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Do you want to get into an online business and aren’t quite sure what your business should be? Or maybe your brain is giving you hundreds of home business ideas and you are wondering which one to follow? Or you’ve already launched your business ideas online and they didn’t work out the way you wanted and you’re wondering where it all went wrong…
Online Business To Start From Home
Here’s a different blog than my usual content: a fascinating interview with Jake Lang, the author of “Step One” and founder of several successful companies, including The Entrepreneur Ride Along. Jake helps aspiring entrepreneurs start and scale their first online business.
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You will be hooked on his entrepreneurial story, his learnings from failures and successes and his extremely valuable step-by-step system for deciding on your next business idea to start generating income as a solopreneur.
It is packed with highly strategic insights and advice to transition from online home business ideas to ONE, to start generating income as a sole proprietor.
Honestly, stop throwing yourself into Netflix for just a little while (yeah, me too! Hahaha!), and read this interview. Although some of the businesses Jake has built have nothing to do with your niche, his entire journey and learnings are very applicable whether you are thinking about starting your own online businesses or you already have your own business. !
It opens as many do not! This is the roughest possible online business, with the ups and downs, without makeup applied, to learn from real experiences!
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This post may contain affiliate links from which, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Thanks for hosting me on the blog, I’m happy to contribute and talk about home business ideas!
I’m Jake Lang, I’ve started seven online businesses since 2014. I developed my side business while working as a financial analyst in the insurance industry from 2014 to 2021. In April 2021, I quit my day job to pursue entrepreneurship full time. . I now own a portfolio of three online businesses that generate passive income and financially support me as a full-time entrepreneur.
I now live in Maine with my wife Brooke and our four dogs Charlie, Miley, Millie and Penny where I continue to run my businesses and coach entrepreneurs. My mission is to start a new online business every year and share everything behind the scenes of The Entrepreneur Ride Along so that new entrepreneurs can learn from my mistakes, understand the challenges of starting a new business and find their way to entrepreneurial success.
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To begin, I will give you an introduction to each of my home business ideas. Below is a breakdown of each of my activities, in chronological order, with an overview of where they are today:
In 2014, while a senior at the University of New Hampshire, I started the website buydirectmailadvertisingleads.com.
I tried to sell residential and commercial mailing addresses to small local businesses for their direct mail marketing campaigns. I used a database I had access to from my university to export thousands of addresses into an Excel file based on demographic criteria filters I set up. I would send this excel file to small business owners for their targeted mail campaigns.
I launched the business and started blogging, tweeting and cold calling. It was time to get rich and pay off my college debt. I had the idea, launched the business and thought the money would follow.
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No one wanted what I was selling. I called dozens of small businesses in the area: pizzerias, CPAs, even the University of New Hampshire’s marketing department. I tried hard to sell my service. More than once I was laughed at on the phone; those who were nice enough not to laugh explained that my value proposition was grossly out of the ordinary. Their business didn’t need my services, and other small businesses probably wouldn’t need them either.
Research your competition and talk to your target market first. Figure out your market’s struggles and pain points before launching your business. I closed this business a few months after starting it, without making a single dollar.
I started this business in 2014 after graduating college while working my first full-time job as a financial analyst in the insurance industry.
I sold custom men’s long sleeve work shirts, specially designed for tall, thin men with long arms. Buy the shirt through my website and I will design it to your specific size. Perfect for young people who know nothing about hiring a tailor (like me). Just use my website; you won’t need a tailor.
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I built a website, posted an ad on Google and made a sale! (Out of 1,000 clicks on my ad…).
I spent over $750 on advertising, made a sale and didn’t know how to deliver what I just sold. I sold a shirt for $55. My manufacturer was going to charge me $50 for the shirt and $15 for shipping, which meant I was going to make $10 on my first sale. It is not a profitable business. Worse still, my producer asked me about drooling, clicking, fixing and fermenting. Half of those words were not in my vocabulary; I didn’t even know those words existed. I learned that these are common terms when it comes to shirt tailoring.
It was a great learning lesson. I made a critical mistake: I chose the wrong niche. I went for an incredibly complex business model selling an incredibly complex product in a niche I knew nothing about that had a very low profit margin. This was the wrong deal for me.
I still run this business today; it is still my best doing online business. AssociatePI is a company that sells text-based online courses in the insurance industry to help employees pass the difficult CPCU exams.
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This is a relatively small niche, with only 12,000 people per month Googling the term “CPCU” each month, and only a few thousand people per year completing this certification. However, in this small niche, this site generates about $5,000 per month in passive income.
Pomsky Owners Association is a company that teaches people how to own, train and care for Pomsky purebred dogs.
I started this business in 2017. It started as a hobby and practical website, because I don’t even own a Pomsky! I have owned dogs all my life, but never a Pomsky.
I found an opportunity in this niche, saw that no one was serving or helping this market, so I built a business to help with Pomsky training. I quickly became one of the leading authorities in this space, wrote a Pomsky training book (a top seller on Amazon) and launched a subscription to serve this market. This site generates approximately $2,000 per month in passive income from book sales, subscription sales and affiliate income. I sold this business in 2021 for $95,000.
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I started an Amazon FBA business selling “inflatable chairs” (pictured here). I lost $16,000 because of this issue. I launched this business in September 2017 and closed it in April 2018 after selling all my 500 units of inventory but still losing the business.
This is a resource I created to help entrepreneurs start, build and scale a successful online business. I write books, offer coaching, host group coaching programs and sell online courses.
The purpose of this activity is to provide step-by-step advice and case studies to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their first business. The Entrepreneur “rides” with me on my entrepreneurial journey to learn from my mistakes, my successes and find my way to entrepreneurial success.
My newest business, Agile Exam Academy, sells study materials to help project management students pass the PMI-ACP exam.
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This is still new and growing, but it’s starting to show some promise! You can view the Agile Exam Academy here.
Honestly, it was easier than I thought. Once I got in the running, it was easy to make progress on my side quests. The key is to carve out the time. It’s time to focus on your day job and focus on your business. 9am to 5pm was reserved for my day job. But my mornings, lunch break and drive home were all about my sides.
For me, I tried to devote at least two hours a day to my business. I did this for seven years as I scaled my businesses. I worked half an hour on the way to work, one hour on my lunch break at a local cafe, and half an hour on the way home from work.
If you only work two hours a day on weekdays, that’s a total of ten hours a week invested in your business.
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That constant progress every week will go