BUILD AN ONLINE BUSINESS IN 6 STEPS, RINSE & REPEAT
What is the life cycle of building an online business?
Life cycle of an online business starts with a niche market. You need to identify a profitable niche market, with just the right level of competition, price, segments and future potential. Niche market doesn’t have to be your passion, however aligning it with your passion would help you persevere through inevitable ups and downs of operating a business.
Your goal with a new business or a new product in an existing business is to provide value and differentiate your product and brand from what’s already available in the market. While it may seem obvious, but creating something for which there is no market is one of the top reasons why both small businesses and startups fail.
Once you believe you have found a niche and your value-add or your x-factor, then it is time to figure out the business model, i.e. how you’re going to make money. Textbook definition of a business model deals with three main aspects.
- How you create value
- How you deliver value
- How you capture value
“Value” refers to your compelling solution to an already established problem.
Once you’ve identified your business model, you can focus on the product creation. Once your product is ready for prime time, you need to create a credible launch plan. Launch is about letting the world know that you’ve a product and it can meet customer needs. Launch plan for a Kindle eBook would be very different from one for a physical product. You need to tailor your launch plan to your product category and traffic channels (social groups, internet boards or forums what have you) where your prospects and customers already hang out.
Beyond the initial launch hustle, you need a plan for how you’re going to generate traffic. Traffic generation and capture requires that you know your relevant search keywords and topics. It also requires you think both short-term and long-term. Short-term plan needs to include some sort of paid traffic such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, long-term plan needs to factor in Search Engine Optimization (or SEO). Long-term SEO consists of technical SEO as well as content marketing which would help you to get your products and services in front of more people as you start to get ranked for your target keywords on Google or Amazon.
You can have all the traffic in the world, but without conversion it wouldn’t matter. Conversion boils down to your ability to help your customers achieve their goals. Conversion requires that you’re able to describe transformation (i.e. what will your customer have after buying your products), authority (why you?) and proof (reviews, testimonials etc.) as no one wants to be the first to try out a new product from a business that they have never heard about. SEO and conversion optimization are not one-time activities, and requires continuous testing to see what’s working and what’s not.
Let me summarize the life cycle that we just discussed.
- Identifying the niche
- Identify your value-add or x-factor (how your products are different from others in the way(s) your customers care)
- Identifying the business model
- Launch plan
- Building traffic (organic and paid)
- Traffic conversion
Last thing you want to do is to pick a model based on what’s hot or in fashion or what someone else used successfully, remember your mileage may vary.
Last but not least, subject matter discussed in this post, as well as others, is covered thoroughly in various online courses offered by Private Label Mastery.
Please feel free to share your questions or comments, I will be answering them over the next few days.