When you make the choice to start a home business, you will need to try to figure out which type of business is right for you. The best way to do that is to be very honest about your resources, temperament and abilities. It can be a difficult choice because so much is at stake, but it’s good to give it some thought and consideration before investing a lot of time and money into a business idea that is wrong for you.
Create a Dream Board
What type of life do you want to live? Get some old magazines, or get out the crayons and pencils and draw what you see your future as. If you prefer technology, use PowerPoint to create a dream slide show instead of a dream board. The point is to get down on paper how you want your life to be when your business is successful.
Determine How Much Money That Life Takes
How much do you have to make a year to enjoy the lifestyle from your dream board? What type of income will this require? Is it realistic, possible? If it’s realistic, set a deadline for yourself on how long you’ll take to get to that goal. Use that number to help you determine what type of business you will need to start.
Make a List of the Type of People You Want to Work With
Who do you want to surround yourself with all day long? Who do you want to work with? Who do you want to work for? If you can narrow down the audience that you can create products for, or services for, then you are on the right path. Are there enough of these people to create a profit? If there are only a couple hundred, how many of them can you attract? Be realistic and understand that you need a large under-served audience for whom to create.
Make a List of the Products or Services the Audience Needs
Now that you know who you want to work with and be around, make a list of the type of services or products that this audience might need. Can any of these be the start of your dream board life? If you have a smaller audience, you need to create a higher priced item. For example, if you want to earn $100K a year, how many products do you have to sell to create that income? Mark everything up by 100 percent to take into account the cost of marketing and doing business.
Write Down Your Resources
Resources include people you have access to, connections you’ve made in the past, family, friends, your skillset, their skillset, the money in your bank account, and the equipment you already have or that you can get access too. Do you have enough and can you get enough to do what you have determined is right?
Write a Business Plan
Finally, take the time to create a business plan. This will give you time to sit with the business idea, in your mind and heart, to ensure it matches your values and ideas. It’s not a waste of time to create a business plan even if you don’t ultimately start that business.
Remember to be honest with what you’re capable of doing. If you don’t like making cold calls, don’t pick a business that requires it. If you hate to speak in public, don’t pick public speaking as your business idea. The closer you can match the business idea with what you love to do, the more likely you are to be successful.
Starting an online business is one of the smartest moves
you can make to invest in your future. Now more than ever,
people are putting their ideas into practice and becoming
first time entrepreneurs….
Beginning a new business owner in today’s world is much easier than it was even ten years. Booming online businesses make up a huge percent of products sold. It’s evident that e-commerce is here to stay.
The beauty of running an online business is that the start up costs are very low – you can even start some businesses without having to come up with any money at all. Young or old, people of all ages can create a business they love from whatever they’re passionate about. Whether it’s selling antique pieces of history, gift ideas or selling services, there’s a niche tailor made for your talents.
So who are the people who are breaking free from their ordinary routines,
or from their cubicles and taking control of their lives?
Many of the people who are first time entrepreneurs are moms. Whether they’re stay at home moms or currently work in an office, mothers make up a large majority of those running Internet businesses.
Putting their years of expertise from both life and business to work for them, many baby boomers are stepping out and taking the plunge into a new endeavor of starting their own online business.
Sometimes in a tough job economy, baby boomers are some of the first people to get laid off. Employers aim to keep the younger, less experienced people on the job because they can pay them less.
No, it’s not fair, but it does happen. If you’re in that category, losing a job can be the springboard that catapults you into an adventure that can bring so much good into your life as you start working for yourself.
In certain jobs, there are government mandates in place for when people must retire from that job, which is unfortunate in many cases because it’s those years of experience on the job that make them better employees than the newly hired.
Even retirees that don’t need supplemental income, thanks to smart financial planning or plain old-fashioned good luck, choose to start a new career or business in order to keep their minds active and to give themselves something to look forward to.
Changing from a life of active work to being home all day can be quite an adjustment and running an online business can make that adjustment a lot easier on the one retiring and his or her family. Plus, for those wanting to retire but who want to stay busy, there are plenty of opportunities available online to start and run a successful business.
Whether you want to work from home or open a brick and mortar shop, it’s important to choose a niche that suits your passions. Working in any niche can be more challenging when you don’t like what you’re doing. But when you love what you’re doing, you wake up in the mornings with the energy and the enthusiasm to get to work.
Take a few minutes and consider which niches might fit with your passions. If you’re not sure what your passions are, imagine you have a whole day to yourself. What do you spend it doing?
Would you spend it perfecting new recipes? Exploring your city? Writing movie reviews? If you’re still having trouble, look at your existing hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What do you spend your money on?
