What Business Models Make Sense in 2011 and Beyond

56 replies
I'm stuck and need some insight please. What business models are working online for 2011 and beyond. I'm just not seeing much opportunity to build a real solid business right now, that can still be relevant in 10 years. Can someone please help shift my thinking?

Here's what I see:

1. Content Site - Sure, a little money can be made here and for the true guru, you can do rather well. The big problem here though, is you're 90% dependent on Google for your traffic,and probably even for your ads. That is not a healthy business model to have a single supplier and a single marketing channel, and particularly when they're (gulp!) the same company. So, this can be a nice marketing strategy or a way to other things (reputation building, seed money, etc) but I would not build a business like this, for fear of Google's next update or whatever.

2. Affiliate Marketing - I've seen first hand that affiliate programs are happy to have affiliates as incremental revenue in the short term, to learn their online marketing tactics, then erect more and more barriers to take back more and more market share from them. Meanwhile, the amount of online marketers out there is immense and the cost of advertising is rising daily. Where will the profit margins be in 2 more years, even on Facebook? And that's assuming that leaching off of another business was ever a viable long term business model. Again, this one is good for short term profits and seed money I suppose.

3. SaaS - The toast of Silicon Valley! Build your own hosted software solution that automates a service for someone, a la SEOMoz or RavenTools. Great idea, but it requires a lot more time and money investment than one would think. More importantly, every freaking idea I've come up with (and I've come up with a LOT), I've found at least 5 competitors out there for each, and more often than not, they have angel of VC funding. So how does a single guy compete? There are plenty of success stories on this one in places like Mixergy and Hacker News, but those are the stories of the 1 out of 100 that found a niche and established a defensible position before others caught on. What about the 99 out of 100 who (like most engineers) spent a ton of time and some money building a product, never marketed properly and never got traction? So is that a good model for business then? Not to mention, these are very easy for a larger business to come along and topple; just look at what Google+ is trying to do to Facebook. Now ask yourself what happens if Google comes after you and youre NOT Facebook.

3. Web Production Agency - I seriously contemplated this one thinking it better suites my personal appetite for risk. As I started researching competitors online buy typing things like "magento developers", I was confronted with 3 pages of results that all looked something like this "Magento developers from $18 and up". WTF?!?! Obviously this is outsourced labor and obviously I'm not. Perhaps I could even arbitrage that labor a bit since I know not everyone wants the outsourcing headaches of India, but geeze - the fact that its become THAT prominent is a SERIOUS under current to future profit margins ... isn't it? And besides, I can name two web production firms who've closed down near me in the past year. And I can't think of a single one I've seen hiring recently. Hmmm...

4. Internet Marketing Consulting - Okay, perhaps this one makes more sense? I see more success here. In fact, I saw BlueGlass announced on their blog they're "now accepting clients this month". Okay, perhaps the market is better here, if they've actually been turning people away. And I know marketing is inherently less likely to be outsourced than code ... BUT ... if we're talking about SEO and Facebook and mobile apps etc ... aren't we basically just talking about technical/tactical implementation, separate form strategy which is driven by the client? And if so, perhaps this is equally outsourced and will be in 5 more years? Perhaps the key here is establishing one's self as a high end strategy company - okay, I'll admit THAT seems possible. Be BlueGlass maybe?!?1

5. eCommerce - I attended InternetRetailer this year out of curiosity. But honestly, where's the opportunity in opening your own online store now, if you don't have your own unique product, or some unique sourcing angle? The ability to just source a common product (chairs, TVs, whatever) and sell it for a profit, should be completely extracted from the market by now, right? I'm sure the Amazon's of the world are eating the small guys lunch by now and bidding them out of PPC positions. And if they're not, its a matter of a year or two until they do ... again, unless you have a unique product or can source something unique.

This is an admittedly negative post, but I'm just calling it as I see it, and frankly I feel all the opportunity that I'm seeing that DOES exist, probably will be played out in another 2 years or so, with the quickness things are moving at. The irony is I was a total optimist and had more ideas to pursue than I had time, 5 years ago. But the market I believe has changed immensely since then. I see profound levels of competition, profound amounts of money chasing a relatively few opportunities. It seems every entrepreneur in the whole da** world is starting an online business now. Perhaps then i should be looking to open a restaurant or something instead. lol

So please tell me - is there a business model that makes sense to start investing in *today*? Meaning, you invest now and will have enough time to build and extract sufficient value to justify the effort, before the window is closed?
#2011 #business #business models #consulting #ecommerce #make #models #production #saas #sense
  • Profile picture of the author HarrisonJ
    You mention Affiliate Marketing.

    Instead of being an affiliate, why don't you create a really good product with a really good pitch page that targets a really big market, create your own high-paying affiliate program, and then recruit a bunch of affiliates to promote it?

    Being a product owner is a business model that will always work.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaynycla
      Originally Posted by HarrisonJ View Post

      You mention Affiliate Marketing.

      Instead of being an affiliate, why don't you create a really good product with a really good pitch page that targets a really big market, create your own high-paying affiliate program, and then recruit a bunch of affiliates to promote it?

      Being a product owner is a business model that will always work.

      That is right owning and distributing a product that solves a solution for a specific group of people or a mass market will always work. We all face problems everyday that we wish we could solve by swiping a credit card.
      So you as the entrepreneur have to be able to spot this with accurate precision. But I don't know what your personality is...and what business would suit you.......
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @Ken_Caudill - regarding video production, that's an Interesting point - I saw an interview on Mixergy from a guy doing exactly this and it seems he's doing rather well. I spoke to a company earlier today as well, doing the same (a current advertiser on Mixergy) - they're charging $1k-$1500 per video. Pretty cool but I'm not sure how I could make any money competing against them at prices like that. This is why I get concerned about production as a whole online ... there's so much competition and so much cheap labor around the world, its a very fast race to see who can cut their rates first, unless you either (a) position yourself as really high end, or (b) become famous for your work.
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    • Profile picture of the author georgedinmore
      I can understand these views from you. I was thinking that a few years ago.

      Now i have a blog, in the middle of starting another one.

      Also, i am starting in email marketing - which i think is long over due for me.

      It may seem that there is nothing to do in anything, because everyone else is already doing it.

      However, i do not just rely on Google for my traffic. Article marketing i leave well alone, yes, a blogger that leaves article marketing alone.

      There is social marketing and many other search engines.

