A more traditional way to Start an Online Business…

A more traditional way to Start an Online Business…


Seth Godin (acclaimed author and teacher) says to start your first business this way:

  1. Begin with the smallest possible project in which someone will pay you money to solve a problem they know they have.
  2. Charge less than it’s worth and more than it costs you.
  3. Repeat

The beauty about doing so with an Online Business is that not only is it simple to do; it can be done far more cheaply than to go a more traditional route.

Don’t worry so much about the ‘online’ part. It is only a tool, a mechanism to reach people who need to know about you’re your business is doing. Instead, figure out how to create value. The online part will take care of itself.

Don’t quit your day job (whatever that means to you) or use all your savings. Start evenings and weekends. If you don’t want to have to start from scratch, buy a small online business to practice on. The best way to move from Learner to Practitioner is to DO stuff. Figure it out with small failures.

Doing so also helps you build a public reputation (which can remain online only). Build a good one, and be sure that you deserve it, and that it will hold up to scrutiny.

Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it’s yours.

Connect the disconnected.

Make money offline. If you can figure out how to create value face to face, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to do the same digitally. The web isn’t magic, it’s merely efficient.

Become the best in the world at something that people value. Easier said than done, worth more than you might think.

Hang out with people who aren’t looking for shortcuts. Learn from them. Find and pay for advice that has not only credentials but also a robust track record.

Fail. Fail often and fail cheaply. This is the very best gift the web has given to people who want to bootstrap their way into a new business.

Make money in the small and then relentlessly scale.

Don’t chase yesterday’s online fad.

Think big, act with intention and don’t get bogged down in personalities. If it’s not on your agenda, why are you wasting time on it?

Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in a team (especially if offshore), to find underused resources and to spot patterns.

This is not a zero sum game. The more you add to your community, the bigger your piece gets.

Here’s a novel first seven steps to get you going:

  1. Pick your Topic
    Create a strategic map of all that is going on within that topic and start checking for gaps and patterns
  2. Keywords
    Concentrating on both the industry players and their likely customers, create a list of keywords that is used to find them and are relevant to your topic
  3. Search
    Using these keywords, start searching and note what you find. Again what are the questions being asked that does not appear to have answers?
  4. Top 50 pages
    Record what the top 50 pages are that come up for the questions. Explore them for the answers being sought. What’s missing?
  5. Extract contact details
    Feed into your database/spreadsheet
  6. Create an “offer”, with the view to discussing what’s missing with the top 50, highlighting how you are the one to assist in plugging this gap (and to project manager it for payment)
  7. Rinse and repeat

Following steps like these will enable you to potentially play in a space you may be more familiar in i.e. the more traditional business, and together, craft and execute an online business model that you has you part of the action.

And it certainly opens the door to a useful conversation about whether your personal goal is useful, your strategy is appropriate and your tactic is coherent and likely to cause the change sought.

In your offer, address:

What’s it for?
When it works, will we be able to tell?
What’s it supposed to do?

Who is it for?
What specific group is this designed to resonate with?

What does this remind you of?
Who has tried this before?
Is it as well done?

What’s the call to action?
Is there a moment when you are clearly asking people to do something?

Show this to ten strangers. Don’t say anything. What do they ask you?
Now, ask them what the material is asking them to do.

What is the urgency?
Why now?

Your job is not to answer every question; your job is not to close the sale. The purpose of this work is to amplify interest, generate interaction and spread your idea to the people who need to hear it, at the same time that you build trust.

You will rarely achieve this with one fell swoop, so be prepared to drip your way through countless swoops until you’ve earned the privilege of engaging with the audience you seek and them seeing the value in what you’re proposing.

As simple as Seth’s advice is, it is also extremely powerful. Follow it, together with the steps outlined and you will be well on your way.

To talk to me about this and any other business question you have on your mind, please contact me via email: dhall@businessbrokers.com.au.

#TEMpting: Online Baby Boutique to Buy…

baby shower giftsThis online boutique store is full of quality products and beautiful gifts for all of the babies and toddlers. Newborn gifts, the perfect baby shower gifts, 1st birthday or just because…what ever the occasion, here you will find the perfect products in store.

The business sources, selects, packages and distributes a beautiful range of quality products that have been tried and tested. The offer is promoted along the lines of having a personal shopper, doing all the legwork for the purchaser.

Together with the unique range of products on display, so is excellent customer service and the ease of shopping 24/7, from anywhere! Once a perfect gift is chosen, free gift-wrapping is offered as part of the service.

Given the level of interest to date and with time dedicated to it, the business has grown well but still allows for a lot of potential. In particular, it will add value as a bolt-on to an existing business in a similar niche or as a hobby/second income business for the sophisticated baby gift enthusiast.

ASKING PRICE: $100,000 (plus stock at cost)

Interested? email sell@theentrepreneurialmother.com.au

what does “generating profit” from a website really mean?


Sounds pretty obvious I know, but in my experience it’s not!

Websites have the capacity to be profit centres in their own right.
I repeat that.
Websites have the capacity to be profit centres in their own right.

So when I’m approached about selling an “online business”, I will always ask about:

  • the traffic
  • the database
  • the profit

Usually the answers come thick and fast about the first two and only muffled silence on the 3rd.

If your website is not making money in its own right, is it really an online business?
What invariably happens is that the online part is the front end, the marketing channel but it still has a manual backend.
Which means the Business Owner may have mastered the art of generating traffic and building a database but the fulfilment component and the collection of dollars are done in the more traditional ways.

So it’s not really an online business at all.

What Business are you building?

answer these questions to kickstart your Online Strategy…


The following is a series of questions to help start your thinking around your Online Strategy. 

  • Does the Business currently have an online presence at all? If not, why not?
  • Is there a mapped out Online Strategy in place?
  • If yes, how old is it?
  • How well has it been executed?
  • If not yet and  it had to be executed immediately, does it make sense?
  • Is it addressing what really needs to be addressed?
  • If yes, what’s worked? what hasn’t?
  • What are you still doing that you shouldn’t be?
  • If selling is an option, does it appeal to a Buyer in its current form?
  • Is it set up to be able to “hand over” to a third party?
  • How are the online records (eg Google Anaytics) looking?
  • Does this reporting of the Business (e.g.: to the ATO) reflect its online “value”?
  • Where is the Online Strategy at right now vs. where does it want/intend to be?
  • If it relies solely on YOU, what steps need to be taken to reduce the risk/potential damage?
  • Is there the option to do both ie build/acquire to grow and then Exit once all in place?
  • Alternatively, is now the prime time to acquire an Online business to help fill gaps, if that’s possible?
  • If looking at a Buy option, will acquiring a website get the Business there more quickly?

In order for you to Start with the End in Mind TODAY, what has to happen?
Based on where the Business is now and what is wanted long-term, will determine the gaps to be filled.

By all means contact me if you want to talk any of this through…

buy | sell websites; here’s what I need in order to pique my interest…


So you have a website to sell.
You want to come and talk to me about it but you’re not sure about what’s involved.
Here’s what I will ask of you.

Apart from standard questions I ask, mainly around the history of the site, why it started, it’s story really, I will need to see the following to substantiate revenue/income and traffic/statistics:

  • screen shots of what you use to collect the monies
    for example: PayPal, Adsense, affiliates, etc
  • Screen shots or PDFs of the Google “Analytics” summary

Ideally these are for the duration that the site has been running.

With any of this information, please blacken out any personal details not relevant to me, like bank account details etc.

These are the basics required to ascertain what you’ve got and how you prove it.


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