- They require a large initial investment
- They push you to work at Low Cost, which will require many hours of work
- They offer a very small operating margin
- They force you to work with an intermediary who gets the best part of the pie
- They are limited to making money with commissions. Not to genuinely help people
That being said, make no mistake.
There are many very attractive online business models.
Here are my favorites.
The best profitable online businesses you should copy
Okay, now that we’ve separated the chaff from the grain, I’m going to focus on the latter. What are the seeds most likely to generate good Internet business?
I have accompanied thousands of students in creating their online business in the last decade. And behind all successful online businesses, there are systems.
What you are going to read now:
- It is based on creating a reliable and recurring system to attract customers online and deliver what you sell also online
- It will help you find the perfect online business for you, based on your talents, experiences, and passions
- It allows you to test your business idea online, and see if there are people willing to pay to solve the problem they have before you have to make a significant investment in money – as is usually done when you set up a traditional business of all the lifetime -.
This method is designed to take you directly to the best online business ideas, which you can assemble quickly, without much investment, and allow you to start attracting your first clients in a matter of weeks, not months or years.
Let’s first look at the best online businesses, if what you are looking for is genuinely helping people to attract greater purpose in your life.
Money is always a second consequence, a collateral benefit of your ability to help many people in your niche. It’s called adding value to the market.
If you add a lot of value, you will generate a lot of money.
The 4 best online businesses to start today
These are the 4 best options you have to create a successful online business.
1. FREELANCING/DIGITAL SERVICES
The idea is to provide a service for your clients, virtually.
You can think of technical services that are sold by the hour or projects: writing, translation, transcription, virtual assistance, personal trainers, nutritionists, psychologists, therapists. programming, web design, copywriting, media buyers, the closing of the sale, etc.
It is a business model very similar to the previous case, but in this case, instead of performing the service for the client, it is about accompanying this client in solving the problem.
All advisory, consulting/coaching services are as follows: strategic consulting, audits, legal services, tax and/or labor advice, executive coaching, life coaching, health coaching,
3. ONLINE TRAINING
It is about training people to acquire some desired competencies with the idea that they can carry out these activities themselves, in their life or in their business.
The difference with the above is at the level of accompaniment. These products are more for self-consumption without much support.
It is a completely different business model that normally arises naturally after having accompanied a target for many years, in one of the 3 previous models.
It is about detecting a common pattern of needs in the majority of customers in a market and building a computer solution to better solve this problem.
The Software is carried in the cloud, and customers can access this service for a very reasonable monthly fee.
Again it is an evolution of the previous model, in the sense that this Software sold as services, allows more people to be able to solve these recurring problems correctly.
In other words, you no longer need to hire an advisor, because you have learned to understand these issues, and the software helps you do 90% of what this advisor did for you.
Coaching vs Online Courses: What is the best business model?
I love the business model of Coaching.
It is one of the best ways to live by sharing your knowledge with the market, and actually helping people to progress towards their personal and/or professional goals.
I’m an MBA alumnus, but honestly, I think I’ve learned more about business in recent years through personal development and coaching. It turns out that it is also much cheaper.
- You can trade fast in the market. It is a service. You don’t need a title, you need to be able to solve a specific problem. Tony Robbins, one of the world’s leading coaches, is not even certified. But he does know how to solve many very real problems.
- You can charge a premium rate. Even more so if you do executive coaching. But also if you do life or health coaching. What is the price of a service that allows you to be happier or healthier? Priceless…
- You get a purpose. You offer time and full attention to your clients. You help them solve complex problems. Thank you. And this gives you positive feedback.
Obviously, this business model is not very scalable, unless you decide to set up your own team of coaches who will run your model as your client base grows.
So we come to the business model of online courses.
It is the natural way to scale from the Coaching model.
With online courses you can:
- Multiply the impact you generate in the market. Your ideas will spread more because the online course allows the democratization of your coaching service, which is more expensive. You impact more people.
- Scale your sales to infinity. You can perfectly serve 10,000 students, during the life cycle of an online course. It is a matter of organization, but it is feasible. And that your students continue to get the promises you make to sell your online course,
- Create once and keep for years. If you choose a theme that never expires (Love, Health, Money) it is like that.
As you can see, these 2 business models do not compete, but rather complement each other.
9 characteristics shared by all successful online businesses
KEY # 1: THE IDEA OF YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS IS WORTH NOTHING
Many look for the most profitable online business, thinking that what defines the success of a business is the type of activity, the business model, the sector, or a growing consumer habit.
It does not work like that.
What is a great deal for someone may be a lousy deal for someone else.
In effect, the idea that you get from your online business is worth little.
What really matters is the execution that you are going to make of this idea.
The key question is:
Are you going to be able to transform this idea into a thriving online business?
