Online business is one of the vital ways to be implemented in business development today.
How not, internet users in the world today (as of Oct 2019) have reached 4.48 billion people, the USA with more than 284 million users.
An online business can be interpreted as a form of commercial activity (marketing) which is carried out online through the internet, whether directly or indirectly.
The analogy is if you can sell or open a clothing store in a mall (offline), you can also open a clothing store on the internet (online).
In doing business online, internet marketing is one of the main tools used to carry out business strategies.
- 1 Why Do You Need to Run an Online Business?
- 2 How to make money through the internet?
- 3 How to Start Your Online Business
Why Do You Need to Run an Online Business?
Internet User Statistics
Before further discussing online business, first, you need to know how ‘tasty’ this online market.
The following is data on the growth of internet users in the world:
• In December 1995 there were 16 million internet users.
• In January 2000 internet users reached 248 million.
• By June 2005, internet users had grown to 938 million.
• In 2010 internet users reached 1.2 billion or 19 percent of the world’s population.
• In 2018 world internet users will reach 3.82 billion.
From the data increase in internet users above, it can be said that the internet market share is the highest growth market compared to other media.
Advantages of Using Online Media (Internet)
Now you are more familiar with how the market share of internet users around the world.
So what are the benefits of using online media for business?
The following are the benefits that can be obtained when running a business online compared to offline:
• Broader reach.
By using the internet, you are connected to 4 billion internet users worldwide.
If you sell products or services offline, then your market is more limited.
• Less capital and risk factors than if you had to sell offline.
For example, if you want to open a store to sell your product, you only need to join a social media account and display your product on a website that you can rent hosting at a price far below the rental price of an offline store.
The following table compares the costs of opening online and offline stores:
On this occasion, I did not say that offline business is a business that is no longer worth living compared to online business.
Of course we also still see many successful offline businesses with sales.
However, this is more intended for those of you who have limited capital but want to run a business with lower risk factors, so an online business is one of the answers.
How to make money through the internet?
From the previous explanation, you certainly already know how the benefits and advantages that can be built from doing business online.
Then how can you really make money through the internet?
Basically, there are 3 product categories that can be sold to benefit from doing business online, namely:
- Selling physical products
- Selling services
- Selling digital products
Then from the three types of products above, you can make a profit by:
- Market or sell your own products or services. Tools: web, social media, market place.
- Selling other people’s products in an Affiliate way. Tool: web, social media.
- Selling other people’s products by becoming a reseller or drop shipper. Tools: web, social media, market place.
- Selling other people’s services or products with a sales commission system (non-affiliated). Tool: web, social media, market place.
- Selling ad space or content placement on the web. Tool: web, youtube.
- Become a marketer through a YouTuber account. Tool: YouTube web.
Selling physical products or services
There are many physical products that you can sell through the internet.
This product can be in the form of electronic products, clothing, toys, hobbies, household appliances to the house or land.
In addition to physical products, there are also services that you can market such as training services, consulting services, writer services, online tutorials, house cleaning, online assistants, translators, boarding room rental services and many other services that can be marketed.
How to market can be through creating your own domain and website, free blog (Blogger, WordPress), social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest), market place (Amazon, BestBuy, Bonanza, eBay, Cratejoy, etc.) or offer via email (indirect or direct selling).
When handling sales of physical products, what you need to consider is how to deal with customers who want to ask questions directly about the product, convince customers about product quality, inventory, delivery and management of goods.
Selling Digital Products
Digital products are products that can be obtained by customers via the internet by downloading directly or can also be obtained by accessing certain links that display useful information.
Digital products that can be sold are products that can provide useful information or can also be of an entertainment nature.
Several types of digital products that can be sold such as ebooks, audio-video learning, MP3s, films, software, ringtones, blog templates, computer software, mobile phone applications, and others.
Examples of the web that in-demand selling digital products are iTunes which sells MP3s and has generated more than billions of dollars.
Selling or marketing your own products
Selling your own product is marketing a product that you own or you are the manufacturer.
Selling products can be done by selling through websites, paying internet marketers or it can also be through market places.
So, if you have previously succeeded in doing business offline then you want to expand your marketing with sales via the internet.
Running an Affiliate Program
One of the ways an online business can be run when you don’t have your own product is by joining Affiliate programs.
An affiliate program is an online business program that promotes or sells other people’s products, with a sales commission profit when the product is sold.
One well-known affiliate program is one that is run by the e-commerce site Amazon.com.
Amazon has been running its affiliate program since 1996 and is still running today.
How does this affiliate program work?
The idea is quite simple, as below:
- You need to have a website.
- You place affiliate links and product ad banners on your website.
- If someone clicks on the affiliate link and continues with the purchase, you will get a commission.
- Usually, the total commission is calculated at the end of a certain period or the end of the month which is the total payment that will be transferred to your account.
