Making Money Online 4 Beginners

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Ecommerce

Your Own Ecommerce Web Site

Making money online is easy if you are already in business. If you own a company, selling your product or service online can be an instantly great fit.

I work for a company that was previously well established before opening an ecommerce web site. It was easy for my company to turn a profit online because it is an enterprise based on repeat business, and a single order for several thousand dollars is not unusual. Because volume is easy to acheive, Internet sales have an excellent chance at profitability.

For years, I lobbied management to 'weigh in' to the Internet marketplace, since our competition was already doing so, but the key to doing so was the evolution of our IT department. As the department grew and our infrastructure grew more sophisticated, our ability to take our business online drastically improved. Our IT department worked with Purchasing to streamline our product database (hundreds of thousands of items) for use by our customers and spearheaded marketing efforts to our existing customer base as well as new potential customers.

If you have a business with in-house technology expertise and are already doing volume sales, the Internet is just another way for your customers to do business with you. In addition, you can give your customers the ability to track their orders, view their accounts, and process returns without troubling your sales staff with a phone call or email.

Now, all this is wonderful if you are a company already grossing millions in sales. What if you are just some guy wanting to make money online?


On A Shoe String

A Hobby That Might Become A Business

If you do not want the risk and effort of starting a full fledged internet business, you can begin selling products and services online today using existing sites such as Craigslist and eBay. A colleague of mine began selling scrimshaw pieces that he crafted through eBay and eventually made enough money to quit his job and do that full time. So if, for example, you make stereo speakers, furniture, model steam engines, or whatever it may be, you can begin selling your finished projects online right now. With luck and hard work, you may be able to support yourself solely with income from your online sales.

If you like drawing, you could check out Spreadshirt.com, where you can offer your designs for sale or apply them to apparel manufactured by Spreadshirt. Spreadhirt helps you create your own online T shirt store, and you can make a dollar or two on every shirt sold. There are many, many T shirt stores on Spreadshirt that compete with each other for sales, so unless you have a clientele that will be looking for you when you start, don't expect to become rich overnight through your Spreadshirt store. On the other hand, you might design a T shirt that everyone simply must have, and so your fortune might be made.

If you like to write, you can find many venues to either make advertising revenue as on Hubpages or actually get paid for your writing, as on Helium.com. Again, there is lots of competition, and it might be unwise to expect to make a lot of money this way. Nevertheless it is a way you can do something you love and make a few dollars, too. As with all writing, you will do best writing about what you know.

Starting an Internet Business

I have helped a few dealers who were already doing business with my company get started online and they have been successful. Most of them had established businesses, but one did not.

The startup had one very important asset on day one. They had connections. They had a relative in the business to advocate for them. As a result, they were able to do business as if they had already established business relationships by using their relative's connections. They were able to buy right and sell competitively on the very first day.

Starting an Internet business is the same as starting any other kind of business. The best way to do it is by building a solid business plan. A good business plan includes:

  • Starting capital equity - How much money are you going to put into the enterprise?
  • Cost analysis of startup expenses, including projected depreciation of capital assets
  • Realistic sales projections
  • Market analysis - Who is going to buy from you? Why?
  • Personnel - Who is going to answer the phone? Who is going to write the checks?
  • Expertise - Who is going to know what they are doing at your business? What are their qualifications?
  • Sources - Where are you going to get the things you are going to sell?

Whether or not you are going to seek a loan to float your boat, you should build a complete business plan as if you are going to take it to a bank. Be as honest and realistic as you can. Building the business plan will help you think of all the things you need to remember in order to be successful; or it may help you realize that your idea was not such a good one, and is too chancey for you to bet your savings. In other words, you might find out you have to keep your day job and start your enterprise on a shoestring as a hobby in the hopes that someday it might turn lucrative.

The Small Business Administration can help you build a sound business plan. See their link at the bottom of this article.

Would you consider doing business online?

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Comments 7 comments

nadim313 profile image

nadim313 7 years ago from Kuala Lumpur

Thanks a lot for answering my requesrt tom, appreciate it, i will take this article as one of my guidances for me to start a my business online, hope i will find success.

i currently run my own workshop in Malaysia, i've been compiling pdf files on service and repair manual.

My idea is to start a informational website on car maintenance, plus i will be offering membership that i plan to price at usd 19.99 per membership

the membership offers free download for the pdf service and repair manual i compiled,

is this a good idea?

to bring in more traffic to website, should i star with blogs?


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

I am very glad you find my advice helpful. 

Blogs are one free way to steer traffic to your site.  One principal to keep in mind is that the more legitimate places on the internet link to your site, the more important your site is regarded by the search robots.  Another principal is that the more people visit your site, the higher it will be placed in search results. Therefore, tell as many people as you can about your site, including family and friends as well as your existing customers.  Encourage them to visit the site so that your site can appear more important to Google and Yahoo. 

Keywords are also vital. Be sure that your site is tagged with keywords that will tell your potential customers that they can find what they are looking for on your site.

All my successful internet customers use some kind of 'pay per click' service from various search engines.  I can't say more about that, because I don't know, but I advise you to look into it and see if it will work for you. 

As far as the product you are offering or the fee you are charging for it, I advise you to search the Internet for similar products and see if your price is in line. Think also how you will advertise your manual so that it appears different and better to your potential membership.

I hope that more technically well-versed people will also comment here with their suggestions and links to other articles that might also help you.  I wish you the best of luck with your enterprise. 


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Tom, I've read and you seem to concur that selling big ticket items online is the way to go. But if I only have small ticket item, though it offers repeat sales, well, is there little hope or do I just change my online approach? To be honest, I hate sales because I figure no one should be talked into buying anything- if they want it, they will seek it out. That is the way I buy products. Oh dear!

I sell the opportunity to self-publish books and also search markets for writing jobs. So far the writer's markets I have tapped pay little and expect much-- it is not time efficient. I might as well work the census and make $10/hour for steady work.

What do you think? Thanks for a stimulating Hub!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Story, there are many people who want to self publish. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer self publishing services. As the big names in the biz, they would be the ones to model your service after. Your big advantage: whereas they are big and impersonal, you are small and ultra-personal!

The key to your success is in what you can offer that the big guns can't. Figure that out, tell the world, and customers will indeed beat a path to your door.

I have friends in New York City who work day jobs so that they can pursue their musical musical and dramatic careers. He proofreads and she does promotions in supermarkets. Then at night they may be singing and playing in a club somewhere, or rehearsing some performance art. They pay their dues so that they can try to realize their dreams.

So by all means, work for the census for the reliable buck, and then go home and market your services. Always keep your goal in sight, always think with a positive attitude, and always look for opportunity. Eventually you will acheive some measure of success.

The other part of the equation is, do you love it? If you love helping people bring their stories to the world, why not spend as much of your time as you can doing something you love?


Darrell Roberts 7 years ago

Thanks Tom,

I am working on figuring out how to make this on line business work. I would love to seel poetry on line, it is tough and marketing is so expensive. I have no plans of quitting my day job any time soon.

Best wishes

DR


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Selling poetry is tough anytime. I think HubPages has the right idea, where they get somebody else to pay the poets. Ha, I'm not quitting my day job, ,either.


apeksha profile image

apeksha 7 years ago from India.

thanks....

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