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How to Create a Profitable Online Business Idea?

Creating a profitable online business Idea! This is the very first thing any internet entrepreneur should focus on to successfully make money online.

This is the make it or break it factor to be successful online or offline. You may spend a lot of time, effort and money chasing the wrong idea. This step is the most important step. Frankly there is no right or wrong way to brainstorm ideas, there are only best practices, common sense and of course some luck. Below I will present the best practises on how to develop profitable business ideas based on my own experience and the world best entrepreneurs. Now fast forward to the good stuff.

Create a profitable online business idea by inventing something new

This is rarest and the hardest of them all. Like Thomas Edison who developed many devices that greatly influenced our lives. From the motion picture camera to the long lasting electric light bulb.

If you can picture a certain product or service that would make people lives’ easier, then you are on business.

• Tim Ferris Did this. The Author of the world phenomenon “The Four Hour Work Week” Where he preached to live an awesome lifestyle while putting your business on autopilot! He is a master hacker and he managed to outsource his life and his business very cheaply. He has built a huge passionate follow who are ready to help him sell or promote his products and he gives them his mind, body and soul. He gives presents, free info and help as much as he can. His blog went to rank around 6000 most visited website -among millions- in SIX MONTHS!! If you have something special, unique and awesome please do it.

Create a profitable online business idea by fulfilling a personal need

If you needs a product or a service, be certain that there are other people who are searching for a solution for that exact same problem.

Personally when I was a project manager at one of the biggest engineering firms. I had to self-study every single day and night to be able to compete and sustain my edge at that level and to deliver projects on time, under budget and at the highest quality standards. Self-learning was not easy and taking courses and workshops were both time and money consuming.

• My first online business was an E-learning hub for professionals. filled with articles, audio and video training and discussion boards. I added more value by giving them assignments and research work to further solidify the learning experience and make it as practical and as close to real life as possible. I developed it further and created a membership area for different niches like: Project Management Professionals and Marketing professionals… etc. Professionals would post their most urgent questions and problems and collaborate with other on how to solve them. They would share their experience in their current projects pointing positives and well as negatives. And exploring alternative ways and solutions to try at their next project.

As you can see I took a simple E-learning portal and turned it into a thriving community filled with passionate professionals who are sharing their ideas, experiences and recommendation. They sat goals and worked hard to achieve them. And we congratulated each other for the completion of our goals.

We were such a beautiful little community.

Do you have a current need? Write it down. It maybe your next big thing.

Create a profitable online business idea by making people lives EASIER

We are in love with the easy way. We go to Google to find a quick answer and we ask a friend for a recommendation.

We want the easiest and the shortest route to our goals.

If you can develop an idea to make people lives easier! They will love you for that.

• Google made our lives easier and now we can find exactly what we need in a blink of an eye. And they are going that extra mile every single day from local search, blog search, Scholar search, image search, movie search, news search and every other kind of search you can think of.

• Mint Made our lives easier in terms of managing our personal finances. They develop free and premium software to help people control and manage their budgets more efficiently. They were one of the fastest growing companies in the world and they were featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Money magazine as the best tool to manage your personal finances.

• Aweber when CEO and Founder Tom Kulzer was a sales leader for a computer hardware firm in mid 90′s he noticed that leads were falling due to lack of proper follow up from the sales agents. He went on his way and started Aweber the best email marketing solution I have ever used and the number one in the scene right now.

Create a profitable online business idea by upgrading a current idea and make it better

Not everyone has the vision to spot a growing trend or a specific need. So it’s easier to develop and upgrade a current business idea and make it better than the original one.

• Google did this. When they witnessed that search engines were merely displaying search with no clear standards. They developed a search engine that displays results based on user preferences and history by exploiting cookies. Try to search for any term and make your a friend search for the exact same term with different computer and you would find different results as Google scans your history and browsing behaviour by a very complex Algorithm and displays the most relevant results for you. They grew and became the number one search engine and the number one website on the internet today.

• Tumblr did this. When 21 years old David Karp saw the growing interest in Twitter and Blogs. He combined the best of both worlds. Many people loved to share on Twitter but the 140 characters and the limitations were an issue for some. Others wanted a platform to express themselves freely but Blogs were too technical or too serious for them. The young genius made it and established Tumblr where you can share easily like Twitter but with the powerful features that Blogs only have. Tumblr now is the 35 most visited website on the internet today. And the future looks awesome.

