I was sitting down to lunch with a long time friend of mine about 2 weeks ago. This is a friend from high school that no longer lives in the same state as me, but I've seen maybe 3 or 4 times in the past 10 years.
He knows that I've been running online businesses now for several years, and he started to ask a few questions. He does fine in his current full-time job as a sales rep, but the appeal of running his own online venture is something he loves to think about.
So, then he asked the question that I've been asked many times. “I'd love to do what you are doing online. How do I get started?”
We spent an hour at lunch discussing this question. Today, I'd like to recap some of the answers I gave him in hopes that some of you will find it helpful as well.
In a nutshell, I think there are 3 ways that you should look at when considering to start an online business.
Option 1: Start From Scratch
This is how I started. I didn't realize there was any other way.
The basic premise here is that you come up with an idea for a website (or product or service) and you build it. You start with no traffic, no customers, and no revenue.
Over a period of about 5 years I built several niche websites from scratch and was eventually able to quit my job in 2011 because the revenue from these sites had exceeded my day job income. I earned a good portion of my income from adsense on these sites back during that time frame.
|The pros of starting an online business from scratch||The cons of starting an online business from scratch|
The bottom is line that the potential return on investment is the greatest when you build something on your own. However, the downside is that you might build something that never actually makes any money.
You have to decide if it's worth the risk to you.
Option 2: Buy an Online Business
The second option you have to jump into an online business is to buy one that is already making money. This is a great option, and one that I just used when I bought a mom blog earlier this month.
The benefits are pretty clear; however, so are the downsides. You can immediately have a business that is making money, but it also requires significant investment.
|Pros of Buying an Online Business||Cons of Buying an Online Business|
I personally think buying a business can be the right fit for a lot of people. In fact, if you buy the right website, you might be able to quit your job immediately. Many online businesses making over $10,000 a month are sold all the time.
However, you should expect to pay anywhere between 20 to 36 times monthly earnings for an online business, so the initial investment can be significant. And if you make the wrong investment, the revenue could potentially go away relatively quickly.
Online businesses are risky. So, you really need to do your due diligence when you go down this path. If you are interested in buying a business, I would start with these 3 brokerages: EmpireFlippers.com, QuietLightBrokerage.com, and FEInternational.com.
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Option 3: Buy a Pre-Built Affiliate Site
The final option is somewhere in the middle of the 2 previous options. A pre-built niche affiliate site is one that has already been built with all the research and content done. However, the site is still relatively new, so it's not making money yet.
Brand Builders is the company I would recommend if you are interested in buying a pre-built niche site right here.
Brand Builders is run by an experienced team. They go out and find a niche that they know has the potential to make money. Then they do all the keyword research, work with a team of authors to produce all the content, and then build the entire site.
If you are new, or just want to skip the process of building the site itself, you should check out the available sites on Brand Builders here.
|The pros of buying a pre-made site||The cons of buying a pre-made site|
A Brand Builders site is good for someone that wants to skip a lot of the “learning curve”. I know people that spend 6 months trying to build their site from scratch, and after all that time they only have a couple of articles up and are still trying to figure out the proper layout for their website.
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If that sounds like you at all, these could be a good fit.
They other typical buyer of a pre-built niche sites is again, someone that wants to skip right to the promotion of their site. They might have plenty of experience, but the low investment cost is worth the time they will save to just get the site done from day one.
Go ahead and weigh the pros and cons, and then check out the sites available on Brand Builders to see if they are a good fit.
What Direction is Right for You?
When I spoke to my friend at lunch the other day, I was able to discuss with him his individual situation and decide what is right for him. I'm not able to speak with you individually, but I've laid out the arguments for and against some of the options for starting an online business.
At the end of the day, you have to decide whether building something from scratch, buying an existing business, or buying a pre-built site is the right option for you.
Whatever the choice, it's up to you to put in the effort and time required to get started.