Get Started Now: Why the Time is Right for Internet Business

If you have long dreamed of getting your piece of the Internet business pie but have held off due to fear, lack of skills, shortage of money, or any other reason under the sun, now is the time to get going. There are four reasons why the time is right to get going on line: general acceptance of the Internet, maturity of on line resources, the abundance of resources on which to build a business and the fact that anyone can afford to start an Internet business now. Let's take a look at why this is so.

First, overall use of the Internet continues to grow, not only in this country, but worldwide. Technology we may find confusing is taken for granted by our children, and even grandma and grandpa now get on line. Consumers across all demographics are shopping, and often buying, on the Internet. Statistics show growth rates in the number of Internet users at over 20 percent per year for the past ten years. Recent U.S. Department of Commerce statistics report on line consumer sales of $117 billion in 2004, just 3.3 per cent of total U.S. retail sales of $3.6 trillion dollars. But, while total consumer sales grew by 6.8 percent in 2004, on line sales grew by 26 per cent. By all indications, this growth rate will continue to increase as the 'www' generation becomes more comfortable with Internet buying due to improved customer service habits of on line vendors.

The second reason the time is ripe to get going with an Internet business is the maturity of the Internet. That is, businesses that survived the 'dot com' bubble or have come on line after that time tend to be more stable than their predecessors. More traditional business models, focusing on customer service, advertising, and reliability have been incorporated into web business practices. Serious business people value a good Internet reputation. This benefits everyone working on line.

The third reason to get your Internet based business started now is the ease at which the average Joe can now create a web presence. From purchasing a domain name to creating an actual website, getting a business on line has never been easier. There are web hosting businesses that will take you step by step through the entire process for a very reasonable price. If you prefer to 'do it yourself', there are software programs available, such as Microsoft Front Page or Web Studio to guide you through setting up your website.

And lastly, this is the time to start on Internet business because right now this is one of the least expensive ways to have a business of your own. With the cost of setting up a traditional storefront business in the thousands of dollars, and considering that about half of new small businesses fail in the first five years, the thought of risking it 'all' for a traditional business is only for the most hardy (or fool hardy, depending on how you look at it!). Franchises are somewhat safer, but not only can they also have huge startup costs, a significant portion of the business profits will be paid to the home office for the privilege of using their name, reputation and training.

Of course, once you decide to get your slice of the Internet pie, you still have to have a product to sell. And there are plenty of people who would like to offer their advice, often for a price. You see, that is what they do, make money from people who want to develop an Internet presence but haven't a clue what to do. That is their product. A little research will show that just about any and everything is sold on line these days. Find you niche and a little creative thought will lead you towards the path to success.

If after all your research you still want 'in' this Internet thing, but don't feel comfortable going it alone, consider joining a reputable recurrent income organization. Such a company rewards you for providing word of mouth advertising for its goods and services. The best companies are those in which potential customers are referred to a website so they can become members, purchase goods or services and even start a business of their own if they so desire. You stay in touch and provide human contact, the relationship building. Find a company that supplies not only the products to sell and ships that product directly to consumers, but which provides a web site, training and support to guide you in building a successful business.

There are other reasons to own an Internet business, such as the tax advantages offered to small businesses that employees never get. But those are just the icing on the cake. Despite all the advantages, you have to be willing to work hard and make sacrifices to be successful. The old saying, "You don't get something for nothing", still applies. It's not for everyone. If hard work doesn't appeal to you, plop yourself down on the couch, turn on your favorite show, open a bag of chips and just forget about it. But for those who seriously desire to develop a presence on the Internet, the time has never been better.

Karen Walker is a wellness consultant and author. She works from her home in western Montana. She and her husband, Lynn McCormick, maintain websites to help those whose lives have been upset by catastrophic health events.;

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