Create a profitable online business idea by offering unbelievable service

Sometimes we can’t figure out a new business idea or an upgrade to a current business model. Well the best thing to do is to choose a business model you like. Study it and differentiate yourself not by lowering prices -I am totally against this strategy btw- But by offering unbelievably good service.

• Zappos Did it. They started by offering great shoes for sales on their website like the hundreds of thousands of other websites. But they took the customer service to limits never seen before. They would occasionally send you flowers or a present or a voucher at your birthday. They may send your products by speed delivery at no additional costs to you and you would be happily surprised. Their customer service would speak with you on the phone as long as you need explaining every detail over and over. Actually there is a documented phone call that lasted for 8 hours! This is how far they took it. The Result? Now they are making over a billion dollar in sales each year! They are the biggest shoes retailer! And their huge customer base do all the promotion and advertising work for them because they were happy and impressed.

Create a profitable online business idea by entering a very specific niche

A niche is a group of people sharing a specific interest, hobby or career. You can take a large business idea and break it down to it’s niche components, study each one and build a business around one niche.

• LinkedIn Is the largest professional social network in the world. They took the Facebook concept and simplified things. They didn’t need millions of teens, housewives and TV stars. They chose professionals and entrepreneurs and they built a website specifically designed to serve them.

• Pat Flynn who is one of my favourite bloggers of all time did this when he first started with his LEED exam training website -It’s a certificate in the Architecture world- He targeted Architectures who want to take the exam and built the best study guides to help them understand the materials and pass the exam. He passed the exam himself first so he knew what does it take to pass it. Result was over 200.000 USD in gross sales in his first year and he is doing much better since then with his awesome SPI blog.

You can do this. Analysis the big businesses and break them down. Find what would be an interest for you and build a website around it. As an example I may consider analysing LinkedIn itself and see the small components inside. Well you may start a “young professional social network” or an “Executive level social network” or “project managers social network” Decide first. Brainstorm how can you provide an awesome fulfilling experience for your audience and then build a website to do this and more.

Create a profitable online business idea based on your passions and fears

Same concept here. If you are passionate about something. There is a good chance that others are in love with it too. If you are totally scared about something you may research and learn to figure a solution and build a website offering that solution. Or simply a website that offers some sort of support group for whoever suffering from that fear. Trust me it works.

Write down your passions, what you love to read about, listen to, or watch. Your dreams maybe? Or maybe your fears! Write them down. Then rewrite them again. Pin them and look at them everyday. Add or delete. I assure you would find something interesting.

Example: I love racing games! I may go and build a need for speed fans website offering latest news and game hacks. I may then offer a simple eBook selling my very best tricks to beat the boss in the game! Figure yours it maybe as simple as that.

I hate bugs! I completely hate it specially ants. I may build a website and post my latest solutions to get rid of them! Organic solutions maybe! Then present them in an ebook.

I love working out! I am a 14 years athlete and I practised everything. I DID start a website based on how to lose weight for the business professionals. I offered straight forward advice for people who can’t afford sever dieting or hours of training. And it worked out NICELY!

Create a profitable online business idea by being weird!

Yes this is not a typo. Although this is not my thing but some people are flooding their bank account with this

• Tucker Max Ps: Please note that his stories are NOT for everyone. They are uncomfortable for many. Please don’t read on his blog if you are easily offended. He is a playa and he wanted to document his adventures in a book. Well every publishing house refused to publish it. He didn’t give up and he built a website and published his stories for free so everyone can sees them. Within few months and with smart marketing his traffic went over the roof This captured the publishers attention and they contacted him offering generous contracts to publish what it seems to be unrealistically popular stories. He did it.

• Million Dollar Homepage If you have ever asked me if setting a website and inviting people to give you money just for putting their logo in a homepage! I would say this will never work! Where is the added value? Well I am wrong this home page collected payments to put brands on the home page “to own a piece of the internet”

Other ways to create a profitable online business idea

If your creativity let you down. Here are some other ways to earn an income by starting an online business.

• Website flipping: Similar to real estate. You build a website. Add content. Attract visitors and offer it for sale on website like Flippa.

• Web hosting reseller: With a fixed monthly fee you can start selling web hosting service. This can be a profitable business model If you can attract lot of traffic. Will cover this in future articles

• Review website: Review anything that you are interested in. And offer some Affiliate links. You earn commissions on sales made by your links. Will cover how to be a super affiliate in a future article.

