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E-Commerce Consultant

Use your web smarts to help others grow their online businesses.

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Business At A Glance

E-Commerce Consultant

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Doing business online and achieving any kind of e-profitable success is probably more difficult than it is in the bricks-and-mortar world. For that reason many online entrepreneurs are turning to enlisting the services of an e-commerce specialist to help build, market, and maintain their e-commerce businesses.
 
Right now, and for the foreseeable future, there is an incredible opportunity to build a super profitable e-commerce consulting business for entrepreneurs with web development, online marketing, e-commerce, and e-communications skills and experience. In short, if this describes you, the potential to earn $1,000 a day and more is presently available.
 
E-commerce specialists do much more than just show businesspeople how to hawk their goods online. They also:
  • Help businesses build or improve their web sites
  • Develop productive database systems
  • Create efficient e-showrooms and checkouts
  • Create and manage electronic mailing lists
  • Design e-mail communication systems and plans
  • Increase search engine rankings
  • Create effective advertising and pay-per-click promotions
  • Develop and implement order processing and fulfillment systems
  • And much more Needless to say, the timing cannot get better than now for getting your piece of this very lucrative pie. The Institute of Certified E-Commerce Consultants provides training, and students graduate with the professional designation of Certified E-Commerce Consultant.

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Online Businesses

Online Scholarship Directory

Applying to college can be an anxiety-inducing process. Help students-to-be make their education more affordable.

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Business At A Glance

Online Scholarship Directory

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Every year students vie for educational scholarships, and one of the most difficult challenges facing them is trying to keep track and up-to-date with the thousands of different scholarships that are offered each year.
 
Developing a website that features information about scholarships can serve two purposes. The first is that creating this type of site is a terrific way to develop your own home based business. The second purpose is obvious; parents and students would have access to a fantastic resource base to learn more about particular scholarships and the required criteria in terms of the awarding process.
 
This type of online business could earn revenue in a few ways, such as charging students and parents a yearly membership fee for access to the site or charging educational facilities and scholarship advisory boards a fee to post their scholarship information. Of course, advertising revenues could also be earned by renting banner ads once the site is established.

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Online Businesses

Public Opinion Service

Love surveys? Start a public opinion service.

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Business At A Glance

Public Opinion Service

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

If you’ve got a flair for demonstrations, people skills and the gift of organization, then an in-store demonstration service might be the business for you. You’ll contract with food brokers and other suppliers and manufacturers to show off their products via your own on-call, personally trained demonstrators.
People are more likely to purchase grocery products after tasting them, and customers of other types of goods can also be enticed by something they can see in action, feel, hear or smell, all of which makes the demonstration business valuable to brokers and manufacturers as well as store owners.
You can start small and grow big–some demonstration companies manage as many as 2,000 to 20,000 demonstrators in several states. You’ll probably start off by doing the demos yourself and hire others as your company grows. The advantages to this business are that you’re always on the go so there’s no time to get bored, you can work from home, and your start-up costs are minimal.
Many owners of in-store demo businesses have a background in the grocery industry. This is helpful but not an absolute must. The must-haves are strong organizational skills to keep track of your demonstrators, their assignments and the materials they’ll need to bring to each job; and top-notch administrative skills for paying your people and making sure you get paid. People skills are another must–you’ll be dealing with lots of personalities, from store managers to food brokers to your own demonstrators. You’ll also need a flair for demonstrating products and for teaching others how to do the same.

The Market

Businesses of all sizes as well as non-profit organizations and even politicians.

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Online Businesses

Web Design

Create professional, beautiful and functional websites for your clients.

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Business At A Glance

Web Design

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

If you’re in business today, a website is as important as an ad in the Yellow Pages. With a Web presence, you’ve got access to millions of potential customers around the world–it’s like rolling out a major advertising supplement, marketing brochure and mail order catalog in one easily updated package. And all without printing, postage or phone costs!
The problem is that for most people, designing a website is on a par with building your own TV set–a major mystery best left unexplored. But if you can unlock the secrets of HTML and you’ve got a flair for graphics and copywriting, then Website design could be the business for you. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, you can start part-time on a minimal budget, and even if you don’t already know HTML, it’s not difficult to learn once you set your mind to it. And you can deal with clients in any geographic region without leaving your computer.
You should have a good rapport with your computer and have mastered the basic skills to get around in cyberspace. You’ll also need a talent for graphics and copywriting because your goal for each client will be not only to get the website up and running but to design one that’s easy to navigate through, visually appealing, and clearly yet cleverly worded. Get started by designing a few sample sites to showcase your talents, and be sure to mix up your sample work to include e-commerce, information portal, and so on.

The Market

Your clients will be businesses–you can target everything from SOHOs to nonprofit organizations to professional associations to government agencies. Choose a geographic or specialty area to start with–say, small businesses in your community or real estate agencies–then send direct-mail pieces explaining the values of a website and your services. Put up your own website both to attract business and to serve as a sample of your work, and establish links with other internet sites so potential clients can find you through as many paths as possible.

Needed Equipment

As a Website designer, your most important tool will be, of course, your computer; make sure yours has a fast internet connection. You’ll also need a scanner (inexpensive is OK), Web page creation software, and a graphic design package. If your Web page software doesn’t have the oomph to upload files to the internet service provider, you’ll want a program to carry out this task.

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