If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard an idea for a business or website… I’d probably have somewhere around $5.75.
I’m not sure if that was a joke or the truth.. whatever…
Seriously though, there are a couple important philosophies to follow when starting a website or a business:
Quick note: Only read this if you want to be successful.
Whether you want to impact the world, or make money and be profitable.. or (especially) BOTH.
Really looking forward to some comments on this one.
#1 – Riches Are In The Niches
Make sure your website or business caters to a niche market.
Service or product, just make sure you’re serving a niche.
Why? – Easy: it’s easier to #winning (for the future: that was a Charlie Sheen joke).
Do you want to compete with GE, Microsoft, or Home Depot? No, you want to compete with a few companies that you can easily differentiate yourself from.. or better yet, you want to compete with… NO ONE (Blue Ocean Strategy)!
Long story short: It’s easy to gain (or create) market share and differentiate yourself in a niche.
#2 – Monetization
Have you thought about your monetization strategy? You gotta love when someone pitches a business or website idea and you ask: “How are you going to make money?” … crickets chirp … “that’s just lovely.”
I participated in Startup Baltimore (where people with ideas and skills meet to bring an idea to life in one weekend’s time) – half the ideas hadn’t even thought of how to monetize their idea… that blew me away.
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t HAVE to make money — you can provide a service that betters the world (or community) and operate as a non profit company – that’s fine too.
The Most Important Part of Monetization
Actually, you don’t REALLY have to know EXACTLY what your monetization strategy is up front (I might get yelled at for saying that).
Monetization strategy is definitely very important… but two sound concepts (or focuses) always apply and if you do them both right, the money will always follow:
- Traffic First: Retail, service, online, product… doesn’t matter. All businesses or websites need to start with traffic & gain a following. Without people digging what you have, you have nothing. If you’re starting a website, get traffic to the site first, make that your only focus… then you can always monetize the traffic later!
(Why do you think Facebook, Twitter, and these other websites are worth so much when they don’t make ANYTHING close to their valuation in revenue (let alone profit (yes, parentheses within parentheses within parentheses, you like it)) … it’s because of their potential (because they have TRAFFIC and a FOLLOWING))
- And to get that traffic or follow… you need to always provide value. Value makes the world go round. No one likes the guy who takes but never gives (if you don’t know that guy, you’re him). If you’re providing serious value, or have an awesome product, you will earn traffic & a following, and a loyal one at that! Brand loyalty is hard to accurately value, but anyone in business or marketing will tell you it’s extremely important. Add value, make the world a better place 🙂
SO that’s it, that’s all I have for starting a website or business and making money. Just a quick disclaimer:
The ideas in this post are breifly explained and come form my experience. I’m not the most successful person in the world (yet, #winning), but I think the ideas are pretty solid for anything getting started with a business or a website.
Please discuss and add your thoughts for the use of everyone reading.