• Content writing: If you are a good writer, set up a website and offer your services. You may join Elance or Odesk People are in a constant need for good writers

This is the only article you would need to find about your big idea! There is not right or wrong way. As you saw some unrealistic businesses made money. You will never know unless you try. Please stop reading about how to generate profitable ideas for your internet business and start doing what I have told you above.

Just grape a pen and a paper -No laptop please- and go through each method described above from inventing something to upgrading a current business idea to embrace your passions and fears or targeting a very specific niche.

Go through each one, brainstorm each one. Write it down. Pin it. Visualise it and you would find your answer. Sooner or later and this is my promise to you.

Some people would argue that they need to test the idea profitability before they start. Well some people agree and some disagree. I disagree personally. Simply because if you as a person needed something or facing a problem or a certain fear. Be certain that others feel that same way too.

If you are inventing something never done before this testing would do you little good. Ordinary people can’t visualize your idea, so their replies would never give you an accurate answer. Example is when they invented the phone. People never imagined this would be possible and thought their lives are perfect. They invested the mobile phones and now people can’t imagine how they lived without them and now they lives are perfect, now they can talk in the street! They invented the smart phones and now you are connected to your social network, your business and to everything.

Idea here is that people can’t imagine things. You educate them to accept the new technology. As long as it makes their lives easier they would be more than happy to listen.

I heard that the late Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of Apple, didn’t believe in market research. With his revolutionary ideas that redefined what technology is capable of. People were unable to keep up and give a clear thoughts about it.

YOU are the creator, Create and educate.

Hope that you enjoyed this article

Mohamed Anan

Where To Look For Your Business Loan

I hear this day in and day out; “My bank turned down my business loan request, now what do I do?”

And, it is not just those talking to me personally but I see this same statement on forums and in discussion groups around the globe.

If your bank says no, then you just have to look at the many other business lenders and their options that are out there.

Banks don’t necessarily look for ways to approve business loans; they look for ways NOT to approve them. Give them one excuse and it is over.

But, there are other lenders out there that want to make business loans – in fact, as lending is all they do, they have to make business loans or close their doors. So, they actually look for ways to make these loans (read: they work with you).

Now, if you can get a business loan from a bank – then by all means. But, if your bank says no that does not mean your hunt is over.

So, where do you look?

You start by looking inside your own business.

All lenders, especially those that lend to small businesses, lend against cash flow. Now, I know that you might have heard horror stories about debt ratios, collateral and credit. But, regardless if you have all those other categories or requirements, if you don’t have solid cash flow – then you have no real chance of getting a business loan; regardless of the lender.

Even with banks, they may hoot and holler about all those other criteria items but when they really sit down to underwrite credit, they focus on your business’s ability to generate enough positive cash flow to make those monthly payments – period.

If you have overall cash flow (from all lines of business in your company) – more money moving into the business than out of it (profitable or not) – then most banks will at least review your deal.

So, focus on your cash flow and let that be the star of your business when applying for business capital.

Now, however, let’s say you don’t have solid cash flow. Let’s say that your business is barely making it on an “all company” scale. However, you do have some opportunities that will bring in some revenue (cash flow) over the next few weeks or month.

Well, there are many small business lenders out there that will lend against those cash flow events.

Examples:

You receive a large order from a strong customer but don’t have the cash on hand to start or complete that order. There are purchase order financing companies that will lend your business enough capital to complete that order (including to cover any needed labor). You complete that order, get paid, and then pay back the lender.

Simple enough and all based on your cash flow prospective or a single cash flow event and not your entire business.

Or, you have completed a job order and shipped it to your customer (with payment invoice). However, your customer is not expected pay you for 30, 60 or 90 days. Well, your business can factor that invoice for capital today to ensure that your company can pay its employees and suppliers or to start work on that next job order.

There are working capital financing companies that will factor (provide your business cash) against those non-paid invoices and provide your company with the capital it needs now – focusing on these single events and not your entire business. Then, when your customer pays you, you repaid the loan.

Or, your business has been generating sales to customers day-in and day-out. But, your business is not yet profitable – meaning that your company is still seeing more cash flowing out of the business then into it (a common situation for young and growing companies).

