I begin this blog not knowing which way my thinking will take me. My mind is full of thoughts about how to plan a successful business online and what kind of venture I should create.
To begin with, I am taking a Business Web Design class. We are to come up with our own Online Business which we will actually market. The scary part began when I realized that I had no idea what kind of a business I could run OR if I even wanted to. What am I good at or passionate about?
After four enlightening classes, I began to realize that staring my own business online was not as daunting as I had first perceived. There are some remarkable resources available to take us step-by-step through the process.
The first step is to have the desire, as in any project we undertake. Hearing the enthusiasm in the other student’s comments, as well as their own nervous questions, helped me to feel like I wasn’t alone in being unsure of the direction to take.
The second step is to actually brainstorm business ideas with more than one person. Having other people to bounce ideas off of helps to give you a different angle or perspective to your plans. I really like the article by Mike Lee (Dec. 8, 2007) Brainstorming Business Ideas. He opened up my mind to see that there are many ways to look around for money-making opportunities.
Here are some ideas for Internet Business Models.
I liked learning about AdWords. We learned that we can type in any search word for a possible product to sell and it will tell us how often that item is searched. This helps to indicate whether the item is popular or obsolete or even unknown. The program also shows how much competition a seller would encounter if they chose to sell that same piece. This makes the search for business ideas a lot simpler.
Another step to coming up with a business is to learn about the types of business models. I didn’t realize that some of the sites I shop on or go to for information make money in other ways besides selling products. In the article Business Models on the Web, by Michael Rappa, the author describes the different ways to earn money. You can run ads on a page, sell products, or become a broker for someone else’s products. This, too, was a very enlightening read. AND, you don’t have to stick to just one business model; you can combine at least two methods, perhaps even more if they work well together.
A third step in choosing a product to distribute is organizing where that item will come from. Will the seller buy it locally? Or buy multiple parts from various manufacturers and build it himself? Or employ overseas companies to ship it to him so that he can sell it to the buyer. What are the priorities for the seller? Cost? Ease of shipping? The quality of the product? The amount of time it takes from purchase to sale?
In the article How to Quantify and Compare, we learn that the seller has to choose his top priorities and rate them as he is comparing multiple companies for the product he wishes to sell. After reading this editorial, it helped me to see the importance of simplifying what is most important in my buying choice so that I pick a product that will work best in my online business.
The next phase for me is to list all of my ideas in one spot. Then to narrow it down . . .