If you want to start your own online business, the first thing to do is choose a small business idea or online business opportunity. When choosing a business idea, there are several things to consider, including:
1. Your interests and passions – An online business opportunity, like any small business startup, can take time to become profitable. If you want to succeed in online business, generally choose a business idea that will keep you interested, even while income may be low initially.
2. Your abilities – Pursuing an online business opportunity can be hard work. Evaluate your abilities as an online business owner, and decide if the time commitment, record-keeping, marketing efforts, and other administrative tasks required of each business opportunity being considered will realistically be doable. If not, be prepared to delegate tasks to employees or independent contractors, or consider other online business opportunities that fit well within your abilities and constraints.
3. Market Need / Competition – Before jumping into any online business opportunity or small business idea, it’s important to determine that an actual “need” for your product, service, or information exists with your target market. If the market is saturated with too much competition, or there simply isn’t a demand, consider another online business opportunity or be able to offer a unique selling proposition and marketing angle. Also consider looking at a narrower niche within each business idea to find a need not yet being filled.
4. Cost to Operate – You should have at least a general sense of a business startup budget before choosing an online business opportunity to pursue. Weed out business ideas early if it would be impossible, or extremely difficult, to manage that particular online business with the predetermined budget.
If you find an online business opportunity that interests you, suits your general business and technical abilities, has a strong market demand, little or reasonable competition, and falls within your budget, you’ve found a potentially workable online business opportunity.
Here are a few common online business opportunities to spark ideas (remember to consider more specific niches within each general business idea):
1. Content Websites – Content websites are monetized by offering some kind of content (such as articles, e-books, audio files, videos, etc.), which is then monetized in some way (usually through online advertising). Community websites (such as forums and social networking sites) can be created and monetized in a similar fashion).
2. Online Services – There is a wide variety of online services, which can be offered exclusively online through your website. Some examples are Web design, programming, Web content writing and copywriting, data entry and administrative services, professional consulting services, or even Web services such as domain registrations or Web hosting.
3. Online Products – Nearly every product can be sold online. There are many options for online product sales, including creating custom products, selling affiliate products, reselling others’ products, or creating informational products (such as e-books, reports, podcasts, etc.) to sell online.
Use these basic example online business opportunities alongside the above tips for choosing the best business idea for your online startup, to aid in developing a manageable and in-demand online business.