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Online Researcher

Have your nose in the net all day? Monetize your research time.

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Online Researcher

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 find yourself spending a lot of time surfing the web, and if you’re looking to start your own business, consider an internet research service so you can get paid for the time you spend surfing. This business opportunity was once called information brokering, but, with the introduction of the internet, the name has changed.
The business remains the same, however, as the information that was once researched and compiled from newspapers, trade magazines, and business and industry journals may now be found online. An internet research service operates in two ways.
The first is to collect data and facts relevant to a specific topic or topics, and then sell the compiled data to individuals and businesses that require this information. Business owners also enlist the services of an internet researcher to source specific data and facts relevant to their particular business, industry, or market. In both cases, clients pay for information they are seeking. Billing rates for the services vary, depending on how much research time is required to compile the data; however, many internet research services have base billing rates of $25 to $35 per hour.

Needed Equipment

A computer with high-speed Internet access.

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Online Businesses

Online Vitamin Sales

The current focus on health and anti-aging products makes it the perfect time to capitalize on this market with an online store.

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Business At A Glance

Online Vitamin Sales

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

Do you want to sell vitamins but don’t have the investment capital needed to open a retail store? If so, consider developing a website featuring vitamins for sale. In addition to selling vitamins, you can also include articles and information about the health benefits of vitamin supplements as well as an online chat room so visitors can exchange information.
 
To keep startup investment to a minimum, you can arrange a drop-ship agreement with one or more of the hundreds of companies that produce vitamins. Basically, you sell the vitamins via your site, forward the orders electronically to the vitamin producer, and they fulfill the order and ship the product directly to your customers.

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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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