"How to start a successful business on the Internet!"
So, you've decided to start your own business on the Internet.
It will probably be the best decision in your life. Only working
for yourself can give you independence, stability and satisfaction
that you always dreamt about. With your own business, you can
define your lifestyle and work schedule yourself. And with internet
business, you can do it with less efforts and more fun. But of
course, as with every other serious undertaking, you first have
to educate yourself, and do it well.
How to make money on the Internet
Everyone knows that the Internet has become something more than
the information source. Today, many people make money on the Internet,
and even more people want to join them. Not all of them succeed,
unfortunately. You must have heard about lots of "dot-bombs",
failed e-commerce startups. They are big in number, mainly because
most people don't devote enough time to self-education.
Another common reason for losing money on the Internet is the
large number of "Get rich quick" schemes, which all
promise large income with little or no effort, with only a few
dollars to spend for some kind of manual or "program membership".
You will never get into this kind of trouble, if you understand
one simple thing:
The only guaranteed way to earn money on the Internet
or elsewhere is through honestly selling a valuable product or
service to a proper audience. Period.
Read the previous passage once again. Think about it. It's pretty
obvious, isn't it? But many people could save their money and
time if they ever thought about that.
So, let's make an important conclusion. To make money
on the Internet, you need to decide what to sell,
and then, start your own business.
Someone would say, "But that's all so complicated!
I have never been taught to run a business! I even don't know
how to start!" Well, how do you think, who are those
people that run all businesses on the Internet? Are they
all geniuses? No! Geniuses don't happen to be born that often.
Are they some super-creatures, mutants, or aliens from the stars?
Most of them are common people like you and
us. The only difference between them and those "dot-bomb"
runners is that they learned more, and they carefully
plan their actions. So should you. If you don't know
what to start from, read the articles on our web site to learn
the big picture, then use search engines to learn the details.
You don't have to be a professional web designer,
software developer, or marketing expert to run a successful e-business.
There are lots of hired professionals who will gladly help you,
and there is inexpensive software that will do all the necessary
automation for you.
Your starting investment can range from a few
hundred dollars to zero. The balance here is
between your time and money. If you can invest
some money, you can hire some experts or buy
some software. If you don't want to spend too much money, but
have a lot of time to learn, then you can do
most of the work yourself, and do with only minimal automation
at the beginning.
In general, if you can read and write (or have someone near you
who can), then you can run a successful e-business. The only important
thing that is up to you in most cases is a good product
There is one more important choice for you to make: should
you sell a product, or your service? There is no single
answer, both choices are viable, and you can choose what you like
better, or what you think you can do better. But there is a large
difference between these two types of business.
When you sell a product, your income is only
limited by the target audience size, and by the efficiency of
your selling process. With e-business, you can automate the selling
process almost fully, and free up most of your working time for
more important things, such as business growth, research, or new
product development. Well, when you come to think you are satisfied
with your income and don't need any more growth, you can simply
relax and watch your business work while you are enjoying your
When you sell your service, your income is strictly
limited by the amount of time you can devote to it (probably not
more than 8-12 hours a day). And working 8 to 12 hours a day continuously
is not much fun, as it leaves you little time for your rest, hobbies,
and family. That's why we recommend you to try and create a product,
even if you always sold your working time and never thought about
creating a product.
If you have difficulties inventing your own product,
the least thing you can always do is "materialize"
your work experience. You can structure and write down
the tips and tricks of your everyday work, or your hobby, and
give your readers the advice how to succeed in that field. You
can teach them how to save their time,
or how to earn extra money with little efforts,
or something else you think they would be willing to pay
for. Then, you can sell your book on the Internet in either electronic
or paper form. Everyone knows something valuable for other people,
and you are not an exception. We'll describe the process of creating
your own information product in another article.
How can a small home business prosper on the Internet
There are natural differences between large and small businesses.
When you run a small business, you don't have a multi-million
dollar advertising budget, and you don't have a lot of personnel
to handle the sales and other paperwork. The good news is that
with electronic business, you need very little resources
The secret here is to find a good market niche,
and to create a great product for it. These two
actions are strongly interconnected, because each market niche
corresponds to a product, or a set of products, and vice versa.
So, what is a "good market niche",
and how can you find one? Market niche is your place in the market,
your target audience. It should be big enough
to generate good income, but not too large. You
could ask, "Why? The larger my target audience, the larger
my potential income, right?"
Right, to some extent. But you can't be everything for everyone.
You simply don't have the resources for that. So, if you try to
take up too large niche, you'll have to compete large corporations,
which is impossible for a small business.
Here is a small example. If you try and open an online universal
book store, you'll never have a reasonable market share, because
Amazon.com works in the same market and has much more resources.
But if you specialize and pick a smaller niche (say, old comic
books reprint), your chances to succeed are much higher. In this
case, your target market will be too small to attract Amazon.com,
and you'll be able to write stylish targeted ads, promote your
business in online comic books community, and do other things
that your larger competition will never even think to do.
And, in addition to having a proper size, a good target market
for e-business should be easily reachable online.
This means that you must be able to locate the specific web sites,
online forums, mailing lists, newsgroups and other forms of Internet
communities where your target audience hangs out. You'll want
to advertise in those places, because you need pre-qualified visitors
on your web site. From this point of view, for example, "Beatles
fans" are a better audience than "30 to 40 years old
men with a belly", because Beatles fans are easier to locate
on the Internet.
Targeting a small niche also has another advantage: it is easier
to become a recognized expert in a small field.
For example, it is hard or impossible to know everything about
all cars, but it is easier to learn everything your customers
need to know about recent models of one manufacturer of your choice.
You can eventually become one of the world's leading experts in
your field, and that will give you the respect and trust of your
Whatever the size of your target market, you must learn the wishes
and needs of your audience, and find a great product
that would solve some of their problems, or otherwise give
them what they want. If the product you sell to your
customers is really great, they will trust you better
the next time, and will be more likely to buy
from you again. This way, you can constantly grow your
business not only by attracting new customers, but also by offering
new products to the existing ones.
What should I sell on the Internet?
You can sell virtually anything on the Internet, but there are
several things that tend to sell the best. The first such thing
is information. That's easy to explain. People
usually search for information when they browse the Internet.
The information is what they need at that time, so it is the product
they are most likely to buy. Another advantage of information
products is that they are fairly easy to create.
The next best product to sell on the Internet is computer
software. This is also self-explanatory: many Internet
users are computer owners, and they often need some software to
solve their problems. It is logical for them to look for this
software in the Internet, and buy it there if available. Software
may not be an appropriate product for most e-business startups,
as it requires special technical skills and significant resources
to produce and support.
Information products and software have one more huge advantage
for startups. They can be distributed electronically. This means
faster delivery time for your customer, easier sales process and
smaller expenses for you.
Of course, you can sell many other things. A good idea would
be to sell your services on the Internet (translation
services, or business consulting, for example). Or, you can use
the Internet as a new media for your previous offline
(brick-and-mortar) business. In this case you can either
only promote your products on the Internet, or automate the sales
process and accept online payments.
Helen Salamakha and Val Danilchuk have created
a nice software for locating your Niche Market on the Internet.
Click here for more details:
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