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The world is currently going through tough times and no one is immune. However, like other pandemics, COVID-19 will see its end. But before then, a lot is going to change, including the way we do business.
Unprecedented mass layoffs, furloughs, and job cuts triggered by the Coronavirus outbreak have immeasurable consequences affecting all layers of human existence. Social distancing obliges people to maintain a non-productive distance between partners. Lockdown keeps colleagues and staff away from office sites. In all this chaos and confusion, the Internet brings good news.
As the world struggles to eliminate or put the disease under control, how do you create a business online without the high cost?
I have put together four ideas for you to examine. This post is not meant to elaborate on these ideas and give you step-by-step instructions. I just want you to know that there is something you can do to create a successful digital business.
4 solid ideas to start a digital business amid COVID-19
#1 – Start an eShop
Electronic Commerce has been around for decades and Internet development has made it even more accessible. Retailers are able to create and run successful eCommerce shops without heavy loads on their wallets.
While setting up an eShop may sound daunting and confusing, digital shop building apps give business owners user-friendly platforms to build full-blown online shops with payment, inventory and delivery facilities.
I’m actually a tech guy but I found that starting an online store with the intuitive Wix Ecommerce platform was going to make it snappy for my second project. However, I won’t be using it for the third project.
I have also worked with Woocommerce eCommerce website builder on many of my Client’s projects. A plethora of professional themes and plugins and ease of use keep Woocommerce on the list of many marketers.
Shopify is another leading website builder allowing users to easily create eShops without the heavy tasks of tech know-how. Nevertheless, I personally do not have any experience with it. So I will be giving it a try in my upcoming men’s shoe project.
There are many more all-in-one eCommerce platforms, but I recommend you take a closer look at any of these I have mentioned. You should be able to create an online store, accept payments, and manage your inventory all from a single platform without ever worrying.
#2 – Drop shipping, White-label Reseller and Affiliates
Drop shipping, Affiliate and Reselling are three different ways to create an eCommerce business without having to deal with headaches of product creation, maintenance, delivery and after-sales services.
In a drop shipping business, you generate sales but transfer your customers’ orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
To start a drop shipping business, you’ll need to educate yourself on the business and sign up to platforms like bigcommerce.com, shopify.com, alidropship.com, etc.
In the Reseller business model, you buy products in large quantities, re-brand, fix your own prices and resell for profit. A good white-label reselling example is in the web hosting industry where well established institutions setup reseller packages for users who want to take advantage of the industry and resell the web hosting services under their own brand or business name.
Affiliate marketing is an attractive marketing model capable of generating six figure income for its users. It’s a simple business whereby you promote products of another company and earn commissions.
This should not be confused with reseller or drop shipping business. Drop shipping is more about dealing with physical products. Reseller goes with white labeling and rebranding. Affiliate is just about promoting the product the way it is and waiting for the product owner to pay your commission.
#3 – Info-product (ebooks and courses)
Creating and selling info-products has been one of my main sources of income. The best part is you do not really need the heavy investments.
All you need is the hot idea to develop into a product that commands profit. Info-products are eBooks, online courses (Video or text), MP3s, MP4s, etc aimed at educating or giving out useful information to users or readers.
Recording videos or MP3s may not be the thing you feel comfortable with, but creating an eBook is quick once you have an idea of what to write about.
#4 – Start a coaching business
This is closely related to the point above. However, instead of turning your know-how into an info-product, you are paid to have teaching or coaching sessions with your customers. While info-products like eBooks may open up more opportunities to make more money (recommending other resources using your affiliate links in the eBooks), setting up a coaching service allows you to price more, up-sell and make more money.
The coaching business brings you closer to your clients, creates stronger bonds and establishes you as a leader in the industry.
As a coach, you will be able to expand and create info-products, connect with more leaders in the industry and build a stronger business profile.
Promoting your digital business
Creating any form of digital business may not really be a big deal. Getting the business in front of your customers and clients is what makes the difference. Once you have your business set up and ready to sell, content Marketing will certainly be the most recommended way to bring your business to the market.
This is simply a marketing model where you produce content aimed at marketing your business. Generally, you do that by creating and running a blog, creating and running a YouTube Channel, creating and running Social Media accounts, etc.
SEO and your digital business
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is what it takes to make your digital business or your eShop show up on search engines for specific search terms. Whatever business you want to set up online, you should always think of driving traffic from search engines.
Search engines drive the most targeted free traffic. If you want to see your conversion through the roof, you will have to hire some SEO experts to handle the search engine aspect of your online business.
Many marketers have failed because they try to do it themselves. At the end, they don’t get it right and everything falls out of their control.
Everyone with an Internet connection can start a digital business. The Internet has opened up different business opportunities. You may need some capital to begin with but this isn’t going to cut off your arm. Pick any of the ideas above, do some more findings, and get started!