It's a worthy goal, isn't it? Getting up out of bed on your own terms, taking your time to really enjoy breakfast and the company of loved ones. Not worrying about being late, getting stressed about the daily commute to work or trains running late, trying to find a parking space if you drive, getting a speeding and or parking fine! Such simple pleasures.
Starting small and working from home, the logical choice is to open an online retail outlet of some description. Buying and selling online has become a popular pastime for many, as it is convenient in terms of saving both time and money. Buying online is also a great way to research what you want and discover the product range and alternatives available. And the good news is that you can start your own online business with little if any seed capital and virtually no inventory!
Your own online business can have a professional-looking website shopfront - a virtual store. It can take inquiries from customers, process sales orders and accept payments even when you are asleep. An online business genuinely has the ability to be 'open' 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only thing limiting your growth potential is your imagination and the time you put in to developing the business.
Like their offline or 'real-world' counterparts, the majority of online businesses will close or be left for dead in the pivotal 3-5 year growth stage. What is required is constant effort, especially finding niche ways to market and promote the business. This means engaging social media marketing; both your business social media accounts and your private accounts, too! It means finding and listing new and exciting products, researching new wholesale suppliers online, managing sales strategies and handling customer inquiries as soon as you receive them.
The starting point for many, including myself is eBay. Over time I found eBay.com to be a necessary evil. My relationship was one of love-hate. As my business developed and grew and my product range expanded, I had some difficulties managing the more than1,500 product listings. I was a one-man band and I had many arguments with eBay which I found frustrating and somewhat nasty. Whilst alternatives to eBay do exist: Etsy, then there's eBid and especially Bonanza (which have really nice looking and easy user interfaces) and also craigslist. In Australia there is Gumtree and Quicksales, although Gumtree is now owned by eBay.
In running your own online store, I would say start with eBay but definitely give the others a go. Make sure you have a Bonanza and eBid store to support those guys but also get yourself free and valuable market exposure (and the much-appreciated odd sale from them!). You should also consider starting an independent low-cost website, using a model such as Weebly or Wix. These offer professional-looking website templates and good instructions on setting up your business webpage.
This blog about how to make money on the internet will focus strongly around;
- running your own retail (or service) business online;
- using social media to promote your web-based business and importantly, HAVE FUN doing it;
- starting a blog to tell others about your online experiences, share ideas with other home-based online operators and every now and again mention you are having a stock clearance sale or special offer!
- Adopting proven technologies such as Google Adsense to make a little bit of extra money, for realistically not much in return except some space on your webpages!
- Finding and utilizing free resources and tools online to help you grow your business; and
- running one or more business simultaneously and linking and weaving all the above factors into thee businesses to complement and support each other to grow!