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Internet business ideas: Stuff these envelopes and you will make a million dollars in 20 minutes. Yeah, right.
Don’t buy the fluff. So, can you really run an Internet business from home?
Run An Internet Businesses From Your Home?
First and foremost, there is no single internet business for every person working from home.
The sooner you can come to grips with this fact, the better off you will be.
Does that mean there aren’t great choices?
Of course, not. You simply have to realize the answer is dependent upon your circumstances.
If you are working from home, you need to consider the level of interaction you want with customers.
If you have kids and drive them all over town, customer service is going to be a problem.
In such a situation, you probably need to consider a business without much interaction with customers.
What about selling a product?
This is a common theme on e-commerce sites, but there are downsides.
First, you have to be able to get the product to the customer in a reasonable time, the faster the better.
Second, is there a large enough profit margin on the product to make all your hard work worthwhile?
Third, you are going to have to deal with tax issues, as states are trying to apply sales tax to product sales on the net. Given these issues, a produce site may or may not be good for you.
What about turnkey sites? Turnkey sites are pre-made sites selling something.
The advantage is you don’t really have to do anything in regard to building out a site. The disadvantages, however, are significant.
First, your business is not unique, so why would anyone pick you over similar sites?
Second, profit margins on turnkey sites can be mighty small. Third, they will only give you minor marketing assistance regardless of what most say.
Fourth, you often are barred from modifying the site, which makes getting free traffic through search engine optimization practically impossible.
All and all, this is not the best choice in my humble opinion.
So, what should you do?
An Internet business is no different from any other business.
It takes time and hard work.
The best way to pick a successful one is to give some thought to what you are passionate about. Because the net is so big, a market exists for practically anything.
In fact, the more unique sites do far better than general ones. If you are the master of sewing, open a site on the subject.
If you like watching soaps on television, open a site on that.
The point is to find something you enjoy, because the business will then be fun instead of work.
Once you have identified a couple of different areas, you need to do keyword research to see if other people are interested in any of the subject areas.
If they are, you have a business you can run from home.
Admittedly, it is not as easy as stuffing envelopes, but hey, at least you do not have to deal with paper cuts!
Offline Marketing Strategies
Having an internet business does not mean you have to neglect offline marketing.
Offline marketing is actually quite essential for the overall success of an internet business.
The Internet has become the largest medium of communication; and has presented a lot of business opportunities.
Online home based business owners tend to limit themselves to online marketing methods.
Nevertheless, there is a huge potential to promote your home based business through some cost effective offline marketing strategies.
So what are the most effective offline marketing strategies for your home based business?
1. Word of mouth in your circle of influence
Word of mouth is one of the best free advertising channels. We all have people we interact with on a daily basis, and these are potential customers.
Make a list of all the people you know or interact with and how can you best tell them about your internet business.
Be passionate about your internet business and always be prepared to tell someone about it when an opportunity to do so presents itself!
2. Mail-out newsletters and flyers
Mail-out newsletter or flyers can be effective if you target it to a specific 'group'.
You could create one to distribute to local day care centres just as an example - and in your newsletter or flyer, highlight the benefits of an online business to the targeted group, for example earning money at home for stay at home moms or dads.
Posting your home based business URL on bulletin boards can also be effective.
3. Use and give away free branded ‘stuff’
You can promote your business by having your URL on all your stationery, all written communication and other items you can give away for free.
If you want to get a lot of people to know about your home based business, you will need to come up with some creative ways of promoting your URL.
You can be limited only by your imagination. Have your business cards with your home based business URL.
Give them out to people you meet, leave them about where you can, such as in your local coffee shop.
4. Newspapers and magazines
Local newspapers are good for advertising your online business. Most local papers have ‘home business opportunities’ section, so you run a regular classified advert.
In addition, contact your local newspaper or business-oriented magazine and let the business editor know you have a new business and web site and what you offer.
Local newspapers are frequently interested in featuring local business people and their accomplishments.
This is free advertising and should always be used.
You can also contact your local magazine and offer to write a monthly or weekly guest column for them, and include your ‘author bio’ and home based business URL.
5. Joint ventures with offline business
You can get into a joint venture partnership with an offline business which sells a complementary product or service to your home based business.
If you can identify a partner that best fit your business, this is an important offline marketing strategy that can help you succeed in your home based business by enabling you to reach potential customers that you could not reach before.
As an example, if you have a website selling fitness/health products or tips, you could prepare a leaflet and make a deal with an offline local fitness/health shop where they give away your leaflet to their shoppers with each purchase.
The offline marketing strategies outlined above can help you grow your home based business.
I have used these strategies a lot and they work well. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and promote your business offline!!