The majority of the startups that have developed into successful companies in recent years started as online businesses. Why? Because the majority of the target group can now be found right there – on the Internet. Due to the advancing digitalization in many areas, you will also find the most potential here. A successful online business can look very different. Whether online shop, blog, affiliate partner or social media business, many different strategies and business ideas can work very well if you know how to set up your own online business. In this article we want to show you what is important here, what you have to consider and which ideas are suitable for an online business.
Are you toying with the idea of starting your own online business? Then you are exactly right here. In this article you will find information about starting your own online business. In this article we answer these questions, among others:
- Why start an online business?
- How do I start my own business?
- How do I build an online business?
- What are the possibilities and ideas for starting an online business?
- Can you start an online business without money?
- Building an online business: how do I start?
In order to start an online business, you first need to start planning your business. Regardless of whether you have already started your own business or are still employed – you should never just start and see where it takes you. Your time, money and energy is far too valuable for that. That’s why we want to go through the first steps with you and show you why concrete planning for your self-employment is the be-all and end-all for your success.
- FIND A BUSINESS IDEA
The first step in building an online business is concretizing your business idea . Do you already have an idea or are you still looking ? There are people who absolutely want to be self-employed and are therefore looking for a lucrative business idea. On the other hand, there are people who discover a gap in the market, develop this idea further and the idea of self-employment emerges from it. Either way, you should take the time to develop a business concept, talk to other people about it and get initial industry information from expertscatch up. The better you know your way around the niche and the more specific your business idea is, the easier it will be for you to develop a working strategy from it.
But how do you know that an idea can really be a successful business idea? You have found a working business idea if it meets these three factors:
Your idea solves a real problem.
The idea suits your founder personality.
Your idea meets a market big enough for your company to make a living from it in the long term.
- BUSINESS PLAN AND MARKET ANALYSIS
If the idea is already very concrete, you can write down your strategy in the second step. Your idea then becomes very real in the form of a business plan . And that is exactly what is necessary to go from planning to implementation. In a business plan you not only formulate your idea, but also create a market and competition analysis , calculate your finances and necessary investments. Define your target group and also think about where you want to be in three to five years. Normally, business plans are used to attract investorsand convince financiers to invest in the business idea. But a business plan can also just be for you, give you orientation and structure and perhaps draw your attention to certain issues that you would not have thought of before.
What we want to say to you: Bring your vision to the point and formulate your goals SMART – that means specific, measurable, accepted/attractive, realistic and terminable.
- KNOW THE TARGET GROUP
Even if you have roughly defined your target group in the business plan, you should pay much more attention to this chapter. Because the success of your online business depends significantly on your target group. If you can’t address them properly, whether linguistically or in terms of the channel, you won’t be able to sell your products, services or offers either. Therefore, you have to take a lot of time for your target group analysis and collect as much data as possible. How old are your potential customers? What is your profession? Where do you live? And what are their interests? The more precise your analysis is, the more targeted your communication strategy can be with regard to advertisements , social media or e-mail marketing.
Building an online business: the requirements
Now comes the exciting part. Because everything that is important is planned, your vision and goals are specified and lashed down. Now you should go directly to the implementation. From now on, your entire focus is on achieving your vision. And if you have now done all the preparatory work, you know exactly where to go. In order to finally start, however, you still need a few prerequisites – both technical and strategic. That’s why we want to go through the most important points with you at this point.
WEBSITE OR ONLINE SHOP
Logically, everything starts with a website in order to be visible at all. But also to get in touch with customers first and to implement one or the other experience directly. Depending on whether you sell products or offer services, you must also create an online shop or have it created. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be tech-savvy, because there are numerous providers of shop software that enable easy handling using modular systems and also focus on your personal designadjust. In addition, you can of course also work with open source solutions, but for this you should have a little more programming knowledge. But you also have many more options when creating your shop and are much more flexible.
A possible alternative to website building is to buy an existing website . The advantage is that you are directly visible and can get in touch with potential customers from day one.
