To preface, I should start out by saying I am currently attending a class at Brigham Young University – Idaho. This class’s sole purpose is to expose its students to online entrepreneurship.
I’ve wanted to start something like an online business for some time now, the problem comes in not having the motivation to get started. It’s really hard to think about starting up your own business in the middle of full time school and full time work. However this class is pushing me to do it. Another challenge I have been facing is trying to find a business that I can actually make successful, and profitable (and not just a way to get a grade). Currently my wife and I are both working full time to pay for our mortgage and feed ourselves and whatnot, but we rarely go into the next month having more in the bank than we did the month before. I’m hoping to change that.
Some of the first things we went over were the different types of business models for the web and what some of them entail. Our teacher also shared the success stories he has from some of the graduates from his class, which we all took as a great boost. People had actually become successful through this class. We discussed idea generating from brainstorming, problem solving, and passion to figure out the best way to choose a business/model. There was some debate as to whether it’s best to choose the model, or the item or service being provided first, and I believe the majority chose the latter. We learned how to use Google AdWords to our advantage, it is a great tool for finding the appropriate Google search terms to promote our business. AdWords tells us how often a particular word, or set of words, is searched in Google over the last year. It tells you how high the competition is for those key words, and can even give you the estimated number of clicks you will receive.
The class also has covered where to find, and how to handle, affordable, bulk merchandise if we went the route of selling goods. The three major sites we covered for such merchandise are: Alibaba.com, globalsources.com, SmallVolume.com, and gowholesale.com.
Everything we have covered so far (and I imagine from here on out) is new to me, I had no idea what went into starting and running a business, and I’m sure I still don’t. But I will learn.
We have all been given a spreadsheet to fill out with 20 potential business ideas, and all the relevant information that pertains to each, to help narrow down to the which business will work best for us. I have already done quite a bit in the spreadsheet and see that it is an extremely powerful tool, that is one of the most important things I have learned/gained since starting college.
Here are some other pages that we used in class to help us understand starting a business, and deciding on an idea.
- Entrepreneur.com 3 pointers for Choosing an Business to Start
- Opportunity Recognition
- Choosing a Product or Service to Sell
- Creative Brainstorming Techniques
- Creating Campaigns with Keyword Planner
- Brainstorming Business Ideas
- Russell Brunson and his Secret Magic Box
- Internet Business Models
- The Ultimate Master List of Revenue Models Used by Web and Mobile Companies