Read This Before You Start A New Online Business

What are the most important things to consider before you venture into a new online business? Is it the technical know-how? Or perhaps it’s the traffic strategies?

In today’s blog, I’ll give you a checklist that you can refer to whenever you want to start a new online business.

1) Is the market easily targetable?

Before you do anything, you need to make sure that the market you are trying to get into is targetable. What I mean is your prospects should belong to a community that you can easily locate. This is important because when your business is launched, you need to know where to look for your customers.

This may seem common sense, but in reality, many netpreneurs believe that their product targets everybody. As a result, they advertise everywhere and have no idea why the traffic doesn’t convert.

2) Is there a problem in the market you’re targeting and does your product address to that problem?

In most cases, a business idea is generated when the founder faces a problem that he fails to find a good solution in the market. If this describes the cause of your business idea, then congratulations, as you’ve found THAT problem.

However, if you have no idea what problem your business is solving, you really have to think of one and sell that idea as a problem. Otherwise, you are going to have a hard time convincing people to buy your product.

3) Is your product unique in the market?

To me, this is the most important point before I take action on any business idea.

If you have studied marketing, you may recall the term USP, which stands for Unique Selling Proposition. A good USP is one that not only provides a solution to the problem in Point 2 but one that is unique.

You don’t have to be Einstein to create a unique product. A product can be unique by simply combining two or more ideas into one, or it can be an idea that exists in some part of the world but not found in your territory or country. Or it can even be a cheaper way of providing the same solution and the low price itself can be the uniqueness.

No one can tell you if one USP is more profitable than another. This is where your vision comes into play.

4) Is there a viral component to your business model?

If you think getting traffic is tough, that’s because there isn’t a viral component to your business model. If all the traffic has to be generated by you personally, it’s just a matter of time before you give up internet marketing.

To truly understand the meaning of viral, look at Facebook. While most people think Facebook is doing the world a favor, by providing a good platform for people to connect, in actual fact, the world is actually doing Facebook a favor, as every Facebook user is a free promoter of Facebook, helping Facebook to expand its user base.

Viral components can include many things, from having an affiliate program to providing viral tools. However, the best form of viral component is a system that can easily convert your users into your affiliates, without them having to intentionally promote your website. This means the more they use your product or service to benefit themselves, the more they promote you!

5) Do you have a traffic retention strategy?

Getting traffic is easy, keeping the traffic is harder, converting the traffic into sales is the hardest. A good traffic retention strategy will help you keep the traffic that comes to your website, so that you not only have more chance to convert the traffic into sales, but also have more people promoting your website, if you’ve done the right thing.

The most common form of traffic retention strategy is getting people to optin by giving away freebies. As I said, this is the most common form but with more and more marketers using such trick, you need to be more innovative than that in order to stand out from the rest.

6) Do you have an automatic sales conversion strategy?

People need to be reminded to buy from you. If you need to do this manually, both you and your prospects will get sick and tired of it. Instead, what you should do is to think of a subtle sales conversion strategy that is always reminding your prospects that there is something better waiting for them.

Imagine a person who needs to get from point A to B everyday. He can either get there on foot or take your taxi. It will be annoying if you were to approach this person everyday. Instead you just have to make sure that he sees you everyday and he knows about your offer. One day, when he sees the value of your service, he will buy.

7) Is the need for your product long-lived?

If you sell something that people will only need to use once, you will have to find a new prospect after every sale. That is tedious.

On the other hand, if your product can service a person for live, like an insurance policy, you are going to have recurring income from every sale you make.

Another way of looking at ‘long-lived’ is are you selling a fad? A fad is something that suddenly bursts into a full buying frenzy and then, just as quickly, fizzle out. If you are selling a fad, you may be making some quick money but such income is not lasting. Soon you will be back to square one and you have to start all over again.

8) Is the operation of your business self-running?

How much time will it take for you to keep that business running? If the running of your business requires a lot involvement from you, it means this business is going to keep you so busy that you may have no time to expand the business or explore other business and investment opportunities.

