Internet Safety Tips

My generation, which grew up with the rise of Internet in the 90s, got introduced to it at an age, when we were careful and mature enough to handle its impact. However, today, five-year olds start browsing the Internet and Google almost every single thing that comes to their monstrously curious mind. There was a time when you could control the rate at which your child got exposed to the real world, but that is sadly, no longer the case. Divulging personal information on the Internet can put a person’s life in jeopardy and therefore, you must provide guidelines to any novice who is accessing the cyber world for the first time.

Tips For Kids and Adults

Having the world at our fingertips in the form of Internet has its pros and cons. While you get access to an unlimited store of information, you also put your own privacy and data at risk. There are thousands of malicious computer viruses that can invade your computer system and steal your data, if you do not have an antivirus software program installed. Here are some safety tips for parents and children, that will protect your privacy and data.

Thou Shalt Not Share Personal Information
Do not share your name, address, social security number, phone number, and other such personal details on public forums on the Internet. You don’t know how this information will be used by third parties. Hence it is best that you withhold such information.

Thou Shalt Avoid Talking to Strangers
Children are advised to be suspicious of any strangers that they meet in chat rooms and social networking sites. Avoid talking to strangers and do not give out any personal details. You don’t know what the intentions of a person at the other end of the line are. Would you give out any personal information to a man whom you meet on the street? Similarly, avoid talking to strangers on the Internet.

Thou Shalt Avoid Sharing Pictures
Never share your pictures and home videos on any public forums or website on the Internet. These pictures can be used for nefarious purposes. So, do not share your personal photos or videos on any portal on the Internet. And if you do share them on sites like Facebook, make sure that your privacy settings are appropriately enabled.

Thou Shalt Not Share Financial Information
Do not divulge any financial information on the Internet like bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and other such information. Do not believe in any mails that you get, offering you a surprise lottery amount or any such financial reward. If you go ahead with such offers, you are bound to fall for some of the popular Internet scams. Please do not go ahead with any financial transaction on the Internet, before you are sure about the authenticity of the website.

Thou Shalt Avoid Sharing Login Name and Passwords
Under no circumstances should you share your passwords, related to your email accounts and online bank account transactions. Otherwise, if you do, there are chances that your account will get hacked, leading to dangerous consequences.

Thou Shalt Not Download Stuff Without Permission
Children are advised to avoid downloading any stuff on the Internet, without taking permission from their parents and elders. This is one of the prime rules that children should follow. These programs may contain malicious viruses which may crash your computer system entirely.

Thou Shalt Install Parental Control Filters
One of the important tips for parents is to install a parental control software, or change web browser settings, so that children are protected from obscene and pornographic material that is rampant on the Internet. This is very important for your child’s safety and mental health.

Thou Shalt Not Violate Copyrights
Do not download pirated music or movies via Internet. This will be considered to be a violation of copyrighted material for which you could be prosecuted. Your Internet service provider closely monitors illegal P2P downloads which can be reported to the authorities. So you are advised to be careful.

Thou Shalt Not Misuse Internet Resources
Do not take advantage of the access to personal information that social networking sites like Facebook provide you with. Hacking an email account is a punishable offense and do not indulge in such nefarious activities.

Thou Shalt Get an Antivirus Software Installed
It is very important that you safeguard your PC from the attack of malicious software that may get downloaded from the Internet. See to it that you get an antivirus software that has special Internet security features.

I recommend that you take these safety warnings quite seriously. People have suffered a lot of mental anguish and even financial loss, due to carelessness while using the Internet. If you follow some of these basic rules while using the Internet, it will certainly be a safe and enjoyable experience for you.

Business Security Tips

The alarming crime rate around the world has led to the emergence of a variety of business security solutions. Any kind of crime results in severe losses to any kind of business; big or small. Also, it is not only businesses that sell ‘goods’ that are at risk. Even businesses that sell ‘services’ can face a problem, namely data theft. Therefore, before investing in any security solution, it is important to remember that following the basics is of essence.

Basic Business Security and Loss Prevention
As mentioned before, starting with the basics can go a long way in preventing any kind of robbery or business related crime.

