Bright Spots in a Down Economy
By Priscilla Y. Huff
History has shown that in every recession some industries actually increase, rather than decrease in sales and business activities. Internet sales and e-commerce companies are such examples. A recent U. S. Census Bureau report (Forrester Research, Inc.) predicts online retail sales will grow to 267.8 billion dollars by 2010. Many service-type businesses are also successfully finding new customers through their web sites. Here is a sampling of e-commerce business ideas from which you might choose to start or to inspire you to launch a unique one of your own.
∗∗Please note: Professional associations are primarily networking organizations and generally do not provide start-up information. Include a business-sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope with any postal correspondence.
1. Customized Graphic Designs
Graphic designers supply business owners, promotional products companies, organizations, professionals, and/or consumers with designs for signs, web graphics, logos, promotional materials, presentations, film projects, special events, and other design needs. In starting out, solo designers often work on joint projects with other independent professionals while seeking their best niche markets.
Success Tips: Experience, education, and/or training in graphic design will qualify you and help you decide a business specialization. Utilize a well-written business plan and invest in high-quality technology and software. Maximize Internet marketing opportunities to attract customers. Build a strong customer base by providing quality service, products, and specialized customer service.
∗Graphic Artists Guild - www.gag.org - ethics; pricing handbook.∗Start & Run a Graphic Design Business by Michael Huggins.
2. Computer Support Online
Computer consultants help business owners and professionals stay productive and save money by keeping their office technology running efficiently; plus assist clients in choosing the best hardware and software for their needs. With online support, clients can get your help 24-7, receive regular tips, and participate in your online classes or webinars.
Success Tips: Market with direct mailings to local businesses, schools, and organizations and through your interactive web site. Send regular e-zines to clients and reward their referrals. Network with other computer consultants for referrals, leads, and to call on if you should need their additional expertise.
∗Independent Computer Consultants Association - www.icca.org/ - chapters, membership referrals. ”Getting Started as an Independent Computer Consultant” by Mitch Paioff.
3. E-Publishing: Blogs, E-Books, and E-Newsletters
Many major magazine and book publishers reject writers’ book proposals, because their potential readership is too small to be profitable. With the Internet, writers can reach niche readers with ...