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Characteristics Of Attractive Businesses & Income Streams

21 June 2010 2 Comments

If you’re like me, you’re motivated by starting your own business, being your own boss, or creating and managing a portfolio of income streams.  If you’re like me, you spend much of your idle time pondering potential businesses to start or launch.  Furthermore, if you’re like me, you don’t have a bunch of capital sitting idle ready to deploy into a startup, nor do you really want to do so.  The following is a list of characteristics of a business or income stream that I want to either start myself or be a part of.  These characteristics apply to young people who are looking to escape the rat race early in the life rather than working for decades and then becoming your own boss.

Attractive Business or Income Stream Characteristics:

  1. Not inventory based – I have no desire to start a company that manages a large inventory.  Inventory management is an important part of any business that deals with inventory that requires a great deal of expertise and attention; simply put, I’d rather focus on the other areas of business.  Furthermore, inventory requires capital.
  2. Minimal startup capital needed – The reality is that I don’t have a bunch of money.  I’m young and haven’t had decades of working to stash away savings in order to launch an expensive business.  I want to start a business or income stream that doesn’t require a ton of money to start or to succeed.  Preferably, I want to launch a business for a few hundred dollars or less.
  3. Not required to “jump ship” immediately – If I have to quit my job in order to give this business a real shot, then I’m increasing my overall risk significantly.  I want to get my business off the ground while I work.  Yes, this might mean working while I’m not at my main job, but this is a trade-off I’m willing to accept.
  4. Minimal risk – The first three points are basically summed up by point #4: minimal risk.  By diving into a business with minimal risk, you’re going to be fine if your business doesn’t get off the ground.  I have a family and I don’t want to put them at risk by pursuing my dreams, I’d rather focus on businesses  that don’t put my money or income at risk.
  5. Not dependent on a “hot” economy – If you read my blog, you know I’m very bearish on the overall economy, but that’s ok.  I still think there’s great opportunity despite a horrendous economy.  While its tough to find a business that isn’t impacted at all by a weak economy, there are businesses that can still do well in a tough economy.  We want one of those businesses.
  6. Scalable – Lastly, we want a business that is scalable.  If we attain a basic level of success, we want to incrementally scale up the business to be able to reap big time profits.  If the business never has the potential to hit it big, then it may not be worth pursuing.

All Roads Lead To…

For me, the above six points all point to online income.  The world wide web.  It’s wonderful how easy it is to launch an online income stream with hardly any money and hardly any expertise.  You can spend your off-hours working on that income stream which means you can keep your job.  The risks are essentially nil.

Thankfully, many online income streams have the opportunity to scale up immensely.  A simple website can turn into a major profit machine.  If you can grow the traffic or the customers exponentially which is very possible using various internet techniques, you can usually grow the revenues and profits in tandem.  Is this a guarantee?  Of course not.  Is this easy?  No.  But it’s possible.  And it’s possible with very low risk.  It’s a no-brainer for anyone motivated and for anyone who wants to get to the next level in their financial life or wants to be their own boss.

Various Forms

While most of my online income is generated through content-based income streams, there are other models such as affiliate sales.  Most people when they think of affiliate sales think of cheesey websites trying to sell crappy web products to gullable customers.  The reality is that there are many forms and affiliate sales is a huge, huge opportunity.

Perhaps, you know somebody who sells something, yet doesn’t have much of an online business.  If you have some basic web skills, you could offer to attempt to sell their product through the web and simply get a cut or a commission of how many you sell.  It’s a win-win for the business, so I’d be shocked if they refused.  You can use your skills to drive traffic to your site and attempt to convert visitors into customers.  Scale up the process and big bucks are possible.

The reality is that the web, although huge, is still in its infant stages.  The opportunities are immense.  There are still countless businesses that haven’t even touched the web as a potential growth area for them.  Smart entrepreneurs and aggressive individuals can help those businesses penetrate the web for potential customers.  I will be touching more on this topic here in the future.

If you’re more interested in going the content/advertising route, be sure to check out my ten things to consider prior to launching a content-based income stream and to check out my online income page.


  • wyojeff said:

    This is a great article. I am like you, and often ponder what I can do to be my own boss someday, although I don't typically think of stuff to do online. I'd rather make something (and online work is still creating something) but im talking like handmade furniture or something like that. I really prefer to work with my hands than I do to write or other things with the internet. I think the most important part for me is that I dont have A lot of cash on hand and dont really want to quit my day job. Good luck with yours