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Is an Internet Home Based Business Right for You?

Mar 27, 2008
Home-based internet businesses are thriving and growing. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that there are about 18 million home businesses set up by individuals and groups. That means about 12% of the total households in America are involved in their own money-making ventures. A good percentage of this comprises of businesses operating online or at least has part of their sales generated through the use of the Internet.

With sales made by Internet home businesses rising, you're probably tempted about grabbing a piece of the pie yourself. However, have you determined whether or not this type of business is a perfect fit for you? Here is a practical checklist of the qualifications and requirements you'll need to meet should you decide to stake your claim of the World Wide Web:

You have some sort of education behind you.

There is no need to have a college degree just to make it online. In fact, there have been people who made it as e-business owners without even finishing high school. However, having the right background in the industry that your business belongs to is helpful.

If you will be offering computer graphics or animation services, for example, you will need to have the appropriate training for it. If you will be earning money as an Internet marketing guru, then you better have prior experience related to your trade.

You have experience using the Internet.

Understanding of the inner workings of the Internet is key to your home-based business success. You cannot hope to do business online without knowing the basic use of a computer or how to communicate or perform tasks online.

Before you sign up for or begin an Internet business from home, dust up your computer skills and try to keep up with the latest technologies available online. The benefits here are two-fold: you get to compete fairly with other more experienced e-business owners and you get the latest information about current practices and trends.

You've done your research.

About 40% of internet home-based businesses fail during their first year. One of the main reasons why is the lack of understanding about what the business is about and how the market behaves.

Do not go into a home-based Internet business if you have not done research about your industry. Try to get to know who your competitors are, the demographics of your market, the trends and other related factors that will affect your products or services and how feasible your entrepreneurial venture is.

You understand what the business requires.

A common mistake among first-time internet business owners is that they sign up for a business without first knowing what's involved. When their business hits a slump or if unforeseen factors threaten their sales, they become confused and give up altogether.

To avoid wasting your time on a great opportunity, remember that Internet businesses operate in much the same way as traditional businesses. You should understand that there is an initial capital investment to be used and that you probably have to continue learning as the business grows in order to keep it competitive.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that a home-based Internet business will run itself. You do have to be involved in the process, particularly in the areas of customer service, product innovation, promotion and client base building.

You have an exit strategy.

Like all businesses, an Internet home-based business can fail. We're not looking at an inevitability here we're considering a possibility, as part of smart planning. An exit strategy includes, among others: a) key points or indicators that the business is losing, b) the ROI, at which point you can decide whether to expand, innovate, branch out, sell the business or make it public and c) steps you will take in case you truly have to close shop.
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