Building an Asset With an Online Business – 5 Great Business Ideas to Try - Business 2 Community

Building an Asset With an Online Business – 5 Great Business Ideas to Try - Business 2 Community


Building an Asset With an Online Business – 5 Great Business Ideas to Try - Business 2 Community

Posted: 02 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Photo by Kari Shea / Unsplash

There are all kinds of side hustles and ways to make money outside of a job.

Each opportunity comes with pros and cons, and finding the right opportunity for yourself requires you to see how those pros and cons align with your own situation and your goals for the side hustle.

Now, some side hustles are great for making money quickly.

You could work as a delivery driver or a dog walker and start earning extra cash this week. If you need to make an extra $1,000 per month and you need to start earning quickly, this is probably the type of side hustle that you'll want.

In contrast, other opportunities may allow you to make a smaller amount of money passively.

You're not going to replace a full-time income, but it's easy money. There are several passive income apps that would fall into this category.

Some side hustles provide a great deal of flexibility and allow you to work whenever and wherever you want, as much or as little as you want. That's the beautiful part about side hustling.

But if you're looking for long-term potential or high income potential, building an asset like a business is most likely your best option.

Online businesses, in particular, can be an ideal sort of appreciating asset because of low startup costs, the ability to work from anywhere, and the possibility of selling your business to someone anywhere in the world.

When your side hustle involves building a business, you're not 100% focused on making money right now. Instead, you're also focused on growing something for the future and building an asset.

Down the road, your business could become an income-producing asset that earns significant money with little effort on your part, and you could also sell the business for a lump sum when you're ready to cash out.

If you need to make money this week, becoming a delivery driver for DoorDash or Postmates or turning to various gig job apps may be a great option, but you're not going to be building an asset that you can monetize or sell down the line.

If you're in a position where you can focus on long-term potential or if you're looking for something that might allow you to generate a full-time income at some point in the future, you might want to put your efforts into building an income producing asset like an online business.

Building an Asset

Building an online business takes time. A lot of online businesses like blogs, e-commerce websites, and YouTube channels aren't likely to make much money right away.

You may need to put 6-12 months (or longer) of work into the business before you start to make money. You're not making much money for your effort at first, but you're doing it with the hope of a future payout.

After a while, however, your business gains some momentum.

Traffic increases, you don't need to spend as much time trying to get visitors, new monetization opportunities arise, and income increases quickly. At that point, your hard work has paid off.

As an online business owner, you also have two options that aren't always easily available with some other types of side hustles:

1. Outsource the work to other people and allow your business to run somewhat passively. You'll probably still need to be involved, but you can hire others to do a lot of the daily work and turn your business into an asset that makes money mostly on autopilot.

2. Sell your business when you're ready to cash out and move on to something else. There are plenty of people and companies looking to buy online businesses and you may be able to get a few years' worth of profit if you're willing to sell.

Why Sell an Online Business?

I started my first online business (a blog) in 2007 and I've sold several websites and online businesses over the years. One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, "why would you sell a profitable online business?"

Sure, getting 3x annual profits to sell a business is a nice lump sum, but wouldn't it be better to hold on to the business and continue to make money for years to come?

To answer that question, there are several reasons why you might want to sell a profitable online business.

1. Time Limitations

While it's true that you can outsource a lot of the work involved with running an online business, you're still going to need to be involved to some extent unless you have someone very competent that you completely trust to run the business.

In other words, even if you're outsourcing the majority of the work, the business is likely to require some of your time and attention.

We all have a limited amount of time available, and focus also becomes an issue.

If you're trying to do several things (like running multiple businesses or working a full-time job with a few websites on the side) sometimes it's more effective to sell and have one less thing to deal with.

For me, time has been the biggest contributing factor in deciding when to sell online businesses.

Just because a business is making money doesn't necessarily mean it's the best use of your time. If you sell, maybe you'll be able to use that time for a different business that will be even more profitable.

2. Lack of Interest

When you started your website or online business you, were probably really interested in the niche or industry.

But, maybe of the course of a few years, you're no longer interested in the topic or you no longer enjoy running the business.