If you can’t be found on Google, you practically don’t exist. Therefore, a website is elementary, especially if you offer services, enable knowledge exchange and offer basic information about you and your online business. Your website is the flagship or your digital business card , with which you can convince at the first contact. Here, too, you can consider using a modular system, using a somewhat more complex content management system, or even having the website programmed separately. Just like with the online shop, the website must suit you and your needs and you should ideally be able to use the system.
PLAY THE RIGHT CHANNELS
Once you have created your website or online shop , you must also be represented on the right channels as an online business. Unlike a restaurant, local boutique, or hair salon , no customer is going to just walk by and “take a look”. You are exclusively on the Internet with your online business and there you have to draw attention to yourself – and at the same time stand out from your competitors. That’s why you have to think about which channels you should play on.
On the one hand, this can of course be the social networks, such as Instagram , Facebook , YouTube or LinkedIn . On the other hand, you should also think about your visibility on Google. Here you can use “ Google My Business ” or – depending on the industry – special business directories. This is where you can see whether you really have in-depth information about your target group and whether you are actually reaching these potential customers with your marketing strategy. This data is mainly for placing ads via Google AdWordsand Co. particularly important. Ultimately, what matters is that you find the right channels and not to be present on every portal and platform.
Marketing also and above all includes brand building. But how can you build your online business as a brand ? To do this, you must first formulate your values and beliefs. What does your online business stand for? What do customers get from you? What is your entrepreneurial vision? Not only playing with emotions and symbols is particularly important, but also the added value that you can offer your customers in different ways. Everything should go hand in hand and run like a red thread across all channels: the corporate design , the logo and also your company values and characteristics.
E-mail marketing can be particularly helpful in order to bind your customers or prospects to you quickly, to keep them constantly up to date and to inspire them for certain promotions and offers . You can use newsletter tools for this and send your customers informative messages at regular intervals.
PLAN YOUR FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS
You should also take care of organizational and administrative tasks early on. Take care of your insurance, legal issues – and a suitable bank for your business account. It is worth comparing different account models here in order to be able to make the best decision in the end.
Deutsche Bank * offers three business account models for this, which are adapted to the respective different needs, starting at EUR 12.90/month. You can get advice from experts and have other advantages:
- debit card included; Credit card from Classic account incl.
- Withdraw cash free of charge at over 50,000 ATMs worldwide
- Inexpensive paperless bookings via online or mobile banking
- Digital mailbox for your bank documents
- Access to the financial planner
- Subaccount too bookable
- Data interface for tax office or auditor
Your business account is ready in just a few steps, so that nothing stands in the way of your business idea.
Building an online business: what are the costs?
The costs of running an online business may seem relatively low at first, but they can also increase. It is really difficult to give a flat rate because there are different providers. Nevertheless, we want to go through all the elementary cost items.
Costs may initially arise for the creation of the website or for the online shop. Because if you use ready-made modular systems or a programmer, you probably have to pay a monthly subscription fee for it. There are additional costs for operating the online shop , not to mention additional fees for the payment methods and licenses offered . In addition, you should also consider the costs for marketing measures, possibly for additional staff or for legal advice .
If you offer products, you even have to consider the warehouse equipment and necessary hardware. Where do you store your products? Do you have any products at all or does the whole thing run through an external manufacturer? How do the products get to the customer? Do you pack your products yourself? To do this, go through the entire production or sales channel so that you don’t overlook any cost items. If you have already formulated a complete business plan at the beginning, you will have already thought about this point in detail.
Build an online business: 5 great ideas to start your own business
Building your own business works very well. Because the online world holds a lot of opportunities for you as an entrepreneur. In the virtual realm of unlimited possibilities, you can not only carefully test your business idea – you can also look for opinions, criticism and inspiration in different ways. You can tweak your business faster, change processes and scale your concept. So that you can now get an assessment of which online business you can start your own business with, we want to give you a few ideas.
1ST IDEA: ONLINE SHOP WITH PRODUCTS OR DROPSHIPPING
If you make products yourself, you can sell them through your online store. You also have the option of building a dropshipping business . Here you sell products through your shop, but the order goes directly to the manufacturer, who takes care of shipping the products. This type of online business has gained popularity in recent years because it can be implemented relatively quickly.
