Running a small business can be really tough today.  Running a small business online is also difficult.  Challenges and difficulties aside, having a successful and well thought-out online business can boost your income significantly while not taking too much of your time and giving you the freedom to work anywhere.  However, most online startups fail so it is essential to plan out and fully optimize your business model.  First, you will need to pick a business model you believe you can earn revenue from.  Then you can focus on optimizing your website and business strategy.

Pick Your Model

There are quite a few different internet business models online to choose from; some which you can sell different products, some you can run ads on, and others you can charge for services or information.  Pick the model you believe you can succeed at.  Here are a few popular internet models:

  1. E-commerce – With an e-commerce site, you can set up your own online store and basically sell anything you want.  You can sell your own products or you can even drop ship products from other people.
  2. Blogging Site – Blogging is one of the cheapest internet business models to start and run.  You can blog about almost anything you want and run ads and/or sponsor products.  However, it’s really easy to flop and fail.  Make sure you identify your target audience and create quality content.
  3. Market Maker – If you can connect two groups of people who want to do business, you are a market maker and you have the chance to make bank.  Examples of market making sites are eBay, Uber, and Etsy.  If you can connect markets, you have the chance to make a lot of money for minimal work relatively.

Establishing Your Online Presence

So you have an amazing idea or product, that’s great!  But if no one sees it or finds it, then it’s worthless.  The internet is amazing because it allows you to grow your market to millions and millions of people, however, the internet can be so crowded that it can be hard to distinguish yourself from the competition.  Here are a few tips for establishing your presence.

  1. Make Your Site Beautiful – The first step in winning your potential customers is their first impression of the site.  Invest in a well-designed site that is simple for users to navigate and understand.
  2. Utilize SEO and Sponsored Advertising.  SEO can sound like it’s a complicated beast to learn, but it’s worth it to have and isn’t too hard to teach yourself.  Having optimized SEO for your site is essential and be sure to use paid advertising where applicable.  Social Media is also a great outlet for advertising.
  3. Build Your Community and Brand’s Reputation – While social media is a great tool for advertising it is also an incredible tool for building community and establishing your brand.  Be sure to have a strong social media presence by posting and sharing different content.  Also, allow for user engagement on your website.