Business on the Internet: where to start?

Internet business attracts by not requiring initial investment. You do not need any equipment, no office, no employees. You can not even register an IP, do not pay taxes – you will not have anything. Moreover, the options to start earning, not having anything for the soul – a lot, thinks the vast majority.

Sea breeze, rustle of palm trees and a glowing monitor on the deckchair of Thailand’s beach – usually such pictures of the future life are drawn in the minds of those who think about business on the Internet. The dream of modernity is to work a little and receive a lot – in the opinion of the unenlightened majority, the almighty Internet will help to realize. After reading and listening to the success stories of entrepreneurs who have earned millions on the Internet, young people start to think:

For the hundredth time came across another story that business on the Internet – it’s easy and simple, and you can earn hundreds of thousands a month, working for several hours a day, someone starts looking for a familiar programmer, and someone starts to study site designers and comprehend the basics of Google analytics.

There are of course also those who bite on the bait of quick and easy money – trying to figure out binary options, Internet-trading, CPA-networks and traffic arbitrage …

Is it really?

Freelance or business?

First you need to decide on the concepts. What is a business on the Internet, and how does it differ from the usual earnings through the Internet? If you equate the Internet business and earnings with it, then millions of freelancers – copywriters, designers and programmers – are the same businessmen as the creators of Google or Vkontakte.

When working through the Internet as an ordinary specialist, only a mythical sense of working is created – a flexible schedule, a comfortable sofa at home, own kitchen instead of a dining room … I work when I want, I do not depend on anyone, I choose clients myself, etc. However, nevertheless you will have a boss, albeit on the «remote», which will tell you what, how and when to do. What kind of business is this?

Of course, it’s possible to start an Internet business from a small one, i.е. with himself. Freelancers from start-ups are distinguished by the fact that freelancers develop their skills as specialists, and entrepreneurs develop as businessmen. Having achieved certain successes, they invest their earned money in development-they employ employees, expand functional, and so on. Thus, earnings on the Internet turns into a full-fledged business.

For example, you can earn on social networks to begin with as a freelancer – to promote your own and other people’s publics, groups, accounts, sell advertising in them. Naturally, provided that your methods of promotion work. Having checked in practice your methods and making sure of their effectiveness, having studied the SMM-path along and across, you can create a company for promotion in social networks, hire employees who will work directly with social networks of clients. In this case, you will manage employees, look for clients and engage directly in promoting your own company.

Another type of earning on the Internet, which can be turned into a real business – is the creation of infoproducts. If you are a professional in some area, your knowledge can be sold in the form of video lessons, presentations or manuals, by systematizing your own knowledge and packing them into a learned form. However, there is one nuance – how will you prove your professionalism to a stranger who has come to your site in search of the necessary knowledge? Why does he have to pay n-th amount for access to your knowledge? The site, its design and content content are the only tools to convince a person to acquire your knowledge.

Starting with your own video courses, you can stop by getting passive income from sales from time to time, or go ahead and start developing in this area – involve other speakers, coaches and coaches, publish both paid and free video courses and videos -Tutorials, expand the topics of your online school courses, run webinars, etc. Only then it can be considered a full-fledged business. And yet, the start of any enterprise on the network always starts from one point – the creation of the site.

Business on the Internet: a site around the head

As any store can not work without goods, and the Internet business can not exist without a site. With any variant of business on the Internet, you have to start with creating a page on the network – whether it’s a full-fledged site, a blog or a lending-page.

If for most business options the site performs one of the many functions – is one of the sales channels, the way of marketing positioning or fulfills the mission of the company’s business card, then for the internet business the site is the only tool and means of generating revenue.

The most trivial options for generating revenue from the site are selling advertising, placing paid links and participating in affiliate programs. Thus, the site can really become an excellent variant of the Internet business, which brings stable passive income, without requiring the organization of complex business processes.

Make it so that the site brings money – the task is not from the lungs for several reasons.

First, today there are more than 5 million sites in the RU and RF zones only. The number of Russian-language sites is nevertheless many times greater if you include sites in other domain zones in this list: com, su, io, tv, net, etc. And their number increases with each passing day, accordingly the competition grows.

