In 2005, after experiencing 2 brick and mortar businesses, I decided that my next business was going to be an online business.
No high overhead. No inventory. No bad debt.
By then, I had some experiences in script installation. I learnt those skills from my first niche site for which I installed an autoresponder and affiliate script.
I saw a market in a localized version of paid-to-read-email program.
I had a strong feeling that it would work.
I bought a paid-to-read-email script from hotscript.com, got a shared server from Hostgator and uploaded the script to the server. Voila, I had a paid-to-read-email website!
Getting the website to function was easy. But customizing it took me a long time because I didn’t know much about HTML at that time.
Everyday after work (my day job was to run my telephone wholesale business), I basically buried myself in the computer, learning about HTML and customizing the website to suit my needs.
I usually worked until 2am, sleeping only 4-5 hours. This went on for months.
In 2006, after 5 months of hard work, the website was ready.
But I had no advertiser nor member at that time.
The biggest challenge was to get members and advertisers at the same time in order to get the whole system running.
I pumped in $10k into advertising in the MRT trains (aka mass transit system or metro or subway in other countries) and I offered $5 to members who referred at least 20 members into the system.
Within a month, the website got more than 5000 members. Advertisers also started to come in almost at the same time.
That was how my first online business started.
Business was good. I could make as much as $8000 a month during the good times. The best thing was most of them were profits. Zero bad debt. Zero inventory.