A business you can start with a laptop should be both portable and scalable. I looked to the internet several years ago to earn some extra money in a flexible way and around other work. I initially looked at eBay almost 20 years ago and started selling things from my room. This turned into a part time hobby of buying and selling on the auction site. I would find items cheap from car boot sales and charity shops. Then I would re-list them on eBay and make a profit.
Business You Can Start With A Laptop – eBay
This strategy had a number of limitations. For starters it wasn’t portable because I had to buy stock in and then post it out. I had a room full of stuff most of time at one point and was constantly on the computer either looking for stock or answering messages. This definitely wasn’t the business model which was going to set me free!
I later found a little eBay ‘hack’ which let me find low priced items on eBay. You can read the full strategy in this article: how to start a profitable eBay business. At the time I thought it was pretty clever, it is. However, it also has a number of limitations. The system I used basically involved finding items on eBay which were badly listed or misspelled. By finding the misspelled items on eBay I could buy them for less than half their market value and then re-sell them again on an auction.
This strategy does work although there are some major limitations:
- It’s a time heavy business model. To make it work you need to buy increasingly expensive items
- It’s not scalable – you need to constantly be buying and selling individual items
Business You Can Start With A Laptop – Selling Ebooks
I found this strategy after purchasing an ebook from eBay itself. Although I had some limited success with the strategy in the ebook, it was the ebook itself which was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. I had bought an item from eBay which required no postage. Since I was spending so long queueing at the post office to weigh items individually and post them, this struck a chord with me. Ebooks were digital.
This meant they could be downloaded instantly from eBay. Although in the UK at the time, rules had recently come into place on eBay that digital products had to come with a physical disc which had to be posted. Despite this hitch I saw some magic in the ability to sell online. Downloadable products could be sold again and again through a single listing or website.
So I set about writing my own ebooks and I tried to sell them both on eBay and then on my own website.
The other thing about selling ebooks was there was no stock. It was all digital so I could sell from my laptop from anywhere. It was a business you can start with a laptop which needed no stock or postage, which sounded good to me.
Unfortunately I didn’t do very well trying to sell my ebooks. I don’t remember selling a single one. But the main reason wasn’t the ebook itself, it was my lack of marketing skills. So I looked for online courses which would help me.
Business You Can Start With A Laptop – Affiliate Marketing
I found various courses online which claimed to teach how to make money from your laptop. I tried most of them! What I realised very quickly was that the people succeeding online were not creating their own products. They were selling other people’s products. There were a few guru’s selling their own courses, but I couldn’t compete with many of the products already out there. So I became an affiliate marketer.
The model which allows anyone to sell someone else’s products is called affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is basically a kind of online referral marketing. By referring someone to a product on the internet, you can earn a commission.
With digital products such as an ebook, this can be as much as 40%+ of the cost price. You can also sell physical products from sites like Amazon and eBay too, but physical products pay less to affiliates. Physical products have postage and storage costs involved. Plus there’s the cost of manufacture, which is much higher than with digital products. Once a digital product is made, it can be sold again and again. That’s why product owners or ‘vendors’ can afford to pay out such good commissions.
Business You Can Start With A Laptop – Blogging + Pay Per Click
At around the same time I had joined several online business courses. Some of them taught affiliate marketing and other taught a different method. Google Adsense has a program which all blogger can use to put adverts on their blogs. When someone clicks on your advert, you earn a percentage of the amount the advertiser is paying. I studied on a course which taught this method for several months too. It required writing a lot of content and ranking it in the search engines.
This has become a fairly tall order. Since Google can change their algorithms whenever they like, and often do, many bloggers have fallen foul of the organic rankings. Some business owners who used to rank well have completely disappeared from the search rankings, losing their income overnight.
Although some do earn an income from Google Adsense, it is often used an an ‘extra’ income along with affiliate marketing. It takes time to generate the content needed to rank on the searches free. You also only earn tiny amounts for each click on your adverts. You need thousands of daily visitors to your blog in order to make a realistic living from it. If you manage it though, you can have a nice passive income for as long as your content keeps getting hits! I wouldn’t recommend this strategy though if you’re looking for a realistic income from the internet. There is a better way..
Business You Can Start With A Laptop – List Building
I had tried many strategies to make a living from the internet, and been disappointed many times. However, I was still convinced that from my small successes there was a better business model out there which I was about to discover! I had had some success. Mostly my success online had come in the form of paid advertising and list building – with an affiliate product.
I had joined as an affiliate to one of the training platforms I bought and I built a simple website and started sending traffic to it. Before long my inbox was full of sales for this course, one after another. I was about to make it big! All I had to do was increase my spending on advertising to increase my sales. Unfortunately my Adwords account got banned and I couldn’t recover it. I lost motivation and stopped entirely for some time despite getting so close to success.
No-one prepares you for the difficulties with an online business. Getting over these hurdles and carrying on is the hardest thing.
A Business You Can Run From A Laptop – Products
I saw an advert on Facebook which led me to sign up to a free video series (access the same series here). I decided that I had gone so far and needed to ’empty my cup’ and keep learning. This was to be the last course I would need. I knew that list building and affiliate products were the key. What I was missing though was the right kind of products and the right mindset for a digital business.
I knew digital products were the key for a successful internet business. 40% commissions on digital products was great and you didn’t need to speak to customers or handle any products yourself. Using digital products means you are instantly global too. A business you can start from a laptop should take full advantage of the fact that you have access to a global audience.
I knew the automation which came with digital products also made for a great business model. I just didn’t know the full picture. Websites, adverts and email autoresponders all could be automated and these were the main tools of an online business. With automation, digital products and the ability to scale to a global audience, you can have a virtually autopilot money making system, once everything is running.
A High Ticket Product Range & Subscriptions
This was the vital part of the equation I was missing. I was selling low priced items for $100. 40% commission left me with $40 which at first seemed great, because it was a novelty. However, to replace my income, I would need to sell a lot of items again and again. With a range of products and the ability to sell subscriptions (memberships), I could earn much larger commissions per sale and earn regular and ongoing payments from subscriptions. This made for a much more viable opportunity.
Support and A Community Based Training Platform
The vital final ingredient to a business you can start with a laptop: support. I struggled alone for years before I realised this vital point. Going it alone is difficult. Your friends, relatives and colleagues won’t necessarily support and help you with such a venture. More likely they will undermine your efforts. (See why your friends and family don’t want you to succeed). It’s not necessarily malicious, just that people like to maintain the status quo. You changing and doing better than them alters your relationship.
Mindset Training For Entrepreneurial Life
If you’re going to succeed at a business you can start with a laptop, you’ll need some help and advice. not just in the form of a community of support, but also in terms of your mentality. Unless you can overcome limited thinking, poor self image and old unhelpful belief systems, success will always be slightly out of reach. The ‘glass ceiling’ of a business is always limited by the thinking of its owner. This is why this training and education platform focuses on mindset development in conjunction with the nuts and bolts of building a long term sustainable internet business.
Access a training and education platform backed by a community and digital business system which people are using today to build a business you can start from your laptop. Access the free 7 day video series and learn more.