If you want to work for someone all your life, well then, you’ll have to get a job (or you’re probably working at one already). But, if you’d like to break free from your job, make more money for yourself and have the freedom to do whatever you want then, I’d suggest you start your own online business.
Now you may be wondering what kind of online business should you start or what should you do, there are plenty of options.
Certain questions like this always come to mind:
“I don’t know what my business should be about?”
“I don’t have money to start my business”
“What if my online business fails?”
“I don’t have resources to fund my online business”.
I’m sure you are looking for answers to these questions. Starting an online business can seem unclear to you in the beginning. But in this guide, we’ll go over 6 steps to starting a $1000/Month Online Business that will make things clear for you.
We’re not talking about building a startup or a company which has so many employees, we’re going to be building an online business right from home – with just a laptop and internet connection.
Here are the 6 Steps we will cover:
Find A Profitable Idea.
Validate Your Idea.
Identify Problems In The Niche.
Identify Solutions In Your Niche.
Create Products (As A Solution).
Let’s go into detail so you can understand how to go about starting and building your $1000/month online business.
1. Find A Profitable Idea.
This is the first step to starting a profitable online business.
Finding a profitable Idea should not be hard if you approach finding that Idea by asking the right questions.
I will always advise you to start an online business around things you love to do and enjoy doing so much because you will not give up on things you love to do.
Here’s how we will go about finding a profitable Idea. We’ll go over an exercise that will help you bring out all the ideas onto one whiteboard and then we’ll pick out the profitable ones you can choose to build your business around.
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#1 Write down a list of things you like to do.
Write down at least 10 things you like to do on a sheet of paper. It can include even the dumbest things you like to do. The idea here is to get your Ideas out so we can work on them to see if it would be a great business or not.
I’m sure you enjoy watching NetFlix, or amazon prime, researching about travel destinations, talking about celebrities and movies, cooking a great meal, maybe you enjoy putting up a great party for your friends, or you enjoy talking about something you love. Just listing them down will help us uncover all great things that make you uniquely you.
#2 Write down a list of things you pay others to do.
Write down at least 10 things under this category. Every day we all pay for so many things. Starting for rent, gas, electricity, fuel, transportation, food, utilities, fun, etc.
Listing them out not only help you know what you’re spending your money on but also helps us with this exercise of finding a profitable Idea. List out 10 things you pay others to do. It can be designing your website, building a social media profile, printing and designing graphics, fixing a computer issue, or even getting someone to buy you groceries. There are countless things you know you would gladly pay others to do or you currently pay others to do it for you. List them down.
#3 Write down things you are really good at.
Write down at least 10 things you are really good at. Start by writing down your hobbies that you are really good at, talents that people would pay you for, accolades you’ve received, standing ovations you’ve gotten so far in your life, mistakes you’ve helped fix for your friends or your company.
Writing down things you’re really good at is what will make you stand out. For example, I play the guitar and I’ve spent years learning and playing it. People would easily pay me to learn from me. Maybe you’re good at chess or any kind of online games. List them down, because there is always someone who is willing to learn from you.
If you’re good at cooking, or giving advice to people, or counseling or giving health-related advice – write them down. Getting your Ideas down on paper is the best way to find out your profitable Idea.
#4 Write down things you’ve recently bought.
Write down 10-20 things that you’ve recently bought or have bought over this year. It can be books, courses or topics you are interested in exploring, physical products, video games, software, laptops, kitchen equipment, things for your home, for your children or family.
Note – Your recent purchases are things that others are creating products and services (value) for which you are paying. Now you need to dig into those things that you’ve bought and Identify what you’re spending your money on and why. If you ask yourself this question, you’ll learn how people are able to offer some kind of value(solution) to your problems.
Everyone’s biggest asset is time and people have needs just like you and me. We pay to get access to materials that help us save time and money. These things can be products that fill our need. So take a look at what you’ve bought online and offline to figure out your list of 10-20 things for your profitable Idea.
