In the overall online business space both the large companies that dominate the market and small online businesses have plenty of opportunities for different profitable online projects.
In the online space, no one can deny you your place in the industry, no matter what is your product, and with all the resources available online, it’s never been easier to start up.
Online space provides more opportunities for profit
Thanks to positive online business trends, more people are shopping online than ever before. People are sitting in their homes and browsing online, mostly with their mobile devices, and shopping online too.
Modern software and online tools make it possible for anyone to make a website, even without any coding knowledge, and in a matter of hours.
The start-up cost of making a webshop may be well under $100 but the good news is that online marketing is cheap, and you can utilize social media to build up a community around your brand, and in turn, benefit direct communication with your customers.
Choose a profitable market
Now, we do have to note one thing, it is not possible to be profitable with literally any kind of webshop because people want to buy what they like, not what you want to sell to them.
What this means is that you should choose a profitable niche, or sell a product that is in demand. You should do thorough research on this, or maybe you are a connoisseur of a specific niche and you already have the knowledge of such a product.
As a start-up, you should be focusing on a specific niche that is in demand within the market but aim for a product that will have a sustainable demand in a predicted time frame instead of a flash sale item.
One tip on how to find items that sell is to look at online retailers like Amazon. Not being a pioneer that is first to market, you want to go where there’s already a large group of people ready to buy.
How to be profitable with your online business
The beauty of owning an online store is that you do not have to worry about producing or even sourcing the products you sell online, but instead you can opt for affiliate marketing.
The affiliate marketing is aimed at the products that are proven to sell, and you won’t have to worry about delivery, storage, managing orders, customer service, refunds, or any of the other traditional aspects of retailing.
Affiliate marketing – the easy way into online business
Your main goal in an affiliate marketing business is to do the marketing and promotion of products through your e-commerce site, but the online retailer (or the company that created the product) handles the shipping and the rest.
As an affiliate, you get a commission ranging from 5% and up, depending on the product), each and every time somebody buys.
This is a great way to get started with your business, though I would add a final thought that you should aim for products that cost $25 or more so that even with the minimum commission you still have a respectable amount of profit. Sell one hundred items in a day, and even with that price and you will profit $500.
Dropshipping – your second best choice for a startup
The dropshipping model is somewhat similar to affiliate marketing. However, with this model, you also sell other companies’ products.
You market the products on your website AND you process the orders. When they come in, you send them on to your dropshipping partner, which is usually a manufacturer or wholesaler.
The main reason why dropshipping can be more profitable is that you process the purchase and receive the customers’ money for the price tag listed on your website. Then you pay the manufacturer for what they are asking as a wholesaler, and then they send the product directly to your customer, and you get to keep the difference between these two prices.
You profit from the markup on what you pay the drop shipper and what you charge your customers.
Low-risk online business
Now, there are lower-risk ways to sell your own products, which would be to create information products, including ebooks, membership websites, videos, and audio programs.
For example, if you were a connoisseur in the organic gardening niche you could have an e-book special report on growing organic food at home, or a video showcasing the best techniques for pest control without pesticides … etc.
How to set up your web shop?
Now, we come to the “tech” stuff where we have to discuss previously mentioned necessities which you cannot avoid having for an online business.
The nature of online business is that you must have a working and accessible website. This means owning a domain name and hosting service that will enable you to build the website.
Because we live in the time of evolved internet where different software platforms provide services and tools with intuitive visual interface, making a functional website is a breeze and takes a few hours tops.
Largely due to amazing features, a plethora of plugins and themes, we can recommend WordPress for creating your site. You can and should pick a lean web-shop theme, paid or free, depending on your budget.
Next, depending on your business model, get a few WordPress plugins that will help you with affiliate marketing or dropshipping business.
This can be an easy process similar to filling in pages with the products and email sign-up boxes, filling in your products in your shopping cart, and creating other relevant content.
Literally, if you can send an email you can set up a website. The good part is that with WordPress you can update and change your site’s look and content without needing any web development experience, just by changing the current site theme or plugins.
On the other hand, if you are already a busy brick and mortar business owner, then you can hire a professional to build your website while you can focus on specific details such as product sources, choice of products, client research … etc.
Conclusion and final tips
By now, you should have your website up and running, and you will probably look for tips on how to get more customers to your site, so we would like to add a few tips in that department.
The best way to drive traffic is to provide customers with quality content through valuable information (written texts, images or video) about products and services your site sells.
High-quality posts can be shared through social media and even some paid advertising is not a bad thing because it can help you build the initial customer base. This means you should use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media to create an online presence for your site, and eventually build a brand around it.
On a side note, it will take time and effort to become very successful, though this can also be your part-time job at the start, and later when you become highly profitable transition into a full-time job. Do your best to build a foundation for a business that will last become more profitable each next year.