Everybody’s saying it: There’s a ton of money to be made in internet business. However, just starting off, it may seem like the money is certainly not where you are looking! In this situation, internet business resources come to the rescue. These resources are tools that can help you to navigate the online business world better, and also to help you run your business more efficiently.
Some of these resources, such as online merchants, are almost necessities to build a successful business online, while others help the process along.
Needless to say, searching for and finding the right resources for an online business can be a challenge in itself. The internet’s greatest strength—its democracy and all-inclusiveness—is also its weakness, as reliable information can be difficult to find. What are some of the resources you can use? Let’s take a quick look.
The internet business resources that you will benefit the most from will greatly depend on the kind of business that you are involved in. Their effectiveness in your business also depends on your working style and the level of your involvement in the business.
A simple test to check the kind of internet business resources you need most is to imagine yourself as a customer in your online business. Think about what you might look for in an online business, starting with the very basics. Then, consider what you might need, as a businessperson, to make that prospect a customer. Voila! You have a basic idea of the online business resources you need.
Some of the major internet business resources that might be useful for an online businessperson include:
• E-mail tools
• Blogging tools
• Social media integration tools
• Online shopping carts
• Online merchant accounts
• Web site builders
• Freelance sites
• Information products
• Web sites and blogs
One of the major hassles that internet business owners, especially internet marketers, face is the problem of keeping track of e-mails, documents, and other online correspondence. A godsend internet business resource is a bunch of e-mail tools that help integrate all these functions, so that a businessperson can easily work with data. Aweber’s e-mail tools, which integrate sales data and schedules, along with the corresponding e-mails and chats, can help one view and follow up with clients, customers, and contacts on a regular and organized basis. Newsletter can also be sent automatically by using e-mail tools such as Aweber.
The backbone of an internet business is the web site, perhaps more so than the store of a brick-and-mortar business. Thankfully, the era of having to know how to create a web site for oneself is now long gone. Various internet business resources make creating a web site as simple as clicking a few buttons. Some of these tools are free, and so are the sites, but free web sites are typically web pages, and you can purchase a web site for as little as $20. Some web site builders even let you select your web site from a set of predetermined themes, so that you can be up and running in less than 5 minutes. These internet business resources can be great tools to leverage the power of the internet.
Another pillar of strength for any business is the sales. The online shopping cart, the staple of many a successful internet business is a sophisticated piece of software. Creating and placing an online shopping cart on your internet business web site can increase sales manifold, making these ubiquitous shopping carts an oft-ignored but critical internet business resource.
When someone clicks the online shopping cart and purchases your product, the next step, of course, is processing the payment. While online transactions may seem seamless, when we actually click the Buy button, there is a lot of finance and technology involved in them, making them a valuable resource for online businesses. Merchant account sites provide the ability to conduct business online, including accepting and making payments online, in exchange for a fee proportional to the amount of the transaction. Apart from regular online merchant companies, payment methods such as PayPal are also making online transactions more transparent, reliable, and international!
These days, if you don’t blog, you don’t exist. Although it started asan online journal-type venture, blogs are now powerful marketing tools. Publishing your blog is made easy by another prime resource—blogging tools such as WordPress, which enable the blogger to easily publish to his/her web site. There is no need of any HTML code or complicated programming to make your blog look just the way you like it. In fact, WordPress offers search engine optimization (SEO) custom-built into its interface, which helps the blogger increase his chances of reaching his business out to more people.
When you’re on your own, you often think about the planning and execution of your business much more than when you were receiving a regular paycheck (and with good reason too). You’ll need to hire more people to make your dream a reality, but perhaps not as full-time employees. In this scenario, internet freelance sites help businesspeople to hire people from around the world, on a project-by-project basis, if need be.
Sites such as www.oDesk.com serve as a virtual job fair and are great internet business resources, where clients and service providers are able to connect for a successful business venture.
Such online job marketplaces are especially great for those business novices who are looking for help on only a small part of their business.
When all else fails, a book will help, went the old saying. With e-publishing becoming easier and quicker, e-books are great resources for the internet business owner. Books such as “SEO Book” are popular and widely read in the industry, and with e-books becoming easier to create and market, there are e-books that cater to every type of business—small or big. Other information products such as DVDs and CDs also make great online business resources.
You blog, therefore you are! A blog is not only useful for you to get the word out about your business; it is also useful to browse others’ blogs to glean their wisdom that they might have accumulated over the years.
As internet business resources go, blogs focusing on SEO, internet marketing, internet affiliate marketing, and other topics are worth reading to simply know what the masters of the craft say.
Search for the blog that speaks to you and your business best, and follow the blog to stay abreast of issues and concerns in your business. Browsing blogs is also a great way to decide on the online business to start.
Unless you’re on Facebook, it’s like you don’t have a face! But keeping track of all these multiple social networks can become a challenge. Similar to what is happening with online communication such as chat and e-mail, social media such as Facebook and Twitter are also getting integrated, thanks to a bunch of internet business resources that aim to make it simpler for a person to manage accounts on many social media networks.
A concept that is changing the face of software and, by extension, the internet business market, is OpenSource software.
Although not a new concept, OpenSource software is making inroads even into corporate America, and it could be the fountainhead of the most useful internet business resources you can think of.
The main attraction? OpenSource software is free! Several software tools that can do anything from analyze data to create a web site are now part of the OpenSource project, and the price of a software program does not truly deter anyone from performing a task anymore!
While these are some of the resources that a lot of online businesses benefit from, it is by no means an exhaustive list. You may come across a valuable resource—say a tool—that helps you a lot in your business. Go for it! Sometimes, this resource may not necessarily be online. It could even be a poster campaign!
Be on the lookout for different ways to do business, and for ways to make your work easier and more effective. In the process, you’ll come across several valuable resources for your internet business. You might even create your own resource that helps other businesses!