And this leads us directly to choosing a theme for your future online business that has 3 important attributes:
- What they – your customers – need (more on this in the next point)
- What you master, to create value and help
- What you love, to spread your enthusiasm to your customers and never get tired
Once you have clarified the subject of your future online business, you also have to think about other attributes of your online business such as:
- What are you looking for: short term money or purpose?
- Do you want public exposure or not?
- What is your favorite content format: text, audio, or video?
For example, if you are only looking for extra money, you do not want anyone to associate you with your business and the written format is good for you, you should better orient yourself to a business based on affiliate marketing.
All the online businesses that I have presented to you like the best are based on the idea that you want to face your clients and that you want to build and expand your personal brand in the market.
KEY # 2: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT THEM
This key is universal, and valid for all types of businesses.
You have to find a real problem, an acute problem, that people want to solve in the short term.
And many online entrepreneurs don’t get it.
- They create a book, their book.
- They create a course, their course.
They spend months alone without talking to anyone until they create this product.
To later realize that nobody wants it.
Be careful with the data, 42% of start-ups close because they have created a solution that the market does not need. It is the leading cause of death for online businesses.
It’s not about you, what you know, or how handsome you are.
It’s about them, your customers.
Your needs, your desires.
And just like you, you can accelerate them to achieve their own goals.
So kill your ego now, because it only gets in the way, when you want to launch a successful online business.
And don’t forget an important detail about your ideal client:
- Wanting to solve a problem is fine
- Being able to do it is better
Yes, I mean the purchasing power of your ideal client.
Choose it – this ideal customer – wisely …
KEY # 3: BLIND PASSION
You are passionate about traveling, having a mojito by the pool, or enjoying the best sunsets with your friends on the beach.
But do you really believe that someone is going to pay you to live off these passions?
Not a joke …
The advice to do what you love the most strikes me as completely misleading populist advice.
The DNA of all successful online businesses is the value that you are able to create in your market.
In other words, your ability to help your customers solve their problems.
This must be the initial impulse of your business.
Then, if you have several options for possible online businesses, you can sort them according to your tastes and the enthusiasm you feel with each idea.
It is a good indicator too, but it is not the most important.
Look, in life, things change.
Nothing assures you that your passion today is your passion tomorrow. Look at your love history …
If your business works because you are able to help your ideal client, your project will evolve, and so will you. Trust me, you will find passion in growing a well-functioning business even further.
And you will find a lot of desperation in an online business that you have launched around your passion… that is not capable of generating clients.
KEY # 4: FOCUS ON CUSTOMERS, NOT TECHNOLOGY
Fundamental… and quite disturbing.
When you consider creating an online business, you think, for some reason, that technology is going to be omnipresent in your online business.
Yes and no.
Yes, in that online businesses use technology more intensively than many traditional businesses.
No, because your role, as the leader of your digital business, is to attract new customers every month of the year. Don’t become a crazy computer scientist.
Because without clients, you can’t do your magic.
And, if the situation does not change, in a few months, you will be in the queues of unemployment, surely with good debt to pay.
The mistake that so many online neo-entrepreneurs make is wanting to automate their business too quickly.
Or wanting to create digital products so that you can generate passive income too quickly.
Or wanting to implement massive online sales actions, selling to hundreds of people at the same time, for example, through a webinar. Too fast, again …
These things are interesting. I’m not saying no.
But not at the beginning, when you start.
They are too complex tactics for your current level of competition.
At first, you have to create an offer and adjust your sales messages.
This is your only priority.
And this presupposes only one thing:
That you are talking to your market every day of the year.
And I don’t just mean writing content and sharing it online.
It is necessary, but not sufficient.
I mean having 1-to-1 conversations with your potential clients, listening to their needs, and tailor your solution to their wishes.
This is what matters to you at the beginning, in the first 6 months of your online business.
In fact, in this initial phase of validating your idea, technology is an enemy.
It slows you down and offsets you.
The only technology you need to launch your business online is a video calling tool and the basic management of some social networks, chosen strategically depending on the type of activity you want to develop.
- Don’t lose focus then.
- You don’t want to become a computer scientist who fiddles with tech stuff all day.
- You want to help your ideal client solve their problems.
- Spend more time, talking 1 on 1 with him, than making technological.
- Ideally, hire someone for the technical part.
- You will do better, and you will enjoy your online venture more.
KEY # 5: TIME TO GO SHORT, NO, THE FOLLOWING
This aspect is also essential.
How long can you go without billing anything in your online business?
Imagine that you have been working 20 hours a week in your online business for 6 months and that you have not captured any clients.
And also 6 months spending $250 / month on online tools.
Maybe also about $1,000 invested in Facebook, without getting results.
Have you already given up?
And now, imagine that in just 60 days you have captured your first customer. And that, in the following quarter, you attract another 5 clients.
