Ever since the dot-com boom in the 1990s, when Internet access became a common household amenity, men and women across the world have been using cyberspace to earn a profit. Originally, the only way to make a profit was to manufacture and then sell products to online customers. A variety of opportunities are now available for individuals who want to become an online entrepreneur. Some of these opportunities include affiliate marketing, drop shipping, and product selling.
One way to become a web entrepreneur is by selling other people’s products. Known as affiliate marketing, this Internet business model entails signing up as an affiliate for a business, building a comprehensive website, and then directing visitors to the website. A commission is typically earned for every visitor who purchases a product. The advantage of affiliate marketing is that the only concern is marketing, and both customer service and product procurement are left to the original business.
Another way to setup a business online is to become a drop shipper. This involves setting up an online retail outlet, preparing a customer service line, and processing orders. Every time a customer orders a product, the Internet entrepreneur transfers the order details to either a manufacturer or wholesaler who then processes it and ships the package. The advantage of this model is that there is no need to keep physical stock on hand. This model also allows someone to establish a cyber identity as a retailer.
The hardest but most popular way to become an online entrepreneur is to build a full business from the bottom up. This means making products or locating them through a distributor, renting office space, building a comprehensive website, hiring accountants and customer service agents, and building a customer base. It can be the most lucrative way to become an online entrepreneur because the profit margin isn’t restricted by a commission rate.
It takes a lot of work to become an online entrepreneur, regardless of the method. All three techniques require a thorough understanding of marketing principles. Without marketing expertise and a thoroughly prepared strategy plan, it can take years to turn an online endeavor into a successful Internet business. This is why most new web entrepreneurs give up within the first year.
The best way to become an online entrepreneur is to choose a method and then try it. Failure is possible, but the knowledge learned through the process is valuable. Future attempts at starting an Internet business may also turn into failures, but many dedicated Internet entrepreneurs who stay up to date and keep educating themselves can build a successful online franchise.