This is the make it or break it factor to be successful online or offline. You may spend a lot of time, effort and money chasing the wrong idea. This step is the most important step. Frankly there is no right or wrong way to brainstorm ideas, there are only best practices, common sense and of course some luck. Below I will present the best practises on how to develop profitable business ideas based on my own experience and the world best entrepreneurs. Now fast forward to the good stuff.
Create a profitable online business idea by inventing something new
This is rarest and the hardest of them all. Like Thomas Edison who developed many devices that greatly influenced our lives. From the motion picture camera to the long lasting electric light bulb.
If you can picture a certain product or service that would make people lives’ easier, then you are on business.
• Tim Ferris Did this. The Author of the world phenomenon “The Four Hour Work Week” Where he preached to live an awesome lifestyle while putting your business on autopilot! He is a master hacker and he managed to outsource his life and his business very cheaply. He has built a huge passionate follow who are ready to help him sell or promote his products and he gives them his mind, body and soul. He gives presents, free info and help as much as he can. His blog went to rank around 6000 most visited website -among millions- in SIX MONTHS !! If you have something special, unique and awesome please do it.
Create a profitable online business idea by fulfilling a personal need
If you needs a product or a service, be certain that there are other people who are searching for a solution for that exact same problem.
Personally when I was a project manager at one of the biggest engineering firms. I had to self-study every single day and night to be able to compete and sustain my edge at that level and to deliver projects on time, under budget and at the highest quality standards. Self-learning was not easy and taking courses and workshops were both time and money consuming.
• My first online business was an E-learning hub for professionals. filled with articles, audio and video training and discussion boards. I added more value by giving them assignments and research work to further solidify the learning experience and make it as practical and as close to real life as possible. I developed it further and created a membership area for different niches like: Project Management Professionals and Marketing professionals … etc. Professionals would post their most urgent questions and problems and collaborate with other on how to solve them. They would share their experience in their current projects pointing positives and well as negatives. And exploring alternative ways and solutions to try at their next project.
As you can see I took a simple E-learning portal and turned it into a thriving community filled with passionate professionals who are sharing their ideas, experiences and recommendation. They sat goals and worked hard to achieve them. And we congratulated each other for the completion of our goals.
We were such a beautiful little community.
Do you have a current need? Write it down. It maybe your next big thing.
Create a profitable online business idea by making people lives EASIER
We are in love with the easy way. We go to Google to find a quick answer and we ask a friend for a recommendation.
We want the easiest and the shortest route to our goals.
If you can develop an idea to make people lives easier! They will love you for that.
• Google made our lives easier and now we can find exactly what we need in a blink of an eye. And they are going that extra mile every single day from local search, blog search, Scholar search, image search, movie search, news search and every other kind of search you can think of.
• Mint Made our lives easier in terms of managing our personal finances. They develop free and premium software to help people control and manage their budgets more efficiently. They were one of the fastest growing companies in the world and they were featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Money magazine as the best tool to manage your personal finances.
• Aweber when CEO and Founder Tom Kulzer was a sales leader for a computer hardware firm in the mid 90′s he noticed that leads were falling due to lack of proper follow up from the sales agents. He went on his way and started Aweber the best email marketing solution I have ever used and the number one in the scene right now.
Create a profitable online business idea by upgrading a current idea and make it better
Not everyone has the vision to spot a growing trend or a specific need. So it’s easier to develop and upgrade a current business idea and make it better than the original one.
• Google did this. When they witnessed that search engines were merely displaying search with no clear standards. They developed a search engine that displays results based on user preferences and history by exploiting cookies. Try to search for any term and make your a friend search for the exact same term with different computer and you would find different results as Google scans your history and browsing behavior by a very complex Algorithm and displays the most relevant results for you. They grew and became the number one search engine and the number one website on the internet today.
• Tumblr did this. When 21 years old David Karp saw the growing interest in Twitter and Blogs. He combined the best of both worlds. Many people loved to share on Twitter but the 140 characters and the limitations were an issue for some. Others wanted a platform to express themselves freely but Blogs were too technical or too serious for them. The young genius made it and established Tumblr where you can share easily like Twitter but with the powerful features that Blogs only have. Tumblr now is the 35 most visited website on the internet today. And the future looks awesome.
Create a profitable online business idea by offering unbelievable service
Sometimes we can’t figure out a new business idea or an upgrade to a current business model. Well the best thing to do is to choose a business model you like. Study it and differentiate yourself not by lowering prices -I am totally against this strategy btw- But by offering unbelievably good service.
• Zappos Did it. They started by offering great shoes for sales on their website like the hundreds of thousands of other websites. But they took the customer service to limits never seen before. They would sometimes send you flowers or a present or a voucher at your birthday. They may send your products by speed delivery at no additional costs to you and you would be happily surprised. Their customer service would speak with you on the phone as long as you need explaining every detail over and over. Actually there is a documented phone call that lasted for 8 hours! This is how far they took it. The Result? Now they are making over a billion dollar in sales each year! They are the biggest shoes retailer! And their huge customer base do all the promotion and advertising work for them because they were happy and impressed.