But let’s start at the beginning. The dropshipping business model involves three elementary parties:
The sellers: As a seller, you manage your shop and try to generate as many potential customers as possible. When an order comes in, you contact the wholesalers and pass the order on. Your profit is the difference between the amount the wholesalers charge for the product and the amount the customers are charged.
The end customers: They buy the product in your online shop and do not know whether they will receive a dropshipping delivery or not. Translated, this means: Nobody knows that you did not store the goods yourself.
Dropshipping providers: They take the actual order and arrange for the product to be shipped. The great thing about it: You don’t have to worry about formalities such as shipping, customs and distribution costs. This is all taken care of by the providers.
Dropshipping can therefore also be described as a type of e-commerce, in which online retailers offer various products in their shop that they actually don’t have in stock. So if the customer likes an item and wants to buy it from you or orders it, you do not ship the item. It is the wholesalers who send the product to your customer. You yourself have no physical contact with the product you are offering. Dropshipping therefore offers you a decisive advantage over retail: With this business model, you no longer have the problem of stock and you don’t have to worry about its completeness. You don’t even have to send your offered items and still collect the money for it.
BUILDING AN ONLINE BUSINESS WITH DROPSHIPPING: A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE
The online business of two Austrians can be cited as an example. In the early days of their entrepreneurial activity, Andreas Koenig and Alexander Pecka decided to conquer a small niche market with a toothpaste dispenser. They set up an online shop and marketed their product there. After all the failed marketing strategies and no sales, they realized that this niche was just too small. So what did they do? They expanded their product selection. Andreas and Alexander offered almost 40 products from different industries through various wholesalers to simply test which areas worked well. Almost all areas were represented: kitchen utensils, baby items, beauty products and pet accessories.
Irrespective of the fact that the different wholesalers also resulted in different margins and thus a significantly higher administrative effort, their customers did not really know what they were really getting in the shop of the two entrepreneurs. There was no concept, no brand essence and no clear target group. A failed project? No.
They changed direction and went back to a niche, with products that also sold the most in their – I’ll say “general shop” – too. pet accessories. From collars to toys to skin care products for dog, cat, mouse. They realized that this niche shop was much more compelling and had a story to tell. As entrepreneurs behind this shop, they seemed much more credible, redefined their target group and were able to address them more specifically. Ultimately, this was also reflected in sales. They separated from some suppliers and were able to focus much more effectively on their core business. A modified, nicely prepared and emotionally designed shop also had a positive effect on sales.
WEBINAR: BUILD YOUR OWN DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
Would you also like to set up your own dropshipping business? In our brand new webinar, we will tell you how you can use the tried and tested business model of dropshipping to earn a share of online sales in the strongest industries.
Market analysis: Current developments in online trading + 3 digital strategies on how to find a lucrative industry for your dropshipping shop in just 10 minutes
Find out how you can completely outsource warehousing, shipping and even the products (!) with this serious business model – and all without any investments!
Learn how to create a high-conversion online shop quickly, securely and free of charge using the proven dropshipping model
Bonus: 4 hacks so that your competitors’ customers only buy from you and you generate a 3- to 4-digit monthly additional income
2ND IDEA: ONLINE COACHING WITH ONLINE COURSES
If you have built up sound expertise in a certain area, you can become self-employed as a coach with online courses. Webinars , live coaching and digital workshops are possible , for which you do not need a lot of equipment. An attractive website with a registration form, a lucrative members’ area with valuable content, a camera, some lighting, a microphone and an editing program can already secure your first sales. But the most important thing is, before you actually start a webinar business, that you think carefully about which niche you serve and what exactly your positioning is. The more specific your expertise is, the better you can tailor your webinar to your target audience.
What exactly will you do with online coaching? Even if it sounds simple: Your main task is to provide advice. There is no magic formula or enigmatic code that creates successful and in-demand professionals overnight. What separates bad experts from good ones is passion and the will to inspire people. Experts in different industries are more in demand than ever and ensure a consistently high level of success if they deliver good results. But how do you deliver good results? What makes experts so successful? Quite simply: As a successful expert, you have in-depth knowledge of a relevant subject area. You can give concrete instructions that your customers can work with and solve their problems. This is a key success factor.