#5 Write down products people are paying for.
When you know what people are paying for, you’ll know what people want. Write down 10-20 things people pay for. There are plenty of ideas you can come up with right off the top of your mind.
Your biggest source to know what people pay for is Amazon. I’m sure you have purchased something on Amazon. Go to Amazon and thing pick a category and see the products being sold. If you see customer rating and product reviews, then people are buying products on Amazon. List products you would buy or would like to build a business around by looking at Amazon’s massive online store.
Gathering Ideas is what will help you know if you’ve picked Ideas from products that you can refer to or create for your online business. Write down your top 20 picks from Amazon. Likewise, if you didn’t find something there, you can check other e-commerce websites to find products you’d either pay or someone else is already paying for. Those can be your Ideas.
Never go ahead without completing the above steps.
Now that you’ve collected all these Ideas we are going to just determine if they will be profitable or not. And in order to check if they will be profitable for your business or not, we’re going to take all the ideas and put them in the demand matrix.
I’ve covered the demand matrix in the ultimate guide to starting an online business.
This is how the demand matrix would look like:
But let’s take our Ideas and plot them on the matrix. Just to help you understand it I’ve plotted a few ideas on the matrix.
Now remember all these ideas can be profitable but some of them will require more work, some less, some higher profit potential and some lesser profit potential.
Now that you know where your Ideas fall, you’ll get an Idea if pursuing them will result in more work or more profitability. Our goal here is to get to $1000/month with a minimal viable method. So I’d pick the ones with the low-cost, higher profit potential.
Now pick one Idea that you’re going to pursue and build a business around it.
Let’s go to our next step of the process.
2. Validate Your Idea.
You may feel that validating an Idea may seem like too much work. But let me tell you why it’s so important.
Finding profitable Ideas is one thing, but there is nothing as convincing as someone taking out their card and making a purchase. You need to get people to pay for your product or service.
Here’s how we are going to validate your ideas. I’ve taken a few places with which you can validate your Idea.
#1 Validate with google.
Take your Idea and search on google. If there are a lot of results on that topic that’s a great sign. But here’s how you take it a step further, open all the search results and take a look at their websites.
Are they selling stuff? Are they writing about that topic? Are they missing something in their products? Take a look at what their customer reviews and testimonials are. Doing research like this will help you understand that there are people who are doing business in your niche and Industry. This is a sure sign of Idea validation.
#2 Validate with Amazon.
Visit Amazon and type in the ideas in the search bar on Amazon. You’ll get to see a lot of products. Click on a few products and take a look at the customer reviews and see what people are saying about the products.
Your Idea is validated if there are products. Clicking to check what people are saying about the products gives you an idea about the product, what is missing, what can be improved, If it solved the problem, etc. Get your Ideas verified on Amazon. It’s the best place to check if there is a product for your Idea in the market already. It can be an ebook, or a physical product or audio or video product.
#3 Validate with Flippa.
Now, Flippa is a website where people sell their websites. These are websites covering a wide range of online businesses. Take a look around Flippa and see what people have their website/businesses built around and how much revenue they’ve generated.
Flippa lists niche websites, the total traffic those websites get, the monthly revenue they are generating from their businesses, etc. If you happen to find a website related to your niche or Idea then it’s a sure sign that your Idea is validated.
#4 Validate with Quora.
Quora is a platform where people ask questions and also find answers. A question and answer platform, that is a great place to validate your business idea. Type your Idea into the quora search bar and see if you find questions related to your Idea. If you do, take a look at the answers. Read what other people have to say about it.
If you do not find any questions, make sure you ask the question and someone for sure will answer your question related to your Idea. Your question can be “I’m looking to start a business around X Idea, what is the biggest problem/frustration you have with X topic?” This alone generates a buzz of Interested people who will jump and contribute to your Idea.
Asking questions back and forth will help you find out if there is enough interest in it.
#5 Validate with Facebook.