Taking a moment to consider what you love doing will help you decide which niche is the best fit for you. Or maybe you recently discovered niche you’re passionate about. What do you do then?
Begin reading and researching. Fully immerse yourself in your chosen niche. Sign up for every email list that you can. It pays off in big ways to know the current issues and events in your niche.
Spend time browsing websites – both of experts and amateurs alike. Blogs are a great way to learn about what’s happening in the niche industry you plan to use for your business. Search blog directories for your category by going to a search engine and typing in “blog directories.” Then choose a blog directory and browse it by category.
By now, you probably have a list of potential niches just waiting for you to tap into. If so, it’s time to trim that list. Par it down to your top three. These three should be your main choices – the niches you have the most interest in.
Don’t just go by income level (although you should consider that, too). Just remember when your niche interests you, it shows to your customers and when you’re only in it for the profit you can make, that shows too. Choose a niche that you can earn an income in and gain personal satisfaction from.
Once you know which niche is right for you, take a minute and ask yourself, “What’s not being covered? Which audiences are being ignored? Who are the rising stars on the horizon and how will they change the niche?” Since you already have an interest in these niches, you’ll be better at gaining consumers that other entrepreneurs are missing.
It’s very important to choose a niche as a virtual assistant. By choosing a niche you will have an easier time choosing the service you’ll offer, and marketing those services. It will also be easier for you to set your rates if you know who your audience is. But to experience all those benefits, you’ll need to figure out what your niche is going to be.
Choose an Audience to Become Your Clients
Many people who start a business do it wrong. They create or find a product to sell, then they search for their audience. In truth, a successful business owner will first choose the audience they want to serve, and then develop their services and/or products based on the audience. What type of people do you want to work with? Be very specific about what you want.
Get to Know This Audience
Who are these people? What do they do for fun? What kind of business do they run? How do they get clients? How do they accept payments? How do they go through their day? Knowing how they run their business will help you know how you fit into their business. For example, do they have a newsletter? Do they speak in public? What is entailed in each of these things that you can do?
List the Skills You Have That You Enjoy Doing
When listing your skills, do not list every skill you have if you hate doing them. List the things you know how to do, or are willing to learn how to do, and want to do, and like to do. After you make the list, decide how they fit in with your ideal audience or client. Those will be your services that you offer your audience.
Who in This Audience Needs Your Services?
As you make the list and match them with your audience, narrow down the services you’ll provide to the ones they want to buy and where they need what you have to offer. There will be a specific narrow portion of the entire audience that needs and can afford to pay for your services.
Get Training to Fill Gaps in Your Knowledge
If you have gaps in your training that you should fill to better offer your ideal client the services you want to offer, find that training. There are so many places today online and offline where you can take a course and learn what you need to learn. As you learn new things, you increase your value to your clients – as long as what you’re learning fits in with their needs.
Set up Your Packages and Watch Scope Creep
One issue that can pop up when you set up your packages is that clients may start asking for services that you do not offer, nor want to offer. Do not start offering these services just to get the client, unless it’s something you really want to do.
You have a few choices: you can outsource, or you can refer the client to someone else. Working with the niche you chose in the beginning, offering the services you have the skill to do and want to do is where you should stay to be happy with your business.
Network Where Your Clients Are
Once you have worked out who your audience is, find your clients by going to where they hang out. Networking with other VAs is fine, but you also need to network with your audience often to be able to market well to your niche.
Finally, keep up to date on your niche so that as things change you will keep up. Today, your audience may be using AWeber.com for example; tomorrow they might be using another program to do the same thing and you’ll need to learn it – either by hiring someone to train you or taking a course.
Be ready to build and grow with your niche. As you learn more, you’ll be able to find your niche instead of casting too wide of a net and not knowing what you’re going to do each day. Or worse – ending up doing things you dislike.
An email course is usually delivered in “drip” mode. This means that whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, part of the course is delivered to those who signed up for it via their email, through an autoresponder service. An autoresponder service like Aweber.com, Mailchimp.com, or another one can get the job done delivering an email course.
Determine What the Purpose of the Course Is
Is this a free or paid course? Is the purpose of the course to encourage your audience to buy something from you when the course ends? If it’s a free course, what will the offer be at the end of the course? If it’s a paid course, how can you deliver exceptional value to your audience and make them feel as if they got their money’s worth?
Decide What to Teach
Teach your audience about or how to do something that is unclear, frustrating or hard to do for your audience. If you’re not sure what this could be, look be ask your audience for the answers. You can ask them directly, or you can find groups where they ask questions. Any question is a likely a good choice for an email course.
Organize the Subject
Choose your topic or question to answer so that you can now organize the subject into subtopics. You’ll want to pick one focused subtopic for each part of the email course. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information at one time. Instead, think of it like teaching one point of a problem at a time in a logical order.
