5 Tips to Decide What Online Business to Start
If you’re a free spirit who aspires to live life on your terms, starting a business may be the right choice for you. Working for yourself is self-motivating and gives you complete control over your time and money. It also gives you more room for creative experimentation.
However, it also comes with greater responsibility and sacrifices. The most challenging aspect of becoming an entrepreneur is starting a business. As you will realize, cracking the right business idea isn’t about acting on a whim when setting up. You need to consider whether you have the resources to work on it now and whether it’s feasible as a long-term plan.
If you’ve crossed the first hurdle of making up your mind about starting your own business, here are 5 tips to help you choose an online business idea.
#1. Understand why you want to start a business
Not all businesses are created equal. While some are more profitable, others can be more personally fulfilling, such as those based on passions and hobbies. Some demand more effort and involvement, while others allow you to make passive income. Some you can handle alone, while others require a team.
The business you choose depends on why you want to start one in the first place. If you’re already employed/have a business, you may want your new business to be a source of side income or a way to make some money off your hobby. You can then choose an idea and dedicate just a few hours every week. For instance, if you are passionate about painting, you can sell them online by starting a store.
On the other hand, if your business is your main source of income, you may need to think bigger. This could involve finding an idea that is more in demand and determining what you need to sustain the business; such as mass-producing a product and selling it across multiple locations.
#2. Consider your expertise and interests
Whether you’re starting a business as a side gig or a full-time job, it will occupy a significant part of your life for several years to come. Don’t choose a business idea on a whim. Consider your experience and the skills you have acquired throughout your professional life. For instance, if you have worked in finance or filmmaking, starting a business in those fields may give you some leverage as you already know how they work.
You should also choose a business idea that already interests you. Passion fuels the willingness to learn and grow, something every entrepreneur needs in plenty. However, don’t choose a business idea that you know nothing about, even though it interests you. Avoid fleeting interests that require you to learn something from scratch. For instance, you may want to learn the guitar, but that doesn’t mean you should become a guitar instructor.
How do you find that sweet spot between passion and skills? Make a list of both and then list the various business ideas under them. Ideas that fall under both might be worth pursuing.
#3. Study the market
Choose a business idea that benefits you as well as a target audience.
Your skillset and expertise may be commendable, but you’re setting yourself up for failure without customers. You need to sell something for which there is demand, for which there will be a demand in the future, or for which you can create demand.
To find out what’s already in demand, study industry reviews, keyword rankings, and social media reports to find the most popular niches within your list of ideas. If something’s in demand, you already know that there is an audience for it. However, if you choose a business idea in demand, you will also have significant competition.
This leaves you with the option to choose a business for which you foresee a demand. And that can be done by identifying a gap in the market. Talk to your potential customers and study customer and peer reviews of existing brands and products. Are there any recurring pain points? What have been some of your grievances while using a product or service? Identifying these gaps can lead to innovation, resulting in a brilliant business idea, either in the form of a brand-new product or a better version of an existing product.
#4. Be realistic
Being ambitious is a prerequisite, but being realistic helps you manage expectations and preparations better. Your most important business asset is your health. Choose a business idea that suits your age and fitness level. A physically demanding business, such as being a fitness instructor, may take a toll on you if you suffer from long-term injuries. A marketing gig may be hard to handle if you suffer from social anxieties. And a business that requires working in isolation may lead to depression, especially if you’re an extrovert.
Most people start off by juggling their business and their full-time jobs. This helps you pay your bills while your business becomes profitable. Choose a business idea that you can realistically manage in the time you have. Start small, and don’t be in a rush to accomplish too much too soon.
If you are starting your business as a side gig, make sure you are not doing anything that breaches your employment contract. Choose a business idea that isn’t directly competing with your current employer. For instance, if you plan to start a store, don’t sell the same products that your current employer is selling.
#5. Decide how you will buy and sell
How elaborate will your business idea be? This will depend on the resources you can invest in buying and selling. For those looking for a minimum-investment idea, there are several businesses that you can start with just a laptop and an internet connection, such as graphic/web designing, content writing, or online instruction.
If you’re selling a physical product, you will need a manufacturing unit, a storefront, and a delivery system. If you’re not producing the product yourself, you can source products and resell them. If you are a lover of antiques, you could learn how to start a thrift store. If you don’t want to invest in a physical storefront, you could learn how to start a store online. All you’ll need are some lucrative online business ideas and a .Online domain.
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You will still need inventory if you’re considering starting an online store. However, if you’re not ready to invest in a warehouse just yet, you can opt for drop shipping. Drop shipping involves selling products from third-party suppliers who also manage delivery. It is a convenient way to start selling as soon as possible but is not very sustainable in the long run.
While the efficacy of your business idea will only be realized once it’s executed, the above considerations will help you ensure that there is demand for your idea.
You need resources to start and manage your business. And you need to ensure that it is scalable and sustainable and that you’re not doing anything illegal or unethical.
While this may all seem daunting, don’t let it put you off your business plans. Start small, find the right idea, and take it from there. Feel free to bookmark this page and visit our 5 tips to decide what online business to start for direction.