An online business is a real opportunity for the average person to take advantage of the combination of computers, the internet and globalization. With it, we’re able to participate in the much bigger global market, free from the constraints that are eliminating jobs and opportunities in more traditional businesses closer to home.
Even if you don’t have interest in having a full-time online business, I think that creating a part-time version as a side business offers an opportunity at increasing your income and, more importantly, creating multiple income streams that will leave you less dependent on your primary job.
Why is “going global” important?
Recessions are often local
I’ve always been of the opinion that many of our financial issues (on an individual level) come down to geography. Does that sound like an oversimplification?
At any given time, while one city or region is suffering economically, there are others around the nation and all over the world that are booming. Few of us are in a position to move to richer feeding grounds in an attempt to follow prosperity where ever it may lead. If you have family and roots and kids in school in your community leaving is not always an option.
An online business offers just such an opportunity. You can live in the area of your choice and earn your living largely from other regions. The economy in your home turf won’t matter as long as you can tap in to the prosperity of other regions.
An unlimited market
Large businesses, especially the big chains, often have traditional markets saturated. They invest a lot of money into those markets, and as they do they shut down opportunities for small businesses. But even with the big chains gobbling everything up, we can still eek out some business locally, but probably not enough to have a “successful” business.
If we go online however, we have a chance to get a little bit of business from many different markets. You won’t be able to succeed in business if all you could make in your community is $1,000 per year. But if you could make $1,000 in a hundred different markets you could make $100,000. That’s what an online business offers, at least potentially.
There’s been a major economic shift over the past 20 years: consumers are now all over the world and there’s more of them all the time. That means new markets. The big chains are chasing after that business too, but because markets become less uniform when you cross borders it’s not always as easy for them to reach them. That opens opportunities for the rest of us. The local market may be stagnant, but the other markets beyond are developing all the time.
Selling a niche products
You can’t go head-to-head with the big chains and think you can beat them at their own game. Not only do they have the resources to deliver products and services cheaper and faster than you can, but they have the name recognition that none of us small fries can ever achieve.
The solution is to find that unique product or service that the big chains won’t or can’t offer, or at least not offer well. With the market being enlarged by the web, that’s now more possible than it’s been in generations.
What kind of product or service should it be?
- One that isn’t easily “automated”—if it can’t be automated, the chains don’t want any part of it
- One that you have a lot of interest in
- One that you have above average knowledge of
- One where you have above average skills at
- One that appeals to specific markets, not general markets (again, the big chains have the general markets cornered)
- One that isn’t readily available to the average person
In three of the six items above I’ve bolded the word “you” and that’s not an accident. What you’re looking to sell is something that is your specialization, something where you’re creating added value. That can be difficult to identify if you’ve never thought about it, but it’s closely related to your passions. For me it’s writing, on this blog and as a paid writer on other sites. Find what it is you LOVE to do, then figure out how to monetize it.
Monetizing your business idea
Steve and Jennifer Chou turned their interest in wedding linens into an online business that earns them an income well into six-figures. I believe that it’s the uniqueness of their product that is the reason for their success. How many big box chains are selling what they’re selling? The Chou’s are doing it, and that means others can as well.
Steve is offering a course that can show you how to sell your product through an online store just the way he and Jennifer are. The best advice is from people who are already doing what it is you want to do, and since so few of us know anyone who is successfully running an online business, this could be a real opportunity not only to launch your own business, but also to fast forward past all of the rookie mistakes that come with an upstart venture.
If you’re serious about having an online business, you need to have a road map before you get started. Steve is offering that with his program.
The crack in the online business wall
Perhaps because the entire concept of online businesses is so new that the world is overrun with get-rich-quick-with-your-own-online-business hype. This is being peddled by marketers who are taking advantage of the wave of interest by selling the promise of online riches, not the reality of what an online business actually is.
The key word in online business is “business” and if you run it as anything less you’re doomed to fail. It’s never as easy as putting up a website and watching the cash roll in. That kind of come-on sells a lot of marketing programs but doesn’t make anybody rich.
Running on online business isn’t easy and it isn’t get-rich-quick. It involves work, creativity, sustained effort over a period of years and a willingness to overcome obstacles. It requires good business sense and a willingness to adapt. It has to be approached with the seriousness and intensity that you would give to a business you would start in your own neighborhood. Approach it that way and you’ll have a fighting chance at making a living—but not necessarily getting rich—in a business that could change your own personal economy for the better.