Today, anyone can start an online home business, and it is thanks to the internet. If you go back twenty years when the Internet was taking hold, there was little social media and certainly no Facebook or Twitter. Now there are millions of social media platforms and we spend nearly 27% of our time online socialising on one of these platforms.
Emails were rarely used. Instead, we relied on fax, telephones and letters. Many businesses didn’t have a website, let alone a responsive one that could be viewed on a mobile.
Speaking as someone who has grown up with the rapid advances in technology I am amazed and astonished at the rate of technological development. Twenty years ago I had just received my first computer and was about to start senior school. I did not realise at the time that this would be the founding block for a career that would have me interact with CEOs and Managing Directors from across the world in my own business.
The truth is, I should have seen my career heading in this direction anyway. Ever since I was six, I was coming up with business ideas probably influenced by my late Grandfather. In 2006, while studying for my masters, I thought of an online television concept. Customers would pay a subscription and could watch what they wanted, when they wanted. Users could also submit their original content for uploading on the site, as long as it met quality standards. The idea was pursued for two reasons:
- I had no contacts in the industry to start the business.
- I didn’t have the technical ability to pull it off nor knew anyone who did.
In 2007, Netflix started video streaming. During University I started using the early social media platforms, forums, website management tools and blogging platforms. After University I worked in a number of jobs and ran a CV writing company. The internet was still developing when I started my CV writing company, and I spent months planning it and implementing the processes. In the end, the company couldn’t achieve what I wanted it to do: provide a cost effective CV writing and application support service. I made money – but not enough to justify the time I spent on the business.
Then in 2013 I started my current business, this time, the initial processes were different. I woke up one morning, decided I wanted to work for myself again, knew I had the skills and the experience to do the job and so turned on my computer and started looking for work. It was that simple. As the months passed, I grew my client list and developed the business. It was simple. Much easier than it would have been in the past.
While I don’t like to think of TwoFeetMarketing as a home business anymore; it did start out that way.
You Can Start An Online Home Business
I tell this story because starting an online home business isn’t a challenge. It can be a rewarding experience that can help you achieve a lot in your life. Never before in work would I be able to rearrange my day to attend school plays, sports days or just take an afternoon off because I don’t feel well.
The same can be said for you. As long as you are willing to work hard, you can achieve.
Consider The Type Of Online Home Business You Want To Run
There are several types of online home businesses: e-stores, membership sites and professional services. These are easy to start and operate. Here is my quick assessment:
Affiliate Sites: Low set up costs and easy to establish. All you need to do is to create a website and content to fill it (news, reviews, opinion articles, etc.) and drive traffic to the website. You earn money when an order is placed after someone has visited your site. The payment per order can be low (Amazon’s can be as little as a few pence per order) but with the right attitude and hard work, you can earn a good income.
The challenge is driving traffic to your website. You’ll need to utilise social media and SEO properly, and that can be challenging when you start out. To become a success in the long term, you’ll also find email marketing is your best friend.
E-Stores: Unlike with affiliate sites, you have control of the products and the quality of delivery. This allows you to have more control over your online reputation. The startup costs are higher and creating fresh content for certain products can be challenging.
You will also face the same traffic issues as affiliate sites. Email marketing will also play a massive part in your success, as long as you segment and maintain your list properly.
Membership Sites: This is when users sign up to your website to gain access to something valuable (your expertise, premium content, social environment, etc.). Technically speaking, every social media platform and forum is a type of membership site. But there are others like TwoFeetMarketing’s membership scheme and online magazines.
While traffic can be a serious issue with membership sites, the revenue generation model can also be difficult. There are numerous ways to earn money, subscription, advertising, affiliation, product sales, etc. What is right for you is something only you can decide.
Professional Services: Simple set up and easy to maintain as long as you have the skills. While you may struggle for traffic, you don’t have to rely on website traffic to maintain your business. You can go out into the community if you want and develop a network to sell to.
It is likely that you will need insurance and with business cards, leaflets and other start-up costs, this is probably the most expensive of the lot. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding and you can establish yourself as an expert in whatever field you work.
So what online home business will you create? If you started one, what is your biggest tip?
Let us know in the comments below.