Friday, 11 January 2013

What Kind Of Online Business Model Best Fits Your Needs?

So you want to make money online and you want to do it quickly. After all, there's nothing better than rolling out of bed when you want and firing up the ol' computer to see how much money you made overnight. Whooaaa.... not so fast...
Before you can get to the part where you actually make money, you need to decide exactly what to sell. That's right, in order to make money online you'll need to sell something, usually a product or service. I'd like to help you decide what that something should be. After all, there are lots of choices. Unfortunately many of them lead to a dead end, wasting your time and money in the process. The following plan will help you avoid all that. When deciding what to sell online, you need to consider the three basic online business:

Buying and Selling
2. Creating and Selling
3. Selling Existing Products and Services
Each of these three options have successful models and unsuccessful models. So let's run down each of the options above, starting with choice number one...

1. Buying and Selling

You could use the basic retail model, where you sell like a retail store, except with less overhead than a brick and mortar store. But that's an expensive endeavor. Perhaps that's why the most common strategy for buying and selling on the Internet is starting an Ebay business. In this model, you purchase items, usually at wholesale and then sell them at a higher price by auction.

There are two keys to success in this strategy... finding the right niche and finding the right wholesale sources for products in that niche. An eBay type business can be a lot of work. However, if you like this business model and have your heart set on trying it, there are still some opportunities for new players, if you are clever.

Here's an example of what I mean by "clever"...
A couple years ago I met a neighbor of mine who makes his living buying things locally and selling them on the web. He specializes in antique furniture and other old items from my geographical area. He spends a few hours a day visiting flea markets, yard sales and local auctions. With a knack for spotting deals, he snatches up anything he considers grossly underpriced then markets it internationally, via the web.

OK, "market it internationally" may be a bit too fancy of a description for what he does. Basically, he takes a couple of snapshots of each item using his digital camera then sells the items at auction on - the number one meeting place for buyers and sellers across the world. And believe it or not, he makes quite a comfortable living doing this. It works for him because he has a unique selling position.

His unique position happens to be his location. The region where he lives a great place to find many undervalued antiques and other authentic items. He's simply finding a new home for the items and filling a need at the same time. After all, where else would someone from say, Australia, find an authentic antique table from another country?

This is the path I chose to make my own living online. (I also mix in choice three below, buy I'll get to that in a minute.) I prefer the "creating and selling" strategy above all others, since I have complete control over exactly what I sell and how much profit it yields. I sell information and services. I create my products and services using my computer and then mold them into many different marketable formats including print books, ebooks, software, consulting and advertising services.

If you have, or can research and gather information on a niche topic, you can make money using this model. For centuries, people have been making money selling information and related products and services, and it will continue forever. It all boils down to helping people save time and money avoiding learning something the hard way -- through research. Basically, you do the research and sell the results. The better the information and services, the higher prices you can demand.

With a global audience online, you can create and sell just about anything! If there is a market for it, you can build a business around it. And therein lies the equation... Before starting ANY business you must consider carefully, WHO you will be promoting to. Think hard about the people who might be interested in what you plan to sell. And beware... if the answer is "everyone", that's usually a BAD thing.

Identifying a niche market gives you the ability to target ONLY your prospects you spend FAR less marketing and advertising. So do some market research BEFORE you start creating your product. I'll list some good research sites at the end of this article, that will help you determine if there is a need for your product. Finally, let's consider a third angle for those of you who do not have the time or inclination to "create and sell"...

3. Selling Existing Products and Services

You can start a new business online selling existing products and services. You simply earn a commission from each sale you make. The commissions can be one-time or recurring depending on the product or service you sell for the merchant. There are affiliate programs on just about any niche product or service you can imagine. Whatever niche you plan to develop your business around, you'll more than likely be able to find affiliate programs you can join.
And that is the key... choosing a niche that interests you. Something you enjoy doing or talking about. You may be surprised to find out that you can make money in just about any niche imaginable. Selling existing products and services is not just for new businesses.

It is also a great strategy for established businesses who want to grow their bottom lines. When done properly, it can yield income growth of more than 30% literally overnight. How can I make such a bold statement? Simple, I've experienced just that, by simply selecting existing products and services carefully and then introducing them to my current prospects and customers. The common thread in all three strategies...

In case you didn't notice, all three money making strategies above contained one common component -- proper niche selection. While you should choose a niche that interests you, you also need to choose a niche that can be profitable. To determine if your niche can be profitable, take a few moments and visit the following websites.

1. Ebay's Pulse lists popular searches as well as most watched items.
You can also search through just about any category imaginable.

2. Google's Zeitgeist shows weekly, monthly, and annual trends based on the millions of searches done at Google's search engine. Zeitgeist by Country is also available on a monthly basis.

3. Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a free tool that gives you reports on keywords and keyword phrases that you enter into the search box. Statistics show how many users search for you keyword on Google.

4. WordTracker Free Tool shows you the daily searches being done on any keyword or keyword phrase.

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