Offline vs. Online businesses

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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and patpitchaya

Before you decide to start your own business or follow an opportunity that has already been established, you’ll want to consider certain factors of the business: How much time you want to invest, how much money you can invest, the type of support system available to you, and the market to whom you want to pitch your wares. You may have a love and passion for accordions, but if the market isn’t there, it won’t do you any good. You’ll want to pick an industry that people are interested in, and will flock to, in droves!

Brick and mortar businesses are costly. Plain and simple. You have not only the physical location to think about, (rent, utilities, insurance) but also the hiring of employees, stocking merchandise, marketing and promotion, etc. Even if you have a specialized skill that you would like to make an income off of, (ie: dentist, chiropractor, etc) the ideal business is one that will allow you to make money while you’re not working. If you’re a dentist, but not in the office to clean someone’s teeth, you won’t get paid for it.

In my opinion, there are really only two industries that routinely cater to a mass audience, and can run in an owner’s absence:

Consumables: Food, Gas, Toiletries

Shelter: Apartments, Homes, Condos

If you are going to have a business offline, I’d recommend one of these two. A well-placed grocery store, gas station, convenience mart is gold in any economy, because people will always need to eat, fill up their gas tanks, and buy toilet paper. Even better if you own the property that the store is located in …which leads us to Property Management.

Real Estate is usually a good investment…if you have the intention of holding on to it for a long time. If you have the capital and credit score, “now” is always a good time to get into real estate. But don’t just fall in love with the property, fall in love with the numbers. If the numbers make sense: your costs vs. what you’d earn, then it’s a good investment. There are a ton of people and programs out there that claim to help you learn the real estate market. “Guru’s” like Dolf de Roos and Robert Allen made millions in real estate and now teach others how they did it. However, they don’t necessarily know your market. If you’re interested in real estate, offer yourself up to a local investor to learn the ropes. It’s not a quick way to earn wealth, but you’ll most certainly learn to avoid pitfalls along the way. Whether its rental homes, apartments, condos, or even office buildings, you’ll be able to earn residual income with real estate, and make money without having to put in a 9-5 work day.

The Internet, however, has made it possible for nearly anyone to have their own business. The overhead is low, you don’t need a lot of employees, and its very easy to manage. You’ll still have marketing and promotion costs, but they’ll be significantly less, especially if most of your marketing is done through e-mail. The most attractive thing about an Internet businesses is that it can be run virtually without you being there. There is the set-up time, and maintenance, but mostly, sites are user-driven, and open 24 hours a day. You don’t need to be present to open the doors or ring up sales.

In the online world, keep in mind that people will spend money on 4 things, guaranteed:

  1. Health and Fitness: people will always be looking for the next diet remedy, wrinkle cure, or ways to circumvent illness
  2. Love and Relationships: how to find a man, how to keep a good woman, how to raise responsible children, how to care for the elderly
  3. Money and Employment: investing, real estate, getting a better job, dealing with coworkers, getting out of debt
  4. Hobbies: toy trains, woodcarving, music, theater, art, pets. These are smaller niches, but still profitable if you can find one with a good size following

If you have a passion in one of the above categories, you can learn how to create a site that will attract customers and bring in substantial income. Not just through the sale of products …remember, you want things to be automated. If you like to create baby scarves, it’s not going to be much fun when all of your time is spent shipping and delivering instead of creating.

Check out our resources page for links to good quality products, training, and resources to help get you started.  Open your mind, start brainstorming, and get going!

 

 Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company.  Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!

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