Internet Business Part 2 – Selecting Your Business Model

In part 1, of this series, we selected a problem that you could solve in a market that you would enjoy working for your new business.

Now we need to select a business model. The buzz word “business model” has been so abused that many people don’t even really know what it means anymore. But it is important to know an it is important to select a viable business model for your new business.

What is a business model? It is simply how you are going to conduct business and the method that you will profit from that business.

The simplest business model and the one that is easiest to understand is the model of creating a product and selling it to customers. It is easy to understand, but it also requires that you be capable of doing a lot of different things very well — and that is very unlikely for any entrepreneur.

It means that you must be an inventor, engineer, writer, production expert, manufacturer, shipping expert, packaging expert, excel in customer service, and be an expert in copywriting.

Now, it is common for entrepreneurs to be an expert in several areas, but it isn’t very common for single person or even a single company to be able to focus simultaneously at being excellent in every area.

To select the best business model for your new business, you should start by asking yourself if you and your team are best at innovation, efficiency or customer service. These three areas encompass the common ways that new businesses set themselves apart from the competition.

If your team is best at innovation, then you probably don’t want to focus on a business model where you manufacture products. You want to choose a business model where you innovate new solutions and have another company that focuses on efficiency manufacture those products.

That is all it means to select a business model. Your business isn’t going to do it all. It is going to fit in between a number of vendors and a number of customers in a unique network. That entire network of vendors along with your new company will be solving customer’s problems. Selecting a business model is simply the process of deciding where your business will fit in that network best.

What tasks will be performed outside your business? Since it is an Internet business, you won’t be able to accept cash directly from your customers. That means that you need to decide how your customers will pay and what company will be involved in accepting money from your customers.

You should also consider the possibility that the best business model for you may not actually entail you having customers directly at all. Maybe your customers will perceive that they are customers of another company and your actual customer is that company. This is called a B2B or “business to business” model. You are a business that is supplying products or services to other businesses who eventually help a final customer that you will never know.

Several business models have become very prominent and successful on the Internet. Others have become very popular, but they failed miserably. That was the cause of the dot com bust in the 90s.

A lot of businesses focused on solving the customer’s problems without charging them. Instead, they copied how television had worked before the Internet became popular. They thought they could earn their revenue from advertisers and provide the solutions directly to the customers for free. That didn’t work. It failed miserably for thousands of Internet businesses.

But it still does work for a select few Internet businesses. Consider it, but also know that many have failed with this business model.

Then study the business models of the most successful businesses on the entire Internet.

For instance, Google is still extremely successful by providing free services (their search engine being the most prominent) and earning their income from advertisers.

Yahoo does the same. Even Microsoft earns a significant amount of their income using this business model.

Ebay takes a different approach and they are very successful. They provide the marketplace, but do not innovate, manufacture, copywriter, ship, or do any of those other things associated with the traditional business model. They just focus on efficiently helping buyers find sellers.

Amazon has a similar business model although it isn’t as obvious to most people. The fact is that most of the products listed on Amazon are provided by manufacturers and distributors of those products just like eBay.

But Amazon does ship. In fact, they have really focused a lot on the methods to ship most efficiently and warehouse items in the best locations.

They also specialize in presenting information in the best way possible to increase sales. This is usually done with professional copywriters and ad agencies at many companies. Amazon uses ad copy provided by the distributors of products and the customers. Then it scientifically tests how to best present it to increase sales. They also scientifically test how to best introduce complimentary products in their vast catalog.

In every case of a very successful Internet business, the correct business model was chosen to really accent the strengths of the company.

Don’t skip this step. It is critical. Honestly study your own strengths and the strengths of your team if you already have a team. Choose the very best business model for solving the eventual customer’s problems and utilizing your strengths.

You don’t have to do it all and you shouldn’t. Amazon doesn’t invent new products. They don’t manufacture products. They just sell them and ship them very effectively.

Google doesn’t sell anything. They provide a free service and allow advertisers to sponsor it.

There are an unlimited number of possibilities for how to structure your new business. It is an important decision so don’t take it lightly.

