Home Businesses And The Internet
Internet Technology and Home Businesses? Most people assume that it’s not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, especially if you are technologically challenged! Perhaps it is time for a rethink.
The Internet revolution has made so many inroads into the world of business that you can no longer afford to ignore it. It is now as essential a tool as the phone, fax or even your old handy typewriter. It has also spawned a whole new way of conducting businesses, which may be a boon to those of us who wish to work from home. It is an enabler that has opened the doors to Aladdin’s cave of treasures as far as businesses opportunities are concerned. It may be the very tool you need to succeed in your home-based business!
Today, many small businesses thrive on the Internet. They may not be huge e-commerce success stories but many small and home-based businesses are finding a wealth of opportunities on the Web. These small businesses may not have mass recognition nor the sophisticated technologies of their deep-pocketed counterparts, but they thrive, and many, rather profitably.
Their secret is simple; they have discovered that ‘niche’ rules on the Internet. The Web is known as a great place to reach very specialized markets and this has greatly benefited small companies. On the Internet, customers find it easy to locate specialized products and services that are difficult to find elsewhere. Many small and home-based businesses have found that they can make the Internet a profitable venue for finding customers and selling them their own unique brand of products and services.
With their more limited resources, smaller companies find that focusing and specializing on a specific product line online brings them great dividends. Take for example the following: Sanders Handcrafted Toys – a site focusing solely on handcrafted wooden toys; Trains4Tots – an online store that focuses on toy trains but also offers other toys and other sites in Malaysia such as Ryzan Design which sells Malaysian traditional design vases or Craft-World.net, a site that aims to be a virtual one-stop craft shop. In Malaysia, even though print and other media have not been totally supplanted by the Internet, there is a definite trend towards the increased use of the Internet as an alternate medium for marketing and selling.
General Benefits Of Doing Business Online
Generally, most potential home business owners are attracted to the extensive market available via the Internet. This is by no means the be all and end all of the benefits of doing business over the Internet. Other basic benefits you can take advantage of when you decide to use the Internet for your business includes:
- Low start up costs: It reduces the need for a physical set-up and all the associated costs.
- Access to new channels for sales and marketing and advertising – Both local and global markets are easily accessible online.
- Cost and time savings: Online brochures are relatively fuss-free and online sales are quick, efficient and cost-effective.
- Longer business hours (24/7) – The Internet never goes to sleep.
- Generation of leads: The Internet gives you access to databases which you can exploit to your advantage.
- Meet customer’s expectations: You have better communication with your customers with the choice of both online and offline interaction.
- Market research opportunities: You can use online tools such as online surveys and polls and even test markets.
Despite these advantages, it is still essential that you learn the basics of doing business on the Internet and how you can exploit these advantages to your benefit in order to succeed. The fastest route would be to learn from those who are successful, exchanging ideas with or getting new ideas from top marketers in the business and finally, applying and testing your ideas in the real world by investing time and money.