Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Do you want to learn how to start an online business from home? Do you want to build a multi million dollar internet business starting with no money? Then here’s a checklist for starting an internet business with no money.
As technology increases, the drift from the offline business world to the online business world is also on the increase. With the rise of internet billionaires and entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Bezos; starting an online business or tech company is now the new craze for startup entrepreneurs.
Now how do you start an online business?
My answer is i don’t know. The reason i say this is because from my personal experience, there is no definite path or pattern to starting an internet business. Once you have a good internet business idea or plan; you have started the journey to building a business online.
What does it take to start a Million Dollar Internet Business from home?
The answer is nothing much. As an entrepreneur that have successfully built both internet companies and brick and mortar businesses, i can attest that starting a business does not require any special skill or talent. All you need is the right knowledge, the right business plan, the right mindset and the willingness to learn.
Once these four keys are locked in synergy; you’ve got a potential internet business in your hands. Note that i never mentioned money because i believe it does not take money to make money online these days. I built my first successful online business starting from scratch; with almost no money. All i started with were the four keys i mentioned above.
Now what’s the best internet business opportunity to invest in?
The honest answer is that there is nothing like the best business idea or opportunity. The best internet business for you should probably be a business you are passionate about and willing to learn it through. When it comes to starting a successful online business, passion, knowledge and marketing skills are more important than money and ideas. Now how do you start an online business with less than $100 and still succeed? Read on.
Starting an Online Business With No Money – Sample Buiness Plan Template
The first step to starting an online business is to get in the right frame of mind and getting in the right mindset begins with you determining why you want to start an internet business? This is a question you must answer before even drawing up a plan for your proposed online business.
The reason you must ask yourself this question is because most people start an internet business solely with the aim of getting rich. Just like the California gold rush, people are rushing online to start a business with the hope of striking it rich. Everyday i see ads screaming “Make $10,000 in 24 hours.”
The truth is that making $10,000 in 24 hours on the internet is highly possible but it won’t happen overnight. You need to first build the system that will generate such profit and building such business system takes years.
This is why i emphasize you be in the right mind frame before starting any business; whether online or offline. The honest truth is that you can never build a successful internet business overnight because building an internet business requires a process.
Just like every other business, you must pass through the same entrepreneurial process; regardless of the nature of the business you are building, or the industry you are operating in.
The principles of running a business is the same everywhere; regardless of your Business model or region of operation. Building a successful internet business takes a lot of hard work, so you must be prepared for it.
2. Increase your knowledge base
The next step to starting an internet business is to increase your knowledge base. Starting an internet business might require you learn new skills, new words and new mode of operation.
My first internet business failed, simply because i lacked the technical know how to get things done and resolve arising problems. I also lost some money on some other online investment opportunities i ventured into. The investment opportunities was not the problem.
The major problem was that i never knew what i was doing, so i couldn’t tell the difference between a sound investment company and a scam. This is why it is very important you gather adequate information about your proposed business idea and the industry you will be operating in.
Now for those aspiring to start an online business, i want you to know that running an internet business entails you will be operating on a faster medium, where customer service, service delivery and transactions happen in split seconds or minutes; so you need to be prepared for the speed.
Also, the kind of business you want to start online, your business model or industry you will be operating in will determine the type of specialize knowledge you will acquire.
If you want to run an e-commerce site, you will need knowledge of its modus operandi because the knowledge required to start a blog differs from the knowledge required to start an e-bay business, an e-commerce store or an affiliate site. So you need to decide on the type of internet business you want to start and get to work learning about its intricacies.
3. Find a niche
Is your internet business going to target the mass market like Google, Facebook, Amazon or is it going to target a niche like eToys, PlentyOfFish and Match? Before I go into the process involved with finding a niche, let’s first define what a niche is.
Now what is a niche?
A niche is a group of people with a common interest; a niche is your targeted market. It’s as simple as that. If your internet business is going to appeal to golf enthusiasts; then those golf enthusiasts are your niche.
Examples of popular niches are football fans, Students, Teenagers, Sports Betting, Forex Traders, Weight Watchers, Pool, Arsenal Fans, Chelsea Fans, Man U Fans, Singles, Game lovers, Housewives, Nursing Mothers, Careers, Dating, Education, Marriage, making Money and so on.
How to find a high paying, low competitive Niche for your Internet Business
Finding a niche online is like doing feasibility study and the first step to finding a niche is to compile a list of niches you have interest in. Examples are book lovers, students, football fans, basket ball fans, game lovers, photographers and so on. If you are short of niche ideas, you can rush now to the following websites for more ideas and research:
Amazon – www.amazon.com is by far one of the best sites to do your niche market research on. Search any of their department for niche ideas. They have certain sections that tell you exactly what’s selling in their marketplace, some of such sections are:
- Hot New Releases
- Most Gifted
- Most Wished For
- Movers & Shakers
EBay Pulse – pulse.ebay.com will give you the breakdown of current trends and cool stuff that is selling on eBay. It also gives you a list of popular searches, largest stores and most watched items
Google Trends – www.google.com/trends is used to compare certain niches to see if it is the right time of year to launch am internet business. This will compare the world’s interest in chosen niche markets.
Traffic Potential – After we’ve identified a few potential niches we want to see if the traffic is there or if people are even searching for information or products in this niche. I usually use Google Keyword Tool.