What’s the password again?

If you’re like me, you spend most days using the internet, and you are likely a member of several websites that require you to use a user name and password. The thing is… I hate having to remember passwords! Another frustrating aspect is that most often, websites will require you to create some really hard to crack password for security purposes. Of course, when making it really hard for a hacker to crack also makes it difficult for you to remember!

I’ve found a solution. Check out the software called LastPass. It’s available as a free add-on for IE and Firefox. Using this software, you will only have to remember your one main password. Then, LastPass will automatically remember all of your hundreds of other passwords that you use to log into websites on a regular basis. The best part is, you can have LastPass log you in automatically without even having to think about what your user name and password is.

So what? Your browsers can often do that automatically, right? Sure, they can… but your browsers can often be attacked by viruses which can find your saved passwords. LastPass prevents you from having to save users names and passwords in your browsers, and will store them elsewhere securely.

The other benefit is that you can install LastPass on another computer, and you’ll be able to access all of your user names and passwords from anywhere! So far, it’s been a tremendous time saver for me. No more hiding those passwords under your keyboard on that Post-it, right?

Thought I like LastPass, it isn’t the only software out there that can do this. There are similar programs out there. Feel free to search around for one you’re comfortable using. The amount of time and frustration I’ve saved has been phenomenal!

Internet Business Part 1 – Selecting Your Business

This is the first part of a weekly series on how to start and run your own Internet Business. It really isn’t as difficult as you might expect to run your own Internet business. As we get into this series, you will see that there are so many different kinds of businesses that you can run via the Internet that there is a business for every personality type.

We will start from the very beginning and cover everything from products to services and several methods of being paid via the Internet.

Let’s start with selecting the product or service you want to offer. Remember that you won’t be stuck with whatever you select. You can always add more products and services later. You can also stop offering any product or service at any time. It is your business. You are in complete control.

Some people will suggest that you choose something that you enjoy. While I think that is great advice in general and will help keep you motivated, it is really more important to choose something that helps other people. The ease of attaining success in an Internet business is directly related to how many people you can help and how much you help them.

So instead of thinking about what you enjoy doing, it is better to focus on a problem that needs to be solved. Entrepreneurs get into the habit of noticing problems in their everyday life. When they feel like complaining or they hear someone else complaining about something, their ears perk up. Instead of commiserating like most people, they jump into solution mode.

They ask themselves what could be done differently that would have eliminated that problem. How much would people pay to have that thing done differently? How many people want the problem solved? How much money do they have in disposable income and how much of that would they be willing to spend to solve the problem?

To a successful entrepreneur, a problem is an opportunity for a new product or service. A truly successful entrepreneur has figured out how to solve a problem that plagues a lot of other people, but has solved it in a way they the entrepreneur enjoys.

This may come automatically. For instance, maybe you love to write. A lot of people hate writing, but need to write for various reasons. Maybe they need advertisements written. Or maybe they need content for their blog or web-site. It’s a perfect fit. You should probably offer a writing service.

Or maybe you know how to design fancy web-sites and you love to do that. A lot of people don’t have those skills and hate playing with HTML code even if they did have those skills. That’s a perfect fit.

Most people don’t have such a perfect fit though. They can’t figure out how to do what they really enjoy while solving the problems of other people at the same time. That is key to a successful Internet business, so I’m going to tell you a cool trick to find your niche.

It is a very simple process. You know what you enjoy. So you set up a free blog on or with that topic in the name of the blog. So if you really like skydiving, you try to get or or something similar. Then you post a single blog entry with the following question:

What stops you from enjoying skydiving more?

Then invite them to leave a comment with their answer. You can try other wordings for the question. The point is that you enjoy the topic (skydiving in this case). You want to hear about the problems. Ask a question that invites your audience to complain about something.

Now run a campaign on Yahoo advertising to drive some people to your new blog. Your ad should have the same question in the text so when you pay for a click, you have someone who is likely to answer the question.