Choose How Long You Want the Course to Be
Usually an email course consists of five to seven emails for free courses, but sometimes a topic will require a lot more than that – especially if it’s a paid course. Decide how long, but more than six to eight weeks might be too long. It’s important to consider your audience so that you know how they’ll deal with shorter or longer courses. Making it too long might mean a lot of people don’t finish, but you do want to give enough information that they learn the material.
Tell the Subscriber What to Expect
Before and after the subscriber signs up for the course, you should let them know what to expect. Be explicit about what is in the course so that they’ll know what’s coming and know what to look for. How many emails will be in the course? How often will they come? Will you send other emails and information to them? Let them know what to do if there is a problem. Probably the best place to do this is on the sales page, plus on the thank you page, plus in the first email.
Format Each Email Similarly
You want each email to look like part of the same course by branding it the same. Use the same fonts, images, colors, intro and exit. Always tell them what you have already told them, and then after the body of the email tell them what to expect for the next part of the course. This will help hone their expectations in a way that keeps them interested and involved.
Make Each Email Simple and To the Point
Once you’ve created a template for your course, it will be simple to fill in the details for the course. Give them one strong lesson each email, and keep the emails on the short side – no more than 700 to 1500 words per email. Otherwise it will be too overwhelming.
Craft Subject Lines They’ll Recognize and Open
The subject line is important because it will be key to ensuring that your subscribers know to open the email. You probably want to put the name of the course and the lesson name inside so that they know.
Finally, give your audience a way to report problems and ask questions. You can do that via a special course email address or by making a private and closed Facebook group only for people who have signed up for the course. In addition, you can use eCourse software to help you make an eCourse without having to know any coding or even have a website.
Link to eCourse software – https://coursecraft.net/
There are many ways to create passive income online today – more ways than this one article can give you. Perhaps you will get your creative juices flowing by looking at these ideas for making passive income online.
1. YouTube Channel
Creating a YouTube channel to make passive income can take a lot of work. But, the video you make today can earn money for you forever, or at least as long as YouTube continue to do things the way they now do it.
The best way to proceed is to come up with a good idea that your audience will enjoy and try to put up as many videos as you can each week, no less than one a week. With YouTube, consistency is the key. A good example of a high earning YouTube Channel is Mother Goose Club which earns millions a year.
Link – https://www.youtube.com/user/MotherGooseClub
2. Busy Niche Website / Blog
A busy website or blog is a great way to earn passive income. At first you’ll have to work extra hard getting up the right content, and finding the right products to promote. You won’t be able to join an ad network other than AdSense until you are more popular, but it won’t take long if you work at it daily.
A good example of a blog that earns good money is RealitySteve.com. You don’t have to create something about celebrities to earn a lot of money, though.
3. Kindle EBooks
You can write and publish Kindle eBooks for passive income. It’s easy and free to publish on Kindle. You can write the books yourself, or you can truly make it passive by outsourcing it to someone else to do. A man by the name of Ty Cohen makes millions via Kindle publishing. There are more, so that means it’s possible.
4. Develop an App
Take a clue from Ty Cohen and create apps too. You don’t need to know even one bit of code, because you can find a freelancer on a site like Upwork.com to do it for you. Then you will promote the app to your audience. The app will earn money for a long time if you create the right kind.
5. Create an ECourse
With all the simple software that is available now, you can take your idea and create a course in no time. Try using a system like LearnDash.com, or Udemy.com to promote and sell your course. Look up LMS or “sell your eCourse online for money” and you’ll find plenty of ways to do it.
6. Develop Information Products
You can write or use digital video to create information products to promote to your audience. In fact you can put them on ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and other affiliate networks to allow others to sell the product too for a percentage. This is the fastest way to start making passive income, because technically you only need sales pages and not full-fledged websites to promote.
7. Membership Website
If you have knowledge that others want, you can put it behind a membership wall and collect a monthly fee for those who want to join. Some good examples of memberships that make money are Writer Help Wanted, and the membership community Living Plant Based. Any idea that you have can work as a membership community.
Writer Help Wanted – http://www.writerhelpwanted.com/
Living Plant Based – http://www.livingplantbased.com/
8. Become a Niche Affiliate Marketer
There are many products already created that you can start to promote now. You can go to ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com and other affiliate networks to find products that have affiliate programs that are ready for you to promote. Simply use proven systems to promote their products, and you can be making passive income in no time.
While the beginning of creating passive income is anything but “passive,” the point is that once you start creating and marketing these products you will stop the treadmill of trading hours for dollars. Instead of being limited by how much time you have each day, you’ll be able to sell your products to as many people as you desire.