Where do you even start?
As you might guess, creating an online business together can take a lot of work. There is a ton to consider before you launch a product or service. However, it has never been more possible for the everyday couple to create and manage every aspect of a business, from most any location you want.
Over the past few years, the number of user-friendly resources has EXPLODED. These resources can help you plan, test, build, market, sell and optimize what you’re offering. Resources like:
- “Cloud based” tools and services (both free and commercial)
- “How-to” DIY content that leads you through the steps to create nearly anything
- Websites to help you find and hire contractors for any needed skillset
- Work spaces – both temporary, or semi-permanent – to rent all over the world
- Expanding Internet to work from your bedroom to Bangkok
- Monster market – 3.7 Billion people currently on the web
Seriously, it’s all out there, waiting at your fingertips.
Test that idea! (Skip the business plan!)
So you have a great idea, but now what? You should first determine if your business idea is actually feasible, (instead of just a fun conversation topic over cocktails with friends).
There are a number of ways to find out if a market exists for your product or service. Gathering real information from your potential audience will help you spend your time and money on something they want. Not something you think they want.
We’ll be posting more details about this in the near future. However, several tools to help determine interest are:
- Amazon Best Sellers list – View what products, in which category, are hot
- Google Trends – View what people are searching for on the web
- Answer the Public – Find out what kind of questions are being asked
Cloud-Based Digital Tools & Services
There are a number of online tools and services to help manage every aspect of your business, available in every category, and growing by the minute! They are also becoming more user friendly.
Check out this infographic showing available marketing tools and services from 2011. Seems like a lot, eh?
Yeah, seems like a lot. Until you compare it with the marketing tools and services from this 2016 infographic below.
The sheer number of tools can be frightening, but don’t let it be. We’ll be posting a lot more content about the right tools for different strategies in the near future. (Hint: You will want to keep it simple and start out with just a couple tools in the beginning).
The “Do it Yourself” ethic is thriving. If you want to learn how to do anything these days, including building a business, you no longer need to go through the traditional routes, like a professional service or an accredited class.
“How-To” resources are available online in almost any format you can think of – blog posts, podcasts, videos, eBooks, webinars. Many of these digital tools have great tutorials and documents to help lead you through the process.
Here is a tiny sample of tools and tasks that you can DIY:
- Canva – Designing your marketing materials
- Moo – Printing your marketing materials
- Squarespace, Wix or StudioPress – Creating your website
- Udemy.com or Teachable.com – Creating online courses and teaching materials
- Freshbooks or Quickbooks – Accounting software
DIY, or “bootstrapping” can help keep costs down when you’re first getting started. The tradeoff, however, is it takes a lot more of your time.
Pay Someone Else
Work from your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. When you add up your combined strengths and skills, can you wear all of the hats needed to build, run and grow your business? Most of us can’t. More importantly, we shouldn’t. So finding the right contractors or partners to help manage the tasks is a must.
What should you be doing right now that no one else can? One of our ongoing challenges is working IN our business instead of working ON it. Figuring out what you should be doing, then finding and managing others to do the rest is no small task. However, it’s essential if you are shooting for something that isn’t limited by the number of hours you put into it.
Here are several sites where you can find the right people to help you.
- Codeable – Need help building a website using WordPress?
- Upwork – Need help with a website AND everything else? Like a designer, programmer, administrative assistant, writer, editor, translator, financial professional, sales or marketing?
These services can help you build your team at a pace that works for your new or growing business.
Internet Access is Expanding
With the internet nearly everywhere, having an online business offers the flexibility to live where you want and work when you want. (Perks include a 30-second commute and comfortable footwear).
Being location independent can boast all the margarita-in-hand, beach-like, world travel visuals that come to mind. For us, it offered the opportunity to move our small family out of the city and into a small, friendly town near Grandparents.
Now that the kids have left the nest, we are definitely chasing those global travel shots. In order to do that we need secure and reasonably fast internet. A lot of our travel will include housesitting, which includes private home WiFi to work from, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
However, there will be times where we will be staying in AirBnB’s, or working from public spaces like coffee shops and libraries. So, there is no guarantee on security or speed.
Fortunately, we have found several resources that will help.
- Private Internet Access – When we find ourselves using a public or even a private WiFi network, but want to be sure we are secure.
- SkyRoam – Unlimited, fast, global wifi for $8 a day – and only on the days that we need it.
- WhatsApp – International voice and texting, through WiFi. (Bye, bye AT&T international rates!)
Areas with no internet access are growing more scarce! Your market is becoming accessible from any place you choose to work.
And Speaking of Work Places…
Whether in your hometown, or on the road, there might be times when you actually want an office environment. It may be the need for a conference room, additional office equipment, networking, or just the desire to work near, or collaborate with, others on the same journey as yourself.
Low cost, coworking spaces are sprouting all over the world to meet that need. You can get both permanent or temporary spaces.
- Coworker – Connects you to 3000+ coworking spaces in over 100 countries around the world.
- Wework – Mainly US, but growing internationally.
If you can live and work in a country with a low cost of living, but get paid in the dollar, that’s worth bonus points for the nomadic couple, too!
- Nomadlist – The best cities to live and work remotely for digital nomads
Did we mention those 3.7 billion people?…
…And growing? Think about that. Now if you can attract the attention of a small niche of this audience, say 1/10 of 1% of these viewers, that’s 350,000 people. And if just 1,000 of those become customers and end up buying a $10 digital product or service from you, in one month you will hit $10,000.
And if you can provide them with something that solves their problem or fulfills their desire, you have the chance to do three things:
- Better their life
- Better the world around you
- Make an honest living