It's perfectly normal that our interests change over time. I prefer to work on things that I enjoy, so if my interests change, I may look to sell.

3. Sell High

Most businesses have a limited life cycle, and this is especially true with online businesses.

If your business is doing well and it has a lot of value today, there's no guarantee the value will remain or that it will increase. You could see the value of the business drop significantly.

If you've been around the online marketing world for a while, you may be familiar with Digg.com.

Digg was an incredibly popular social media site more than a decade ago. In 2008, Digg was involved in talks with Google about an acquisition for a reported $200 million, but the deal never happened. Digg lost popularity and was sold in 2012 for $500,000.

That sort of thing also happens on a smaller scale with websites that aren't in the spotlight. You may decide that you want to sell now rather than waiting to see what happens in the future.

Knowing when to sell is not an easy decision and there are risks either way.

Sell too soon and you risk missing out on higher income potential. Sell too late and you risk losing value and selling for less. You'll need to consider the current value of your business and decide which risk outweighs the other.

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4. Maxed Potential

If you feel like you've done everything you can and taken the site as far as you're capable, it may be time to sell.

In this situation, the income from the site and the value of the business is not likely to increase very much in the future, and there is a greater chance that it could decrease.

Trends can be very powerful when you go to sell. Ideally, you want to be selling a business that is trending up.

Trying to sell a business that is trending down will be more difficult and it may impact the valuation of your business and what buyers are willing to pay.

Spending time to grow an online business can be a great way to build an appreciating asset. However, there is a cap for how much an asset can appreciate, and the idea here is to sell before you hit your cap and decline.

Types of Online Business and the Impact on Selling

Not every online business is going to be treated the same when it comes to the process of buying or selling.

Some types of businesses appeal more to buyers, and obviously, this can impact the price you get for the business as well as the amount of time that it takes to find a buyer.

Let's take a quick look at some common types of online businesses and see how good or bad they tend to be in terms of trying to sell.

Niche Websites (good for selling)

A niche website is simply a site that is very tightly focused on a specific topic. For example, you could have a niche website about camping, running, wedding photography, or any other specific topic.

Most niche websites are monetized with affiliate programs and/or display ads, but there are other possibilities as well.

Here's a perfect example of a niche website: this particular Amazon Affiliate website focuses on kitchen sinks (talk about niche!)

This is a popular type of online business because you can start a site on just about any topic of your choice. There are a lot of hobbies that make money, and you may be able to run a profitable website based on a topic that you enjoy.

Niche websites tend to be ideal for selling because a buyer can step right in and continue running the site with no problem.

The writing can be outsourced to freelancers so the buyer doesn't need to know very much about the topic of the site.

Another factor that's also important for buyers is that niche websites tend to be low maintenance and are somewhat passive.

Blogs & Authority Websites (Good For Selling)

A blog is very similar to a niche website, but sometimes blogs publish content that's not quite as hyper-focused as compared to a niche site.

Blogs also tend to build more of a connection with readers. Niche websites will generally attract the vast majority of their traffic from Google searches, but blogs tend to build more of a loyal following that results in repeat visitors.

The terms "blog" and "authority website" can all be used basically interchangeably (unless you're talking about a personal blog).

These types of sites are also very good for selling. Most of the work involved with running a blog, including the writing, can be outsourced, which makes it easier for buyers and investors.

Blogs can also be very appealing because they can have some influence that opens up a lot of possibilities for making money in the future.

E-commerce (Good For Selling)

An e-commerce business is also a good option if you're looking for a type of business that you could sell at some point in the future.

However, selling a business that involves physical inventory is more complex than selling a business that is 100% digital.

Regardless, e-commerce stores sell all the time. You can take a quick look on websites like Flippa to find plenty of examples:

In some cases, there will be an agreement for the buyer to purchase the remaining inventory as a separate transaction. This is done to keep the transaction and the sustainability of the business in the best interest of both parties.

For example, if the price agreed upon for the business includes inventory, the seller may stop ordering new inventory since they're not going to get a return on it.

