Tips for Running an Online Business From Home

Running an online business from home is the dream of many entrepreneurs. They imagine having the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want. It’s also one of the few businesses that has virtually no overhead, meaning every dollar made is a part of the profit.Unfortunately, many attempts at running an online business from home result in failure. Take these tips and put them to work and you’ll be much more likely to succeed.Find a Market, FirstIf there’s no one to sell to, how can you ever make any money? Before you ever commit to creating a site or selling a particular product, you’ll need to make sure there is a market full of customers with an interest in your niche. How can you do this?Start by searching the internet looking for active forums. You can find forums on just about anything – from being a pizza delivery guy to building model railroads. If you can’t find a forum, newsletter, or some other sort of group where people with an interest in the topic gather to discuss it, drop the idea and look for another.Without a market, you won’t be able to make any money.Identify Places to AdvertiseOf course, if you’ve already found a forum, newsletter, or any other source where those interested in the subject can gather to learn more about it, you have a place to advertise. Unfortunately, it’s not always cheap (or even possible) to do so. Instead, turn to social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter to see if you can identify places where you can market your company.Pinterest tends to have a female-oriented focus, so if your niche relates to women in any way, it’s a great place to promote your business. Facebook and Twitter are a bit more generic in their scope, covering just about anything you can imagine.Once you’ve identified this place, you need to study the interactions of different users with interests in your niche. Look at the pins, likes, and tweets that they prefer to share. Formulate your own marketing strategy based on this information and you’ll be on your way to success.Up-Selling, One Time Offers, and SubscriptionsThis is how you can turn a potentially profitable business into a never ending stream of cash. Don’t just sell one product and leave it at that. During the checkout process, you should offer each of the following: An up-sell – an upgrade or additional product that compliments the first. Think about burger joints asking, “Would you like fries with that?” It can help you make a lot more profit on each and every order.
One Time Offers – this is a special discount or access to a product that only comes at the time of checkout. It introduces virtual scarcity, and your customers are more likely to buy if they know they won’t have a chance to come back and get the deal later. Combine it with an up-sell for mega profits.
Subscriptions – when you buy a magazine in the checkout counter at the grocery store you’ll find about five offers for a subscription. Magazine subscriptions lock people into an annual contract that produces revenue over and over again for the publisher. Offer some sort of subscription for your business, and you’ll generate predictable, recurring streams of revenue.Maintain Contact with All CustomersNo, you don’t have to personally reach out to each and every customer and see how they’re doing. You do, however, need to set up a mailing list that keeps reminding them of why they love your company so much. Send out useful information each and every week, and eventually they’ll start looking forward to receiving them.Occasionally, you can promote your special offers and new products. Once your mailing list reaches a certain size (typically more than 5,000 targeted subscribers) you can even sell ad space to other internet businesses who are looking to market to your demographic.Be careful with this, though, as many will unsubscribe if your list becomes nothing more than a vehicle for promotion. By using all of the tips in this guide, you’ll find it easy to keep running an online business from home.