At the very beginning, digital entrepreneurs don’t have a good feel for what is possible. To help beginners think of new digital business ideas, we suggest they start with one of five simple types:
- A content business, providing information about any specialized topic. Revenue can be generated through advertising, referrals, sponsorship, or merchandise.
- A community business, hosting a lively and useful conversation about any specialized topic. The revenue possibilities are similar to content businesses.
- An online store, which sells products or services. The products might be physical, or digital.
- A matchmaker business, which brings together two groups of people. Often one group is a product or service provider (for example, potential babysitters) and another group that would use their services (parents looking for a babysitter). Advertising revenue is a possibility, but a transaction fee could also be collected for successful matches.
- A promotion business, which attracts online customers for a business that already exists. Payments per customer referral is a likely revenue source here, or sponsorship.
It may be difficult to come up with a perfect new business idea right from the start, but among these five possibilities just about anyone can come up with a reasonable idea quickly. As long as they can think of a topic (any topic!) that at least a few hundred other people might be interested in, a product or service they want to sell, groups of people who could help each other, or any local business which could use some promotion help, beginning digital entrepreneurs can start their journey.
These five simple types also make it easier to communicate a digital business idea. A new business idea is either:
- A content business about [your topic].
- A community business about [your topic].
- An online store selling [your product or service].
- A matchmaking business connecting [service providers/group A] with [service users/group B].
- An online business promoting [a local business].
The possibilities are practically limitless, and ever changing.