If the process of completing the sale takes a couple of months and the buyer takes over, the inventory may be depleted because the seller didn't continue to run the business as they would have otherwise.

Amazon FBA (Good For Selling)

Throughout the past few years, there has been a big increase in the demand for e-commerce businesses that sell through Amazon's FBA program.

These businesses can be ideal for buyers because the majority of the work is outsourced and they can be scaled up very efficiently.

However, selling on Amazon also comes with some risks. Amazon could shut down a seller account at any time, or make other changes like increasing fees.

A business may be worth more if it sells through its own website or other e-commerce sites rather than relying exclusively on Amazon.

SaaS (Great For Selling)

Software as a service (SaaS) businesses are ideal for selling because buyers love the recurring monthly or annual revenue that is generated through the subscription-based model. It provides added stability and predictability, and that can increase the value of a business.

Personalized Blog (Hard To Sell)

If your blog or website is highly personal to you, it could negatively impact your ability to sell. Buyers may be concerned about what will happen to the business when you exit.

This doesn't mean creating a personal blog isn't an effective way to build an asset that makes money. Just know that it might be tough to sell down the line.

If your blog or website is currently personalized and you have some interest in selling later on, you can start to take steps to slowly decrease the personal aspects of the site.

That could involve hiring some freelance writers to get a greater variety in contributors to the site, or simply changing the branding of the site to be less about you personally.

Podcast (Hard To Sell)

Selling a podcast can be a little bit different than selling another type of online business, assuming you (the owner) are also the host of the podcast.

The success of a podcast is heavily influenced by the host, so buyers are likely to be hesitant to buy if you're looking to completely exit the business.

But that doesn't mean that you don't have any options if you want to sell.

The first option would be to come to an agreement with the buyer that involves you staying on as an employee or freelancer to host the show. You may not have all of the other responsibilities, but you would still be the face (voice) of the podcast.

Another option would be to bring on the buyer as a co-host and plan a slower exit.

For example, if you currently host the podcast solo, you could bring in the buyer or someone that the buyer has hired as a co-host, with an agreement that you will continue to co-host the show for a set period of time (like 1 year).

That would allow the show to make a slower transition that wouldn't have an abrupt impact.

Is Building An Asset Through Online Business Right for You?

There are plenty of reasons to start an online business and work towards building an appreciating asset, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the right approach for you.

You'll have to consider your own personal situation and the goals for your side hustle. But if you do have an interest in long-term profitability or the possibility of selling in the future, an online business could be a great approach.

Best of luck in your side hustle journey!

This article was originally published at ThisOnlineWorld.com.


Finding the Hidden Business Opportunities Around the Coronavirus Pandemic - Inc.

Posted: 31 Mar 2020 05:36 AM PDT

Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with hundreds of our business coaching clients about the coronavirus pandemic and what it means for their businesses both in the short and long term. Many business owners understandably have questions and immediate concerns, but many are already starting to look for the hidden opportunities within this crisis. 

So today I wanted to share with you some of the great ideas our clients have come up with thus far in the wake of Covid-19 in the hopes that it will help spark some ideas for your own businesses. 

Turning Opportunity into Profits

The first business I want to highlight is a retail janitorial service. It experienced a boom in clients thus far but were able to see an opportunity to expand its offering in terms of sanitization services.  

It immediately began offering shelving and store sanitation services as well as cart sanitation. And it hopes to continue to offer these services not just over the course of the next several months, but moving forward. Many businesses are just thinking about this as a temporary thing; however, you can now go back to your customers and explain this is now the new normal. This is the new standard expectation for your customers. What a great way to take a temporary boost and communicate and use that as an opportunity to make it a permanent boost to the business.

The Time Is Now 

Another thing that we have heard time and time again from business owners, is that they now have time to finish that project that they have been putting off for a while. Maybe it's a website overhaul, or putting together your systems and processes. As things slow down temporarily, you have the opportunity to upgrade and refine your systems and do some training internally in those areas that need to be cross trained on. Or, for many in the restaurant industry, this time means a chance to try out a new product offering like "grab and go meals." The way in which we do business will likely change in the months ahead, but if you look for a way to stay relevant and meet your customers where they are, you will be ahead of the game. 