Secondly, despite the seemingly huge number of sites – most of them can not boast of high attendance. No matter how large the Internet, but its volume is limited by the number of users. To create a website is only the first step in the beginning of the Internet business. Be able to do this easily and simply. Another issue is to attract enough visitors to the site to make advertising appropriate. No advertiser will be interested in the site, the attendance of which does not exceed several hundred visits per day. It is the process of driving traffic to the site and is a stumbling block for most beginner Internet entrepreneurs.

Site owners need to not only correctly pick the niche and themes of their site and constantly fill it with interesting and useful content – this is obvious and is required by default. Anyone who wants to monetize their site will have to learn a lot of techniques of promotion – the main one is SEO-optimization – a dark forest in which hundreds of entrepreneurs wander. But this is another story, which we’ll talk about in another article, but for now, we offer to consider various business options on the Internet in more detail.

Niches in the Internet business

Business on the Internet can be different. We have already cut off this definition of self-employment and freelancing, as well as earnings in questionable ways, but there are still many options for a full-fledged business, built not only to fill and promote the site and sell advertising on it. If you have decided at all costs to start a business on the Internet, then first of all it begins with the definition of a potentially promising area.

Alexander Nienburg, General Director of the Nimble Service

On the Internet today is primarily relevant business built around online games, advertising, virtual reality and data centers.

Games are popular because their quality is constantly growing, as well as their availability. Games allow people to fantasize on an unlimited scale. If in the real world skill for money can not be bought, then in an online game for money you can buy anything you like. Moreover, in the near future, virtual reality will make online games even more accessible and realistic. Anyway, on a large audience in high-quality games you can always make good money.

Advertising in the network is promising because online tools are much more efficient and convenient for analytics than «analog» ones. «The cost of contact» is lower than that of television advertising and radio, but in general, Internet advertising is more affordable than any other, so its volumes only grow.

Success will also have new large data center projects, because everything that is on the Internet requires space for storage. This place is rented in data centers. True it is worth noting that this is the most expensive way of earning, it requires millions of dollars of investment. But, at the same time he is the most reliable subject for investments, a kind of analogue of renting real estate online.

Separately, perhaps, it is worth stopping at the most popular area of ​​online business – online stores. It is the idea of ​​creating a store on the Web that first comes to mind to a person who dreams about business on the Internet.

Despite its low marginality in today’s realities, a business built on buying and selling continues to attract start-ups. Whether this is due to laziness and unwillingness to invent and search for unique and original ideas for business, whether the desire for trade is laid on the genetic level, along with the memory of the success of the farts and shuttles in the 80-90s of the last century. In any case, today, droppers, Internet aggregators and Internet shops of various colors have come to replace the tuning schemes. All these options are used as the main, if not the only, sales channel is the Internet, which allows you to minimize the initial investment, reduce costs and increase the margins and profitability of this business.

According to many experts and analysts, Internet commerce is one of the few business areas that does not slow down the growth rates despite economic shocks, changes in the macroeconomic climate and political confrontations both in a single country and throughout the world as a whole. Moreover, the beginning of entrepreneurs is haunted by the success of foreign giants – Aliexpress, Ebay and Amazon. How can you resist the temptation to start a business on the Internet, creating your own online store?

Daniil Tkachev, General Manager of BGMT

Internet shops are usually opened by people who are a) far from business and commerce, b) they are far from IT. This is 80% of the owners of online stores. They make an incredible amount of idiotic mistakes. They need to go through a long and thorny path so that the store starts to make a profit. Our practice shows that in a year and a half such people run out of money and motivation. Even more often people open online stores, do not think that any market has a ceiling. Especially in small towns. As a result, people spend a lot of money in the hope that sooner or later they will start earning, but this does not happen, because the one and a half buyers who they had in the first month and have 100% saturation of the market.

When you run an online store online will have to face a lot of problems that the Internet entrepreneur will have to solve. Besides the standard «site creation», «content filling» (in the case of an online store, this filling and cataloging of goods) and «promotion», such items as «search for suppliers», «logistics», «payment organization» and other business processes, typical for regular offline stores.

