June 9th, 2009
Internet Business Ideas
It is the author’s intention to indoctrinate a person into the ways of establishing an internet business and suggest a few business plans.
With the advent of e-commerce the scope and the nature of business has expanded considerably. Ideas or products that were previously difficult to market have caught on in a big way. Who would have thought that social networking could be a big hit? Our forefathers could have never imagined working from home and earning money by writing on popular topics. Internet has opened up a world of opportunities. Today, there are ample avenues of generating income from an online business.
How to establish an online business?
When it comes to establishing an online business, the copyright, customer privacy, sales tax collection and online advertising assume a lot of importance. Further if our business involves dealing with the international clients, we need to be aware of the international commerce rules. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates all the e-commerce activities. Assuming that we start a small business; our business can be a sole proprietorship or a partnership. In case of the former there is no need to register the business with the state government. If our business provides employment to others we are required to file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Depending on the number of people employed and the size of the enterprise, the business loans available can be of the following types:
Micro-business loan: The amount of loan is $100,000 or less and the number of employees is less than 5.
Small business loan: The loan amount is less than $1,000,000 and the number of employees is 5 or more.
Internet Business Ideas
It would be a good idea for every business however small to have its own website. The following businesses can be pursued from the comfort of our home:
Recruiting: This would be a good business for someone who has worked in many organizations and has a number of contacts. A recruiter is responsible for bringing together the prospective employer and the employee. He works on commission and is paid for placing the employees with the organizations. Social networking is very important for a recruiter. Minimal investment is the main advantage of this business model. The recruiter can also work alone and is thus spared the task of managing employees.
Content Writing: This can be a very satisfying job for people with good writing skills. A content writer can provide a range of services, from good resume writing to advertising various products by providing the detailed description.
Online Trading: We can make a lot of money by trading stocks and options provided we have a natural flair for it. Forex trading is also an excellent source of income. There are many online brokerage firms that not only allow us to trade online but also provide us with a number of services. However this can be a risky proposition for people who are not comfortable with the market.
Affiliate Marketing: Earning money by advertising the company’s products on your website is known as affiliate marketing. This business requires some idea about how to generate traffic for the website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools are a necessary part of this business.
Online Tutoring: It might sound strange, but online tutoring does exist. People are willing to pay for online help in subjects like math and science. In fact students and parents really appreciate the help. Of course one needs to be proficient in one’s subject and have the necessary communication skills to convey the relevant information. A virtual whiteboard and a digital pen is all you need!
Selling Photographs/Handicrafts: Selling photographs can be a source of income for an avid traveler and a passionate photographer. In fact many sites are willing to offer a good deal of money for picturesque photographs. A truly wonderful way of making money and that too by doing what you enjoy the most.
Handicrafts, paintings and pottery are a few other items that sell well on the Internet. In this case the visual appeal is what helps make the sale. One should try and capture items like pottery from all angles. This can be done by uploading movie clips. Women generally like to take their time before buying. Hence one should ensure that there is a large selection of items to choose from. Detailed description of these items would also help. Promotional offers in the form of auctions and lucky draws will help in business promotion. Prompt delivery of the items is necessary and this might involve hiring people for packaging and delivery. In fact we can even sell used books and electronic items.
Online business is an excellent proposition since there is no need to invest in a commercial property. It can be conducted within the confines of our home. Of course once the business expands we can always set up a fancy showroom or an office depending on the products or the services provided!
By Aparna Iyer