Another example of this was a company that does occupational therapy for school districts. Well, schools are closed. Most of the company's sessions were held on school grounds, which made it difficult for it to provide speech therapy and other things to its clients. So it changed its model and began to offer up remote services to the children that it worked with, so school districts would still be able to provide these services to their students even when distance learning. 

Taking Advantage of Remote

Another example is a law firm that took the opportunity to open up multiple satellite offices in its state to help with its particular niche of legal services. What it realized was, now more than ever, people are much more willing--not just the individual clients, but also the courts--to do more and more video-based meetings, which allow them to save on overhead and centralize their legal staff, thus allowing them to still serve the entire state. 

Recruiting and Prospecting

Another thing that I have seen a lot of business owners focus on during this time: recruitment. Is there a talent on the market that you could finally recruit that you never could before? Is there a customer that you could go after now that never would have been open, but now might take your call? Now is the time. 

So, what for you are the opportunities hidden within this pandemic? How can you double down by serving and creating value for your customers? How can you help your customers seize opportunities? 

Published on: Mar 31, 2020

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

16 Great Business Ideas For Fighting The COVID-19 Pandemic - Real Leaders

Posted: 01 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Editors Note: Real Leaders is making its archive of magazines freely available to all visitors to our website as part of our contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic. We believe you'll emerge stronger and wiser when this crisis passes, and we hope our stories will keep you entertained and inspired while we sit out this challenging time. Sign up here and you'll be instantly redirected to our archive.

Millions of business owners are scrambling to reinvent their businesses. Many have already found innovative ways to roll with the punches — from rethinking supply chains, redeploying staff, offering crucial advice, and even recreating your favorite bar online. We asked 16 smart CEOs and business owners how they've adapted to our new virus-ridden reality.

1. These Outdoor Cushion Makers Aren't Sitting Down

Known for their durable outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic, Polywood is pivoting to respond to a call to action from Indiana hospitals that have reached out and asked for one million cloth surgical masks. The company is enlisting their sewing team that normally assembles outdoor furniture cushions to help create the masks and their textile partner Revolution Fabrics is currently testing different fabric blends for breathability. Polywood will do their own in-house research, in conjunction with local health leaders to quickly scale and produce masks that can also be bleached and reused to meet escalating demand.
www.polywood.com

2. Smart Security Kiosks Stop the Spread of New Threats

While large numbers of US citizens are expected to work from home due to the continuous spread of COVID-19, utility workers, first responders and medical staff are still expected to fulfill their duties. Security provider, Force 5 has taken a unique approach at keeping staff healthy during this pandemic and developed kiosks at security points that ask workers health-screening questions before entering critical areas, or interacting with critical personnel. Questions such as: "do you have clearance?" and "have you traveled?" are asked to protect workers. They are also developing a thermometer to check staff temperatures and integrates with their kiosk's — to automatically reject high risk individuals entering a facility.
www.force5solutions.com

3. Ancient Games Become New Mental Health Tools

Online chess and backgammon website, Chess Gammon, based in the United Kingdom, has seen a spike in demand for these traditional games. With billions of people housebound, the company has been helping people at home stay mentally active and reduce the risk from going outside. Who would have thought that such ancient games would have suddenly become so popular again.
www.chessgammon.co.uk

4. The Hacked Booking App That Now Rallies Volunteers

Zelos, is an app for volunteer management based in Estonia. Originally developed for events and festivals, when the virus struck their Northern European country they connected their app to collaboration app Trello within 48 hours and created a helpline for senior citizens. The elderly call the helpline and an operator uses Trello, to push information to volunteers' smartphones. Within 24 hours, they had signed up more than 1,000 volunteers and within two days were helping seniors to get groceries (and avoid the 3-day wait times). The founders don't have the resources to scale this idea beyond Estonia, and are looking for those interested in implementing this idea in their communities. The API is free, and people would only need to cover minor software costs.
www.getzelos.com

