How To Make Your Big Online Business Idea Work

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Do you have a huge online business but have no idea how to make your BIG online business idea work? This is the problem that one of our members, Ken, is facing.

Here’s the gist of his long question to me:

“I always felt it was best to market a store-front (that has within it all the “items” I want to sell/offer/promote) versus trying to (futilely) promote a multitude of sites individually. That’s a noble idea, perhaps. How do I make it work?” Ken

I shook my head when I read Ken’s problem.

If you try to create a website that sells everything, as what Ken is doing, you are not likely to succeed. (Ken, I hope you’re reading this.)

No, it’s not another “niche marketing” theory, where you are told to create tons of sites for different niche. Niche marketing works and it’s what I’m doing. But our discussion today is how to make your BIG online business work.

The problem with BIG online business idea is that it’s too big for a new website that has no traffic and no content.

It’s like trying to build a mega shopping mall with only 2-3 tenants selling things.

The best way to show you how to make your big online business idea work is to share with you a couple of case studies.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Amazon.com. It sells many things from laptops to shoes. But when Amazon first started, it simply focused on selling one thing: Books!

There is nothing wrong with having a vision that one day your website will sell everything. But when you first started, you must focus on one niche and that niche is your knife!

Let me repeat. Your first niche to building a BIG website is your knife. It needs to be sharp enough for you to cut through a cake and get your first pie from the market.

I hope you get the analogy.

When your traffic grows, you can then diversity into other things.

Let’s look at another example, Ebay.com.

When Ebay first started, it focused a lot on auctioning collectibles. Why? Because at that time, people were not used to buying and selling anything online. But there was a growing trend that people were trading collectibles online.

Ebay was smart enough to capture this trend and grew its popularity and member base from there.

Focus and then diversify. That’s the simple strategy to make your big online business idea work.

Share your thoughts

  1. Wid

    Hi Kenneth,

    Good advise, it used to be like me when I first time knowing online business, but after all failed I tried to one by one idea. first time I go to http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends and then select niche topics that I know. And then create blogspot.com first before I buy a domain. That’s it.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Fred Raley

    Great comments Ken and spot on.

    One point I might add:

    You can sell related items on your site. Like on mine, I have a free report on how to build your list, a link to my Amazon store using keyword “autoresponder” and a link to a Commission Junction product for email services.

    Once people come to your site for a specific purpose, it does not hurt to have related offers for them mixed in with your main niche.

    Reply
  3. Lynne Gordon

    Excellent advice, Kenneth. Too look at it another way, Ken (with the big store) is in a prime position to promote multiple niches since he sells so many different products.

    It would be exhausting to promote everything, so the better strategy would be to pick a few things that already sell well and promote them initially, and then (as Fred suggests) cross-promote once you have the customer inside your store.

    Be sure to set up some viral, self-replicating ads. This is proper leveraging because it requires no additional work on your part.

    SolarGoddess

    Reply
  4. Niranjan Ranade

    Great post by Guru Kenneth. Diversifying is good only when we have something worth. Focus, Succeed and then Diversify. Yes, that’s they key I suppose. Many newbies (including me) make mistake of having multiple autoresponder and hosting accounts and finally making a loss monthly :( Most of them realize the mistake sooner / later that rolling the snowball of profits is most important. Business needs sales and cash-flow first. Fine tuning can be done later. So it’s good / inevitable for us to focus on 1 host + 1 autoresponder + 1 niche idea etc first and we can ofcourse grow the business later once we are in profit :)

    Reply
  5. Dennis Chew

    Agree with you Kenneth.
    It’s better to start small so you can focus on one particular niche and channel all your energy on building up the business. The motto should and always be “start small but think big”.

    Reply
  6. Chad Flick

    Wow I hope that more than Ken will take this information and learn from it. I set up a store front myself when I first started online in 2001 thinking, “Ok bring me the money” because I didn’t have an idea at all that there is just way more to it than just putting up a store. I really like the sharp knife analogy. It also helps to get the learned knowledge first then we can mature with our business. Oh I knew then the things I’m still learning now! :-)

    Reply
  7. Jesus Moreno

    Focus and then diversify. Simple and wise advise. You’re all right Ken. One of the main problems for the internet marketers wannabe, like me, is the lack of focus. So many programs to join and impossible to promote them adequately. Same thing with a store-front. Put it into practice it’s what we got to do.

    Jesus Moreno

    Reply
  8. Roger Langford

    Hi Kenneth

    From your idea of starting small and

    I have decided to choose a niche with many sub-niches. This way I can start my web site promoting just one sub-niche and then increase my product list one sub-niche at a time. Eventually my site will have many products but they will all be connected. My target audience are people interested in Alternative Medicine. I do not know if this will work but it is what I have decided to do. It is a slow process. My main method of getting traffic is to get as many back-links as possible.

    Reply
  9. Graham

    Focusing on one area of interest on one page is the way to start.

    Are you saying that Shopping and Auction sites are also the way to start?

    Reply
    1. Kenneth Koh Post author

      You can start with any business model, including shopping and auction sites. In a competitive market, the key is to start from a niche that is ignored by the big boys and grow from there. This will give you a higher chance of success and become another big player.

      Reply
  10. Roberto Santana

    Great info Ken.
    Would love to see an article on a similar subject:
    “How to find a software developer for your big new idea, on a budget”
    This is in the case that your big online business idea is something totally, 100% new, and has to be developed from scratch. As you know, top software development firms charge tens of thousands of dollars for this type of project.

    Reply

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