Thursday, November 26, 2009

Challenges of online small business

The Straits Times (Singapore) publishes an interview with Ms Carol Bartz, the CEO of Yahoo, on 25 November 2009. This ST Interview by Robin Chan is entitled “I’m not taking on Google”.

In the Q&A box, Robin posed the question, “Yahoo was one of the first and most successful dot.coms. What are the challenges of starting and building an Internet company today?”

Ms Carol Bartz replied, “The Internet is one of the most amazing low-barrier businesses you could get into. It’s pretty much capital-free…and you can bring ideas to life pretty quick. The problem is it’s hard to get attention. I think Internet sites are doubling every year, so it’s easy to get lost. So while it’s easy to enter, it’s also easy to fail. But at least you don’t waste a lot of money.”

I think there is much truth in Ms Carl Bartz’s words.

It is extremely easy to start online small business. Almost everyone is starting a blog as an online small business. Since many bloggers are looking forward to make money from blogging, we have to treat blogging as an online small business.

Many people are affiliate marketers for Ebay, Clickbank or Amazon. It is easy to start online small business when you join the affiliate marketing program. You can get the free blog or pay for a hosting domain at ten dollars per month or less.

It is easy to design the website for online small business. The easiest way is to get the free template and use the template for online small business. You hardly need any skill to copy and paste the code to your website of the online small business.

You do not need to worry about secure payment and other features if you are concentrating on affiliate marketing as your online small business model.

All you have to do is to write product reviews or articles relating to the products, and put the product widgets next to your articles. The interested parties can click on the advertisements to assess Amazon, Ebay or advertiser’s website. They will in charge of payment, and compute the commission for you.

It is true that the entry barrier to online small business is very low. Everyone can start online small business. In fact, some people are so addicted to starting online small business that they create a website every month. Once an online small business starts to roll in money, they can sell for 12x to 30x profit. In fact, their business model is to buy and sell online small business.

It is very easy to exit from online small business. If you do not update your blog, the search engines will not send traffic to the website of your online small business. In this way, the blog is as good as dead.

In the event of using a paid hosting for your online small business, the host will shut down the website if you do not pay for the hosting.

You probably do not even use money when you use free blogging platform for your online small business. You lose the amount of money for the domain if you exit from the online small business.

Entry and exit are very easy. In fact, this is what makes online small business so difficult to do. There are so many people who are not seriously considering making a success out of online small business. They just want to try and have fun, and the numerous blogs and websites drown your online small business.

The most difficult part of online small business is to promote business online.

Many people are frustrated with online small business because they do not know how to promote business online. They think that if they have great products to sell, and have a nice website, they can get customers to their website.

The problem is that promote business online is similar yet different from promote business offline.

If you open a shop in the shopping area, you benefit from the traffic in the shopping area. However, this is not possible for online small business. You have to promote business online aggressively, since it is unlikely for anyone to just stumble upon your online small business.

There are many ways to promote business online, and nearly all are very time consuming.

The first way to promote business online is to write articles and submit to article directories, with link to your online small business.

The second way to promote business online is to submit the website to business directories.

The third way to promote business online is to join many forums, and make many postings, and use the url of your website as signature.

The fourth way to promote business online is to use Facebook and Twitter. You have to get many followers.

The fifth way to promote business online is to use traffic exchanges.

The sixth way to promote business online is to send emails to all your friends and contacts, signing off with your website.

The last way to promote business online is to use seo companies, such as textlinkbrokers, so that your website can get into the front page of search engine result.

Your online small business cannot survive without your conscious effort to promote business online. The learning curve is very steep. You have to swim with many wannabes who are not determined enough to make a success out of it. As long as you do things correctly, and put in enough effort, your online small business can survive and thrive.

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