Introduction to 5 rules of rating identified online business ideas
Online business ideas are very interesting for one major thing, the market are free at least for now. Every start up entrepreneur who plan to venture into online business dreamed of growing their ideas into successful brands. Such was the dream if the big names in the internet like Mark Zukerberg, Neil Patel, Bill Gate, Arsh Agrawall, Seun Osewa, Linda Ikeji and host of others. One thing is common to them all though, all this successful business men and women were able to identify the market segment they want to serve (i.e that was unique business idea they have) and were able to focus on that sub set of market thereby making it easy for them to serve better and grow along, hence their undeniable success.
The purpose of this article is not to aid you in identifying a unique online business idea that will fetch you millions in a year but rather to help you avoid losing huge amount of money by showing you the simple rule of rating your identified online business ideas and select the one with the highest chance of survival and rate of returns such that your time, money and energy you will be investing will worth it in the long run. Remember, internet is a vast space that can get you lost easily. But i am here to help and it’s gonna be a long ride. So grab yourself a notepad, a cup of coffee as you start rating your business ideas with the 5 rules i am about to share.
Your online business ideas must find the right target
Several online businesses have failed because of this simple logic because they have not been able to grasp the attention of a specific and reachable market. We have always been saying it here that startup entrepreneurs stand a better chance if he or she concentrates on a particular segment of the market. Take for instance, you might have discovered a brilliant idea which can serve multiple markets but you’ll be doing yourself a favour if you concentrate your efforts on a market segment that has the greatest need.
Example: If you have a business idea of selling religions books and media online or even dating services to teenagers. The best way to identify your right target will be to target “female teenagers who reads religious book and media” rather than trying to serve “all teenagers who have religious interest”. That makes sense right? Yes! Because, the former is more definitive than the later. Fashioning your business website and social media page after this pattern helps you reach the right target in time.
Use feedback to beta test your identified online business ideas
You might think your discovered online niche market is being served well but you will never know until you get feedback from the potential customers or users of your services. This particular rule has a lot to offer you. Firstly, it helps you to evaluate your acceptability in that particular niche and if the feedback is poor, it help you review your online business idea. Secondly, the feedback from the customers of your online business will help you in serving them based on their recommendations. Thirdly, you have chance of improving your services based on customers’ constructive criticism and suggestion. You may think you are doing it right but trust me, your customers may be your business angels with their constructive criticism and suggestion, you might discover better way of doing your business or even discover an entirely new product. So the list could be endless.
Example: As a software developer of a new software or web application, you’ll do better releasing that software for a beta test as this will afford you a chance of getting critical feedback which you can then use to fine tune such application / software and plug any security hole that you may not have discovered if you failed to get feedback through better test. So if you want to be sure you are on the right track, try to get the real world feedback.
Use what your customers / clients want to rate your identified online business ideas
Simple as it may seem, this rule is often overlooked. Startup entrepreneur who know failure could be avoided with the right recipes for successful business understand that ultimately, online business boils down to simple task of providing product and services search for online. If you want to be certain you are on the right track in your identified online business ideas, you must pay your due by doing research on what the customers are looking / searching for. Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines as well as other online service providers have already gathered a lot of information on your behalf as a startup entrepreneur, all you need to do is just tap into that ocean of information, see what your potential customers want then use it to rate your identified business.
Example: In my country, Nairaland is a well sought forum in which a lot of youths participate in discussing one topic or the other. That is an open market for me to also establish a forum, i may say. But are these Nigerian youths ready for another forum? Is there specific niche which Nairaland is serving but which is definitely undeserved e.g. crypto currency, multilevel marketing etc? For instance I may have to decide to establish a forum for academic discussion alone which is focusing on a subset of a larger market. All be it, I’ll have to provide these answers otherwise, my friend your success will be fleeting.
Get to play the money game when rating your identified online business ideas
Every online business ideas need to be evaluated against the cost of building the business. The bane of some online business is under-capitalization.
“Under-capitalization is a sure way to put a tomb stone on all your business fantasies”. Gatewood
That saying is also true of online business. Think of several great and wonderful business opportunities, ideas that have eluded you only because are not prepared to go out and raise the capital required for launch when the opportunities presented themselves. So, if you are thinking of using this rule in rating your identified online business ideas, have this at the back of your mind: “The best business opportunity is the one that matches your ability to deal with and raise attainable cash”
Example 1: If you are into domain name acquisition, you have to have the cash ready for when the opportunity of wonderful domain present themselves. For example, wonderful domain name may be because of its domain age, page rank, back links and other SEO stuffs you may be considering when you want to buy domain name. You need to be ready otherwise; it will be taken up by someone else who is more prepared. Now, what matter is that, will you be able to pay when opportunity knocks on your door either to start a new business or consolidate the one you already have?
Example 2: Sometimes ago, a social media company spring up. Its name is The Facebook owned by Mark Zuckerberg. As the company progress, it discover another wonderful investment opportunity in another domain name facebook.com, the deal was $200,000 and guess what, they were able to take it up and it obviously paid off.
Adopt eagle vision when rating your identified business ideas
By now, everyone knows that the trend at which technology is going will make your head spin 360 degree. So, when you identified a new business opportunity, you may need to ask yourself “What is the likelihood that these businesses ideas can be replace or made obsolete by new technology or social changes. Here you may need to go harsh on yourself for good. Do a SWOT analysis to see how your identified online niche market will survive.
Example: Establishing an online movie store might not be the right choice of business during this era when digital piracy is at its peak.
Now, you have the rules at your fingertips and i strongly believe that, following these 5 simple rules will help you double check your online business ideas and re-assure you that you are on the right track. Are there any other rules you think can help in rating business opportunities and ideas, please share with us.