      What i would suggest is blogging, build your expertise and branding. Then build from there. Info products and everything comes second, but everyone is different.

      You could go in the direction of info products, then build blogs off that. Find something you feel comfortable in, then build on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author HarrisonJ
    Yep, you've got to (a) position yourself as really high end, or (b) become famous for your work.

    Its hard to do really good work, but you've got to do it.

    There are 7 billion people out there you are competing to survive with. All of them are trying as hard as they can to out-do you.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    > "Create a really good product with a really good pitch page that targets a really big market"

    I've know people who do this. They just don't seem to get much traction to break through the noise. Also, big markets tend to be the mature markets with a lot of already-embedded competition. Not to say its impossible to break into one of these, but it usually takes a serious infusion of capital to catch up and have anything reasonable to offer. Keep in mind your competitor's products will have gone through many iterations and features upgrades by then. I'd tend to believe a smaller niche market is a better way to go, but I guess the risk there is whether there's enough volume. Finding that balance is a bit of an enigma to me at the moment.

    > "Create your own high-paying affiliate program, and then recruit a bunch of affiliates to promote it?"

    Interesting point. Perhaps a few super affiliates will have better marketing chops than I, and get it to break through the noise. Perhaps that's one of the secrets to breaking into an established market a little more successfully.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt.Lake
    Hey there,

    To be honest, in my opinion, it just seems like you're looking for excuses as to why anything won't work. Obviously no-one really knows what the future of the Internet holds, but I can counteract some of the arguments you gave quite easily.

    I'll take two business models you mentioned that I am personally involved with and/or planning to be involved with well into the near future: content sites and ecommerce sites.

    About content sites, you say "The big problem here though, is you're 90% dependent on Google for your traffic,and probably even for your ads."

    If that's the case, then yes, it's not the healthiest business model. But it doesn't have to be the case. What about referral traffic from other websites linking to you, facebook and twitter syndication, partnerships with other sites (guest blogging) and Stumbleupon? There are also networks like Marketers - Increase Traffic to Articles and Blog Posts where you can pay to have your content appear on high traffic websites.

    Then not to mention direct traffic that increases over time if you focus on building a BRAND.

    And as for being totally dependent on Adsense, the same thing can be said. First of all, there are a ton of other monetization strategies... linking to affiliate products, sponsored competitions and sponsored contents, your own products, be it books or membership sites etc.

    And for advertising, if you're achieving high levels of traffic, there are better ways than Adsense anyway. You'll be able to work with an ad agency that finds advertisers for you willing to pay a higher cost per impression, and that's if you don't want to deal with advertisers direct.

    Suddenly this business model looks a little more stable doesn't it? At least in my opinion.

    As for the second example: ecommerce sites. Yes, having your on unique product would be a good way of going about things, but in my opinion there's still plenty of room for small time retailers. You say "I'm sure the Amazon's of the world are eating the small guys lunch by now and bidding them out of PPC positions" but the fact is, there are a lot of people that don't want to buy from the Amazon's and other large, general stores. Add to this it's currently perfectly doable to outrank Amazon in the SERPS and out-ninja them on Adwords if you're good.

    But much like in the real world, a lot of the time customers would rather buy from a small, niche store that specializes in what they're selling, so why can't that be you? In my opinion, there'll always be room for the "little guy". Provided you stay on top of the game of course.

    Anyway, enough from me.

    I just thought I'd type this out as from the tone of your thread, it seemed like no matter what business model was presented to you and no matter how many people are currently having success with it, you'd list all the reasons why it won't work.

    Of course, my opinion on the longevity of these business models could be completely wrong... in which case, I'm screwed
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @Matt.lake - thanks for taking the time to write such a long post. Yes, I am being rather cautious but I'm not sure I would say I'm looking for excuses. I've built a couple businesses over the past 7 but I got pretty burned on the last one, totally under-estimating how much it was going to cost or how difficult it was going to be to penetrate the market. Whereas I use to be very hung-ho, the experience made me a lot more careful to model out the odds of success this time, before rushing into something. And I have to say, after a little analysis, it looks freaking tough out there right now! The few places I see small guys making money (affiliate mktg, content, commerce) just don't look long term viable for small guys. Well, lead gen stuff may be more long term viable though its going to get very competitive. The other stuff though - I see much higher barriers to entry and I'm just trying to be realistic about that so that I choose a path more likely to succeed this time. Anyway, so I do appreciate the conversation for that reason!

    To your points:

    Content - I've either personally owned or been involved in over 20 content-focused sites over the past 7 years. Some have been more successful than others. Two in particular did quite well. But of all of these I extracted a few truths: (a) 90% of the traffic came from Google no matter what inbound links we generated and no matter what content we generated. And (b) you have to break above a certain threshold before there is any viable option to monetize other than Google. I've tried probably a dozen different ad vendors, dozens of well-placed affiliate offers, etc over the years and non monetize better than Google … UNLESS you have volume. If you have volume sure, you can strike some okay deals and that's a game changer, to some degree. But still you're lucky to earn 20% off the monthly float for the traffic you're buying. But if you're just monetizing with indirect ad banners etc, how can you afford to buy any traffic? You can't! Well, unless I suppose you change your model from that of an online magazine to that of a lead gen site that happens to have some supporting content. Then you have a lot more options. But simply writing lifestyle pieces doesn't garner much loyalty or traffic otherwise; you're simply a partner with Google in the great online search for information. I cannot speak for StumbleUpon. i've tried the social bookmarking thing and Facebook and all that before and it drives incremental increases. I suppose if I did seriously low brow link baiting stuff constantly, those channels would work better .. but unless you're a celeb gossip website, users will tire of the constant sensationalism (back to user loyalty).

    eCommerce - Are there really a lot of those people though? I said made that same point to my wife last week and she laughed and pointed out that even my sister who's all about supporting the local businesses and cafes and would NEVER go to walmart, has no problem shopping at Amazon all the time. I can also tell you from two friends I've observed running online businesses, one has done okay but hasn't been able to grow no matter what he does (has his own unique product). The other friend was aggregating and reselling handbags online. He did this for 2 years, was working 12 hour days and was yeah paying his bills and didn't need a day job, but he wasn't exactly getting ahead either. He finally sold the biz and got out and moved on with a job now. He got out 2 years ago. He blamed the price comparison engines and is the one who told me you can't survive in ecomm *long-term* without a unique product or value proposition.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    Best ideas I've heard so far that I'm leaning toward:

    a. Info products - and use clickbank to survey what's working. Then start building out own info product series.

    b. Saas - find a niche that's small enough that big money won't be interested in funding it, then dominate.

    c. Content - Build a mega destination site for something for which leads can be sold at a premium, Leads should hopefully sell for enough that one can afford to buy traffic and thus not be at Google's mercy.

