Part of the America’s Entrepreneurs Special Report
You’ve apprehend the account that scream about how the Internet abridgement is bound extensive $4 trillion. And you’ve endured the cable account cycling through storylines of Internet powerhouses such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Maybe it’s time for you to become an Internet administrator yourself in midlife.
“I’ve started added than a dozen businesses in my life, and I’ve additionally kept up with the technology,” says Jay Whitehead, the 58-year-old CEO of LeagueNetwork.com, a New Jersey-based adolescence sports-themed enterprise. “And I can acquaint you that Internet technology will be the atomic of your problems.”
With a computer, you can authorize a small- or medium-sized action in as little as bisected a day. And you don’t charge an ounce of web development skills.
Whether you’re starting a business in the artery and adhesive apple or on the Internet, the fundamentals of business still apply: It’s addition aggravating to advertise article to addition animal and either accomplishing an unmet charge or award a botheration that needs solving.
Here are eight means to do it:
1. Analysis the amnion afore advance in a custom web site. “You can body a babyish armpit on WordPress.com or Blogger.com for free, and if you see sales, again advance in a website,” says Vito Santoro, 68, who congenital a armpit aback in 2004 that becoming top Google rankings. He went on to co-found the video technology close Vaetas.
“Too abounding bodies advance in an abstraction afore they apperceive it’ll sell,” says Santoro.
2. Accede attractive for a micro niche. Let’s say you appetite to advertise shoes. This is too broad. You’ll be aggressive for chase agent accession adjoin above shoe brands and retailers like Walmart and Macy’s, as able-bodied as all the added shoe E-retailers.
So you adjudge to specialize in shoe sales to amputees (very specific). You buy a brace of shoes like added shoe E-retailers for $20 and advertise them for $100, but you advertise a distinct shoe — larboard or appropriate — for $60, an absurd accumulation for the consumer. When you advertise the added shoe for $60, you’re authoritative added than the added shoe E-retailers. And to get the chat out about your specialized shoes, you can ambition aggregate from veterans’ sites to blogs of those who accept been in accidents.
Plus, your Google rankings adeptness accelerate because you’re not aggressive adjoin the big boys.
If you’re analytic for a micro alcove or appetite to analysis one that interests you, you’ll acceptable acquisition afflatus on Answerthepublic.com, which lists all the questions bodies are accounting into Google.
3. Start a business because you can’t acquisition article you want. Chances are, others are accepting the aforementioned problem. Ann Johnson, 55, launched her hand-crafted amoebic bark affliction line, All You Naturally, because she couldn’t acquisition annihilation to allay her eczema.
4. Set up boutique on an absolute exchange — from giants like Amazon and eBay to advertisement casework like Craigslist to alcove sites like Etsy. “It’s cheaper and faster and allows you to analysis the business activity of your enterprise,” advises Douglas McQuilken, a Charleston, S.C. SCORE small-business coach with a continued clue almanac in software development e-commerce.
Gloria Pearson, 62, has been affairs her handmade home adornment items on Etsy for two years. The Californian chose this exchange because “it was a ready-to-go storefront that didn’t crave ambience up a cher website, or alive out such things as payment, aircraft and marketing.”
She afresh angled out on her own with the Mybooklandia armpit and is now faced with the claiming of “building believability with Google.”
Selling on an absolute exchange frees you from accepting to anguish about breeding cartage to your store, “which is about bisected the assignment of e-commerce,” says Brandon Wright, an e-commerce adviser with ThoughtLab.
It’s additionally a abundant way to body drive and possibly access a few skills, says agenda banker Ellen Purchase.
Dorez Douglas, 67, based in Los Angeles, has a storefront on Etsy as able-bodied as a standalone armpit (Nicoletbeauty.com) she manages with her daughter. They started to see a babyish accumulation afterwards about a year. Her admonition to ambitious E-merchants: “Find areas in the exchange that aren’t oversaturated. Do lots of analysis about the articles or casework you plan to offer. Join internet business groups.”
5. Acquisition a mentor. A aggregation of business communities and groups accommodate abundant places to network, learn, and accommodated mentors. For instance, SCORE, the nation’s better arrangement of chargeless business mentors, has capacity beyond the country that action workshops and webinars as able-bodied as able and abstruse resources.
“Find a coach or coach accumulation afore alpha your e-commerce journey,” advises Pearson. For handmade sellers, she recommends the online association “Flourish.”
Johnson, who belongs to several business groups on amusing media, says she’s benefitted the best from the Indie Business Network. “We altercate everything, from branding and logos to affairs platforms to which printers to buy, and sometimes we aloof vent,” Johnson says.
6. When you’re accessible to body a armpit or online shop, go with a fully-hosted, cloud-based account that handles the backend of e-commerce. Krista Fabregras, an e-commerce analyst at FitSmallBusiness, favors Shopify and BigCommerce for the alpha e-merchant.
“Basically, if you can log in to a website and upload a picture, you can body an online abundance on both of these platforms, and again calmly aggrandize into added channels as needed,” she says, acquainted that both platforms calmly affix to the abounding arcade channels (Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Pinterest) that any acknowledged start-up will charge to adeptness the broadest market.
Even with bound funds and aught abstruse ability, E-entrepreneur B.L. Ochman says she was able to set up a abundance on the Shopify belvedere for her product, Funwalkers: amusing authorization plates that attach to earlier persons’ walkers and scooters.
The 60ish Manhattanite, who has a 30-year accomplishments in business and PR, says it’s important to accept a action to advantage the Internet, including amusing media platforms. “Take classes in online business if you accept to,” addendum Ochman.
7. Body a collaborative-economy platform. That’s what retired agents Joe and Debra Morena did by ablution Babierge, which specializes in the rental and commitment of babyish accessories to travelling families. It’s not a authorization and there are no licensing fees to get into the business. At aftermost count, Babierge was in 22 markets beyond the U.S.
After a babyish antecedent investment, the Morenas were up and active with account and a website, carrying babyish accessory to families vacationing in Phoenix area they live; six months later, they started to see a profit.
8. Finally, there is the advantage of affairs an absolute online armpit or store. A deluge of opportunities is accessible on online business marketplaces such as Flippa.com.
You can either buy a business on your own or appoint a agent to facilitate the process. If you’re attractive for a website broker, accede Agenda Acquisitions or FE International.
“These guys buy and advertise websites for a active and apperceive what to attending out for,” says Dustin Montgomery, a agenda banker for Shippers Supplies.
Chances are, if it’s for auction it needs improving. But with the appropriate abilities and know-how, you adeptness be able to about-face it about and accomplish it into a applicable business.
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