Setting up an online Business is no problem. Affordable web hosting, affiliate programs, web templates, and other easy-to-use tools are at your disposal. What should you sell, though? That is a trickier question. You want to make money, but not at the expense of your happiness and sense of fun. You want to indulge your passions, but not get so wrapped up in them you lose sight of your customers’ passions. Can you find the balance between these two extremes?
There are plenty of great online business ideas out there, but which is the right one for you? One size does not fit all. If you just pick one at random, or just because you think it will make money, you may be in for a bad time.
Have you ever had a bad meal? I am talking about the kind where you go into a restaurant, hungry and with high hopes, and you cannot bear to eat the awful stuff the waiter brings you.
If you have had an experience like that, the reason is usually that the owners do not care about food. There may be any number of reasons they opened a restaurant, but an appreciation for good cooking was not one of them.
You surely do not want people looking at your online business that way. Whatever you are selling, you want people to value your fine merchandise. You also want them to have enjoyed the way you presented your good, as well as the pleasant, friendly experience of shopping with you.
You want your customers to come back and purchase from you again.
If all you want to do is set up a business and sell something for money, you can easily pick an idea at random and try to make the best of it.
However, if you don’t care about your product or service, your customers will pick up on that right away, and flee from you in droves. It will be very difficult for you to go the extra mile to make a business you do not care about really stand out. Nor will it be easy for you to motivate yourself to do all the behind-the-scenes work necessary to make an online business shine. You will not be having any fun, and no one wants to shop somewhere that is no fun.
Instead, the most successful home businesses run because of a product or an idea that the owner cares about. Those businesses offer the best merchandise, attractively presented with a smile and a friendly word. It is to these businesses that customers return.
However, things can go wrong the other way, too.
If you are fortunate enough to have a passion, you can turn it into a profitable online business. Just be careful that your passion does not run away with you.
I once visited an independent sub-sandwich shop run by a man who cared too much about food. He promised to make me the best sandwich I had ever had, and chatted excitedly about food while he made my lunch.
Unfortunately, his enthusiasm made it difficult for me to get a word in edgewise. When I tried to interrupt him to tell him, among other things, that I do not like onions, he brushed me off, saying I should relax and leave everything to him. His passions had run away with him.
It was a beautiful sandwich, wonderfully presented by a cheerful and welcoming host. Nevertheless, it had onions, so I did not like it. I never went back.