    ... as much as I like the idea of eCommerce, the competition scares the hell out of me. I see it as possible still to enter (though with conservative margins)., but I see the window closing soon, and a small guy being left holding a lot of inventory and getting screwed, by the time you are finally able to ramp up.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    Okay, how about this as two ways to position a web production company:

    1. High End - If you're going to hire Americans and you're going to be based in a large city, I guess the only option is to go ultra high end and try to position yourself as "the best" and work with large clients. The middle tier will get destroyed by the outsourcing, if its not already.

    2. Managed Outsourcing - Another option would be to have a local company provide project leadership and team management, but actual production is in India or wherever. Then you can twist the negative of all those low rates, into a positive. Talk about how impossible it is to manage outsourcing and how they need a management layer if they want to do this. Okay possible I guess. Problem is, I've tried this before and it was a PAIN IN THE BUTT. Then again, I've heard perhaps other cultures provide a better work ethic and honesty than I was experiencing with India. Hire a skelaton team of 4-5 team leads locally, then have a team of 12-15 developers remotely. Still couldn't compete with those $13-18 rates you see advertised on Google now, but its a far cry from the rates of a more traditional web agency. Down side of course - you're positioning yourself to deal with cheap clients who generally are not fun.

    3. Near Sourcing- I heard about this one recently and I find it compelling. Small towns in the mid-west and southeast of the US creating web development companies. Now for those who refuse to outsource again, they still have another lower cost alternative, but now they get a team closer to their timezone and with a better sense of accountability and professionalism.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It seems like affiliate marketing & adsense content sites keep getting more & more challenging to make money with. Most of the recent Google updates have made it more & more challenging for affiliate/adsense sites to rank well organically. And the PPC for those type of sites is tough to be profitable with unless you are absolutely unbelievable at it!

    Ecommerce is a viable option I would recommend looking into. If done right, you can still make a lot of money with an ecommerce store that uses legitimate wholesale suppliers through the dropship model. I have mentored numerous people that are now making 6-figures in profit per yer, and I've personally been making 6-figures a year in ecommerce for over 6 straight years. Not saying all of this to brag, I'm just trying to give you some solid evidence that it's legit!
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  • Profile picture of the author clarktr2
    Multiple streams of income, making sure that not all of them are dependent on the same company (read: Google, FB, etc) for their continued existence. Affiliate marketing, consulting, adsense, dropshipping - get a trickle coming in from multiple sources and you'll insulate yourself from anything that might happens to one of them.

    I'm with the others that say create a product. It's been a solid business model for at least 300 years now. The Internet has removed some of the barriers to entry, which is both good and bad depending on how you look at it.
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    • Profile picture of the author RS3RS
      Originally Posted by clarktr2 View Post

      Multiple streams of income, making sure that not all of them are dependent on the same company (read: Google, FB, etc) for their continued existence. Affiliate marketing, consulting, adsense, dropshipping - get a trickle coming in from multiple sources and you'll insulate yourself from anything that might happens to one of them.

      I'm with the others that say create a product. It's been a solid business model for at least 300 years now. The Internet has removed some of the barriers to entry, which is both good and bad depending on how you look at it.
      Good point. The fact remains we can speculate all day, but nobody really knows where the internet is going (otherwise we'd be busy developing things to capitalize on it ). With that in mind, diversification is about the best thing you can do. When one thing dies off, you're still covered, and maybe one of those diversifications will be in the next big booming sector.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    2011

    how about using the marketing tactics that have been working since the early 1800's

    Find hungry market
    ask them exactly what they want
    give it to them
    Build a big ass responsive list of buyers.

    Viola.

    Oh, and stay away from those 2011 shiney new objects. They will just get in your road. use tried and true marketing principles that have been working for hundreds of years and you can go wrong!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @dave_hermansen - thanks for sharing about commerce. Interesting, so your opinion is its NOT too late to find a niche and make a little sustenance money in the commerce arbitrage space? Yeah, if that's true you're right, I could use that to get off the ground and start building my own products. I've been assuming based on PPC prices, comparison shopping sites, and anecdotal stories from friends, that arbitrage online was dead…unless you're Amazon.


    @clarktr2 - I do agree with creating a product ultimately. What's different now versus 300 yrs ago though - markets use to be local and were constrained by ability to participate locally. Thus, there was generally a fairly healthy balance of supply and demand. Moreover, skills and businesses lasted a lifetime. This is the first time in the history of the world, that we have (a) massive competition on a global scale for just about anything in a given market place (internet) and (b) that due to such competition, innovation is moving so quick, that many business models are outmoded in just 5 or 10 years.


    @Ken_Caudill - I'm actually very interested in your perspective on this, can you please elaborate? I've heard many times from people who are tired of clients and selling hours and how much better it is to sell products, but its hard to find a product so they still with their skill-based labor. By I've never heard it the other way around. Can you please tell more?


    @georgedinmore - your blog suggestion is a good one and something I've already begun planning. Its something I need to do anyway. I just thought of it as a way to develop my professional profile a bit more with personal brand building. Never thought of it as a way to find the long term business plan though. Interesting thought..I'm going to think on this some more.


    @celente - When you say to avoid shiny new objects, do you mean don't sell the shiny new objects, or are you referring to latest marketing tactics/gimmicks (e.g. mobile, social,etc)? Why avoid them?
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by cabbagehead View Post

      @[U]d


      @celente - When you say to avoid shiny new objects, do you mean don't sell the shiny new objects, or are you referring to latest marketing tactics/gimmicks (e.g. mobile, social,etc)? Why avoid them?

      I mean every few weeks someone or somewhere you will see new software or marketing tactic trick that is mean to earn you $30k by next wednesday. Do not fall for that trap.

      There is no holy grail to making money online, as soon as you realise this you will start to make money. Do not create money spinners, hop in a niche build a list, and help people out. That is what you need to do, create a real business not an auto blog or use a tactic that will be dead in 12 months. That just means you are creating a money spinner. You see many warriors in here invest in $297 shiney objects and they get excited they made $500 and then they made nothing straight after! Then they start to wonder why??

      Create a solid business that will stand the test of time. Its worked for us, and that is what you want to do. Try to create a list of buyers, I can tell you that is like having an atm full of cash sitting in your very own back yard.
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        My variation to this has been to find a hungry audience which contains sub-niches.

        Then position yourself as the expert in that area... then create products for all the sub-niches... and easily cross promote them.

        Promoting related products is an extremely powerful way to ramp up the bottom line.



        PS: I honestly no longer believe that one single thing will make it for you, generally speaking. So there is no shame in having some good old multiple streams of income.

        I'd start with the above and then add products and services as you go... rather than try to find the perfect product that will work.


        Originally Posted by celente View Post

        I mean every few weeks someone or somewhere you will see new software or marketing tactic trick that is mean to earn you $30k by next wednesday. Do not fall for that trap.

        There is no holy grail to making money online, as soon as you realise this you will start to make money. Do not create money spinners, hop in a niche build a list, and help people out. That is what you need to do, create a real business not an auto blog or use a tactic that will be dead in 12 months. That just means you are creating a money spinner. You see many warriors in here invest in $297 shiney objects and they get excited they made $500 and then they made nothing straight after! Then they start to wonder why??

        Create a solid business that will stand the test of time. Its worked for us, and that is what you want to do. Try to create a list of buyers, I can tell you that is like having an atm full of cash sitting in your very own back yard.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    > "That is right owning and distributing a product that solves a solution for a specific group of people or a mass market will always work."

    Hmm. Well, I think this is a half-truth. Its true until it isn't. I speak from personal experience. The last big project I undertook was for a very large and very profitable online segment about 5 years ago. And just like a good little engineer at the time, I built and built and built the best and shiniest mouse trap out there (IMO). Problem was, (a) unanticipated network effects that basically rendered me meaningless because I wasn't the hot place where everybody was and (b) by the time I finally built this great mousetrap, customer acquisition costs had risen 300% compared to where I began 1.5 years prior.

    Lessons learned were as follows:
    a) Avoid network effect businesses like a plague, unless you're early to enter the market or have a lot of money to burn catching up.

    b) I should have focused on getting to the market much faster and iterating the product while simultaneously building a following a marketing it. Big lesson learned.

    c) I should have never taken on the mass market, that late in the game. I was NOT an early entrant, and thus I should have focused on a much smaller niche of the market. Its the only way I could have succeeded, in retrospect.

    So, I think the key element missing to what you're saying is timing. Timing is everything. If you're too late and competition has already entrenched, find a sub-niche for which it is NOT too late and for which you DO have a budget sufficient to compete.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    > "So you as the entrepreneur have to be able to spot this with accurate precision"

    Very true and I suppose therein lies a problem. I'm a "recovering engineer" and thus tend to see models very easily, but never quite get what people "really want". The hard sciences are easy for me. The soft sciences are a b****! I've done a number of market tests to validate a few ideas using AdWords and surprise! ... customer acquisition costs are so high I doubt any of those ideas would be profitable .. atleast with Google anyway.

    It seems to me the big key for finding what you're describing is either (a) work with domain experts of a given vertical, until they basically spell it out for you and make it obvious what they need, or (b) take a niche and add a twist by either (i) combining it with another category (an adjvective), or (ii) invent a totally new twist. It seems (Bii) is where the best ideas come from, but those are difficult unless you have that gift. (A) and (Bi) seem easy to systematically walk through given time. I'll give those some thought!
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    To the op any chance you have had good success with any business ever?
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    I just noticed in your first page asking what would still be relevant in 10 years. No one knows that let alone a bunch of people on an internet forum.

    For all we know the ipad will be obsolete in 12 months.

    Why 10 years? The business you start today will look nothing like the business you have in 4 or even 2 years from now.

    There are plenty of businesses which started out doing one thing and ended up doing something completely different.

    You are saying how it is too late to do this and too late to do that and on and on. Maybe just step away for a few days and re-energize. If these posts are an indication of your current thinking you really would be better off working as an employee as you have a very negative outlook for owning your own business. Yes harsh but it is the reality of your posts.

    After you answer the above question I am happy to give you some more incite as to what direction a person could go in 2011.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @PatrickP - Here are a few answers to your questions:


    1. > "To the op any chance you have had good success with any business ever?"

    Yes, I have. I built and sold several websites in the past. A couple were large on a personal scale. Everything I did seemed easy and was successful until that last one where I "went for it" and fell flat. That stung! Thus being careful now.


    2. > "Why 10 years? The business you start today will look nothing like the business you have in 4 or even 2 years from now."

    I've observed two things among my entrepreneurial colleagues recently: either (a) start building the dream company, only for the market to materially change before you recoup the investments, or (b) just make the money while the making is good with simple arbitrage a la Affliate marketing,lead ten etc … in which you make money quick but then suddenly the market gets tight and you've not invested for the future, so you end up getting kicked out of the market by the big boys and you can't compete any more. So, strategically I'm thinking it makes sense to (at least try to) identify those few paths where one can have the best chances of slowly investing in something over time and building, without being the rug being pulled out. Otherwise, you're better off just making a few quick bucks as an affiliate marketer and get out!


    3. > "If these posts are an indication of your current thinking you really would be better off working as an employee"

    You know, I have 10 years experience in web development and honestly from the technical side … I've learned a LOT. But now I look at the market place and I mean hell, with outsourcing and commoditization, that massive investment of time to learn all this stuff was a terrible investment. Had I looked a few steps ahead enough to anticipate the market changes, I could have seen it coming and just focused on building a business, or going into management, right? I guess that's what I'm saying. I fundamentally disagree that we can never know the future of the market - that's intellectual laziness in my book. With enough effort and effective modeling, one can at least increase the odds of putting one's self on the correct track. What's the difference otherwise between investing and gambling? And if entrepreneurship is merely gambling then yeah - I'd be better off being an employee. Odds are we all would! Or statistically speaking, the majority of us. ;-) Incedently, I had another friend challenge me recently on my over-thinking ... but it seems way easier to me to model this stuff out in your mind first and "virtually" find the solutions rather than putting real time and money into the game to learn every fundamental lesson such as these.

    4. > "You have a very negative outlook for owning your own business. "

    Well okay, to be fair- I phrase my question as a challenge to the community I suppose. I'm not intending to say there's no possible way. I know there is and I'm seeking the answers. I guess my goal was to post the details I've become stuck on, hoping a few new perspectives might help me to get beyond those few sticking points. Thinking in a vacuum, as I've been doing, can start to go in circles after a while. Its good to have a community for sure!

    In the long term I am optimistic that yes there are opportunities in online entrepreneurship. I know I'm probably over-thinking it but I guess I'm looking at it like this: if its a small project, what the hell just go for it. I'm currently doing some of these in fact. But I'm ready to plan something a lot bigger now. And with any large plan for which the risks are sufficiently large, you're wise to mitigate the risks as much as you can before starting. And so, I'm trying to model things out, look anticipate what will go wrong and account for those things before beginning. I mean, are you going to just go fly an airplane without knowing what to do if there's wind sheer or turbulance? Its not exactly the same thing as just learning to drive your dad's toyota in the parking lot. So yeah after my last big project fell plat, I see the dangers for what they are and I take them seriously know. Anyway, If I can find a path for which I've sufficiently mitigated those risks, then I've found my path forward.

    So far I definitely agree with the blogging plan and I'm already planning to do this (thanks for the encouragement!). As a tangible business model that I could also be building now, I'm looking at commerce, Saas, and the others I originally posted.

    Hope that makes sense. And thanks to everyone for the thoughts and consideration - the thread has been great so far!
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    • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
      Originally Posted by cabbagehead View Post

      @PatrickP - Here are a few answers to your questions:


      1. > "To the op any chance you have had good success with any business ever?"

      Yes, I have. I built and sold several websites in the past. A couple were large on a personal scale. Everything I did seemed easy and was successful until that last one where I "went for it" and fell flat. That stung! Thus being careful now.

      I may be experiencing the same thing as you.

      Your post made me think that you had fairly easy success with a previous business.

      I think it is similar if a person was a really good runner in high school. Then 10 years later they try to run again and it is so much harder even with what seems like twice the effort.



      I have fallen into what it seems you may have also. I remember how much I made on my last business so the bar is set so high it is intimidating to try again and fearful of failing.

      Maybe you could try not looking so far into the future. I remember when I started my first business my only goal was to make $50 a day then I would quit my job.

      Then some years later I was making hundreds and hundreds each and every day 7 days a week even if I wasn't working the business.

      Now the bar is so high any new business I think about starting seem like so much work for such little POSSIBLE reward sometime in the future.

      Ok enough about you now about me lol just kidding.


      How about some forum brain storming.

      What things do you like to do when you are not on the internet or perhaps things you have done in the past that you have some knowledge about?

      Perhaps a hobby or sport such as hunting, fishing, playing the piano, baking(he I don't know you ), going to the beach, watching football with a bunch of friends anything?

      Pick one and ONLY one.

      Google forums for that subject. Take a look through the forums, doing a search for what sort of products people in that niche buy.

      Think about starting your own company with your own products. Yes actual products.
      You may be surprised how little money you need to get going and ZERO money for advertising. None of the spamming crap either. You find a company to make a couple products which they already make but you put a LITTLE twist on it.

      Your post about making something that was MUCH better than the competition I think is part of the reason it failed. It takes too much time and money to make HUGE changes and in reality it is not needed to attract new customers.

      The engineer in you wants to make things COMPLETELY better and perfect. Please stop trying to be perfect. Better to be good enough and get going for a tiny bit of money then work on a project for 1.5 years spend a ton of money and it is too late.



      Feel free to PM me if you prefer. I am happy to help if I can.

      I HIGHLY suggest the following books. Purple Cow by Seth Godin and 4 hour work week by Farris.

      Not saying you will end up working only 4 hours but he has some amazing info, connections etc in that book. Real websites that you can use for starting a business. Real world stuff not just esoteric stuff some books throw at you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tracey_Meagher
    If you're looking for future proof, I think the closest you'll get is the app market (particularly if you are offering business solutions). If you can get into that market now, and adapt with it, chances are you'll still be running a successful enterprise ten years down the road.

    I know one woman who is in this market and is set to hit half a million dollars this year.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @PatrickP - You're 1000% getting me! Yes exactly, I see things appear 10x harder for 10x less returns. The market use to be so open that you could be sloppy. Now if you're taking any signficant risk at all, you need to know what you're doing and be precise! Or so it appears to me in my current mindset.

    Your point about not looking too far in the future is a good one. I'll admit you got me on this one. Yeah I remember an old Will smith story about building a brick wall that took a year. If he focused on the daunting task it would have never gotten done - he needed to focus on one brick at a time. At the same time though - there's a difference between strategy planning and merely doing a large task which is heads down and you just turn off your brain and "do", right? But yeah, you're right about the engineer trying to get things perfect, I'll acknowledge that.

    yeah I've read both books, though its been a while. I'm very much a Seth Godin fan! Hmm, perhaps its time to revisit those books.

    Thanks for reaching out, I'll send you a PM...
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    Very cool man glad some of the post was similar to your situation. I think maybe information overload is a problem with so much access via books internet etc.

    If you could think back to your attitude when you first started it may help. Mine was starting a business, no business plan, no worrying about making it big, no long term goals, almost no investment. Just loving what I was doing, working a TON of hours but it didn't feel like it and a short term goal to make $10 a day.

    For me when I stopped with all the formal stuff such as a business plan, mission statement Fuuuuuuuuuuuug I actually had the best success I have ever had with a business.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by cabbagehead View Post

    What business models are working online for 2011 and beyond.
    1. Find out what people want
    2. Go get a whole bunch of it
    3. Sell it to them at a profit

    Shockingly, this is the same business model that has worked for thousands of years.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    > "Shockingly, this is the same business model that has worked for thousands of years."

    Haha. You make it sound so simple! Find out what people one - that part is simple. The hard part, particularly in a competitive marketplace, is finding a product that people want ... that isn't already sufficiently supplied in the marketplace. In othewords, which product can I sell, and make a profit? Or even tougher - what product can I sell for a profit, that has any measurable volume?

    I've seen some keyword research tools attempt to approximate effective niches with KPI scores that reflect optimal supply/demand balances, but in my testings (mostly in the b2b space) I've found this metric to be worthless. Perhaps it is more accurate and this whole exercise is easier in the B2C space (e.g. ecommerce)?
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  • Profile picture of the author HarrisonJ
    "The hard part, particularly in a competitive marketplace, is finding a product that people want ... that isn't already sufficiently supplied in the marketplace"

    Every market is already full of products that are all similar, every market is saturated, and the top 10% of businesses in each market make 90% of the sales. You have to figure out how to make a really cool version and get it in front of people before they see all you're competitors products, or make it so cool that people want it regardless of other options available. Remember, when most people go to buy something they buy the first one they come across that looks good, there isn't much time for researching every possible product available. If you're looking for an easy answer, you're not going to find one because there isn't one.
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    Good input Harrison actually contributing to the thread nice!

    I think if you fine niches that are small enough to not attract the HUGE companies you can get your foot in the door over time and make a nice living.

    Quick off the top of my head (I did not plan on doing this so it really is off the top of my head) Name 5 companies you could start with less than $300.

    Lawn cutting. After a few months you could easily expand to having a person help you. You buy a $150 push mower, $90 weedwaker at Walmart. You DO need a car or truck for this. so if you do not have a car you probably couldn't do this. No need for a truck or trailer as you can put the lawn mower in the trunk and use a rope to close it. You get 500 business cards printed up with a company name on it. You go to your chosen neighborhood and write the cost per week on the back and stick it in their screen door. eg. $25/week No need for an edger until you get some income you can use the weed wacker as an edger.
    Supplement company. Google Private label They make 12 bottles of a product for you and label it with your company name. You go on forums which talk about the subject your supplement helps. You become an active poster for a month before offering free bottles of your product if people would be willing to try it.

    Ebay seller Purchase large lots of wheat pennies approx 5000. You break them down to 100, 500 and 1000 penny lots and resell them.
    Website builder using weebly(even if you know NOTHING about HTML you could do this. Actually this costs less than $30 to get started INCLUDING advertising. There are LOTS of people who don't even know how to use Weebly to make a website but want a website. You can easily charge $100 and make a nice website in less than 3 hours. Once you get going if you choose you can outsource this to a virtual assistant.

    Real Estate photographer Purchase a $150 digital computer(hopefully you already have a camera if you are reading this post) OR you can use the ones at the library. You send an email to the 20 smallest real estate companies within 50 miles of where you live and you offer to take pictures of one of their houses for FREE. Once they see your work you ask for a few more bucks and so on.
    I bet I could come up with over a hundred in less than 2 hours.

    I have done these or know someone who has so I KNOW they work. Don't waste your time going to Ebay to prove me wrong. Your time is better spent investigating your new business.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      lol...

      After getting a severe case of IM lard-ass and big belly, I started a home maint / handyman biz part time to get out and exercise a bit more.

      Went nuts and was making $400 per day working about 6 hours.

      Bought my M-I-L's old Camry for $500 and I had enough tools to get going. Then as required I added tools.

      Recession proof biz. But still a good lesson in starting small.


      Originally Posted by PatrickP View Post

      Good input Harrison actually contributing to the thread nice!

      I think if you fine niches that are small enough to not attract the HUGE companies you can get your foot in the door over time and make a nice living.

      Quick off the top of my head (I did not plan on doing this so it really is off the top of my head) Name 5 companies you could start with less than $300.

      Lawn cutting. After a few months you could easily expand to having a person help you. You buy a $150 push mower, $90 weedwaker at Walmart. You DO need a car or truck for this. so if you do not have a car you probably couldn't do this. No need for a truck or trailer as you can put the lawn mower in the trunk and use a rope to close it. You get 500 business cards printed up with a company name on it. You go to your chosen neighborhood and write the cost per week on the back and stick it in their screen door. eg. $25/week No need for an edger until you get some income you can use the weed wacker as an edger.
      Supplement company. Google Private label They make 12 bottles of a product for you and label it with your company name. You go on forums which talk about the subject your supplement helps. You become an active poster for a month before offering free bottles of your product if people would be willing to try it.

      Ebay seller Purchase large lots of wheat pennies approx 5000. You break them down to 100, 500 and 1000 penny lots and resell them.
      Website builder using weebly(even if you know NOTHING about HTML you could do this. Actually this costs less than $30 to get started INCLUDING advertising. There are LOTS of people who don't even know how to use Weebly to make a website but want a website. You can easily charge $100 and make a nice website in less than 3 hours. Once you get going if you choose you can outsource this to a virtual assistant.

      Real Estate photographer Purchase a $150 digital computer(hopefully you already have a camera if you are reading this post) OR you can use the ones at the library. You send an email to the 20 smallest real estate companies within 50 miles of where you live and you offer to take pictures of one of their houses for FREE. Once they see your work you ask for a few more bucks and so on.
      I bet I could come up with over a hundred in less than 2 hours.

      I have done these or know someone who has so I KNOW they work. Don't waste your time going to Ebay to prove me wrong. Your time is better spent investigating your new business.
      Signature
      Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
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      • Profile picture of the author JeffH
        Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

        lol...

        After getting a severe case of IM lard-ass and big belly, I started a home maint / handyman biz part time to get out and exercise a bit more.

        Went nuts and was making $400 per day working about 6 hours.

        Bought my M-I-L's old Camry for $500 and I had enough tools to get going. Then as required I added tools.

        Recession proof biz. But still a good lesson in starting small.
        What type of services were you doing to make that amount of money? That seems really good - $400 in 6 hours. Maybe there are too many DIYer's in my area.

        Jeff
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        • Profile picture of the author sal64
          Originally Posted by JeffH View Post

          What type of services were you doing to make that amount of money? That seems really good - $400 in 6 hours. Maybe there are too many DIYer's in my area.

          Jeff
          I kept it purely for real estate agents and rentals.

          Minimum call out fee is $88.00. Most small jobs take 1 hour max.

          Other jobs quoted at $400 per day based on an 8 hour day. Usually managed to do the required work in 6 as I never stop for breaks.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimjox
    Have you got success with any of this business models ?
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    I guess what the definition of success would be.

    Lawn cutting I did this with my friend then he moved to a diff state and started it by himself just like this. He makes approx 50k per year and works 3 - 3.5 days a week.

    Ebay I did for 9 months and averaged 2.5 K the last 3 months. EXACTLY as described above with wheat pennies. I just checked last month as my friend was looking for a business and you could still do this. BUT as with many people he was too lazy to try it.

    Supplement company currently make approx 3.5k per month after building the business for 1 year. I worked a TON of hours the first 10 months but now work less than 8 hours per week.

    Photography my wife started this way and makes 2k per month working part time. (approx 10 hours/wk)

    After making the post above I would bet I could actually come up with 200 ideas like this which would definitely work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Al
      Nope there are no more chances to make money online any more

      that ship has sailed

      In all seriousness I have to agree with Dave H on e-commerce. Some of my stores have products that are far more expensive than the same ones offered on Amazon and I still get daily sales.

