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How To Start And Run An Online Business

Article: 01. Why Start an Online Business

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Why should you start a business on the internet? Let me explain why I think you should.

First let's look at some of the pros and cons of an internet business versus the more traditional offline business. Before making that comparison I am going to assume you already have some idea of the pros and cons of the traditional offline business. I will, however, give you a brief summary of what the internet is about and what I believe it can do for you if you ultimately decide to start an online business

The Internet in short, is a world-wide broadcasting mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location.

Today's Internet has become an enormous source of information. Unlike anything else before it the internet has genuinely become the primary source of information for absolutely everything imaginable. For all intense and purposes the knowledge of over 10,000 years of human history and understanding is available with just a few key strokes on your cell phone, PDA laptop or PC.

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Additionally, unlike anything else before it, the internet has changed the way people do business and changed the way consumers go about their purchases. And in doing so it has done this primarily using one concept – information.

Before the internet became the mainstream, the term ‘to shop around’ meant just that. If you were a consumer looking to purchase something you had 2 choices. You either went straight to the shop or business that you new had the item you were looking for and bought it, or you spent your time driving around town shopping. Can you imagine the pain that would have been at todays gas prices? $4.19/gal as I write this article and I heard in the news today that regular was now over $5.00/gal in parts of California.

The second choice was searching through telephone directories for local businesses and calling them to find out if they had the product you wanted and finding out how much it cost and you still had to drive over and pick it up.

With the internet all that has changed. The simplicity of checking online to find prices and availability of products has simplified the whole process and in doing so changed the way businesses operate. Now, with a few key strokes on your computer your product(s) are on order and a few days later the item(s) you just purchased shows up at your door step. Compared to the way it used to be, it is as if by magic!

Internet usage has been and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. Global estimates indicate that in 2007 there were upwards of 1. 4 billion of us online. Wow! That is a lot of potential customers as compared to the few square mile around an offline business. With that in mind it’s not hard to see the market potential for anyone wishing to start a business on the internet. Despite the enormous market potential for business that the internet offers there are also several other benefits that are worthy of note.

I have given you some macro reasons why you should consider starting an online business. Now lets get down to reasons that you can relate to as an individual. Below are just a few of them.

For many people, the main reason cited for starting an online business is to earn extra income. Typically, this is in addition to the income that they are already earning with their "day job." However, for some, what starts out as a part time business, soon becomes a full time one.

Another reason that people decide to start up an online business is that they have more control over their working life. How many times have you heard I wish I had a different Boss? Your boss will be you.

Also, it provides them with the opportunity to spend more time with their family and friends. Today much too much time is spent working, and many people find that they have little or no time to spend with those that they love.

Then there are some even more practical reasons why so many people now consider setting up an online business.

Startup Costs

One of the most important factors to consider is the relative costs of starting an online business which are almost negligible compared to the costs of small business start ups on the corner of 5th and Main.

Rush Hour? What Rush Hour?

No longer will you need to get up in the morning, rush off to work and get caught up in all that traffic. Now the time you would normally have wasted sitting in traffic can be used for other purposes. With the added bonus, of it being up to you when you work, so if you don’t want to start until late in the morning, you can.

These days, there are countless opportunities for people looking to start their own businesses on the internet and the choices are almost endless. In future articles I will discuss some of these opportunities.

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