How to Start an Online Business on your personal strengths or skill
Now i will explain how to start an online business on your strengths, hobby, talent or personal skill and still make a lots of money from it. You can build a successful business on the internet around your personal life, hobby, talent, skill or anything else.
It is very possible to turn any hobby, talent or skill you possess into a profitable internet business. But I think it’s worthwhile you know that not all niches are inherently profitable because the niche you choose, often determines the future size and profitability of your internet business to some extent.
When going this route, it is important to pick a niche that you are genuinely interested in because the natural passion you have for the niche sustains the content creation process and will actually make the whole chore of running an internet business enjoyable. So the first thing you would do is create a list of topics that interest you. So my own list would be something like this:
- Making money
- Martial Arts
So I would start with Entrepreneurship since I love starting and building businesses. For me, Entrepreneurship is my passion and that’s why I created StrategicBusinessTeam.com and MyTopBusinessideas.com. When building a business online around your passion and interest, it is important to also check the search volume and see the traffic potential so you will not waste your time building a business around a niche that doesn’t make you any money.
4. Choose your internet business model
So you want to start an online business? And you have also found a niche? Now what is going to be your business model? How are you going to serve this niche while still profiting from it? This is where the task of determining your internet business model comes in.
When it comes to starting an internet business; you have to choose an internet business model. Are you going to build an internet business on the Google model or the Amazon model? That’s for you to decide.
There are different types of internet business models you can use as a benchmark to set up yours. You can run an internet business on any of the following models:
- Subscription model – This is a model where your customers pay you daily, weekly, monthly or yearly to use your product or services. Example of such model is Aweber, Inc.com, etc
- Service provision model – This is a model where your customers pay you for the services rendered. Example of such services may include Website designing, SEO services, etc.
- Product model – This is a model where your customers pay you a one time fee for your products. Example of companies using this model include Alstrasoft, Amazon, etc.
- Affiliate model – This is a model where you generate profits by selling other people’s products. The affiliate business model may also involve the recruitment of affiliates to sell either your products or other people’s product while you earn a commission. Examples of companies running this model include Amazon.com, Clickbank.com, CJ.com, etc.
- Fremium + advertising model – This business model requires you to provide something of value to a massive amount of people for free. While you make money from the backend either by selling advertising space or other people’s product. Examples of companies using this model include Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, 2Go, WhatsApp, etc. Even this blog you are reading now operates on this model.
Now regardless of the internet business model you choose, just make sure you understand its intricacies and fundamentals.
One important piece of the puzzle most entrepreneurs miss when starting a business online is the “writing of a business plan.” Majority of internet businesses existing today started as a one person affair or partnership; so most entrepreneurs don’t deem it fit to write a business plan for their internet business.
However, if you are interested in building an online business that will attract outside investors and expand seamlessly, then you must write a business plan for your proposed online business. The business plan must explain in detail how you intend to grow or expand the internet business, your exit strategy, your competitive strategy, the capability of your team, your business idea and model, financial projections, etc.
6. Define your marketing strategy
How do you intend to attract traffic (customers or visitors) to your online business? How much are you willing to spend on advertising? And what marketing tactics will you employee to grow your customer base? You have to figure these puzzles out before launching your internet business. There’s a lot of marketing avenues you can exploit to attract visitors to your online business but I won’t go into its details here.
If you have successfully completed step one to six; then you are half way to starting your own internet business. The next step you have to take is to register a domain name for your internet business. Registering a domain name for your internet business is like registering a business name for your offline business and just like the offline counterpart, your domain name have to be unique and used by you alone.
Now how do you choose a good domain name for your online business? Well, I can’t answer this question in detail here but I have written an exclusive article on choosing a good domain name; you can check the archives for it.
A web hosting company is like the official location of your offline business. When choosing a web hosting company, there are a lot of factors that must be considered. Will you use a shared hosting package? Or a Virtual Private Server (VPS)? Or a Dedicated Server?
Over the years of doing business online, i have heard horror stories about web host companies, so it is very advisable you do your due diligence before selecting a hosting company.
Finding an internet business mentor or coach is very crucial to your success as an internet entrepreneur. Just as i have business mentors offline, i also have business coaches and mentors online. Now how do you select a business mentor online?
While I can’t answer this question directly, all I want you to know is that your online business mentor must to be a person who has passed the level you aim to attain. He or she must be a doer and must have passed through the entrepreneurial successfully.
If your goal is to build a million dollar business online; then look for a business coach or entrepreneur that own a million dollar company or has built and sold a million dollar internet company. Only then will you gain tremendously from his/her experience.
10. Set your goal
What’s your goal? Where do you want your internet business to be in the next five years? When it comes to starting an online business; you need to set challenging goals, I mean goals that will force you out of your comfort zone. Goals can also serve as a benchmark on which you can gauge your progress or growth. Aside serving as a benchmark; goals will help you maintain focus and boost your productivity.
11. Work it out
After going through step one to ten; the game doesn’t end there. Starting and building a successful internet business is not a one hit affair; it’s a continuous process that requires hard work and commitment.
In fact, the startup phase of your internet business will require you work your socks off. Sincerely speaking, building a successful internet business is not easy as it’s painted to be but the rewards is tremendously comforting. Once your internet business reaches stability; most of its operations will now be run on autopilot and this is where the beauty of the game comes in.
As a final note, these are the eleven exact steps I took to build my own internet business. As you strive to start your own online business, always remember that success can be replicated and you don’t need to re-invent the wheel; just follow in the foot steps of those who have made it and you will hit your own pot of gold.
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