Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lesson 1: What is Online Business

There are many who do not understand what online business is. Some think that it is only for big companies. And for some it is only for technical people. There are some more who believe that it requires huge investments.

It is time their confusion is cleared. I decided to present a series of articles on the topic of Internet business or work from home business in a simple way they can understand . Not only that, they can actually plunge into online business and profit from it with the information I am providing here. So watch out for articles every other day.

What is online business?

Any business that is conducted through the medium of Internet can be called on-line business or Internet business.

A business may be also carried out off-line (outside of Internet - the traditional way) in addition to the main online route. This way the Internet business is supported or complemented by the brick and mortar model.

It has now become a necessity for all small and medium scale business or even for some professionals to have an online presence to support their offline business activities for more business and profits, publicity, advertisement, expansion or simply for the sake of prestige.

What exactly is done online? Online does not necessarily mean business done through web sites alone You can do business online through your emails, blogs, and an advertisement on a website or through an e-book. Reaching people globally online has become much easier because everyday millions of people use the Internet to find information, to buy things, to research, to find relationships or business partners and things like that.

Every year online transactions as well as the number of people entering the Internet are increasing by leaps and bounds. In fact small companies and individuals have a better chance of doing successful business online because of its anonymous nature, global reach, low investment and ease of use.

Some people ask me whether online business areas are overcrowded. Okay, in some popular areas it is. But just look at the shops in your neighborhood. You will see thousands of shops selling same things side by side. Yet everyone is getting business.

There are many who have their part-time business carried out through their emails alone.

They find or buy approved (safe) mailing lists and send information on the products they are dealing with regularly to potential buyers. At one time or other the prospect buys from the person depending upon the relationship he has built and the service he renders. This is known as e-mail marketing.

Two kinds of business can be done online: physical products and digital products. When you sell a physical product you have to collect the money first and then pack the material and safely deliver them to the clients.

This kind of online business involves extra responsibilities, labor and after-sales care. Also there is the risk of product getting lost or damaged during transportation. However, this business has potential for long-term sustainability. Everything depends on how well you service your customers.

In the case of digital products, there is no such headache of storing or warehousing the products, packaging them and sending them. In the case of digital products, once a product like an informative e-book, or music or speech can be easily stored in the computer and copies can be taken as many times as needed to meet the demand. Above all, there is instant delivery of the product ordered. As running this kind of business is much easier, most people go after information products.

However, selling physical products can be more profitable if done rightly. Information products are easy to sell as minimum customer care requirements are required.

There are quite a few books in Amazon. You may like to check out it on the
My Picks column on the right.

No comments: