For many of us, the idea of an online business sounds like a dream. The chance to earn income in your sleep, work you want and achieve freedom from your job. However, it can sound overwhelming especially if you’re not familiar with the business models out there. I want to break it down for you, and show that it’s not overly complex. I will distinguish between the models based on an investment of your time, resources and effort required.
Watch the video or read the transcript below 🙂
#1 – e-commerce
This is the type of business model where someone sells physical products on the internet. This may be shoes, electronics, bags, furniture, etc. The main platform that most people shop on for physical products is amazon and ebay, but there are still many specialised independant online ‘shops’. An ecommerce business model requires that you have a product that you know sells to A target market. It will usually require your own website (if not selling on amazon), suppliers and a warehouse to hold the stock. Of course, there are expenses that come with a warehouse or physical space – i.e. rent and insurance. Amazon offers an option where they can arrange fulfilment for you, i.e. sourcing from the supplier, storing the product, packaging and dispatching to the customer – all for a cost.
This model is good is you have a product you are passionate about, have a reliable supplier and a target market in mind. It will generally require an initial investment of resources to set your business up, marketing and of course regular purchasing of supplies.
With the power of the internet, this model can be automated – and so will not require a huge slice of your time once the business is running.
#2 – Freelancing
This is where you provide independant services for another individual or company. This may be as a photographer, website builder, digital marketer. An example of this model is ‘Fiverr.com’ – a platform that allows people around the world to make money by providing a digital service, i.e. photo editing or adding subtitles to your videos.
Essentially your customers will be paying you for your time, so as you can tell – this is a business model that is dependent on you and your time in order to earn money. It is difficult to automate as you need to be there. But if you are good at the service you provide, you can do very well!
#3 – Consulting
Consulting is a type of freelancing where you provide services for generally higher ticket fees. You are providing your knowledge as opposed to a physical product. To be a successful online consultant you need to pick a niche where you have real expertise. In this business model, you are exchanging your time for money, but as mentioned if you really know your stuff – then with the right marketing you can charge lucractive amounts per hour. Consider online marketer Neil Patel who reportedly charges $5,000 per hour for consulting.
#4 – e-COURSES
If you have an expertise in a niche topic, and you know that thing is in demand – then creating a training course is one of the best things you can do on the internet. This business model can be lucrative because digital products, i.e. online training, can attract large prices – especially if it is a training course that many people are interested in and so there’s a demand for. Just imagine – you create your training course ONCE, and then with the right advertising, you will earn recurring fees. All you need to do is invest resources initially to create a professional looking training course and to market your training course on the right platforms to the right people.
This type of online business can earn you fantastic passive income – as you don’t have to do too much after you’ve set it up!
#5 – Affiliate Marketing
Many of the successful companies in the world, i.e. Facebook, Amazon, AirBnb, Uber are using the affiliate model. This is where you sell someone else’s products in return for a fee or commission. Take Amazon for example – the majority of the products on the Amazon website do not belong to Amazon. They simply provide a platform to bring sellers and buyers together…and take a commission. Similarly for AirBnb. They do not own the properties, but take a commission from people renting their properties to renters through their website. Affiliate marketing is the epitome of digital commerce. And you can do it too.
If there is a product or service you use and can vouch for, then affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions from marketing and selling that product. For example there’s a health drink that I like and can happily promote in return for commissions. Amazon has its own affiliate model, where you can promote amazon ‘products’ on your website and if someone buys it – you can get a commission. However, Amazon product commissions are low.
In order to make a sustainable online business based on affiliate marketing – you should seek those products that offer high ticket commissions, i.e. digital products – courses, consulting etc. This means with each sale, you can stand to make hundreds or thousands in commission. Why? Because those companies that sell digital products have very little overhead cost. They know that if an affiliate marketer promotes and sells their products – they know they can give up to 50% of the revenue to the affiliate marketer knowing that they still stand to make very good profit from the sale. A sale that did not require the product owners time, and involves little overheads. From the product owners point of view, they would rather make some money – as opposed to no money – for the same level of effort!
So affiliate marketing is a great option to create an online income. It requires little time on your part, except at the beginning to set up your website and marketing costs.
When deciding between these business models, you’ll want to weigh up how much time you want to give, whether you currently have a product and additionally your knowledge of a particular area. For example, if you have a fantastic product and want to automate the selling and fulfilment, then ecommerce could be an option.
If you have an expertise in a niche topic, but don’t want to commit your time – then a eCourse could be your calling. Of course, to make any business successful online – you need to become excellent at influencing and marketing. If you want to learn how to market effectively and create any of these online business models, then the company I am part of educates people on digital skills.
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