Looking to start an online business but don’t know what to sell?

by gregnunan on November 7, 2012

I recently came across a question in a small business forum from somebody looking to start an online business:

“I have always wanted to start an online business store….but don’t seem to know what to buy/sell and from where to buy a good product that sells cheap…can anyone share from there experience?”

So without scrolling down to read the responses from forum members, I’m thinking “yep fantastic, all you need to do is educate yourself on how to make money online and then the “what to sell” part will naturally work itself out”…

And then I read this response from a well-meaning forum poster:

“Hello (persons name), I hate to throw cold water on an idea but frankly if you do not know what you are going to be offering online and you are not sure even where to start then don’t. You will just be wasting money and your own time.

Typically a new business venture starts with a good idea or maybe a repeated idea or theme. By that I mean that some entrepreneurs will start a business, then sell it and start a similar business again.”

BAM! Advice from someone responding with their traditional business hat on…

The thing about making money online compared to offline is that it is different in SO MANY WAYS:

  • Less financial risk (online businesses are low cost)
  • Less ongoing time to manage (generally)
  • Better capacity to create leverage and scale where you start to be paid more and more for less and less work
  • And so on, and son on…

You see, once you learn how to make money online, the entire web opens up for you.

Opportunities will arise that you never even thought of. But that doesn’t happen without the HOW…

At the time of writing this, I’ve committed about 8 hours in the last month to my online businesses because I’ve been too busy with my traditional business and role within it. I’d love to spend 10 times that per month but I can’t.

But guess what? In that time, my income doubled. Admittedly I’m literally just starting out and that double is from a low base but I have no staff, no headaches and I can work within my online businesses when I have the time. I’m essentially a newbie compared to other “online experts” out there…

However, I have two things over 99.9% of the Australian population and those are 1) I learned how to make money online and 2) I’m taking action.

Here’s a copy of my response to the forum thread:

“Hi… Not trying to be controversial here by shooting this down, but I couldn’t disagree more about the necessity to have a product to sell before starting the business.

I’m guessing (name of poster), that you’re drawn to the idea of making money online, perhaps for the ability to make passive income, choose your own hours, maybe you like the idea of building a business and understand that online businesses are low-cost? Whatever the motivation is, I’d say the process for learning how to make money online is actually the reverse of how you make money offline…

What I’m saying is that unless you know HOW to make money online, there is no point even having a product in mind. The beauty about online business is that you can make money in so many ways and practically sell anything you like… once you know how.

I personally used the approach of learn first and decide on a product later. Now I have websites that promote everything from home business programs to pillows and exercise equipment to camping supplies. But the key is learning HOW.

Here is a link to a page on my site that talks about a program to make money online – a review of a course that I used initially and still do use: http://homebusinesshub.com.au/earn-money-from-home/earn-money-online. Just so you know… The page has an affiliate link in it so if you ultimately click that link and do the course, I will receive a commission… If you’re against that, don’t click the link 😉 The info will be useful though.

Good luck – Jump in… The water’s beautiful!”

And it is beautiful, but you’ll never know that until you quit thinking and start doing… But some people just don’t get it.

Jump in…


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