I just love the phrase "rat race" because it so perfectly describes how crowded we have allowed our worlds to be. If you're like me you have those moments where you're just tired of running the same race, doing the same thing over and over again. I often get inspired by those who are calling the shots and making things happen for themselves. Boy, what risk takers?
This was my mindset before starting my own business. I'm sure I drooled anytime someone told me they were in business for themselves. I wanted it so desperately but just wasn't sure how to go about it. Growing up, the people I knew who owned their own businesses had typical brick and mortar businesses with a building and usually some type of product. Very few I knew had a business they could truly work from home from start to finish. That's where I wanted to be, working my own business from home. I knew I could find my niche in this ever building market, but how?
Over the years I've researched many different online businesses and have learned a lot in that time span. I seemed to unconsciously ask myself the same questions. Will it last? Is this real? Can I really do this? In essence I was looking for a strong opportunity that would meet the goals and objectives I'd set for myself while allowing me to earn money in my sleep. Since then I've formulated my strategic approach to be a bit more sophisticated. I call it the GPS strategy. In other words when seeking an online business I want to know how the GPS System checks out for that business.
So what's a GPS system? It's simple: Growth, Profitability, and Stability. What I looked for in an online business was packaged right nicely in this bundle that I now call GPS. Here's the breakdown:
Growth: Before you even begin searching for an online business decide what you want in a business. What are your goals, your objectives, and your purpose in even doing an online business? Make note of your answers and see if the online business matches with your growth plan for yourself. If your ultimate goal is to leave your job and work a business that does not work you, see how the online business matches up with that. How much is required of you in order to meet your growth objectives?
Profitability: It's simple right? Will this make money? Yes, that's part of the explanation, however, every product or service that sells may not be the right product for you. Think more along the lines of whether or not it will be profitable for you. Is this something you would be interested in from a consumer's standpoint? Would this product or service catch your eye if you were browsing the Internet? It's very difficult to promote a product or service that you yourself do not believe in. Think of something in your home that you absolutely love. If you were going to sell it or give it to someone how would you get them interested. The same rules apply for your online business. You want to be able to speak about your product or service without a second thought. When you're passionate about it or it gets you really excited you can do just that. Your audience will feed off of your excitement, your passion, which in turn makes your online business profitable.
Stability: Thinking in terms of the Internet, stability can range anywhere from 2 to 5 years. Outside of the World Wide Web this sounds unstable. However, think of those familiar social networking sites we so anxiously hop on. Where were they 5 years ago? We weren't twittering, adding friends on Facebook, or carving out a MySpace page and we weren't even thinking about texting. So when considering your online business check its history. See how long they've been around. Consider how often technology changes and decide whether this business can ride the waves successfully. As time moves on the business should evolve and change right along with it.
Marketing strategies should look different today than they did when the business first started. Within the history look for peaks in growth where they may have added an additional product, service or strategy that assisted in them changing with the times. This is a representation that they in fact can ride the wave of constant change that you find when doing business online.
I want you to know that online businesses are not one size fits all. It's important to make sure what they offer matches with what you want in a business. After all, you are the one who will be in charge of marketing and representing that business and its product or services. Determine your goals and needs in an online business and then see how that businesses GPS system matches up.