#start online business
How to start a successful online business
PASSION IS NOT ENOUGH.
How do I get started?
Repeat after me:
PASSION IS NOT ENOUGH
Most “experts” teach you that once you find your passion, you’ll magically become wealthy.
I don’t have to tell you that this plan is missing a few vital steps, such as an actual plan. Before you invest your time and energy creating an online product, ask yourself these questions:
- How do I know which idea will be most profitable?
- Will people actually pay?
- How do I bring in traffic and buyers?
- What can I do to set my business on autopilot, so it runs on systems instead of on my (limited) time?
Solve the right problem (it’s probably not what you’d expect)
I asked readers, “What excites you about starting an online business?” Over 1,000 readers responded with ME-FOCUSED responses about what they wanted from an online business.
OK, we all want something for our work, whether it’s extra money, more free time, or the ability to be our own boss and give ourselves vacation days when the weather’s nice.
But what about your customers?
Nobody will ever give you money to solve your problems. but they’ll love you and happily pay you if you help them solve theirs. And by focusing on them, you’ll immediately stand out in a sea of online businesses that are only looking out for themselves.
What would happen if you said, “I’m really good at helping my friends with their relationship problems. I don’t want to just help people 1-on-1…I want to help THOUSANDS of people.” Or “I love helping people get in shape. I want to help as many people get fit as possible.”
It’s a huge psychological shift.
Once you’ve identified something you believe in, you need to know what idea people will pay for, how much to charge, and how to sell it without being sleazy.
It starts with figuring out what kind of online business you want.
Which online business ideas work best?
When you’re starting an online business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by tactical minutiae. Should you create software, a physical product, a coaching system, or something else? How do you choose the right software, create your website, figure out drop shipping, and accept payments?
But when you drop what doesn’t work I spent years figuring this part out you’re left with 6 main options for an online business. I’ve systematically tried them ALL over almost a decade, and I’ll let you know exactly which ones are good and bad.
Your 6 options for starting an online business are software (including apps), physical products, ads, affiliate marketing, coaching, and online courses. And they aren’t all created equal.
Coaching is the single-best way to start learning business skills.
Many people don’t even think they can launch an online business. Then hold themselves back by saying things like, “I’m not an expert at personal finance, finding a dream job, or [fill in the blank].”
“I don’t know anything people would pay for!”
Are you sure? Unless you’ve actually tested your idea, the answer is “no.”
“But Ramit, my idea’s too weird/dumb! Nobody would ever pay to learn about it.”
I used to think that, too, until I discovered how many other weird people are out there. Here are just 3 profitable courses I’ve seen in the past year:
- Toilet Trained Cat. Train cats to use the toilet. Revenue from books and courses.
- Hear and Play. Learn to play piano by ear, without sheet music or years of lessons. Revenue from courses.
- The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide. Vacation at Disney World for half price. Revenue from ebooks.
Do these seem like ideas for normal, successful products? Of course not. These people simply found something they’re good at, then tested the market to see if other people were willing to pay for their knowledge.