You want to promote an individual program or a product that you love and wish to make known to the world.
- You want to give information or compile advice from various sources on something you are good at.
One of the essential factors is your interest in the subject or industry you want to conduct your online business. It is not recommended to start an online business related to a profitable industry such as online casinos. Still, you have no interest in casinos whatsoever, and worse if you have moral issues with casinos’ management.
For your knowledge, here are some of the common pitfalls you may encounter if you are involved in something that you are not interested enough in:
When you are not very interested in a topic or industry, it will manifest itself in your website’s content and quality. It has to be one or someone with a lot of interest in doing proper research on the subject and creating a website filled with relevant and personal information and advertisement.
If interest is lacking, you will gradually find excuses not to work on your website, affecting your performance. And doing business online is an ongoing love affair. It requires consistent updates and Internet advertising efforts to be successful. If you have lost interest and start ignoring the company, your profits will begin to drop as well.
To cut the chase, doing business online (like any other business) takes real effort and genuine interest to be successful. And it’s a love story of a lifetime, not overnight.
But, interest is not everything. The income potential is also essential. And true enough, there is no point in struggling with something you love without making a profit for it. But the advantage is that online businesses are not costly to get started that it doesn’t take a lot to profit.
1. When you want to create an online store, don’t just look at the size of the market.
It would help if you also considered how much competition you are dwelling in your industry. For instance, an online bookstore has a huge market, but there are plenty of competitors like Amazon.com with bigger wallets and more established. In such cases, you should consider increasing your budget for advertising and customer attraction.
Additionally, suppose you want to set up an online store that sells waterproof cameras for diving. In that case, the market may not be that big (probably diving enthusiasts only), but as there are few competitors, it will be easier for your store to stand out. As they say: “It might not be a big pie, but you’ll get the lion’s share of it.”
2. When you make an informative website, you need to keep the competition in mind as well. It would also be best if you made sure that the topic you selected has sufficient earning potential, like affiliate programs and advertising.
And true enough, these affiliate and advertising programs should be related to your website. For instance, a wedding planning website may promote collaborative programs related to photography, videography, and event management, but shouldn’t promote an escort service! Additionally, each website can make extra money by placing advertisements (not too many) on their webpages. A good advertising service is the Google AdSense program.
The last thing to remember that we want to discuss is a commitment to your online business. There are two types of obligations to be aware of: money and time.
Online businesses require very little money to get started. Profits don’t come immediately, however. Websites need time, sometimes up to 6 months, to rank in the search engines and attract visitors. That’s why you need to plan so much time in operational losses (including your hosting costs). If you operate in a highly competitive industry, you will also need to consider your monthly advertising budget and be aware of the setbacks.
Moreover, the essential commitment you need to make is your time, which is the most crucial part. As they say: “If you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business; If you treat it like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby.”
As a business owner, you need to know how much time you can spend on the business. A simple information website can be built gradually in as little as one hour a day. However, starting an online store will take almost a full-time effort at first. Once your shop is done, your time commitment will decrease.
Once you have decided what kind of online business you are interested in and how many resources to employ, you can then look at step two, your website design and content.