Online Home Business is the Fastest Growing Small Business Trend in 2009

Without a doubt, online home businesses are the fastest growing trend in 2009. There are roughly 6.7 billion people living on the planet today according to the Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics as of June 30th 2009 and of those 6.7 billion people, almost 25% of them are on the internet. Just incase your conversion abilities aren’t as good as they should be, no worries… That comes to about 1.69 billion people that are on the internet everyday.

So that’s great and all but maybe you don’t understand why the Internet is so powerful otherwise. What does the internet give you that the traditional marketplace doesn’t? Well, there are several other reasons that point in favor of using the World Wide Web as the platform for your business, and why having an online home business is the fastest growing small business trend in 2009.

Picture this. The Internet is a giant invisible magnet that is gradually attracting every man, woman and child to it. So what does this mean for you? Well, as a business person, business owner or entrepreneur the Internet represents a marketplace like no other that has ever existed. We are no longer limited to our “territories”, our communities, or the cities in which we reside. This is just the tip of the iceberg in what I call “The Power of the Internet. ” Online home business and internet marketing businesses are documented as one of the highest growth area in 2009 for small business trends.

The Internet has created an unlimited reach for online businesses small and large, and we now have the ability to literally take our ideas, our products and services all around the globe and connect with an audience that is 100% targeted and proven to convert. The research and data analysis that you can do for your online home business takes the guess work out of monetization. There are analytics tools that tell you about each step of the sales process and what changes need to be made to generate higher conversions and what markets to target. You now know exactly who to target, based on the market research and you can spend time fine tuning your internet marketing sales funnel. The statistics that you can look at for your internet marketing business absolutely give you insight that was never possible in offline marketing.

The “traditional” means of advertising can’t hold a candle to what is going on in the digital world. With social media marketing, web 2.0, and search marketing (to name a few), small business owners now have countless avenues to leverage in order to market a business, product or service. Gone are the days of putting your business in the yellow pages, putting ads in magazines and newspapers, or using direct mail just hoping a few people will “bite.” Really, what I find most fascinating about online home business is that the majority of the marketing strategies are free and it isn’t uncommon for the free strategies convert better than the paid strategies (depending on your industry). Either way, as an internet entrepreneur, you have the freedom to market to whomever you want, however you want. The possibilities are limitless and the data trends allow you to know exactly where to put your ads to drive the most amount of traffic to your business.

So, you can see that marketing online is not only going to allow you to sell to people who are looking for what you have to offer but you also get to save money on marketing and advertising by utilizing free strategies like social media marketing, but the fun doesn’t stop there.

Realize this, when you’re running your business from home you no longer have to worry about the headaches of a traditional brick and mortar business. You know what I’m talking about…rent, inventory, insurance, payroll, etc. this has all been eliminated.

Another point to consider. It used to be that when your doors opened you were making money and when your doors closed you weren’t. Makes sense. The only way to get paid is to have people coming into your store or have people calling you on your phone to make a purchase. Well, as we all know the internet is available 24/7 and is open to a global marketplace. You can make money while you sleep, when you’re out to dinner, while you’re on vacation…it never stops. By leveraging the internet for your business from home, you’re inevitably leveraging your time by utilizing the power of the Internet. And we all know the most precious commodity is our time, so why wouldn’t you want to work less and get paid more?

For me the icing on the cake is the mobility that an internet marketing business brings. What I mean is the only thing you will need to run your business is a laptop computer and a cell phone. Easy enough. What this does is it gives you the ability to run your business from home or anywhere you choose…literally. You can maintain a professional identity no matter where you are or what you’re doing because all of your business is done digitally. Even if you’re hanging out on the beaches of Mexico wearing nothing by a swim suit and a sombrero while you vacation with your wife and 3 kids, you can easily pick up your i-phone, return a few business emails and continue to run your business. Truly the possibilities are endless and the only real way to achieve true mobility in business is by having an internet based business. You really can run your business from home or anywhere you choose.

It almost seems like an unfair battle between “old school” traditional business versus having an internet based business. Whether this information comes as a surprise or just a confirmation about the direction the world is headed, just remember this. There is no qualification, resume that has to be submitted, no “gatekeeper” that decides who gets to run a business on the Internet. The only person who gets to decide that is YOU.

All About Online Payment Services

Online payment process is a convenient alternative to making payments by cash or check. Online payment services are quite different since they do not require businesses to have accounts with them to make a payment or transact business. The payment process through online services is much faster and secure than traditional modes of payment. They use a secure electronic fund transfer system to settle transactions.

