With the economy on the rise and unemployment at its lowest for a number of years, together with the fact that online sales are growing significantly year on year, the answer would seem to be No. There has never been a better time to start an online business!Having said that, there is talk of economic growth starting to stall in certain parts of the world, so what’s the answer? Well the reality is that there will never be the perfect time to start a business whether it is online or offline and if you are waiting for everything to be just right, you will be old and grey and still waiting.Online business is certainly the growth sector at present and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. It is also a viable addition to the marketing channels for many offline businesses.In a recent study carried out by the Centre for Retail Research, which looked at eight European countries and the USA, it was estimated that combined online sales for 2014 would be in excess of $518 billion (€379 billion). Which is an increase of 18.1% over the previous year. As far as Europe is concerned online sales are strongest in the UK, France and Germany, who together account for 81.3% of purchases.In terms of online sales as a percentage of retail sales, the UK currently tops the league table with 13.5%, followed closely by the USA on 11.6% and Germany on 9.7%.This impressive growth has been fuelled by the increase in mobile shopping using smartphones and tablets, which in 2013 accounted 8.3% of online sales in Europe and 13.8% in the US. These are final transaction figures, browsing numbers are considerably higher. After all it is worth remembering that the world carries the Internet around with them in their pockets and bags nowadays, making browsing and buying online ever easier.With a market of this size and projected growth rate, it’s almost goes without saying that online business is here to stay for the foreseeable future and offers an unrivalled opportunity for those who are either looking to start a business or to expand an existing enterprise.Of course this does not mean that everyone who decides to start an online business will be successful. There are record numbers of start-ups and closures in this arena. For those who make it though, the rewards can be staggering.So how can you ensure that you are one of the winners rather than the losers? Well a good place to start is by following some of the tried and tested rules of business. Your chances of success both online and off are greatly improved if you choose a business sector in which you have previous experience.However if you choose to venture into an area outside your range of knowledge, make sure that you get good advice on how to proceed. Again the success rate is greatly enhanced if you are advised and mentored by someone who has been there, done it and knows what works and what doesn’t.
Thanks to the innovation of the internet, it has never been easier to start your own business and witness your dreams of being your own boss and accumulate great profit, become a reality. Even during the tough times of the recession, many businesses have been able to survive thanks to the utilization of the internet, showing just how limitless this tool can be for business owners.Although many businesses unfortunately folded as a result of the recession, many new business owners reveled in the chance to start up their own business due to reduced start-up costs and the unlimited access to online business tools. With a number of simple yet profitable online business ideas stemming from the web every year, it has never been easier to make money online. Here are just a few for budding entrepreneurs to consider:Online Business StoresAs the web allows us to communicate to millions through the simple click of a button, it allows for the opportunity to create almost any form of online business that you wish. Whether your idea is to create an online learning site, an online store, or even a web related business such as a website designing company; you can make money from almost any type of online business, so long as it is executed well.Personalized ProductsThere has been a growing trend of late regarding personalized products as they can be bought and given as gifts for almost any occasion. Although this form of business originally started with generic custom printed t-shirts and so forth, we are now being introduced with services such as designing your own birthday cards which will then be delivered to the recipient straight from the company’s headquarters. Not only is this is a unique gift for a loved one, but it also has the added benefit of convenience for the consumer.Social Media MarketingAs many business owners are only too aware, simply owning a website for their business is not enough anymore. In order to help increase website’s traffic and your brand awareness, you need to look at additional platforms which will help to promote your site, such as social networking websites. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are not only free to use, but with millions of people logging on everyday, the potential to communicate to potential and existing customers has never been easier. In addition, this form of promotion is much cheaper than traditional means. However, many businesses will look to an expert to complete this task for them as this form of promotion can be an ongoing task.Caring For the EnvironmentAs a direct result of the various natural disasters that have occurred across the globe over recent years, many businesses are looking for a way in which to help the environment and promote their business. Gimmicks such as planting a tree on behalf of a customer or making a donation of a percentage to a charity following a consumer’s sale are a great way in which to help causes and also creating an incentive for the consumer.Home-Based IdeasHome-based businesses are aimed directly as those who love convenience and services which are designed to make everyday life a little easier. These can involve delivery services such as online grocery stores that deliver, online cleaning services and so forth. By utilizing both off-line directories and online means, home-based businesses can build large clientele lists.These are just a few of the latest trends in online business but just as the trends in marketing change, so will the trends in online marketing. It has never been easier to make money by utilizing the web and if you have a great idea and a means in which to turn it into an online business, you could soon witness generated profit as a result of your ideas.