Online entrepreneurship is extremely competitive nowadays. Building a website is easier than ever, so many people are starting digital businesses. Not all of these ambitious projects will succeed, however. Everyone wants to know what sets successful digital ventures apart from the ones that aren’t fruitful. There is no easy answer to this question. You can, however, get an idea by looking at online businesses that started as a small, often one person effort, and grew into prominent digital companies. Here is a list of such successful online companies to inspire you:
Shopow is one of the most popular online shopping websites in the United Kingdom today. Here, users can compare prices for items sold by hundreds of stores located globally. In 2011, it profited over 3 million dollars after having been in business for only 18 months. Despite Shopow’s massive success, it was started by two young entrepreneurs, Mike Harty and Kevin Flood, who were just out of college. Shopow owes its success to the unique business idea at its core: social network-based shopping and price comparison. It’s so popular, users call the site the “Facebook of shopping.”
Web Marketing Experts (WME) is a prominent digital marketing agency based in Australia. The company rakes in an impressive 46 million dollars a year by providing SEO, online advertising and other digital marketing services worldwide. When it was started, WME was a simple one-man, local Google business operating out of its founder, Nick Bell’s, bedroom in Melbourne. Bell had to make about a hundred phone calls each day to prospective clients, and had only a handful of them actually hire his services. Apparently, the cold calling worked, and WME is one of the most successful businesses in Australia now, with branches in Hong Kong and Singapore.
3.Sweat ‘N Spice
Would you ever believe that a person could make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by blogging about sauces? That’s exactly what Nick Lindauer, an American entrepreneur, did. Lindauer began the blogging business from his college dorm room. Initially, the blog was dedicated to writing about different types of sauces, but Lindauer expanded his business model to monetise on it. He called up wholesale sauce sellers and facilitated a communication link between his readers and the wholesale sellers on his blog. He sold about a dozen sauce bottles during his first year, shipping the orders himself. With continual dedication on Lindauer’s part, the blog is now a massive success.
You have probably heard about this popular dating site, or seen it in Lady Gaga videos. The site’s founder, Markus Frind, began this venture as an exercise to practise his programming skills. What started off as a small web experiment in Frind’s Vancouver apartment now attracts 1.2 billion users worldwide. PlentyofFish is essentially a free service that has mastered the art of monetising using Google ads and affiliate marketing links. Frind even boasted recently that he makes 10 million dollars a year by working about 10 hours a week.
The success of any digital business depends on the commitment and marketing tactics used by the founders. If you are starting your own online business, don’t set unrealistic goals thinking that your company will be as successful as Google. Learn from the success stories mentioned above, and focus on a niche market, hone your promotional skills, research what the customers want and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.