Starting An Internet Marketing Business
Starting an Internet business is an inexpensive way to create additional cash flow.
You might consider starting an Internet business as a sideline and building it into a commercially viable venture. Or you might prefer to put aside a specific period of time and work full-time on creating a top quality commercial web site.
Either way, you'll need to approach it systematically and methodically to have a real chance of succeeding.
A Short History Of Internet Marketing
Internet Marketing as a viable way to do business has only recently come into its own.
When businesses first started going online in the early to mid 1990s, commercial web sites were often nothing more than online brochures and product catalogues. Although credit card payment processing was available, Internet users were concerned about putting their credit card details on the net, so relatively few transactions occurred online.
All that has changed with the development of new encryption methods and secure site technology. Online purchasing has exploded in the past decade and is expected to grow exponentially in the years to come. Many of the Internet marketing pioneers became millionaires, and fledgling online entrepreneurs are now matching their achievements in a fraction of the time. Books and courses revealing their Internet marketing secrets are readily available for purchase.
Factor in the advances in technology over the past five years and it's obvious that there's never been an easier time for starting an Internet business.
Are You Suited To Starting An Internet Business?
There are a number of preliminary questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do you have the necessary time available for starting an Internet business?
- Do you have a workspace suitable for running an online business?
- Do you have (or are you willing to obtain) the necessary hardware (computer) and software (HTML Editor, E-book software, etc)?
- Do you enjoy working alone (at least initially)?
- Are you willing to spend long hours in front of a computer screen?
- Do you know (or are you willing to learn) how to create a web site?
- Do you have a product or area of expertise that is in great demand and short supply?
- Is your expertise current or do your need a refresher course or additional home study?
- Are you good at organizing information into a digestible step-by-step format?
- Do you know (or are you willing to learn) the rules of successful Internet marketing?
- Are you willing to create and run a newsletter for your web site?
- Are you willing to answer e-mail queries or purchase software to automate this function?
If you answered yes to all of these questions (or if you have other ways of ensuring that these points will be addressed), then you're ready embark on your new venture.
Starting A Small Business
The first thing you need to know is that all the basic rules for starting a small business apply to starting an Internet business. You'll need to do surveys, write a business plan, set up a business structure, register a business name, and all the other steps required for setting up a small business.
One important decision you need to make is whether your business will operate exclusively online or will have an offline presence as well.
The advantages to having a strictly online business are:
- You can work from home, thereby eliminating any overhead costs.
- You can be a one-person operation.
- You won't require local council approval because you won't have clients coming to your home.
- You can choose your own hours.
- You can create and market electronic products (such as e-books, reports and software) that cost nothing to produce.
- You can sell your expertise via e-mail or telephone consultations or through electronic products.
- You can promote other people's products and earn a commission for each sale.
The disadvantages are the same as those for any home business:
Other Points To Consider
- You may feel socially isolated.
- You may be distracted by personal chores or activities.
- You may find it hard to stick to a schedule.
Before starting an Internet business, there are other points you'll need to consider. Some of these have already been raised by the small questionnaire on this page. In addition:
Online VS Offline Businesses
- You'll need to devote a substantial amount of time to creating professional electronic products and building a web site.
- You'll also need to set aside time to learn the rules of Internet marketing.
- You may have to hire staff or outsource work if your business grows beyond a one-person operation.
Starting an Internet business does not limit you to conducting business strictly online. You may decide to offer your product or services offline as well.
Ready, Set, Go!
- You could set this up from the beginning when starting an Internet business or you may decide to extend your business offline at some later stage. Either way, this can work to expand your business exponentially.
- You can continue to run the business from your home office but take advantage of offline resources as well, including newspaper and magazine advertising, telephone and fax communication, public presentations, courses and workshops, product distributors and face-to-face client contact.
- You may wish to restrict your client contact to on-site visits, i.e., schedule meetings at their place of business or in neutral settings such as restaurants or coffee shops. Or you might use a distributor to take your products to the offline market in addition to offering them through your web site.
- You could utilize online client contact to promote offline promotional activities. Use your imagination to come up with new ways to combine both aspects of your business to your best advantage.
Once you're made the decision to start an Internet business, you need to get focused on how you're going to approach it. There are any number of models for achieving Internet marketing success so you may wish to get an overview of what currently works.
Without a doubt, Rich Schefren is one of the best business coaches for internet marketers . A guru to the biggest names in the business, Rich will help you clarify your approach to internet marketing so that you won't waste time on non-essential activities and sabotage your own success. To get his life-changing free report, click on The Business Manifesto.
Your Next Step:
- If you watched the videos about Site Build It! (SBI) and liked what you saw, visit the SBI web site to learn more.
- For expert advice on starting an Internet business, visit the
Internet Marketing Leaders page.