What is the first step when starting online? This is a question I frequently get asked. I do have an opinion as to what, I believe, is the fastest way to get started online. However, for purposes of this article I will identify some of the more common business models that are used for creating an online business.
Let’s start by defining what a business model is. A business model is the method used by a company, to do business, that generates its’ revenue and allows the company to sustain itself. So, a first step to take, for someone considering an online business, is to understand the online business models available. A second step is to then determine how you would like to position yourself in the online business world.
In this article I will talk about 5 online business models frequently used by newcomers to the online business world. While additional business models exist, these 5 are a good place for beginners to familiarize themselves with the options available.
Online Business Models
- Ecommerce Model: Ecommerce is the buying and selling of products using an electronic medium such as the internet. Amazon is probably the largest ecommerce site. However, you do not need to be large to have an ecommerce site. You can start small and specialize in the type of products you carry. This will differentiate you in the marketplace. While pros and cons will not be specifically discussed in this article, it should be noted that the ecommerce model can be a very competitive space within which to work.
- Membership/Subscription Model: In this model a monthly subscription fee is paid and in return members are provided with access to various types of products. Now these products can be physical or digital. The products can be mailed, downloaded or streamed. The purpose of the site usually surrounds members receiving ongoing training, as well as, industry updates.
- Freelance Service Model: Anyone possessing a marketable skill can establish a website from which they can promote their services. Outsourcing is very popular as both large and small companies look to keep their in-house staff small. Services such as transcription, website creation, graphics creation, video creation are just a sample of the types of freelance services offered in the marketplace.
- Information Products/Consulting Services Model: For someone who possesses expertise in a particular field, this model can be very appealing. Creating and selling digital products that can be downloaded or streamed is a growing segment in online business. The creation of ebooks, how to guides, online courses, webinars and podcasts are all methods used to share particular knowledge with the world. The approach that has the greatest one on one interaction is the consulting services approach.
- Affiliate Marketing Model: Affiliate Marketing is the easiest method to use to get started online. It is the process of marketing other people’s products and services in return for a commission payment when a sale is made. Because the product owner provides their affiliate with the needed marketing material and is also responsible for product fulfillment, someone can become an affiliate marketer without even having their own website. I only mention this, because it relates to the speed with which someone can get started. If you are working online it is in your best interest to have a website.
As I mentioned early, the second step to consider when getting started online is to determine how you would like to position yourself in the online business world. Which of the business models is most appealing to you? To answer this question, a good place to begin is with the environment within which you want to live and work. So, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are the people I want surrounding me?
- How do these people think, act and talk?
- What common interests do I have with them?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What brings meaning to my life?
Give these questions a great deal of thought. Picture what your new working environment will look like in as much detail as possible. Then re-review the online business models to determine what looks like a good fit for you.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you are interested in finding out more about the online tools, training and mentors that can help get you started, click on the icon below. Enter your email to receive the complimentary training videos that review what it takes to start an online business.