      There are plenty of opportunities to be had online with the right approach and mindset.
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      • Profile picture of the author sal64
        Is that the Eureka flag?

        There are opportunities, and the best part is that the internet gives us access to a whole big market worldwide.

        So in reality, you only need a 0.001% of market share to make good coin.



        Originally Posted by Aussie_Al View Post

        Nope there are no more chances to make money online any more

        that ship has sailed

        In all seriousness I have to agree with Dave H on e-commerce. Some of my stores have products that are far more expensive than the same ones offered on Amazon and I still get daily sales.

        There are plenty of opportunities to be had online with the right approach and mindset.
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      • Profile picture of the author BarryWheeler
        Originally Posted by Aussie_Al View Post

        In all seriousness I have to agree with Dave H on e-commerce. Some of my stores have products that are far more expensive than the same ones offered on Amazon and I still get daily sales.

        There are plenty of opportunities to be had online with the right approach and mindset.
        There are many opportunities to make money online. It's about the right approach as you've said and the dedication to make it work.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @PatrickP - pretty cool list.

    To your point about small niches - yes, Paul Graham (YCombinator) famously said to do things that don't scale, to avoid being taken out by a big competitor. Seems like solid advice. A for your examples:

    1. Lawncutting - wow, I had no idea! I use to feel guilty for how cheaply our guy was cutting our grass at our last place. I had no idea they're making that kind of money for those hours, and such a small investment! An an hourly basis they're doing better than many recent college grads, many of whom have big student loans to pay off. Crazy!

    2. Wheat Pennies - now that is just clever. I would have *never* thought of that. In fact, I had to look up wheat pennies to even know what you were talking about. What was the process for coming up with that idea?

    3. Supplements - this was one of those early things I heard a lot of success with. But you know, I see those private label supplement guys at every conference I go to now. Really, is this one still viable and not saturated?

    4 Photography - That's an interesting one. I've had a convo with a buddy recently in which we decided probably some of the best opportunities will be off line, as the economy recovers. Every entrepreneur in the whole world is looking on line, so there's probably going to be a lot of neglected opportunity in your local strip malls, in a few short years.
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  • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
    2. I can't remember. I am online many many hours a day and probably just looking and one thing didn't look good, looked at another and so on.

    3. In my opinion no industry is saturated IF you have a passion for it. Look at all the new online cupcake companies opening up and they seem to be staying in business. To me the key is TINY TINY TINY overhead and TINY amount of money invested.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    Was just listening to a speech by Steve Blank at Stanford. I guess he's done some analysis and found that 90% of technology business fail for a single reason - failure to find customers ("product-market fit"). He also said that the ratio of startups to successes in Silicon Valley is 1000:1. Crazy! Also, about 1 or 2 per 100 who seek funding, gets it.

    Stanford's Entrepreneurship Corner: Steve Blank, Serial Entrepreneur - Retooling Early Stage Development

    He goes on to offer a framework for how to reduce risk around finding product-market fit. Pretty good interview. The basic ideas here are: (a) engineers will never be good at entrepreneurship until they learn how to sell, (b) you significantly increase your odds of success by getting into the field to understand what customers really want, and (c) test early to validate that the product is what prospective clients want, before investing in the development of the product.

    Interesting perspectives. This applies mostly I guess to those actually developing products, esp those coming from a technical background.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    Yes, I agree that is interesting to hear that eCommerce is not quite as saturated as I presumed it to be. Also consistent with a stat I hear while at InternetRetailer conference this year - eCommerce is up 17% YOY. So, I guess it must not be quite as mature (yet) as I thought. Well, perhaps its worth looking at then...

    Question though - what types of products are still working? I'm guessing the uber-commodity-type products are a no-go. So something a little less susceptible to comparison shopping engines? Something a little more unique?
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by cabbagehead View Post

      Question though - what types of products are still working? I'm guessing the uber-commodity-type products are a no-go. So something a little less susceptible to comparison shopping engines? Something a little more unique?
      For ecommerce you want to find a product line that the retail giants are overlooking. Something kind of off the beaten path. We call this a micro niche.

      Once you feel like you've found a 'micro niche' product, you have to look at the keyword phrase and ask yourself if someone that has types this in has good "intent to buy" or are they just surfing around..

      Then, once you have found a micro niche phrase AND the phrase has intention to buy, you want to make sure that the micro niche idea passes these "Big 3" considerations:
      1. Seasonality - Can't be TOO seasonal!
      2. Local Availability - It can't be widely available with a good selection for people locally.
      3. Average order should be high - You want the average order total to be at least $50-60 so you can make a fair amount per order that you process.
      All of these factors are covered in more detail in this video: http://storecoach.com/training/core/The-Big-3-Factors
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    By the way - here's a model I've contemplated and I'm curious if anyone thinks this would fly (?):

    I'd basically call it "managed outsourcing". Clearly there is a major shift to cheaper labor in emerging countries. As an indication of just how prominent its become - i heard the CEO from oDesk say his business has doubled every year, for the past 4 years. Problem is, for most non-technical marketing types, trying to manage your own outsourced production effort is flirting with disaster. So what if there was a company offering managed outsourced solutions. The team leads for the consulting company would be here (charging $100 per hour or so) and they'd be responsible for curating the team, translating biz requirements specs etc. As for the outsourced labor, just double whatever the cost is and bill it back to the client. The net result - its not as cheap as direct outsourcing, but definitely cheaper than a 100% local solution, and the risk has been considerably mitigated.

    For any of you non-techies out there, is this a service/solution you'd consider?
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    I also really like those companies that have created a software-as-a-service product that is sort of a self-service utility and then offer consulting around that. For example, let's say a company builds a great SEO tool you can sign up for, for $xx per month. They also offer premium service contracts, but for those who cannot afford it, you can use their tools.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ram
    There has always been - and will always be - a huge market for information products that show people how to make money, lose weight, get laid - a few of the big markets - as well as countless smaller markets where people are passionate or desperate. The only thing that changes is how you reach your customers and deliver the goods. I cut my teeth on direct mail. I still basically do that, only instead of buying lists I build them, instead of using snail mail for the 2-step process I mostly use email and websites (athough we do use direct mail and telemarketing as well.) Yes, some things will change. Video marketing, mobile, etc. But the basics haven't changed. Find a starving crowd. Sell them something. Sell them seconds. And thirds.
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    @Tracy_Meahger - regarding apps .. I guess you mean iPhone/Android apps? Yes I thought this space had a lot of potential. Here are the challenges I see with this space:

    a) Mega Competitive and a very tiny window to be found thanks to the way Apple App store works.
    b) I heard 99% of apps downloaded are never used more than once.
    c) 90% of the top 100 are all games. I'm just not a game developer.