What impact are these sales going to have on your confidence levels, your motivation, and also your bank account?
No one can survive months or years without getting clients.
So customer acquisition should be your # 1 goal.
And how can you get customers fast?
Reducing the time to market your solutions.
What can you sell in a matter of days?
- A Freelancing type service.
- A consulting or mentoring service
- A coaching accompaniment
- A face-to-face workshop
And a little more.
Everything else presupposes wasting time creating a product:
- Create an ebook
- Create an online course
- Create a membership
- Create a software
- Create a SaaS
What do you need to sell a virtual service?
Write a sales page.
If you limit yourself to explaining the service (brief), well in an afternoon it is done, and you can roll up your sleeves to go find your first clients.
KEY # 6: IT IS NOT ABOUT MONETIZING AN AUDIENCE
Many will tell you out there: first, create an audience … and then – at 2 years! – you can monetize it.
It is a seductive idea.
But more deadly than Ebola.
Just like before you didn’t want to become a computer scientist, you also don’t want to become a copywriter who produces content every day, 365 days a year.
If you want to make a living from advertising, then yes, you need to write a lot and continuously over time.
But if what you want is to be an entrepreneur who helps clients solve their problems, you don’t have to become a content creator.
You will need to write, but you will not make a living from creating content.
It’s a huge nuance.
Most of those who start from the desire to share content get lost along the way.
Because they are not clear who to write for.
Nor what to write.
You can write for years … and have gathered an audience of people who will never buy anything from you.
Because you attract bored readers who are looking for nothing more than wasting their time reading content that does not produce results.
The idea of monetizing an audience rarely works.
Because when you think about monetizing your audience, you will find that 95% of what you have written during these 2 years is useless.
Why your content lacks the intention that allows you to attract readers determined to act to go after their dreams or solve their problems.
So I recommend you act strategically.
Define your offer first:
- Your ideal client
- Your solution
And then, consider writing to attract people who are really interested in your services.
And since writing is a passive attitude, take the first step and come into contact, 1 by 1, on the Internet, with these people who you know are the ones who need your services.
Life is full of opportunities, especially for everyone who acts proactively.
KEY #7: SELL THE MOST EXPENSIVE FIRST
I know that what I tell you is going to generate a sea of doubts.
Because everyone tells you that you should start first by working for free or selling cheap stuff.
Do the opposite.
Launch your most expensive solutions first.
Because when you don’t have an audience, your ability to generate a lot of sales is nil.
Instead, you should be able to sell something, if 100 or 1000 people visit your website, in a period of one month.
As long as your offer responds to a real and acute need of the market in which you operate.
One sale a month is at your fingertips.
If you sell a product for $7 you will earn… $7.
But if you face your worst fears and offer a consulting or coaching at $1,000.
A single sale is enough to have the month done.
Yes, or yes, you have to learn to sell your services.
That is what it is about when one undertakes digitally, or traditionally, for a lifetime.
But Franck, what if nobody buys this premium service from me?
Well, you will always be in time to create a new, cheaper offer.
And your followers delighted to be able to start a collaboration with you, without assuming such a large initial investment.
But give yourself 3-6 months to sell the ideal solution first.
Because it is better to have few clients who pay you 4 figures per project, than thousands of clients who pay you a miserable average transaction.
More customers = More problems = Less Lifestyle
KEY #8: VALIDATE YOUR OFFER BEFORE INVESTING IN ADVERTISING
I also see a lot of “gurus” advising to invest money in online advertising and to launch.
This is like asking a 3-month-old to run a 100-meter dash with Usain Bolt.
If you are already clear about your mission and how to sell your services on the Internet, of course, online advertising is a good idea to explore.
But if you are launching an online business, investing $500 or $1,000 a month in Facebook Ads is to burn the little money you had saved for nothing.
Advertising is used to scale sales.
Not to find your niche or validate your offer.
Do you think that doing an online advertising campaign is easy when you have never done it before in your life?
When your sales messages or your offer are validated, work better with organic methods (content in social networks and digital prospecting), easier to execute, and close your first projects.
When you have validated:
- Your target audience
- Your solution
- Your prices
- The attraction messages
You can start investing money in online advertising.
KEY #9: 1 PRODUCT, 1 CHANNEL, 1 SYSTEM
Loss of focus for your mind.
And since there is no way to manage it, it is better not to expose yourself to this danger.
So choose the power of one better:
- Sell a single solution
- To a single target
- Through a single social network
- With a single sales method
The best, for me, is a sales system that incorporates a call or a video call, 1 to 1, with your potential customers.
Just implement a proven system and make it work.
Believe me, this is already a very handsome challenge.
Deciding is more important than experimenting like hell, without head or tail.
- Choose your mentor
- Copy your system
- Stop looking at other systems. Turn off the sources of information, it is only noise, now that you have made your decision.