After you have several answers, you will see a pattern. Go into entrepreneur mode and decide on a great way to solve that problem. Maybe you already have a solution because you are a skydiver and you had that problem yourself before you found an answer.

You can now write an ebook with the solution. Or you can record an audio or a video. Or you can offer a service if that solves the problem better. That is what successful happy entrepreneurs do. They solve problems on a topic that they enjoy.

We will continue this series next week with another important tip about running your own Internet business.

A Secret To Paperless, Portable Offices

A lot of online business owners know the importance of being able to use any internet location to run their business. I have one personal favorite that I use frequently for document and file storage.

I recommend checking out if you don’t use it yet.

I store documents on their servers that I frequently need. They currently allow 1 gig of space using a free Google account. Thumb drives are a good alternative, but they can easily get lost, stolen, and some are easily damaged. In fact, a family member recently called me telling me all about his USB drive story. It fell out of his car and he was lucky he hadn’t run it over!

I’ve had my fun with USB drives. I’ve even tried mirroring my data to other drives. I find cloud computing a better alternative.

There is another benefit though. The other day I needed to share a video with a business partner. I uploaded the file which was over 100 megs and I was able to share it with him, giving only him access to that document. Because Google’s servers are incredibly fast, I was able to upload the file in less than an hour and he was able to download the file within a small window of time.

This is what cloud computing is all about. There are even some applications that will allow you sync a desktop folder with Google Docs. I know Amazon has services that are similar. The benefit is that Google Docs is free up to one gig. If you’re only storing text documents, then you shouldn’t have a problem running out of storage space.

I highly recommend you give it a try!

Need some inspiration?

David Frey has been creating some inspiring videos for a number of months now. I emailed him recently asking him what they were for. I thought maybe there was some secret marketing technique going on behind the scenes. He told me there wasn’t. David is just doing this to give people some inspiration they could use. I thought that was pretty cool and thanked him for the videos.

I encourage you to check out all the videos for yourself here:>

Earn An Income By Publishing Your Own Printed And Mailed Newsletter

Back in 2008 I started a print publication called the “Online Business Newsletter”. It was a success right off the bat. In fact, it was terrific source of recurring income. I highly recommend adding a part to your business that generates recurring income. Starting a published newsletter is very simple to do.

Would you like to know how?

I have some copies of the course “Earn An Income By Publishing Your Own Printed And Mailed Newsletter” and I’m willing to give them away at a steal. The course will teach you how to create a newsletter from scratch and ship it out to a mailing list without having to use your own printer and without having to keep an inventory. It’s almost all automatic, you just have to write your newsletter or have others write it articles for you.

I’m willing to give my blog readers a special discount. You can grab a copy for just $15. I’m expecting them to run out rather quickly. In fact, once these are gone, I will no longer be selling this course on this blog. I am simply clearing out some inventory. If you’re interested in owning a copy, now is the best time to order.

Here is where to order:

Look Who’s Back!

I noticed that James Brausch is back to his blog again. From what I had known, he had been living in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with his family. From what he has put on his blog so far, it looks like he will be living on a boat with his family for a while. That is super cool! I think I remember a family being mentioned in the book “The Four Hour Work Week” that decided to live on a boat. Apparently it was a great cost savings and it was a great experience for their children.

Anyway, I hope you give him a warm welcome back to the blogging world. He has been away from doing business online since he had been in a non-compete and non-disclosure agreement during 2009.

Here’s the link to his latest blog entry:

Brausch is Back!

74% Increase In Monthly Traffic

I mentioned recently I had a 32% Increase in daily traffic. That has changed a bit. That number is actually higher now. Since it’s the end of the month, I’ve decided to share my most recent stats. My end of month stats.

Comparing February’s traffic to March’s traffic, my website traffic has increased by 74%! That’s good. I mean… I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t want that much more traffic

But what you probably want to know is… what caused that? The answer is no different than what I stated previously. All that changed was the blogging platform (I changed from wordpress to IBB) and I started posting blog entries. I’ve been aiming for the recommended 2.4 posts per day. Sure enough, my traffic has gone up. Woohoo!