Many entrepreneurs struggle to come up with good ideas. It only takes one, however, to lay the foundation of a profitable business.
But don’t worry – your idea doesn’t necessarily need to be perfect to allow you to start a business.
Here’s a tip: instead of trying to think of the exact, final idea that will be the basis of your business, it might help to start out surveying the field to see what is already working.
In other words, begin by looking at general areas or industries rather than focused, tight subjects.
Start at the wide end of the funnel and narrow your choices and focus as you move down the funnel toward the small end.
There will be a lot of areas or industries that you’ll be able to eliminate right off the bat in order to narrow the field.
Let me tell you about some general categories of Internet business that have historically been of great interest to lots of customers.
These are not niches – they’re just wide areas or subjects or markets that have proven to hold many potential prospects.
Here are some of the more widely followed Internet subjects (not listed in any particular order of importance):
There are a lot of sub-categories to travel that hold great promise for Internet businesses like outdoor recreation (biking, hiking, camping, fishing, etc), taking cruises, cross country sight seeing, RVing, foreign travel, and on and on. Folks like to hear about personal experiences and impressions of other travelers rather than taking a tour operator’s word or just reading a brochure without some input from previous travelers to the same destination.
2. Golden living.
Information, ideas, and places that are of interest to seniors. There are millions of baby-boomers at or nearing retirement and they are not going to abandon their computers and dreams for rocking chairs just yet. Oh, and they have money to spend as well!
3. Home planning, decorating, improving, etc.
Lots of do-it-yourselfers (DIY) will keep this topic hot for a long time to come. The Internet is the perfect medium for seeing what great concepts and ideas have been incorporated by others. New homes are out of the question for many; instead, they will spend their cash on fixing up the current place.
4. Health care and beauty products.
These are actually separate subjects but I will lump them together for our purposes here. I can tell you that there is continued great potential for innovative business ideas, services, and products in this space. Here’s another tip: there are more women than men online these days – and they are not shy about shopping online. Try catering to women in your marketing of these subjects.
5. Comparison shopping.
There are many different business models and strategies in this space. Portals, directories, recommendation resources, product review sites, affiliate networks and a lot of other strategies fit into this category. Many of these methods use affiliate sales, “Adsense” type links, and pay-per-click links to generate business revenue.
6. Small electronics and tech gadgets.
Included in this subject are sales for CDs, music subscriptions, digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones, DVDs, and on and on. Is there a more popular subject on the Internet? I don’t thing so. Sometime, just for fun, go to eBay and check out the number of auctions for all these items within this subject – it will blow you away!
7. How-to information.
Whenever I have a question about how to do something or where to find something, I turn to the Internet. Millions and millions of folks do the same thing and the audience is growing daily. Think of the information you have a special passion for or knowledge about – it may be an excellent candidate for the subject of your new home based Internet business. “How to information” really does span almost all niches and markets so in that sense, this is really a way to approach nearly every marketplace online.
8. Hobbies and pets.
Again, I’ll lump these together even though they are their own subjects. I have an idea why these subjects are so popular on the Internet. I think it’s because the audience somehow feels a kinship or friendship with others in their hobby even though they have never met face to face. They feel like they’re among friends when they chat, or post to forums, or participate in surveys and feedback. I could be wrong, of course. But hobbies and pets remain “evergreen” marketplaces online.
9. Landscaping, gardening, farming.
Again, a huge number of people go online to find answers to their questions on these subjects. It’s a way to tap into expertise and solid information that is often hard to come by locally. One of the nice aspects of this subject is the fact that it lends itself to deep, deep specialization. There are a lot of targeted customers for every variety of flower, every plant, vegetable and tree. The numbers here are in home gardening and landscaping, the hobbyist pursuit, not in subjects that directly deal with full time or large scale farming and ranching.
This subject has taken it’s knocks with all the hype and “get rich quick” advertising that is so commonplace; nevertheless, there is a great and growing interest among Internet viewers in subjects like investing, the stock market, job placement, work-at-home, working moms, self-employment, eBaying, franchises, career development, and on and on.
Hopefully, one of these broad subjects will strike your interest and start you down the funnel toward your future specialty subject. These subjects are all way to broad for the home business owner to target. Dig down deep and specialize in a specific and well-defined topic that you can dominate. Good luck!
To your online business success,