BUILDING AN ONLINE BUSINESS AS AN ONLINE COACH: A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE
At this point we would like to show you the online business of Hermann Scherer as an example. Hermann learned the trade of retail salesman and supported his father in founding a grocery store. But the bigger the shop got and the more employees had to be managed, Hermann realized that he was reaching his limits. He was wonderful with numbers, but not with staff. He didn’t understand effective leadership. So he decided to seek help and took part in coaching to teach him how to communicate with employees and how to lead them successfully. Already during the course he noticed that he actually had a natural talent for coaching.
At the age of 33, while looking for lucrative jobs, he discovered the speaker industry, which he believes pays a disproportionately high expense allowance for a relatively small service. He did the math: For a half-hour to one-hour stage appearance, speakers can charge many times what other coaches receive for three times the duration. He then started his new job with just a few hundred euros of capital.
Due to his experience in business administration and consulting, his topics were broad and equally interesting for many people. And here he quickly realized how he could get his money: through company events. Because the main turnover in the speaker industry is generated with non-public events. So he specifically sought out companies, wrote to them, congratulated them on sales developments, for example, and at the same time offered his lectures. And it was precisely this persistence and strong will that led to the long-awaited breakthrough. Through his enthusiasm, motivating words and his very own way of communicating with people, he ended up exactly where he wanted to be:
WEBINAR: BUILD YOUR OWN WEBINAR BUSINESS
Do you want to become profitable quickly and easily with the new No. 1 tactic webinars? And build a high-quality lead list at the same time? Then this brand new webinar is for you. You will learn how to build your own webinar business in 5 steps. Without any prior technical knowledge!
What you will learn in this webinar:
The practical workshop: This is how you build high-revenue webinar funnels for EVERY offer and generate masses of valuable leads
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a convenient extra income or a large online business: Webinars are the safest strategy for MORE sales on the Internet. Find out now how you can earn money with the No.1 tactic of the most successful online marketers
The 5 resources you need for a convincing webinar: Create exciting & sales-boosting webinars to be as successful as the professionals – and even completely WITHOUT a studio or technical knowledge
The absolute secret weapon to really lead EVERY business to success: Websites alone are currently no longer sufficient to earn money online. So learn how to convert more visitors into customers with customized webinar funnels
- IDEA: VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE OR FREELANCE WORK
You can also offer your skills and experience to paying customers. For example, companies and startups can book you as a virtual assistant . If you have strengths in the administrative area, this type of self-employment can be really lucrative. As an alternative to office work, you can of course also build up an online business with other skills and abilities. If you have special skills in IT, web development, graphic design or writing , you can offer your services to private customers or companies on an hourly or project-based basis. Again, all you need is your laptop. This gives you the opportunity to start your online business without seed capital .
In order to work as a virtual assistant, no specific training or participation in a course is usually required. Nevertheless, the more skills you demonstrate or acquire, the higher the chance of generating new and recurring orders. The most important prerequisite is the use of a PC or laptop and the usual office applications. First of all, you should think about where your strengths lie, what you are particularly good at and, above all, what you like to do. You can then offer these activities as a service. Customers often train you in various activities. In this way, you are paid, so to speak, for learning something new, which you can in turn offer to other customers.
4TH IDEA: AFFILIATE PARTNERS
As an affiliate partner of companies, you can become self-employed if you have a certain reach . Here you work with sales partners and market their products. The aim is therefore to sell third-party products and receive a commission for them. Whether via a blog or social media, certain services or products can be advertised using different channels, so that the customer is led to the sales partner’s shop via a link.
Haven’t heard of affiliate yet? You certainly already know various affiliate businesses, even if you didn’t know the name of the business model. Have you recently visited a product comparison site to find the best price for your new washing machine, hiking backpack or hotel for your next vacation? And did you then follow the link to the cheapest offer? These are often affiliate links. I’m talking about comparison portals like Idealo or Check24. Test and topic portals such as the technology website CHIP are also very popular. Whether vacuum cleaner robots, SLR cameras or smartwatches in the test, links to the products are included in the reports and forward you as the reader directly to Amazon, Saturn or Mediamarkt. And CHIP earns a commission on it.