The services are particularly popular among online auction sites and online stores. It has been around long enough to be accepted as a safe and trusted way of paying for online purchases. While there are many advantages of using an online service to conduct business, they do have some loopholes and drawbacks that are sometimes exploited by unscrupulous elements.

The services use a very simple process to transfer funds. Buyers and sellers are required to provide the required information such as their name, email address, checking account information and credit card details. Checking account information is usually asked for, confirming the identification of the user. To pay the seller, the buyer has to enter the valid email address of the recipient and the amount that is to be sent. In case the recipient is not a registered member of the payment service provider, they get an email that directs them to the process of claiming the transferred funds. They are either paid by a check or the funds are transferred to their bank account.

Payment services charge their client a small percentage of the transacted amount as fees or service charges to take care of their expenses and overhead. These fees are less compared to what they would pay for using a credit card merchant account. Another advantage is that these services can be used for making small payments over frequent periods such as customer discounts, commissions and rewarding affiliates.

There are some drawbacks of the system. Many online service providers impose limits on the number of transactions that you can carry out on daily/weekly basis. Businesses that exceed the limit imposed are required to pay premium charges or additional fees to continue doing transactions. In the long run, this can lower the profits earned by the business.

Online payment services are not governed by the rules and regulations that are binding on federal institutions and banks. Consequently, they are not protected by federal deposit insurance. Such services offer their customers less protection against frauds as compared to credit card companies. For example, the maximum protection that online payment service provider PayPal offers for any fraud committed or for non-deliverance of goods is a mere $200.

Online payment services are quick to freeze accounts of clients if they suspect fraud or some type of fraudulent activity in transaction. Resolving such issues may force the users into a legal tangle resulting in huge losses, not only because of revenues and goods lost, but also because of additional costs incurred in fighting the case legally.

Most online payment services are issued a web privacy seal right, which indicates that they follow certain privacy and security guidelines to protect consumers’ interests.

So You Have Been Wondering How to Write a Business Plan for a Small Business

If you have ever wondered how to write a business plan for a small business, then you have come to the right place. The place to start is determining in your own mind, why you need a plan at all. OK, so you’ve got a great idea for a business. You have approached someone for support, emotionally or financially and you have been asked to write a plan. Or maybe you just want to get it clear in your mind, what you are going to do will work.

The first thing to do is outline your idea. What you are going to do, who you are going to do it for, how much you are going to get paid to do it, what your costs will be and how much you will make out of it. So write a quick overview of the idea.

Next, you need to state your skills for the job. What you have done before that relates to this business, how you got to this point and why you think you will be good at it. If you are going in with a partner or partners include their relevant backgrounds too.

Then write a description of where you are going to operate from. This is critical because business is about building momentum and maintaining it. Along the way you will have long term customers and short term customers. They will join you and leave you. You need a clear picture of how you are going to increase and maintain a customer base. If you are going to have a highly visible premises where you can tap into passing trade, you need to state how many people are passing, approximately, why the location is good, what sort of attention you can get and even maybe some of the offers you can make to lure customers through the door. A useful tool is if you can show some comparisons of competitors offers which seem to work. You will need to put your own “slant” on these offers as its not a good idea to copy your competitors exactly.

Now the hard part. Write a list of your expenses. Then your expected income. Do it month by month for the first 12 month period. You will know what your rent will be, likewise staff costs and raw materials. You will know how much you will want to take out of the business so include this. Factor in any sales tax or GST to give you a total sales figure you need to achieve. Now thinkabout sales patterns. December is a great month for most businesses and January a poor one. Add to this the fact you will be starting from zero. Month one may be slow and build up from there. Are you selling for cash and buying on credit or buying for cash and selling on credit. You will need to be sure you will have enough money (overdraft) ready to cover the “cashflow” of the business.

If you need machinery or a “fitout” of the premises, allow for this cost in your starting capital. If you plan to get to a certain level of profit and stay there forever then your initial cash plan will cover it. However, if you want to grow your business continually you will need more cash. Some idea of how that could be added would also help to reassure the parties of the businesses future. Maybe you can borrow against your house, maybe you are due for an inheritance, maybe a relative or friend has expressed interest in participating when the business gets to a certain level. Either way, some idea of how growth will be funded will be useful at this stage.

So I hope this has helped you in, how to write a business plan for a small business. Its a good idea to talk to your accountant and bank manager during this process, also anybody who has business experience and is positive. Beware of the naysayers, its easy to do nothing or advise others to do nothing. Without the visionaries of this world no progress would ever be made.