Regardless of whether you are going to open an online or offline store, you will have to start by selecting the product that you will be selling. According to Pavel Gorbov, executive director of Re: Sale Expert, today the most popular areas in Internet trading are:

  • goods of personal everyday demand (beauty and health, gifts, etc.);
  • personal use technology (phones, tablets, etc.);
  • household everyday goods (bed, dishes, etc.);
  • jewelry, accessories (not jewelery);
  • sporting goods;
  • clothes, shoes.

On the other hand, today more conservative businesses come to the Internet – woodworking, chemical industry, heavy industry, agriculture, the data of the international Internet trading center Allbiz confirm. This opens up additional opportunities for choosing a niche that is free of competitors, and thus giving the opportunity to take advantage of the odds and go into isolation.

There is no single e-commerce market, there are many markets, each in its niche – food delivery, search and purchase of air and railway tickets, purchase of equipment, search for hotels, delivery of bouquets and flower arrangements. These are all completely different businesses, united only by a common denominator – their location in the worldwide network. As in any other enterprise, you need to find your own niche not yet occupied, invest a lot in marketing, in service, in organizing the procurement and production process.
Of course, if 15-20 years ago business on the Internet can be started with a starting capital of $ 350, now it can be started (depending on the business) from $ 1000 and above. Behind the seemingly simple organization of online commerce is a huge amount of work, in no way inferior to their offline counterparts, while the competition in this area is often even higher.

From an idea to an Internet start-up: uniqueness and competition

The Internet and modern IT technologies like nothing else make it possible to translate any idea into a business, provided that the idea is in demand (it will solve some problem) and monetizing it will not be difficult.
Find a problem and try to solve it with the help of Internet technologies in the future can bring a considerable income – on this statement, and builds today, a young and active startup market. Here and there appear young and ambitious online startups that offer a unique service or service, solve a problem or a new way to make life easier, save time or money through IT.

Another thing is that not every startup develops into a normal, functioning business …

In addition to the lack of funds for development, similar to business ideas is hampered by the growing year by year competition. If there was practically no competition on the market for Internet services and services and you could choose and take your place in the sun, today you can not do without a unique idea, your chip or a significant competitive advantage – without them you will not be able to catch up with the leaders even with significant investments.

For example, creating your own photostock or photobank. People need quality and professional photos and pictures for the design of their websites, commercial offers, promotional brochures, etc. The method of monetization is obvious – to charge a fee for uploading a photo, transferring rights or a license for its further use for commercial or non-commercial purposes. It would seem that it can be simpler: to collect photos from friends of photographers and sell them.

However, as the founder of the photobank «Photo-enik», Nadezhda Shipilov, described, photographers are reluctant to give their jobs to photobanks with a small number of buyers, and buyers are reluctant to choose a photobank with a small base of pictures. Moreover, even if you solve the problem of filling the image database and attracting customers to the site, spending not only efforts and time, but money on these processes, this does not mean that you can compete with more experienced players.

At the moment, the photobank market is quite developed and saturated. Market leaders now have bases in 30-50-70 million images. To create a new successful project in this segment, you need a strong competitive advantage and considerable capital. The opening of the photobank on the knee will be doomed to failure.

Competitive advantages – prices and service. At the moment, both in the first and second question, the photobanks succeeded. To «break» the market you need to come up with something revolutionary.

Business on business

However, not all Internet business options suffer from competition and high entry barriers to the market. The very fact of the need and demand for the creation of websites, the presence of companies on the Internet and the creation of an additional sales channel through an online store gives rise to a whole pleiad of various options and opportunities for business on the Internet in the b2b sphere.

The only requirement in this case is the availability of knowledge and competence of the future Internet entrepreneur in certain areas – web development, web design or Internet marketing.

In general, the entrance to the web development market seems quite simple: no machines, no premises, no purchases of raw materials, no licenses, as in other industries. The only necessary resource for web studios is qualified enough personnel. But even then, the market so quickly grows and is so small that customers can be found at any, the lowest level of qualification of programmers.

However, starting a business in the field of web development, be sure that you understand both in business, and in Internet projects, and in human psychology. Or do you have people in the team who understand at least one of this. Then you have a good chance of success, because the market for online advertising, website promotion and web development is one of the few growing markets for today.

