Have you started your own online business? Do you have a website? Are you online? Are you making money online? Those are common topics for discussion these days. Internet services are fast becoming available everywhere. Gone are the days when you must visit a cybercafé before you can get online. This days, you can hook-up to the internet using mobile phones even if you’re living in a village where electricity is a luxury.
The information technology improvement has created an exciting frontier that is abundant with business opportunities. It is an established fact that people in this present generation now communicate more using the internet than they do using any other media. So, why not exploit the same for business ventures? That is what this post is looking at.
What is Online Business?
Are you kidding me? You want a definition of Online Business! Well, since you asked, my definition of online business is “An Online Business is any legitimate activity carried out on the internet (world wide web) that generates profit after all expenses has been fully paid for”. Please note the following:
- If it is not a legitimate online activity, then it can’t be called online business. It is better referred to as scam!
- If it doesn’t generate income that is more than the expenditures incurred in carrying out the activity, then it can’t be called online business. It is better referred to as hobby!
I believe that definition is simple enough for our purpose. Let’s get to the next issue.
Who can do Online Business?
Anyone who has enough determination can venture into online business. There are myriad of online business opportunities that are waiting to be explored. You don’t have to be a computer guru. As long as you can read and move a mouse or any other pointing device, then you can learn to do business online. Even if you lack those basic abilities or you are unwilling to get involved, you can learn to outsource many of the tasks you don’t like to others who are willing to do such at a fee. In other words, you can actually run your online business without engaging a computer physically. The possibilities are endless.
What do I need to start Online Business?
Well, the minimum requirement is a link or connection to the internet. For you to do business online, you must go online. That is the only requirement that cannot be bypassed. Once you get online via an internet connection, either with a computer or a smartphone, then you’re ready for online business. The fact that you’re reading this shows that you know how to get online, except if you got a printed copy of this article.
The subsequent requirements will depend on the type of online business you wish to do. There are some online businesses that requires huge amount of money to start while some other ones require zero capital. I will give two examples to buttress this point.
- You can sell other peoples product or service. There are different methods of doing this. However, many of the methods allow you to start operating with zero capital. You can setup a free website, write your own articles or get free articles from article directory to promote the product or service you want to sell. The last step will be to work on generating web traffic for the new site.
- Bulk SMS reselling. To start this business, you must buy an SMS package from a major SMS reseller and then sell to individuals or corporate entities that need the service.
As you can see, it is possible to start the first idea without spending a dime, but the second business idea requires at least about $20 as kick-off capital.
How can a Nigerian run a successful Online Business with the poor social infrastructures?
Too many never get to start because they are waiting for a perfect business environment before they start. The truth is you can start making money online even with the poor social infrastructures that we have in Nigeria. I started browsing when it cost N20/minutes to work online. Today, you can go online for less than N1/minute in some cybercafé. If you’re are really determined, you can make it. Instead of wasting your time chatting with strangers on Yahoo, you can start your online business by building a blog.
Is Online Business Risky?
Well, life itself is full of risks. It is a risk to wake-up in the morning and step outside your home. So, the answer is yes. Online business has risks. However, the risks are such that an average Nigerian can handle. You will only get into a mess by engaging in either of the following:
1. Engaging in illegal activities online because you want to get rich overnight. Gone are the days when online activities can be carried out anonymously. EFCC and other agencies are on the lookout for those that use internet to commit financial crimes.
2. Parting with cash in a hurry without learning how things work online. Too many Nigerians have fallen victim to fraudsters who sell all manner of automated junks that they claim are capable of making you rich while you do nothing.
My suggestion to you is that you start with free resources. When you have learnt how things work, and you have practice with free resources, then you can start spending your hard earned cash for resources you feel will enhance your online business. Take it from me, online business requires patience. You can’t make it big online in a hurry. You will simply get your pocket burnt by falling victim to scammers.
So quit talking and get into action. Start your own online business today. Cheers.