As a basic principle, you should spend most of your time growing your business or establishing other businesses, not running the business.

Of course, no business is 100% self-running. If most processes can be automated or can easily be outsourced, that business is worth exploring.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by running a business. Say if you run a membership site that provides new video tutorials every month, you will have to spend time preparing the videos. You can outsource, provided that the outsource personnel can do an equally good job, and the business is profitable enough for you to engage that person.

However, there is an interesting twist. If you are indeed in such a situation, you can turn the ‘maintenance work’ into a growth opportunity. For example, you can turn your videos into a MRR (Master Resale Right) product and allow your customers to sell or bundle it with other products. This way, the same videos suddenly become a viral tool that will bring you more traffic. You can also produce videos based on interviews with other marketing gurus. This way, you are growing your affiliate network while at the same time delivering good values to your customers.

9) Is your business building an asset?

Most people do business to make money. But that’s not enough. In addition to making money, you have to make sure that your business is building an asset other than money. An asset can be a collection of websites, which the guru call virtual property, or it can be a network, which can be in the form of a subscriber list or a network of affiliates, or you may be building an infrastructure that you can use for your future businesses.

Looking beyond money and focusing on building assets is the way to ensuring that your online venture is a lasting one. Whether your current business is going to survive tomorrow or not, you know that you are sure to win because the asset that has been built is going to benefit you no matter what.

43 thoughts to “Read This Before You Start A New Online Business”

  1. Nice article Kenneth,
    There’s a lot of variables that go into starting and running an online business as you have obviously outlined here. These are some great points and a couple of them I still need to do some tweaking with. Thanks,


  2. Interesting Article Kenneth, Been a long Time I Read from You, This Research are very necessary for all but we have so many People trying to start up a business or online ventures without considering this and end up losing out and giving up with such dreams. and that’s the problem many online businesses are facing this days.

    Thanks Again.


  3. Great Online Business Startup info. I good strategy I’ve found is working the model backwards, so you can really envision the next moves. Meaning; ok they optin “now what?” They buy your product or don’t “now what?” Answering these questions helps prevent problems.

  4. Hey great article it really opened my eyes too how to promote my future webstites. You really gave me a good prespective on what good viral marketing is. I will probably read this article again in the near future of maybe even save it in my favorite so I can go back to it for guidence on how to do my marketing. Thanks a million for the advice and I will be looking forward too you future articles

    Thanks A Million
    James West

  5. Great article Kenneth.

    I have been trying to find a way to explain the “Building Assets” the way you did in the final paragraph. This does seem to be an area that many people do not understand yet it is crucial, as you say, for long lasting success.

    Fortunately, thanks to you, I can simply refer people to this blog post and get the message out.

  6. Hey Kenneth,

    You have made a perfect list. I wish I would understand every thing you have listed earlier.

    I like your view about Facebook. It’s true “…in actual fact, the world is actually doing Facebook a favor, as every Facebook user is a free promoter of Facebook, helping Facebook to expand its user base…”

    You’ve stressed the good point of giving, well, lots of giving before asking or receiving.

    Thanks for sharing your professional view.

  7. I think you hit the most important points. The interesting thing is that many of these same points apply to a brick-and-mortar business startup as well. My wife is looking at both – a combined B&M and online business, and we are searching for the answers to many of these exact questions.

  8. What is Network or Networking.

    You may look in Webster or any other dictionary and find definitions of Network.

    The one I like is, the systematic entanglement of fibers to create strength.

    That is what I call Networking in a business. When two or more
    people are working and sharing with each other to bring about a
    stronger entity.

    Just as a string is so strong, so is the marketer working alone
    online. But if you take several strings and entwine them together you have a strong network that can accomplish much more than the single string or several strings working alone.

    Now lets apply that to Internet marketing and I don’t think it matters what niche you are working.

    I think this idea is beginning to take hold in online businesses. We are seeing two or more marketers getting together to form a network.

