Over the next few articles, I will discuss what is important when you have made that momentous decision to start your own online business, peddling whatever it is that you are good at, or would like to offer to your potential customers.
The internet has given many of us, who previously couldn’t even consider the possibility of working from home and for ourselves, an opportunity to do just that. For me, as an unknown author, I know that my book sales, initially anyway, are unlikely to keep that nasty, financial wolf from banging on my door, demanding his pound of flesh. So, it was only logical I cast around looking for business opportunities to parlay my skills and abilities into cold, hard cash.
The first thing I needed to consider was – What are my skills that someone else may want to purchase? I mean there’s not a lot of point in offering your skills as say, a massage therapist, to someone living in a different country, now is there? (Unless they’re offering to pay for your air-ticket, of course. Maybe you’re that good with the old muscle manipulation – but I suspect not.) So, that’s the first issue to resolve in your mind, before starting out. Not just, what am I good at, but what will other people pay me their hard-earned income, to do for them?
For me, it was a dilemma. In a previous life, I was an accountant and that is a VERY marketable skill. However, the whole point for me, in taking up writing full-time. was that it was what I wanted to do. It was my joy and my pleasure – my bliss! To have set up an online business offering accounting & financial services and advice might well have been profitable for me, but it would have been a retrograde step, back to a world I gladly left behind several years ago. No, for me, whatever service I offered, it had to be, in some way, related to writing.
So, step one – determine your skills, your bliss, and your potential customers. That is what you do first. Once you are clear in your mind, what services you want to offer, you can move on to step number two. In my case, the obvious choice for me was to offer my skills as a proof-reader and editor. I had worked, a few years ago, as a print journalist for a newspaper and had honed my skills at editing during that period. Also, as an avid reader of self-published authors, I was aware many of the so-called “editors” peddling their wares in the marketplace, were frankly awful and expensive. In fact, I remember having a discussion with an author, after I’d read her book and quietly suggesting to her that she might want to get a good editor to run an eye over the manuscript. It was full of typos, missing words, and inappropriate words. I was horrified when she told me she had already paid a “substantial” amount of money, to have it edited, before publishing. It was clear to me the “editor” had done nothing more than run the manuscript through the “Word” spellchecker. Obviously, that was all. There were no “spelling” errors in the manuscript per se, but there was a veritable heap of inappropriate words, missing words, and misplaced words. I realised there was a niche in the market for quality, professional, low-cost, accurate, and timely editing and proofreading services. That’s where I would make my pitch, I decided.
Okay, so now you’ve decided what you want to offer in this giant, marketplace called the Internet, the next question is; Step number two – What are you going to call yourself?
Be sure to check out the next article, when I discuss that most important of questions: What’s In A Name? It may well surprise you that choosing an appropriate name for your online business is actually one of the major keys to your online success.
Until then, keep dreaming and keep dreaming big. “If you don’t have big dreams, big dreams can’t come true”.
I am an expatriate New Zealander, now living in the Philippines with my beautiful wife and two lovely daughters. At age 55, after careers in Journalism and finance, I finally discovered my true passion in life – writing. I am now a full-time author who has written or co-written seven novels, across differing genres.
My latest project is a Historical Romance set to the backdrop of the Philippine revolution of 1896, against the Spanish.
I believe in the power of the written word and the mantra that I live by and finish each of my blog posts on my website with is:
CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME
GRANT LEISHMAN'S NOVELS
I love that Grant Leishhman doesn't pump out formula plots, as I love originality. As he is a proofreader, you can be certain his books are skilfully written. You'll be certain to enjoy them. I've not been paid no express this opinion of Grant Leishman's books or for promoting them here. I do this to encourage great writing talent.
Cheers, Ryn Shell, author and artist..