Are you looking to start a small business? Good small business ideas require little infrastructure. That means it takes less cash to get up and running. Think online. Even in a suffering economy, the online world is still overflowing with opportunity.
These online small businesses have the potential to bring in a second income to relieve some financial stress. Check out our articles. They give you small business ideas to help get your creative and entrepreneurial juices flowing.
Online businesses typically have low overhead and start-up costs. You can work from home, scheduling your own hours so that you can always hold down a day job, too.
Many small online businesses are retailers. But is the market really in a good enough place right now to support more retail companies, even if they are online? Are people still spending enough money to support new retail businesses?
Most of us do have less discretionary money to spend. We’re looking for new and creative ways to stretch what we have. Anything you can do to help your neighbors save money and time can be a winner.
We’re all shopping less and driving less, trying to save pennies here and there. Even more than in the past, we are turning to the internet to do our shopping so that we can save money on gas. Remember, good small business ideas serve customers who already have a felt need.
If you read the market accurately, you’ll find opportunity. Have you ever heard of Diapers.com? Here are two people who had a need in their own lives and figured there were probably a lot more people just like them.
First, Diapers.com focuses on one product. As parents of young children, the founders of Diapers.com, Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara, noticed the lack of online diaper sources and decided to meet that specific need.
The company has a well-defined niche; it provides diapers and other products for babies to young families. One thing we know about families with young children is that they have no time!
There is always competition out there. If you start a small online business, you will most likely be competing with corporate giants, including Walmart.com and Target.com. You’ll never compare with these big guys on selection so it’s important to be a niche player, a specialist.
Good small business ideas have a simple business model. Pursue just one segment of the market and focus on making the customer buying experience super easy, fast, and fun.
For example, on the Diapers.com website under the “Top 10 Reasons to Shop with Diapers.com they advertise, “We don’t hide our telephone number, like most websites. We are committed to providing you with superior service and encourage you to contact our Customer Care team with any questions or concerns.”
Even though Diapers.com faces a lot of competition, it has targeted its niche so well that it adds value that consumers can’t easily find elsewhere–including providing meaningful customer service. Good small business ideas have several things in common. They find an under served niche and add value during the purchase process and after the sale.
For example,Diapers.com has a creative marketing strategy that gives people incentives to purchase its products regularly and to refer others to do the same. It has a referral program that helps it to build a loyal customer base.
Every time a consumer refers a friend to Diapers.com, she receives a ten dollar rebate. Every time her friend makes a purchase from Diapers.com, she receives an additional one dollar rebate. This encourages consumers to spread the word and to remain faithful customers. This is another way that Diapers.com adds value in a unique way.
So Diapers.com offers an irresistible value proposition from the beginning. Then it provides incentives for customers to refer their friends. This is how it achieves a unique combination of retention and growth of its customer base.
Finally, Diapers.com is very conscious of pricing. As we just saw, it provides discounts to customers when they refer friends. It also provides free shipping for orders over forty-nine dollars.
Most importantly, though, it buys its products in large quantities directly from the manufacturers, including Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Johnson & Johnson, and Playtex. Diapers.com cuts out the middle. Then it passes its reduced costs on to its customers.
Diapers.com is just one of many successful small business ideas. The online market is full of opportunities to launch these small business ideas. There are opportunities for you, too.
The key is to identify your niche within the marketplace, to market your value proposition well, and to keep pricing competitive. You don’t have to be the lowest price if you add value during the purchase process and after sale periods. If you keep these basic principles in mind, you will find that it is easy to implement small business ideas online.
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