Starting a new business is easy. Staying in business is the challenge.
There are so many affordable pathways when starting a business that there is literally no excuse not to start your dream business now. Uncertainty, confusion, and a lack of confidence may stop you from trying. But the lack of money isn't what will hold you back.
It didn't start with Chris Guillebeau book The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. But he certainly showed us how easy we could start a business without a large budget. He let us see the possibilities that existed for inexperienced entrepreneurs with nothing more than a pipe dream and gas money.
If you have a dream - that burning desire to make something your own - there's a way to make it happen. You simply need to see the pathway to your goal.
The Digital Answer
Cheap. Assessable. Scalable.
That's the easiest way to describe a digital business. It's affordable to start, with many free and low-price options. Anyone with a smartphone and an email address can purchase a digital product. And there is zero cost for distribution beyond the cost of production. You upload your digital product to a host (like Amazon's Kindle eBooks) and the product is simply downloaded. You can sell 10 or 10,000 and the digital process won't change.
According to Alicia Dorion from Lemonstand, the five most profitable digital products are:
- Videos and Courses
- Web Elements (themes, patterns, plugins, wallpapers, logos, etc.)
Of course, there are a million variations on each type of digital product. The beauty of digital products is the versatility and the ability to adapt to any niche. The hardest part is finding that great idea that sells like hotcakes.
Finding Digital Success
Creating a digital business isn't like the Wild West. It's not uncharted territory where you have to forge ahead into the unknown. Millions of people, just like you, have already created successful digital businesses. You just have to follow the pathway they did.
Author Tara Gentile sells her eBooks and multimedia packs like Quiet Power Strategy. Selz has an eCommerce plugin that works with Wordpress and other website platforms. Selz also has a blog with how-to guides including Creating Your First Ebook: Part 1.
Zach Spuckler, Rock Your Launch the Heart, Soul, & Hustle Way uses the eCommerce platform Kajabi to build online courses. It's a simple and easy platform to create and sell digital products. From the Kajabi blog:
"Whatever it may be, get uncomfortable. Stretch yourself. Once you master that, expand yourself even more. If Zach stayed in his comfort zone Heart, Soul, & Hustle wouldn't be the success it is today. It would be a prisoner still trapped in Zach's what if land."
Kyle Wakefield, from Theme.co, uses the Wordpress marketplace Themeforest to sell his themes. What's interesting is that Theme.co makes website themes but chose to sell his themes on another platform. Wakefield says:
"I chose ThemeForest because I'm a big believer in channels. One of the biggest challenges to any business is finding buyers. We had an opportunity to build something that, if approved (that's a whole story in and of itself), would be in front of millions of targeted buyers."
Mapping Your Pathway
After identifying your amazing new idea, finding a way to sell to the masses is second on your list. There are so many cool eCommerce platforms that have amazing support for new businesses. Many have options for starting a free online store, success blogs to learn from other business owners, and many have forums where you can ask questions.
Do some research and find the type of eCommerce platform that would be the best vehicle for your digital product. Learn how others, just like you, started their business with very little money using that platform. Study. Learn the tricks of the trade. Bootstrap everything you possibly can.
Starting a square one can be overwhelming. But you're not alone and you have support. Take a deep breath and vision where you want your business to go.
That's your pathway to success.