But, you can remedy this negative cash flow condition if you can just get your hands on a little more cash to buy a new machine, launch a new marketing campaign or purchase more or new inventory.

Well, there are lenders that will leverage your business’s ability to consistently bring in cash flow from your customers – regardless if your business is profitable or not, has collateral or not or that meets all those other stringent criteria that banks use to underwrite business loans.

Some will lend against your credit card receipts (those receipts from purchases made by your customers via credit cards). Some will lend against all customers’ payments including credit/debit cards, cash and checks.

And, some will lend against whatever cash flow you have flowing in and out of your bank account – called bank statement loans (loans that follow your cash and not based on your business’s financial statements).

So, just because your bank or lender says no to your business due to overall company wide cash flow issues, you still have options that will allow your business to access capital and start moving forward.

To begin, you have to look inside your business to see where your cash in-flow is coming from. Then, look for lenders that will underwrite a business loan based on that method of cash flow.

If you have future cash events – events that bring in cash to your business in the very near future – and you need capital to help grow your unlock those potential revenue generating opportunities then look for lenders that will factor against those events.

One of the most guiding principals of any successful business is its ability to leverage its assets and processes to grow that business. So, why not leverage your ability to generate cash flow and get the business loan your company needs to get to that next level – regardless of what your bank might says.

Franchising, A New Way To Sell Your Business

Franchising is a new approach for selling mid size businesses that may otherwise be hard to finance in a traditional sale. Franchising in these situations allows each of the locations of the business to be sold as an independent business and to get financing on a piece by piece basis. Franchising your business in these situations can be very beneficial and help combat the biggest hurdle to the sale of many businesses, financing.

Without financing for a new buyer, the sale price of a business would often be adjusted to compensate. This has led to the necessity for vendors to carry back financing on the sale of their business to keep the value of the business. VR Business Brokers, Sunbelt Business Brokerage two of the main business Brokerages in North America and the International Business Brokers Association all refer to the necessity to take back vendor financing to help sell the business or gain a higher sale price for the business.

A business interested in selling should compare its new value based on franchising some or all of the enterprise against a current valuation if sold as one piece. While the initial reasoning is to explore a method to sell your business. Turning your business into a franchise has benefits; the value of the business can be increased when factoring in the estimated value of the business split up in parts and sold as franchises, plus the value in the resulting franchise system and ongoing revenue as well as the value in potential growth opportunities may dramatically alter the worth of the business.

So what do you do when thinking about selling your business and you think that franchising can be an option for you? Call in a franchising expert to check a franchising strategy for the business and compare the potential value as a franchise versus a valuation for the business as it now stands.

Think of the television show Income Property, on the show host Scott McGillivary evaluates a house for the potential of converting an area (usually a basement) to an income suite. He starts by calling in a Realtor to evaluate the value of a property, he presents two plans for an income suite to the home owner both with varying costs and potential revenue. The home owner decides on one of the two plans or not to go ahead at all. He then proceeds to call in a Realtor at the conclusion to give an updated evaluation once the suite is complete.

The evaluation for franchising is quite complex depending on the nature of the business and the structures in place. This evaluation needs an in-depth analysis to present a workable plan. In the case of the business, the resulting decision to franchise comes at a cost of time, effort and money with a resulting potential benefit once achieved. Armed with this information a business owner can then go ahead with knowledge.

Benefits to turning your business into a franchise system to sell out:

1. Increases the worth of the business: If you’ve built your business for years selling out is cashing out but at what multiple. Earnings multiples on businesses are generally low accounting for the risk. Franchising may dramatically increase the value of the business.

2. Spread the risk: Franchising in pieces increases the investor pool that would be putting in their own money and equity.

3. Financing: Getting financing for the sale of the company can be difficult in those situations achieving multiple smaller small business loans through the government guaranteed loan programs is sometimes the only method to fully cash out without carrying back loans to a new buyer.

4. Ongoing income: By franchising the business you are gaining an ongoing source of revenue. Alternately if the end goal is to completely sell out, selling the franchise system will yield extra revenue.

5. Continuation of your business: It’s hard to give up something you have built, by franchising you do not have to give up your identity that had developed out of the business, if you choose to stay operating the system while selling off pieces as franchises.

6. Maximize value: By shedding the unprofitable areas over time and gaining full price for profit centres the valuation may increase. Think of all of those movies such as Wall Street referring to breakup value of companies.