Before we attempt to discuss this topic let’s just evaluate the phases or thoughts/emotions of a typical entrepreneur. As you can imagine It does take a lot of grit and a can’t give up attitude to succeed as an entrepreneur. Does that mean you need to take crazy risks and bet on your house and farm? Definitely not.
So here are the seven stages of starting an online business. Drum roll please….
I want to start an online business phase
Can I do it phase
What if I fail phase
What if I suck at this phase
Oh god it’s not working phase
Yeah I got it phase
Finally….. DAMN I am good at this phase
As you can imagine going through each of these phases is quite an interesting experience in itself. Constant introspection, measuring what you do on a daily basis, executing towards KPIs, forging relationships, A/B testing every aspect of your process are all very important during this phase.
Let’s dig deep into what the typical phase 1 looks like.
I want to start an online business
Talk is cheap...Business Ventures are not for the faint of heart. So if you are interested and want to make it happen don’t take the easy way out. Grind it out my friends!
Where do you start?
How do you come up with an online business idea?
Ideate-How do you come up with ideas?
Do your research, talk to friends, colleagues at work if you have a rapport, a mentor and of course your family. Ideas are all around you and if the pandemic taught us anything it’s about how important an online business is and last but not least believe in yourself.
Of all the research and time one can spend in ideating and thinking through self confidence is by far the single most factor that will get you through this journey.
You see, starting a website may be relatively easy but growing the site with real customers is a challenge. Unfortunately what we see on a weekly basis is folks being led to believe that you can win big by just starting an online store.
I am sorry to break it to you, it's not how it works. We see trends where the hybrid model of online/offline is more sustainable and scalable for the long run. The advantage about venturing via an online first strategy is to keep your costs relatively low, and be able to test waters and find the right set of audience to cater to.
A good hack here is to try building a landing page instead of a complete website and run paid ads to see the response and gauge your audience interest.
Also lead magnets are a great way to attract your audience/potential buyer to start a conversation with you. Never make the mistake of asking a prospect to buy your product/service the very first time they land on your site.
To that end here are 7 categories of ideas you can execute online:
Ideas involving Kids and their activities:
Most of us have kids and we see how difficult it is to manage their after school schedules and home work-Here’s an idea to solve that issue-Online Tutoring. Yup there is zoom fatigue and everyone of us is trying to get away from our computers. But can we really? I would venture to guess that the online/offline hybrid learning is here to stay and if you can find a medium where you can cater to a set of your student audience in helping them get better at their school curriculum then you will have a path to success.
Thank god the Pandemic is almost behind us- There will be a huge demand for events to be planned and organized-Here’s an idea around it.
Online event planning around kids birthdays. You don't have to have Martha Stewart chops to do this. Start within your community. Stand up a website and offer different party planning services. All you will need to do is get your first set of believers and will have a repeat audience. The best part is all the process automation, billing, logistics can be managed via your online store.
Online logistics support for Kids activities:
With the lifestyles most of us have, any help we can get to extend our bandwidth is highly appreciated. What if you can start an online website that coordinates dropping and picking of kids from their weekend activities. Clearly this is not an online only business but a good portion of the logistics process of bookings, scheduling and payments can be fully automated via your online store.
Ideas around Pets:
Here are two ideas worth exploring if you happen to have a passion for animals!
Dog Walking/Dog Sitting
If you are following the news you must have heard that more Americans than ever have become new pet owners. I am assuming a good percentage of those pets are dogs.
So Online booking for a dog walking service makes sense if you have a passion and love for animals. Although this segment has a lot of competition you can focus on spreading the word out within your community/geography to make it worthwhile. Additionally you can add services like helping pet owners outsource their logistics for dog grooming services, and dog sitting.
New Pet owners have issues with adjusting their daily routines, schedules around their pets and are looking for advice like obedience training, toys, treats and a multitude of other things. Why can’t you start a blog around tips and tricks for new pet owners and create highly niche content around it. If you learn how to conduct keyword research, and build actionable content and use paid advertising as an avenue you are bound to find decent success!
Ideas around Travel:
Travel Concierge services
Again all signs are pointing to travel booming by summer. Why can’t you have an Online travel concierge service and help folks plan their vacations! Yes you can! There are countless sites with customized content that you can curate and offer via an online site that caters to different audiences tastes and styles. Think of categories like adventure travellers, backpackers, rvers, exotic destination seekers and many more.
Ideas around Penny Pinching:
A blog catering to increasing Financial acumen
If you have a knack for Penny Pinching share it with others by starting your online information blog about all things related to Penny Pinching. Most folks are struggling these days and advice that can help folks with improving their quality of life and get out of debt will be well received. If you need inspiration check out Penny Hoarders, one of my favorites!
Ideas around Food:
Online food delivery service
Since this type of service is regulated check with your local county on regulations. Once you are able to secure the necessary permits and if you are good at doling out goodies that are mouth watering then go for it. Start an online store and spread the word!
Are you good at shooting videos and editing then start building a website and cover your local restaurants (will need some convincing), coffee shops, and farmers markets. Think Food TV or Cooking channel with a local twist. It’s doable my friends.. One needs to try it.
Ideas around Content and Publishing:
Online ebook publisher
Yes there is still demand for another ebook. The idea here is to be able to find a niche audience and cater to them. Let’s say you are a programmer, web developer or a designer. As you gain experience with your craft you are bound to have tricks up your sleeve. Why not start an online site that offers productivity tips for newbies and once you build a fan following start offering consulting services like a30 minute one-on-one session to help the newbies get better at their craft!
Ideas around Niche speciality items:
Ecommerce store for speciality items or niche products
Folks have various tastes and needs. If you can find an audience with a unique set of tastes and can build products or services to cater around those speciality items you are bound to grow your audience and eventually monetize. Remember the secret here is quality rather than quantity. You are not looking to sell a product on Amazon and compete with thousands of others but rather find a highly segmented niche audience and cater to them.
The common underlying thread for all of these businesses is to have an online component. It's really easy to get started with launching your online store but we encourage our prospects to think through holistically before jumping in.
Online business success doesn't just start with a website. If anything it starts there. You will need a partner that can help you maneuver the hair pin bends and the crazy highs and lows of digital marketing. Shuvel Digital would be delighted to be your trusted partner and act as your navigational aide throughout your digital marketing journey!