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 Work at Home Moms > General Internet Marketing Articles > How to Choose an Online Business

How to Choose an Online Business - It's Not About Your Products. It's About Your Target Market.

Recently, a subscriber wrote and asked:

Q: How can I select an online business? What kind of criteria do I use?

A: Well, there are lots of factors -- but let's chat about business opportunities for a moment because I know many moms like to go this route first. If you want to join a business opportunity, don't jump in without thinking. If you want to do business ONLINE, you want to make sure the business opportunity allows you to do that.

If you're going to choose a direct sales or other business opportunity ensure that you are allowed to:
  • Advertise and promote online. You'd be surprised at how many companies don't allow you to do this.
  • Create your own website and promotions. Some companies may allow you to advertise, but won't allow you to create your own website for the company. You need to be in complete control of your marketing plan, so you can have a unique website and target different markets with your products.
  • If you aren't able to create your own website or promote online freely, you will be limited to the time-consuming and less effective online promotion methods like online parties & person to person networking.

Side Note: Networking & Chat Room Parties are NOT The Most Effective Way to Sell Your Product Online

I certainly do not dispute the importance of networking and relationship building...but you're a busy mom. You can't rely on sitting in a chat room or meeting people on a message board to make all your sales. You've got a house to take care of, kids to play with and all kinds of responsibilities.

The Internet allows you to reach and build relationships with multitudes of people all at once -- but without your own website you can't:

  • Write your own website copy to appeal to a specific target market

  • Optimize your website to get traffic from search engines

  • Effectively build a targeted mailing list of prospects

  • Create a presence that is uniquely your own and allows you to add that personal touch to your marketing and relationship building efforts.

 

You also want to make sure the company is:

  • Set up for online ordering. Yes, you want to be able to create your own market targeted websites, but ultimately, the company should be able to process all your orders for you in an automated way. You don't want to set up your own shopping carts or process orders manually.

But enough about business opportunities because...

This is the most important thing -- whether you choose a business opportunity or business from scratch:

Let’s back up a second and understand that you are not looking for a PRODUCT to sell, but rather a MARKET to sell to. This is the best advice I ever received on choosing a business and that advice came directly from Frank Kern who is absolutely brilliant when it comes to finding target markets. He says that you need to do the following:

> Forget about products to start with. Don’t start by trying to decide what products you are going to sell online because products don’t buy from you --- people do. So, you need to focus on a target market of people first.

> Make sure that this target market is passionate about this topic and more importantly, that they pay good money to pursue their interest. Don't try to sell people who may be passionate about their interests, but don't spend money on them. Go to where people spend money regularly.

> Check out where this target market hangs out – On message boards, email groups, etc. See what they are talking about. Check out Yahoo Groups, Google Groups or search for "message boards" or "forums". What problems does this target market have? What problem could you solve? Set up a survey to have them ask you questions about their interests.

The fact is...you need to understand the people you are selling to in order to sell the right products to them.

So, if you're thinking about that business opportunity selling toys -- make a plan of who you'll sell them to. Don't just say "parents are my target market" because all parents are different and are motivated to buy for different reasons.

Think how you can provide exemplary service to private daycare centers;  family doctor's offices; parents who homeschool; or public elementary schools. Those are 4 different markets I just mentioned (and they're just examples - I didn't do any market research. You'll need to do your own). Start with one and learn everything you need to know to provide them with the service they need.

The key is -- market research, market research, market research BEFORE you get started. Once you've got your market figured and you're ready to get started, please consult our free How to Start an Internet Business tutorial.
 

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