    .. I can see a nice mobile app being created as a compliment to a core office system perhaps. For example, a practice mgmt system for doctors, with a nice iPad component for reviewing patient records etc. Otherwise though, its mostly a games and entertainment space from what I've observed, which I'm not really savvy with. Would love to be shown I'm wrong though! I've debated apps numerous times, I just don't see a good entry point. I do know several VC funds though are focusing on fueling startups focused on apps. Still not sure if that's a good thing or not. Its clearly hot. But is it an over or under served market? Perhaps they're just looking for the next hit, like Hollywood studios do?
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    Why am I able to make a full time comfortable living online, working a couple of hours a day, five months a year and I have no idea what a business plan is?

    Doing may just be better than thinking...
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  • Profile picture of the author cabbagehead
    Ram - yeah I've heard enough along the way to know you're probably right. I've heard about those programs that tell people how to get a girlfriend for example, making massive money! So yeah - sex, love, diets, money ... all prime candidates.

    Sounds to me like these are most likely either (a) info products or (b) a physical/supplement product.

    yeah I can see what you're saying that the need for these is timeline. And I can also see that hitting the timing of markets is not as critical to this business model too - its more of a tactical marketing problem only. So I like that. What is the down side with this one? Is it more of a hits-based-business model where 1 product is taking 95% market share, like entertainment? Otherwise just on fundamental concepts, yeah, it sounds pretty good.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by cabbagehead View Post

    ... but I'm just calling it as I see it, and frankly I feel all the opportunity that I'm seeing that DOES exist, probably will be played out in another 2 years or so, with the quickness things are moving at. The irony is I was a total optimist and had more ideas to pursue than I had time, 5 years ago. But the market I believe has changed immensely since then. I see profound levels of competition, profound amounts of money chasing a relatively few opportunities. It seems every entrepreneur in the whole da** world is starting an online business now. Perhaps then i should be looking to open a restaurant or something instead. lol

    So please tell me - is there a business model that makes sense to start investing in *today*? Meaning, you invest now and will have enough time to build and extract sufficient value to justify the effort, before the window is closed? [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    Around 2005 or 2006, I thought about this vis-a-vis my speciality
    of "Information Marketing" and came up with 3 broad models:

    1. Publishing
    2. Direct Selling
    3. Lead Generation

    All 3 are still viable 5 years later, and look sustainable for a
    long time to come - provided you roll with the punches and keep
    innovating. Tactics have changed, but essentials are constant.

    My preference for 'information marketing' is rooted in a simple
    logic. People come online for 2 things - entertainment (more
    recently) and information (ever since the Web began).

    And EVERYONE is unique in some way - which makes it easier to
    create a USP that is anchored in one's own skillset.

    One model that's outside pure 'information marketing', but can
    be used by infopreneurs nonetheless, is that of matching a
    problem/need/desire (market) to its product/service (demand).
    Answer the question - what are people in search of - and find
    others who have what they want... and connect them.

    In this model, information can be the lubricant that makes the
    wheels of commerce spin smoother - and the glue that makes
    the client base 'stick'

    Oh, and don't overlook the fact that you can plug in anywhere
    on the supply chain - you could be a provider/supplier,
    manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, distribution partner...
    or even consultant!

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Nice post Dr Mani.

      This is something that I am now working on as I believe that it is sustainable.

      Not only will I provide products, but will also provide back end services which compliment the main products. sort of a 1 stop shop. Some I will outsource, and the rest I will simply become a reseller.

      It makes sense, as the sum total of all parts will be quite lucrative.

      As I type this, I am reminded of a car dealership. The sale of the car is only 1 part of the model.. there is also finance, accessories and ongoing servicing.

      I suspect that if a dealership tried to survive purely on cars sold, they'd go bust in no time.

      Originally Posted by drmani View Post

      Around 2005 or 2006, I thought about this vis-a-vis my speciality
      of "Information Marketing" and came up with 3 broad models:

      1. Publishing
      2. Direct Selling
      3. Lead Generation

      All 3 are still viable 5 years later, and look sustainable for a
      long time to come - provided you roll with the punches and keep
      innovating. Tactics have changed, but essentials are constant.

      My preference for 'information marketing' is rooted in a simple
      logic. People come online for 2 things - entertainment (more
      recently) and information (ever since the Web began).

      And EVERYONE is unique in some way - which makes it easier to
      create a USP that is anchored in one's own skillset.

      One model that's outside pure 'information marketing', but can
      be used by infopreneurs nonetheless, is that of matching a
      problem/need/desire (market) to its product/service (demand).
      Answer the question - what are people in search of - and find
      others who have what they want... and connect them.

      In this model, information can be the lubricant that makes the
      wheels of commerce spin smoother - and the glue that makes
      the client base 'stick'

      Oh, and don't overlook the fact that you can plug in anywhere
      on the supply chain - you could be a provider/supplier,
      manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, distribution partner...
      or even consultant!

      All success
      Dr.Mani
      Signature
      Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
      You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author AkSharma
    After reading this post, you guys have given good ideas.

    Now a days proving information on subjects like deals, prices of goods and also advising people could be a good idea and then comes good approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author BabyMama
    Very interesting thread. I definatly think that video is going to be the way forwards in lots of areas of business. Video is taking over the web and Youtube is more popular than ever coming in 2nd after google itself as a search engine.

    I think that coaching and consulting will remain strong and I still believe the flipping business is very profitable and am proving this each and every week with my own sites. Its just different from how it was a few years ago.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by BabyMama View Post

      Very interesting thread. I definatly think that video is going to be the way forwards in lots of areas of business. Video is taking over the web and Youtube is more popular than ever coming in 2nd after google itself as a search engine.

      I think that coaching and consulting will remain strong and I still believe the flipping business is very profitable and am proving this each and every week with my own sites. Its just different from how it was a few years ago.
      some good points here.

      Coaching and in particular webinars or telecoaching is an excellent way to leverage time.

      As for flipping, yes any time you can buy and add value will always work.
      Signature
      Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
      You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
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