BUILDING AN ONLINE BUSINESS WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING: A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE
Because this all sounds very theoretical, we would also like to give you an example at this point and tell you about Christoph Hein. Christoph first came into contact with affiliate marketing about twelve years ago. Back then, coupon blogs were all the rage. By chance, Christoph became aware of the exciting topic and was determined to ride the wave of success. So he dealt intensively with how exactly one builds a website and runs a blog. Over time, Christoph was able to attract more and more visitors, who helped him earn a lucrative extra income that even exceeded his training salary at the time. Over the years he worked for various employers in the affiliate business, dealt with link building, among other things, and soon realized that he, instead of strangers, also wants to advance own projects. So he spent almost every free minute building and growing his own affiliate business.
His first successful project was Gintlemen.com – a website on which Christoph published numerous reviews and information about gin, tonic, cocktails and bar accessories. At its peak, it registered 6,000 website visitors, most of which came from Google’s organic search results. Every month, Christoph received over 100 inquiries from manufacturers, producers and distilleries asking him to present and taste their products with him.
It didn’t take long before he found a new project: Angelmagazin.de . The idea for this project came not only from my own passion for fishing, but above all from the idea of an interactive map. On it, people with disabilities can find fishing spots that are easily accessible with a wheelchair. Because there was hardly any information about it. And with that, Christoph struck a chord with the target group and also developed a unique selling proposition. He quickly realized that the topic was received with great gratitude, many inclusion media, including the German Olympic Sports Confederation, reported on it and gave him even more visibility and reach. That’s why he was already able to make lucrative profits. For 2021, the commission turnover is in the middle 5-digit range.
WEBINAR: BUILD YOUR OWN AFFILIATE BUSINESS
Do you want to set up your own business quickly and efficiently and enable a passive stream of income? Without start-up capital, without programming knowledge, without own products. Then this webinar is just right for you, which will be held by our CEO Thomas Klußmann.
In this webinar you will learn the following 3 steps:
Step 1 – How to create a money-making website for free(!) in less than 15 minutes without any prior knowledge.
Step 2 – You will learn how to easily generate sales with publicly available advertising material. We’ll show you where to find them and how to embed them on your website (pay careful attention here and you’ll never have to spend money on a programmer again).
Step 3 – Traffic Hacks: We’ll show you how to attract visitors to your website and earn your first €1,000 within just 30 days.
5TH IDEA: INFLUENCERS
Also and especially as an influencer you can become an affiliate partner. If you already have a sizeable community behind you, you and your platform will be exciting for many companies as an advertising partner. One usually becomes an influencer via channels such as Instagram , YouTube or TikTok . Depending on the industry and niche, you can earn good money as a micro-influencer with just a few thousand followers. Here, too, you don’t need much at first, apart from a good camera, an editing program and a certain charisma and enthusiasm in front of the camera.
If you want to get started as an influencer, you should consider a few important factors. Therefore, here are the six best tips for getting started so that you can become a really successful influencer:
1st tip: Find your niche topic as an influencer
- Tip: Set your basic focus
Tip 3: Develop your content strategy
4th tip: Be active and interact with your followers
5th tip: Build your own business network
- Tip: Check your influencer strategy regularly
But how much money is really possible here? With influencers there is no flat-rate income, because each influencer negotiates his own contracts and decides individually about a cooperation. In general, the earnings of the influencer largely depend on the reach, but the industry also decides on the amount of payment. The rule of thumb for the calculation is: Influencers earn around eight to ten euros per 1,000 followers for a certain number of published image posts.
This means that with 10,000 followers you can earn up to 100 euros per post. On the other hand, if you publish a video, between 500 and 1,000 euros are possible for 15 seconds and 10,000 followers. The regular customer principle then applies, because if your business partners can increase their sales through the cooperation, they will continue to work with you in the future and pay higher amounts.
Conclusion: An online business must constantly develop
So you can see that there are some areas where you can already build an online business without money. It is important that you keep in mind that your business must evolve with emerging trends and requires a lot of attention. As your community, customers, and competitors evolve, you must respond quickly to change and be ready to break new ground.