The Internet is a global marketplace, and allows people living in small villages in one corner of the country to trade with someone half way across the globe in a similar village. Twenty years ago, such trading would have been enormously tricky and would have taken a lot of time – by which point a customer could well have reconsidered, or circumstances made the deal impossible. With the increase in efficiency that the Internet has brought it is now possible to move goods, services and money between nations at almost instantaneous speed. While this may have removed some of the browsing time, it does mean that you can make money quickly.
Although there are many reasons why people go into business, we would be kidding ourselves if we claimed that there was not one factor which motivated business above all others – money. Being able to make money at the click of a mouse has made the Internet an indispensable item for those who have become used to it – and there are several businesses now which will not trade any other way. The costs that a business used to incur have disappeared in large part, and every bit of money you make can be a profit if you do things the right way. The advantages that the Internet has bestowed on us are really quite startling.
The Internet is a way for potential businesspeople to maximize their potential and make money fast – money which they can use to streamline their business further, make more money, and make it faster.
When we first start out in business, there is a lot standing in the way of us being successful. It is often the case with a bricks and mortar business that you will have been trading for months or longer before you have anything resembling a steady income. In addition to this, presentation is everything in face to face business, and you can be unlucky simply because of completely superficial factors. But if you want to quickly realise the value of an asset, the Internet is a major advantage, one you cannot afford to turn down. The advent of auction sites which allow you to sell items at the click of a mouse means that you can decide to sell something one day, and receive the money for it the next.
This ability to sell something and see the money instantly may not be anything new if one takes into account the existence of pawn shops. But the ability to reach a much wider marketplace, and potentially get a good deal more than you otherwise would have is something that was impossible prior to the Internet. If you need working capital in order to take advantage of an opportunity, the Internet has made it a whole lot easier. People sell all kinds of things on the Internet, from extremely small, cheap items to cars and even in some cases their house. While selling your house is generally not a good idea in such a short space of time, it does show what is possible.
Before the Internet made its way into almost all of the homes in the developed world, making contact with people was a great deal more limited. The quickest way was to pick up the phone, but this required the person you were trying to contact being on the other end if you wanted to get information to them in any meaningful way. Due to the Internet, we have now got the magic of e-mail, which allows us to put down exactly what we want to say, spell check it and read it through before sending it – and even if the person we are trying to contact is not at their computer, they can read it when they get there.
E-mail has been superseded in many cases by the advent of the Instant Messenger. For many people, this is a waste of time, as they feel that it is easier to pick up the phone and speak to somebody. In some cases, it will be. But if you want to have ready access to information that may not be on the tip of your tongue or on paper in front of you, the Internet is impossible to beat. You can send links and photographs via an IM service, and as a result you will be able to showcase the full range of your talents and the reach of your knowledge.
The Internet has made getting in contact a great deal easier than once it was, and allows us to get our message across in a more measured way. Some of us are not possessed of a really good phone manner. In such cases, the Internet is more than useful – it is a gift the like of which we could not dream of.
The life of a freelance worker before the Internet was a very different thing to what it is today. In the past, any freelancer would need great mobility or a very sympathetic pricing plan from their phone company. In order to get around to pitch yourself to potential customers, you would require boundless energy, and an ability to deal with being told “no” face to face or over the phone. So much of freelancing is about speculation, after all. You can try and sell yourself a hundred times and could be told “no” a hundred times – and the chances are that you will get at least fifty rejections even if you are excellent. Although the Internet offers no guarantees of acceptance, it does make things a bit more equal for the freelancer.
There are many sites on the Internet that offer the opportunity for freelancers to pitch to potential customers on specific jobs – a searchable database means that you can even check for jobs that match up perfectly with your own specific skills and abilities. You can name your price and tell the customer how quickly you can turn a job around. The days of having to get out there, pound the pavement and then be told “sorry, we’re not interested” are more or less over. Not to mention that the Internet provides a truly monumental research tool for the jobs that require a bit of extra knowledge. The internet is nothing less than a launch pad from which to set your career in motion.
Although the Internet has made it a lot easier for people to make a start in business, it is still worth making sure that you maximise your potential as a businessperson by having all of the possible tools you could need to get things up and running. In order to start, you need comparatively little compared with a bricks and mortar business – but the better equipped you are, the more possibilities you can turn into definites.
A computer and an Internet connection are obviously the base minimum. As you are reading this, you have access to those at least. It is then a matter of what you need to add to these. If you want to put photographs of yourself or things that you are selling onto the Internet, you will need either a digital camera (preferable) or a scanner (just about acceptable). You will also need somewhere to put the photographs – a website (which requires you to buy webspace) or a blog (which does not). A website is more customisable, so if you have the know-how to do this, it is preferable.
To sell things at the click of a button you can ask your bank to set up a business account with scope to take electronic payments, or you can open an eBay account. Using eBay you will be able to auction items or services off to the highest bidder, and receive payments almost instantly through PayPal. The benefits of having the Internet mean that you can do all of this from a chair just in front of your computer.