5. Unemployed Tailors Have Become Lifesavers

Boston-based custom clothier 9Tailors provides top quality, custom suiting and has been greatly impacted by the region-wide lockdown. "In a time when you aren't able to do what you normally do, you must look for what you can do," says founder Samantha Shih. The company found itself with tailors with sewing machines who were out of work, and local hospitals with a lack of medical supplies. It was a perfect match. Using their excess fabric, comprised of 100% wool, they employed the unemployed tailors and seamstresses, who also urgently needed an income, to produce reusable face masks for healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.
www.9tailors.com

6. Beyond Hand-Washing: Full Body Sterilizers

Boster Biological Technology, based in Pleasanton, CA, has been producing high-quality antibodies and testing kits to the scientific community since 1993, but with the arrival of COVID-19, they sprung into action to develop new products that help patients and medical workers. The company is working on a whole body sterilizer that will be sprayed over your entire body. They are also developing thermal scanners to be installed around the US that will check body temperatures of visitors to airports and buildings — the first screening step in identifying coronavirus patients.
www.bosterbio.com

7. Pandemic Masks That Kids Really Want to Wear

Children's toy company, Bunnies By The Bay, is manufacturing masks for kids and medical workers with heartwarming images of bunnies and whimsical designs. They are also donating products and resources to hospitals and orphanage groups — an ongoing mission of theirs. With the rise of COVID-19 they are a next step to help spread comfort and love to children, while helping to save lives.
www.bunniesbythebay.com

8. Lonely? Visit Russia's Stay the Fck Home Bar

Open 24/7, the Stay the Fck Home bar was launched by Russian creative agency the Shishki Collective to encourage more people to stay at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 30,000 users visited the website in the 24 hours since its launch and during the first opening week more than 120,000 people visited the online-bar. The virtual video-conferencing bar is without borders, where people from all over the world can meet, have a drink, and try not to lose their collective minds by supporting each other. Already,  #Stayrhefuckhome has grown beyond the original idea to include 15 themed bars — including wine bars and Italian bars.  "We are going to collaborate with world-renowned DJs, organize events and keep having fun despite this worldwide quarantine," – says Mike Shishkin, CEO of  Shishki Collective. Some people are popping in for only a few minutes, but some people are spending an entire night together. For example, one attendee from Kiev took his mates on a "bar crawl," driving around the city and showing everyone the beautiful landmarks of Kiev through his phone camera. 
 
"We were driven by idea of openness and  mutual support around the world," says Shishkin. "We want people not to close up and become anxious and suspicious because of the virus. Rather, we want them to lead with openness and mutual support, and give people a chance to expand their social circles around the globe."
www.staythefuckhome.bar

9. Truck-sharing Company Helps Students Relocate Fast

Truck-sharing service Truxx announced they are offering discounted service for university and college students faced with early move-outs as campuses continue to close in response to COVID-19. The aim of the offer, dubbed CollegeRoxx, is to help students make their unexpected moves just a little easier. The company also stepped up to help in Nashville after a tornado. Many companies have used their service to help with sudden logistics challenges that they face with the current pandemic. Cofounder Jamie Hess, reckons they are perfectly positioned to help those planning to convert buildings to hospitals or overhaul production lines that require new supply chains. Their truck-sharing model offers an agile, cost effective service that can help.
www.truxxit.com

10. Tell Your Boss What You Really Think. From a Safe Distance

Online suggestion box, DirectSuggest, has a virtual suggestion box application that is being used throughout the world to assist organizations to manage, adapt, and mitigate issues around the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of employees are staying engaged with their companies and making innovative suggestions on what they think is necessary to prevent the virus from harming their daily operations. DirectSuggest are currently offering a free 90-day promotional offer to assist in spreading the level of impact they can make in businesses around the world.
www.directsuggest.com