With this affiliate program, it is certainly a solution that benefits both parties, the owner of the item who is also the owner of the program and the affiliate participant.
On the one hand, affiliate participants will benefit without much need to go to great lengths to serve consumers, provide goods and make deliveries because they have been handled by the affiliate program owner.
On the other hand, the owner of the affiliate program is also benefited by the increase in sales forces and traffic that leads to their sites.
Affiliate Success Stories:
One of the successful bloggers utilizing Amazon’s affiliate program is Luqman Khan from Pakistan.
His blog (10beasts.com), which at that time was only 8 months old, successfully earned an income of 200 to 400 million per month.
The blog finally sold well for 10 billion in 2016.
Here’s how Luqman did to develop his blog:
- Make a plan.
- Make quality and user-friendly content with a length of 5000 words. The total number of articles at the time Luqman earned USD 4700 in 4 months there were only 8 articles. Four months later his income reached 400 million (a total of 8 months).
- Build a white hat link building (another website link that leads to the Luqman website).
Become a Dropshipper
Dropshipper is selling other people’s products using your own name.
How the drop shipper works are:
- You have a cooperation agreement with someone else.
- You display other people’s things and sell them at a higher price.
- Someone orders an item, makes a payment to you and gives the address.
- You ask the owner of the goods to send the goods ordered after transferring according to the agreed price. The sender’s address is on your behalf.
- Goods are sent to the address of the first buyer.
With the principle of selling this drop shipper, you don’t need to store or stock items, so you can say minimal losses.
All you need to consider when selling by way of a drop shipper, make sure you have seen firsthand the quality of the goods and meet directly with the seller.
In addition, also make sure that if there are defects in goods, the customer can exchange goods or return the money because it is not as expected.
In order to easily sell dropship goods, you should choose a product that is really needed or in demand in the market.
Become a Reseller
Reseller is an English word that means to resell. Becoming a reseller means that you buy goods with the intention of reselling them.
Unlike a dropshipper, by becoming a reseller means shipping and controlling goods, you and your team do it yourself.
Things to consider when becoming a reseller is, you need to buy goods at prices that are cheaper than the market price.
Usually, these items can be obtained through distributors by buying wholesale.
How to be successful as a Reseller?
Joko Purnomo, 34 years old, is one of the successful resellers from Indonesia who can be used as inspiration.
Currently, Joko’s turnover is around USD 27.800 or 400 million rupiahs per month from selling at the Marketplace or Shopee online shop and its offline shop in Denpasar, Bali.
What is the story of Joko’s journey to success with USD 28.700 or 400 million rupiahs shirt sales business turnover per month?
The following is a summary of his successful journey story in Online Business, taken from Idntimes:
- Initially, a brother ordered beads to Joko. Joko tried to search from an online store, but after searching online Joko did not find the item he was looking for.
- Then Joko tried to search offline in the Balinese art market, Pasar Sukawati. In this market, Joko found many prayer beads and other handicrafts.
- If buying a unit price is more expensive. Joko bought a lot of goods in order to get cheaper goods.
- Besides fulfilling the demands of his brother, Joko sold some of the items purchased online by creating a website and displaying the items with pictures of products that he had personally photographed with his wife.
- It turns out that many items are sold in demand. Then Joko added other types of items such as hair ties, bracelets, Balinese cloth, and other items.
- Starting from his boarding house, Joko added his merchandise include sell Balinese negligee with his wife as his model.
- Joko expanded his marketing area by opening online stores in several Market Place in Indonesia, one of them in Shopee.
- Joko made his shop brand called ‘Kampung Souvenir’.
- In 2013, when the Bali mukena was booming, Joko also sold the Bali mukena he bought from other traders. It turned out that the mukena he sells online sells well in the market with major customers from Jakarta and Bandung.
- In Shopee (Market Place Indonesia), Joko’s sales continue to climb and even to foreign countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.
- Because of many enthusiasts of Balinese products, Joko began to produce his own merchandise such as mukena, robe and other Balinese clothing. He collaborated with many tailors in Denpasar and provided his own patterns and fabrics.
- Joko then focuses on selling at Shopee because many of the buyers are resellers, especially mothers. Within 2 months Joko success to become a star seller at Shopee. In the next few months, Joko’s sales continued to increase and he managed to become a Seller of the Month at Shopee.
Currently, Joko’s customers’ order can reach 100-200 per day with the number of items per order can be more than 1 item.
Joko sent goods to a number of neighboring countries including Hong Kong with the Indonesian Migrant Workers (TKI) market working in Hong Kong as a reseller.
Joko’s success tips: fast delivery, inserting a thank you card in the package and asking for feedback, unique products (Joko’s products are ethnic products).
Selling ad space or content placement on the web (blogger)
In addition to selling products, you can also make money on the internet by selling advertising space.
