Ways and Ideas of Doing Business on the Internet

Internet Business Opportunities

The Internet is definitely the place to look for business opportunities. It’s positively bristling with web sites promising earnings of anything from £24,000 in 24 hours to $Millions within a year!

Leaving aside the scams and cons and the plain over-optimistic, there are many genuine Internet-based opportunities. No matter what the blurb may say, remember that all businesses require work, and keep in mind the saying: “If it looks too good to be true – it probably isn’t!”

Most Internet businesses involve selling or, as the vendors put it – marketing - and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of marketers offering to show you how to sell just about anything on the Net. It’s tempting to try to follow in their footsteps and sell material showing other people how to, er, sell the same method to other people. In fact, some of these sites actively encourage you to do so but this “Internet Marketing” business is one of the oldest on the Internet and it would be like setting up a corner shop next door to a supermarket.

Niche Marketing

What you must do – and this is one area where the marketers can’t help you – is to find your own product area. It should be something that you’re interested in, know something about or can learn about. Your own niche, in other words.

The benefit of this approach is that you’re not competing with the big boys and you have a product that lots of people want but which isn’t being supplied by anyone else. Of course, that’s the good part – the hard part is actually coming up with a niche product in the first place.

When you do, you may have to create the product yourself and then promote your web site so people know you have a solution to their problem.

Most Internet opportunities involve selling “information” products which are simply e-books, usually in Adobe’s Acrobat (PDF) format. These are ideal products because there are no manufacturing costs (other, perhaps, than some initial software for formatting and presentation purposes) so each copy you sell is virtually all profit, after your marketing costs, of course.

Bricks and mortar

An alternative to information products are real products, tangible items, and you use the Internet as a virtual shop front for your goods. Many people prefer to receive something tangible for their money so selling real goods in a virtual world can be reassuring to the customer.

However, you do need have real goods to sell – of course - somewhere to store them and you need to pop along to the post office to post them. And, again, you need to find a niche to make the most of this opportunity.

Many small shop owners first got involved with the Internet by providing a store front for their goods although few make the most of this. If you ever wanted to own a shop but balk at the cost of premises, staff, council tax and rates, then this could be the opportunity for you. However, you will have to promote the site very hard because it will be your only sales outlet.

Trading

Trading – in stocks and shares, for example is one of the growth industries only made possible by the Internet. It’s as different from Internet marketing as chalk from cheese. You’re not continuously trying to sell products promote your web site or find customers. In fact, you don’t need any customers or products – virtual or otherwise.

Another benefit that appeals to many people is that your success it solely and totally dependent on yourself. You can put a sign on your desk that says “The buck stops here” and hopefully many will!

As with any endeavour, however, you need to educate yourself about the business. Not only do you need to know what to trade but also the methods used to decide which candidates offer good trading opportunities.

If you’re not familiar with trading you may wonder if you can “lose your shirt”, the farm, the family house in Switzerland… The answer is: no more easily than you can with any other business as long as you’re sensible. This is why good education is essential.

Internet marketing has many upfront costs and if you discount the cost of marketing courses, you can get up and running for a few hundred Dollars, Pounds or Euros. There are few essential upfront costs with trading but you do need to put some money in your trading account before you can start.

How much do you need? This depends on what you want to trade. To trade currencies or foreign exchange – forex as its known – you can open an account with a few hundred dollars although you would be advised to budget $500-1000 as a minimum to begin.

However, unlike Internet marketing, many companies offer a free demo account where you can practice trading without risking any of your own money until you become familiar with the system.

Whatever Internet opportunity you decide to investigate, education is the most important thing. Far better spend a little on education now than fail later on because you don’t know where to go or what to do. Read, learn, formulate a plan and follow the plan to success. 

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