11. These Lawyers Have Turned Into Publishers For Good

Connecticut law firm Pullman & Comley has essentially turned itself into a COVID-19 publication, putting out blog posts multiple times a day on different legal topics. As the crisis began to unfold, this 101-year-old firm with 90+ attorneys was inundated with questions from companies, municipalities, educational institutions and nonprofits and attorneys began writing almost immediately as a service to the communities they serve. Many of the topics they have addressed are ones that many may not even have considered yet: Working from home and sick leave policies — what is required of employers and what is within their rights? Childcare and children-at-work policies — how can employers support parents of kids whose schools or daycares have been closed? What types of business closures could be covered by insurance? How has telehealth coverage been expanded and who can now see a doctor remotely? Quarantine and isolation policies — who can be quarantined and under what conditions? How do school closures affect obligations of school districts with respect to students with disabilities?
www.pullcom.com

12. Disinfect Your Office With Small UFO

Sending humans into buildings infected by the COVID-19 virus to disinfect them is a health risk, especially in small rooms and in confined spaces. Most drones can't fly stably indoors and into confined spaces, but Digital Aerolus has developed the Aertos 120 UVC drone by combining the disinfection power of UVC lights with unique industrial drones. The drones are designed to fly indoors and in confined spaces and provide UVC cleaning, significantly reducing health risks. Potential areas include doctor's offices, hospital rooms, waiting areas, grocery and retail stores, businesses and areas where first responder and healthcare workers rest between shifts. UVC light sanitation technology is currently used in the healthcare industry but many of the UVC lights are large, cost-prohibitive or impractical to deploy. By combining industrial drones with small but powerful UVC lights, it has allowed many more organizations to use this life-saving technology.
www.digitalaerolus.com

13. Find a Machine Globally to Fulfill Your Local Needs

Neil Ferrier, the head of luxury lifestyle brand, Discommon in Greenville, South Carolina, recently pivoted all his efforts toward aiding medical workers in the state. He rallied his overseas production contacts to produce 7.5 million disposable masks and is delivering these masks to the hospital system in South Carolina. Frustrated with the delays in shipping, as 230 countries try to get their products out of China, he utilized his resources to locate critical mask-making machines in Hong Kong and was instrumental in working with multiple parties to facilitate a National Guard Lockheed C-5 to pick up the machines and deliver them to Carolina. Locals are now able to produce masks at fabric mills in the area.
www.discommon.com

14. Is Your Product Already Fighting The Virus?

Copper H2O produces water bottles made of copper, which recent studies have shown is naturally anti-viral and can help stop the transmission of the coronavirus (but not a 100% solution). Many companies have already used their copper bottles for staff as a way of helping to minimize the spread of the virus and also to avoid disposable, single-use water bottles. Recent scientific studies on copper as an anti-viral, have shown the benefits (https://www.copperh2o.com/coronavirusName)
www.copperh2o.com

15. Give Your Empty Land Away (For a While)

CEO of Car Passionate, Michael Lowe, wasn't sure how his car parts company could contribute to the COVID-19 outbreak, but then he realized that even small gestures and ideas can help. "As my staff and I are working away from our premises as much as possible, we aren't using the entirety of our land, so what I decided to do is allow all key, front-line workers to park freely wherever and whenever they liked." Their team have offered their services to the vulnerable by adapting many of their vehicles into delivery vehicles and turned industrial pressure washers, used for cleaning industrial grime, toward keeping vulnerable areas clean. Their positive role modeling has made other small businesses in the area want to join forces with them and help deliver essentials to the vulnerable.
www.CarPassionate.com

16. How to Fight an Invisible Enemy With 3D Printers

Minuteman Press franchisees like Michael Levy in Levittown, Long Island are taking action in the fight against COVID-19 by using 3D printing to produce critical items like face-shields and hand sanitizer labels. Levy never imagined that his 3D printing machine would one day be used to help fight a disease, but that's exactly what's happening today. While the face shields Michael and his staff are printing and assembling are not designed by medical teams, they are being requested by medical professionals and requests are mounting as quickly as he fulfills them. "I'm getting calls from anesthesiologists, dental hygienists and other providers. All are saying they want them now and don't have them readily available, so we print them all day to accommodate this need.
www.minutemanpressfranchise.com

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