In order to generate decent or even more revenue, your website must have a high enough number of visits.
Your site will have more added value if you have visitors with certain market segments.
For example, sites that target smartphone market segments will easily get advertisements from mobile phone manufacturers who want to market their products.
Another example is a site that discusses a lot about home design will be easier to sell property products or things related to the house.
Here are some ways that you can do to make a profit by becoming a blogger:
- Inviting the cooperation of the product or service owner to share profits (commission system) by selling the product.
- Following the pay per click program (one of the best is the AdSense program). If you use Adsense you can use the services of Ezoic.com and Adthrive.com to optimize your Adsense earnings. This optimization service is commonly used by professional bloggers provided that the number of visitors is at least 10 thousand per month (Ezoic).
- Offering ad space with payment systems according to the banner size used for advertising.
- Offering product content placement. Content placement is an article that indirectly contains reviews that direct the reader to get to know a product in the context of marketing.
Become a YouTuber
Today many people are capturing personal life, traveling and other hobbies in the form of videos that are then published on YouTube.
Not only that youtube has also become a means of sharing information about events around us, a means of sharing knowledge, and a place to share tutorials.
The more and more interesting videos that are displayed on YouTube, the more people will subscribe and also visit.
To become a YouTuber, you need to have a YouTube account first. Then, after the target subscriber and visitor are reached, your YouTube account can be monetized so that you can install paid ads.
In addition to income through AdSense, you can also invite sponsors to do content placements on YouTube videos that you make.
What things are needed to become a YouTuber? Here’s what you need to have:
- Creativity to produce interesting and useful information.
- The ability to appear in front of the screen. Actually not all YouTube video makers display their faces in front of the screen. Example for YouTubers who only make tutorial videos without ever appearing on the screen. However, the more you dare to appear, people will be more interested and believe what you have to say.
- Video editing capabilities. You can use paid or free applications to edit YouTube videos that you make with software: Camtasia (paid), Lightworks, Shotcut, Windows Movie Maker, and Avidemux.
- According to Agung Hapsah, a YouTuber who has more than 68 million views, the main points that can make a Youtuber successful are one’s character and uniqueness. While the quality of production is that many numbers. According to him, the character is the biggest selling point for a YouTuber.
How to Start Your Online Business
Once you understand how to model or how to make money through the internet as explained above, it’s time you choose which method is most appropriate for you to run.
Choose the business model that is most likely for you to get the highest level of success according to your current condition.
For example, if you already have a site with a high number of traffic at this time, you can start an online business by providing paid ad space, joining the Adsense program or an affiliate program.
Conversely, if you already have a superior product, but do not yet have an online sales network, you can start by building sites and social networks and inviting the cooperation of influencers and internet marketing practitioners.
On this subject, I assume you start from ‘zero’ or don’t have a product and don’t have a web as your sales tool either.
If you start your online business from zero, the following steps can be taken to start an online business:
Market Research That Can Provide Benefits
Before starting an online business, you must identify and determine the market segments that can benefit you first.
Identify which profitable market segments you can enter.
For example, you want to market an English tutorial to expatriates who are fluent in English, guaranteed that no one will want to.
Following are the steps to determine a profitable market segment:
- The first step is to prioritize it according to your interests and talents.
- Research through offline media. One offline research that can be done is to look at offline businesses that have proven successful. In other words, you need to find business people in the real world whose products or services sell well. Invite to work together to market their products.
- Research through online media. You can do research on Google Trend, through keyword research, check for best-selling products in the market place, product testimonials, questionnaires, advertisements that often appear on Google and the high value of CPC.
Product Requirement Research
After you identify the market and get a profitable market segment that suits your conditions, making or getting a product is easier.
The next step is to conduct appropriate market research, where there is a need for a product but it is not yet abundant or not yet met.
By doing this research, you will know which products your market has been waiting for enthusiastically so that it will be easier for you to sell them.
Create a website or online platform
After you determine or have a product to sell, it’s time you have a platform to display your product.
Today the website is one of the best platforms to market your product.
Start by choosing a domain name, using paid hosting and attracting visitors to your website.
In addition, you also need to create a social media account and an account at the market place to increase your market area.
Sometimes for beginners selling through market places and social media can be more effective than through visitors who visit the website because the numbers are still small.
A website, however good it looks, will not be useful without visitors to your website.
Visitors are the main factor of your success in doing business online.
There are many ways of how you can bring visitors to your website.
If you have enough funds or capital, you can use paid advertising or internet marketer services to market your products.
But if you have limited funds you can do ways to optimize the website to appear on the first page of the Google search engine and market yourself through your social media account.
One way to optimize your website is by combining product marketing by creating useful content that will attract visitors to your website.
Regarding the details will be discussed on another occasion.
Hopefully, the above review is useful.