My company – the Internet Marketing Agency «Architect» is only a year. At that time I already had a good knowledge base and what Internet marketing consists of, and what tools exist besides SEO, contextual, targeted, teaser and even mobile advertising, and what are the directions, for example, the same partner marketing.

If you still decided to start a business in the field of Internet marketing, you need to start with that in order to rebuild your head for marketing thinking, so that you do not write «Click» at the end of the promotional offer, but at least «Call». And here, in the second place, to study all the existing tools to attract traffic. Be sure to configure all of them, if possible, with their own hands.

While you do not have knowledge about how and what exactly affects the conversion of traffic into money, I think business in this area should not be started.

Third, you need to master all the systems of analytics. Now it’s not only Yandex.Metrica, even 2.0, and «I’ve heard something about Google Analytics». Today, an advanced Mail.ru meter is quite enough, Li.com users still know quite well and, personally, I do not write off the accounts of Rambler. Do not forget also the system of CallTracking.

Fourthly, it is necessary to reduce the economy. Traffic, for the sake of traffic is very few people are interested in, everyone wants to know how much this money is in both expenses and incomes.

And the last thing, but most importantly – learns to talk. Since Internet marketing is one of the most «dark» areas for the customer, conflicts and resistance can simply be a huge amount if you can not speak their language.

Only when beginning entrepreneurs shove their book knowledge into their heads, rebuild their thinking for marketing and learn to speak at least 10 languages ​​of different businesses – this will be their most successful project! ..

What category of Internet entrepreneurs do you belong to?

Beginning Internet entrepreneurs can be divided into several categories.

The first is young and inexperienced people, with burning eyes and a firm belief in the success of the Internet business. Often they do not have a significant start-up capital, they only have a remote view of both programming and ways to attract traffic. And nevertheless, they enthusiastically rush into the battle – to conquer the expanses of the Internet, to stuff cones, to act by trial and error. If you belong to this category, you have two options. The first one, spending titanic efforts, mastering all the nuances of the Internet business independently, stubbornly follow the set goal, starting small, or doing something different – gaining experience in the sphere in which you plan to start a business.

Remember, the main requirement of any Internet business is first of all knowledge and qualification. Starting any business on the Internet, be ready to absorb and absorb tons of new and often not completely understandable from the first time information.

For a successful start, you should first work for a small IT company that does something similar to what you plan to open yourself. You can work there for up to six months to understand how everything works from within. Having such experience, it will be much easier for you to start your own business, understanding what features and risks may be waiting for you on the way.

The second category of Internet entrepreneurs already has knowledge and competence – they worked specialists in a certain area, in which they plan to open a business. Someone worked as a programmer, someone as an Internet marketer or seo-optimizer. Tired of working for my uncle, feeling the strength to start my own business and having accumulated the initial capital, they start their swimming sea called business. But they are waiting for certain difficulties, but of a different nature.

First, any Internet entrepreneurs have to do something with self-organization and setting up the system work. Secondly, you need to learn how to work and communicate with clients, who often do not understand the specifics and difficulties of working in such narrow areas as web development or website promotion. Professionals in their business will have to go down to the level of the client and explain on their fingers, for which you will take money, what the client will receive in return and how this will improve his life.
Thirdly, do not forget that as a business owner, you, like other start-ups, will have to learn new information – it will concern legal registration, the proper conclusion of contracts with customers, the opening of a settlement account and the delivery of accounting statements.

Is it otherwise the Internet business today has many prospects, but it is not worth it to idealize – like other types and areas of entrepreneurship, Internet business also requires effort, time, effort and investment.

The main secret of the success of any business, both online and offline, is the motivation of the owner or founder. The best and most powerful companies grow when the initiator of this business at the beginning of its activity is «nothing to eat.» There is nothing better for the future company.

In addition, due to the fact that the Internet industry is perhaps the most dynamic of all, you will hardly be able to relax, if you really want to achieve the result and success that your idols have achieved. So forget the dreams of serene work on the beaches of Goa, work for a few hours a day and passive profits. Of course, no one forbids you to try to do this, but at the start of the Internet business, you better throw these thoughts away and roll up your sleeves to get down to business.

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