    There’s not many people that can do it all alone. Maybe
    one person is good at copywriting another good at creating audios or videos, and another one is good with graphics, etc and etc.

    Working singularly there would be some things that wouldn’t get done as efficiently as with them working together.

    This is what I call networking. You may have another definition
    and that is okay and you may be gifted and able to do it all but I believe the company of others working with you will make your business and life more fun.

    I don’t think having a product and having a bunch of affiliates signed up to promote your product or having a list of subscribers to sell your product or some body elses product is networking unless you and they are working together to strengthen each other.

    I have been an affiliate for some product creator and the only time I would hear from them is to sell me some product they had become affiliated with. To me that is not Networking.

    1. Delton,,,Thanks for your definition! It’s a great explanation? on networking.
      Not so hard to understand for an old dummy like me.;)

      Finding a problem that my business will solve;)
      Absolute genius.

      Great peace on FaceBook;
      This was a great blog that I missed earlier,By Kennith Koh,,,thanks to LeadsLeap for resending it.
      Ray Ducharme

  9. I’ve been thinking alot about viral marketing since reading this article and there are several online services that do this very very Well.

    The first one is Google. The reason I say that is because they give you alot of free things too use like blogger, google adsence, Knol. and so much more.. I mean they have a webstore where you can download a bunch of free tools too use on your site and blog pages.

    The second one that you may not think of that just dawned on me last night is dating sites, I mean they let you sign up for free but then don’t really let you view who is looking for you until you pay there monthly fee. And everyone who is a member is basically advertising there website kind of like facebook but have stricter rules but it really does work…

    If I come up with anymore ideas I will be glad too share them because I agree Delton working together and networking is probably the best way that I know of too be successful in business

  10. I agree with most of what Kenneth is saying in his post here along with the research needed to start or join an online business is the due diligence that is needed like that explained in the post.

    Once you have decided on a great money making business or product to promote then the work starts in the form of getting visitors to your pages.

    Without visitors there is no business and without any business there is no income and that’s usually the main purpose of starting online anyway, right?

  11. Such a good article that I just had too read it a second time. I also finally took your advice and built me a niche website it wasn’t as hard as I thought. It is a template website but who cares I’m pretty proud of it. Thank you for all the great advice and articles it really does help me in my online ventures…

    Thanks A Million

  12. Good article for people starting a web business.
    The no 1 item about your traffic target is very important.
    You have to know where to advertise to people that would be interested in what you are selling.
    I also think though that in the beginning, you need to get your webite listed everywhere to get it know by as many people as possible.

  13. Look all kinds of advertising should be added and I think everyone forget the oldest and simplest still effective method and that is business cards. I still use then and it does interest people believe it or not.

  14. This is one of the best article I have ever come across. The key points are right on track and I must say it explains the nuts and bots in the simplest terms. Thanks a lot,I bet every Internet Marketing newbie should read this post.!

  15. Put up is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I’m glad to search out your impressive manner of writing the post. Now it turn out to be straightforward for me to grasp and implement the concept. Wonderful post. Keep it up and thanks on your share! Thank you very much.

  16. I agree with you Eleazar you do have too keep your mind set on your ideas and not get distracted by other peoples ideas.

    It’s good to work with people who will help build you idea and have the same mindset as I do.

    And thanks Ken for giving me the Idea on building a nich site I finally too your advice

  17. After thorough research and writing a good business plan, the hard part is now on taking action, i.e, applying what were set out to do in the business plan. A high level of discipline is needed here to follow the roadmap sidelining distractions all the way to business success.

  18. I like your article I know it is not easy for newbies to start an online business. But with my dedication to help others, I found some free resources that newbies will love to join. I am willing to share my success by joining free membership, free registration and you can make money from home with this generous website companies that I found. Click link below for more information

    Again thank for wonderful information and I am willing to share a free information too by clicking the link above… See you there humble money seekers… :-)

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