Create a profitable online business idea by entering a very specific niche
A niche is a group of people sharing a specific interest, hobby or career. You can take a large business idea and break it down to it’s niche components, study each one and build a business around one niche.
• LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world. They took the Facebook concept and simplified things. They did need millions of teens, housewives and TV stars. They chose professionals and entrepreneurs and they built a website specifically designed to serve them.
• Pat Flynn who is one of my favorite bloggers of all time did this when he first started with his LEED exam training website -It’s a certificate in the Architecture world-He targeted Architectures who want to take the exam and built the best study guides to help them understand the materials and pass the exam. He passed the exam himself first so he knew what does it take to pass it. Result was over 200,000 USD in gross sales in his first year and he is doing much better since then with his awesome SPI blog.
You can do this. Analysis the big businesses and break them down. Find what would be an interest for you and build a website around it. As an example I may consider analyzing LinkedIn itself and see the small components inside. Well you may start a “young professional social network” or an “Executive level social network” or “project managers social network” Decide first. Brainstorm how can you provide an awesome fulfilling experience for your audience and then build a website to do this and more.
Create a profitable online business idea based on your passions and fears
Same concept here. If you are passionate about something. There is a good chance that others are in love with it too. If you are totally scared about something you may research and learn to figure a solution and build a website offering that solution. Or simply a website that offers some sort of support group for whoever suffering from that fear. Trust me it works.
Write down your passions, what you love to read about, listen to, or watch. Your dreams maybe? Or maybe your fears! Write them down. Then rewrite them again. Pin them and look at them everyday. Add or delete. I assure you would find something interesting.
Example: I love racing games! I may go and build a need for speed fans website offering latest news and game hacks. I may then offer a simple eBook selling my very best tricks to beat the boss in the game! Figure yours it maybe as simple as that.
I hate bugs! I completely hate it specially ants. I may build a website and post my latest solutions to get rid of them! Organic solutions maybe! Then present them in an ebook.
I love working out! I am a 14 years athlete and I practiced everything. I DID start a website based on how to lose weight for the business professionals. I offered straight forward advice for people who can’t afford sever dieting or hours of training. And it worked out NICELY!
Create a profitable online business idea by being weird!
Yes this is not a typo. Although this is not my thing but some people are flooding their bank account with this
• Tucker Max Ps: Please note that his stories are NOT for everyone. They are uncomfortable for many. Please don’t read on his blog if you are easily offended. He is a playa and he wanted to document his adventures in a book. Well every publishing house refused to publish it. He did not give up and he built a website and published his stories for free so everyone can see them. Within a few months and with smart marketing his traffic went over the roof This captured the publishers attention and they contacted him offering generous contracts to publish what it seems to be unrealistically popular stories. He did it.
• Million Dollar Homepage If you have ever asked me if setting a website and inviting people to give you money just for putting their logo in a homepage! I would say this will never work! Where is the added value? Well I am wrong this home page collected payments to put brands on the home page “to own a piece of the internet”
Other ways to create a profitable online business idea
If your creativity let you down. Here are some other ways to earn an income by starting an online business.
• Web hosting reseller: With a fixed monthly fee you can start selling web hosting service. This can be a profitable business model if you can attract lot of traffic. Will cover this in future articles
• Review website: Review anything that you are interested in. And offer some Affiliate links. You earn commissions on sales made by your links. Will cover how to be a super affiliate in a future article.
This is the only article you would need to find about your big idea! There is not right or wrong way. As you saw some unrealistic businesses made money. You will never know unless you try. Please stop reading about how to generate profitable ideas for your internet business and start doing what I have told you above.
Just grape a pen and a paper -No laptop please- and go through each method described above from inventing something to upgrading a current business idea to embrace your passions and fears or targeting a very specific niche.
Go through each one, brainstorm each one. Write it down. Pin it. Visualise it and you would find your answer. Sooner or later and this is my promise to you.
Some people would argue that they need to test the idea profitability before they start. Well some people agree and some disagree. I disagree personally. Simply because if you as a person needed something or facing a problem or a certain fear. Be certain that others feel that same way too.
If you are inventing something never done before this testing would do you little good. Ordinary people can’t visualize your idea, so their responses would never give you an accurate answer. Example is when they invented the phone. People never imagined this would be possible and thought their lives are perfect. They invested the mobile phones and now people can’t imagine how they lived without them and now they lives are perfect, now they can talk in the street! They invented the smart phones and now you are connected to your social network, your business and to everything.
Idea here is that people can’t imagine things. You educate them to accept the new technology. As long as it makes their lives easier they would be more than happy to listen.
I heard that the late Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of Apple, didn’t believe in market research. With his revolutionary ideas that redefined what technology is capable of. People were unable to keep up and give a clear thoughts about it.