Idea validation is important because you need to know for sure that there are either products or there are paying customers. And there is no better way to go around validating your Idea than by asking it on Facebook. You can ask the same question you have asked on quora on your own personal Facebook wall or on facebook groups.
Join groups related to your niche/Idea. Once accepted, go introduce yourself and ask the same question about your Idea. If you already find people asking for questions about your Idea/Topic then it’s a great sign for Idea Validation and you’ll also find your potential customers.
#6 Validate with Asking People (Friends, Local Coffee shop, etc)
This is another method you can try to validate your Idea. Get out of your home to a local coffee shop, invite your friends or people you know and explain your Idea.
Ask them questions about it? Their biggest frustrations, their challenges. This will not only help you validate it but you’ll also get clarity on things when they get to ask you questions on how you’ll grow your business. It will open up to new ways of thinking and growing your business.
#7 Validate with a sales page.
If you have a social media following, this is a great method you can try. Set up a simple sales page for your Idea and then ask Interested people to opt-in to it.
The sales page can be a simple headline talking about the product, sub-headline taking how this product will help them and a video explaining it and a “Buy Now” or a “Sign Up” button. Each of them should either lead to a payment collecting system or an email list building system.
3. Identify Problems In Your Niche.
If the profitable Idea is validated you just need to explore more about the Idea. You need to look at the problems people face. Usually, your Idea is part of a niche/industry.
Take a look at the most common questions people ask. You can look for the questions on Google, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, even on other competitor websites.
Since you would have done a lot of research in the earlier phases, you would have already researched some of the complaints and customer reviews. These should help you curate a list of problems people face. The Idea of identifying problems in your niche is that we will be able to find a solution to these problems and create a product that solves the problem.
Take some time to write down the problems you’ve read from people complaining about the products that are in the market, the critical hints and opinions they give about the products, the solutions they expect for products that are in the market.
Learning about this will help you identify problems in your niche and get an idea about how your product can be different. List all the problems you find and try suggesting an alternative to each of the problem.
4. Identify Solutions In Your Niche.
All problems needs solutions and people are willing to pay big money if you can solve their problem. So if you’ve listed down the problems in your niche, you need to come up with alternatives to these problems.
Make a list of the problem – existing products – what solution it gives – your product Ideas.
This will help you differentiate how your products can be a great fit for a similar potential customer. Your solution doesn’t have to be completely different but offers a transformation that addresses the customers’ pain points.
Knowing your Ideal customers is a very important step before you create products. This will help you position yourself and your products/business is such a way that it caters to their needs.
Your solutions have to be specific and unique to the customer. This is how you can come up with your product Idea. Now list all the possible product Ideas and examine the market if your products solve the problem in an even better way.
5. Create Products (As A Solution).
Now that you’ve identified a solution to their problems, you can come up with product ideas.
Here we are talking about Digital Information Products because they are easier to create and also bring in huge profits for your online business.
There are many stages in the product creation process, but the easiest one is to create an Ebook or a Video Course. You can use canva.com to create the graphics, google docs to create the content and Camtasia to record your videos.
All the modules need to be logical. Take them from step 1 to step 10, if there are 10 steps to solving the problem.
The next thing is to design your products and then package it. Set a price that is the actual value you’d like to sell your products.
6. Sell Products.
In order to sell your products, you need a sales page where people can come and learn more about your products and purchase them.
And a payment system that will help you collect the payments from the customer, and product delivery system to deliver the product.
Our goal was to build a $1000/month business.
Create a $50 Product:
- Sell $50 x 20 copies = $1000/month
Create a $100 Product:
- Sell $100 x 10 copies = $1000/month
Create a $150 Product:
- Sell $150 x 7 Copies = $1050/month
Create a $200 Product:
- Sell $200 x 5 Copies = $1000/month
Now that you see it’s a numbers game you can easily get to your first $1000 if you pick the product price you’d like to sell it at and how many copies you need to sell to get to that goal.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this 6 Step process to finding an Idea, validating it, then creating & selling products to solve the problems.