  • Any kind of business requires employees. Therefore, before hiring them, do ensure that you perform a thorough background check, so that you hire the right employees. Primarily identify their social security number, the status of their previous job and reasons for resignation, and any records of criminal activities. A background check is particularly necessary for employees applying to higher and sensitive positions, such as those related to finance and IT.
  • If you want your business to be safe, it is essential that you remain personally involved in it. You could also entrust two top-level employees for the same purpose, to monitor daily activities, and maintain records of all that has taken place during the day.
  • Ensure that all employees are aware of company policies, and are taught how to react in situations involving theft and robbery.
  • Keeping a backup of all data and record of inventories outside office premises is essential. In case of theft, you will know exactly what is missing, thereby making the recovery process quicker.
  • Maintaining a record of visitors will enable one to identify who exactly enters and leaves the premises. This is especially important in cases where there is no necessity for people, other than those belonging to the organization to enter.
  • Also, install an employee identification system. As such, in case of data security, it is easier to identify exactly which employee had used the required system or premise.
  • Limit the distribution of sensitive information that is crucial to your business only to those persons who are involved in its implementation. Be it a new business plan, or certain important financial details, avoid talking about it without cause, particularly in public areas.
  • Work with your Internet security team to provide adequate security to prevent users from going beyond your website and hacking into your network base.
  • Hire well-established security personnel, and install video surveillance camera systems such as CCTV systems to monitor all undergoing activities in the organization. Secure the organization further by installing biometric devices that identify physiological traits such as fingerprints or iris recognition.

By following these, you can secure your business from potential losses due to robbery.

Robbery Prevention for Retail Organizations
Apart from the above-mentioned factors, retail organizations require additional security methods to prevent any kind of losses.

  • Firstly, the exterior of the store should be well-protected. That means, avoid unnecessary bushes and hedges around your store. That way, you can identify the presence of suspicious persons lingering outside. It also helps the police to notice any case of unusual activity in the store without these hindrances. Also, for display, try to use shatterproof glass to avoid smash and grab incidents. Use padlocks to lock the store, and maintain the keys with yourself and trustworthy employees.
  • Inside the store, maintain vigilance by being attuned to the happenings in the store. You should be able to tell if anything is amiss. Imbibe similar qualities in employees.
  • Maintain minimum amounts in the cash register, and display those amounts, as it makes the store less vulnerable to robbers. Daily deposits in the bank are essential, especially in the case of large sums. While going to the bank, do not leave at the same time by the same route everyday, as it may aid a potential robber to recognize the pattern and carry out a planned robbery.
  • Make eye contact with every customer who enters the store. This warns the customer that he/she is recognizable, and will also help you identify undesirable traits, if any, about him/her.

A lot goes into creating a business and running it successfully. You would not want it to get wrecked because of overlooking basic security. Implement these tips, and be assured, that the chances of any such happenings will be minimal.

Tips for Selling a Domain Name

Domain names are the names of websites on the Internet. For example, ‘www.buzzle.com’ is the domain name of this website. These can only be purchased from a Domain Name Registration Service Provider who is accredited with the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

Nowadays, it has become a very profitable business to acquire domain names and then resell them in the Internet marketplace for a profit. This can be a very lucrative business if one is not violating Cyber Squatting Laws or Intellectual Property Laws.

Cyber squatting involves buying a domain name with the express intention of extorting a higher than market price value from a prospective buyer, while Intellectual Property Laws involves purchasing a domain name which has a name similar to that of a person or a company that is well-known, again with the express intention of exploiting the price value in the market.

All these activities are punishable by law, and must be avoided, especially if one wants to build a good business and reputation as an Internet Domain Name Reseller.

Reselling Domain Names

Selling a domain name involves a lot of research and hard work. It helps if you compare the names with property locations or real life addresses. Obviously, an address of a particular location will help define the price value of the property when it goes for sale. In the same manner, names of particular domains will gain relative price value depending upon their address. This means the names of your domains have to be something that other people may want for themselves at some point of time in the future.

As a domain name reseller, you have to remain abreast of the latest developments, and purchase relevant domain names which you feel will become valuable sometime down the line. Of course, all this has to be done while ensuring that there is no violation of the aforementioned laws.

Domain names expire after a certain period, depending on the time period that you purchased them for. So, you will to buy them for a long period, or remember to renew your ownership before they expire. This can be an investment, which you will have to factor into your costs, while reselling in the future.

Another thing that you have to consider is which kind of Top Level Domain (TLD) you are purchasing. Different TLDs tend to command different prices. For example a ‘.com’ TLD will often have a higher price than any other TLD. That is not to say that the other TLDs don’t attract high prices, but often the name of the domain will help you determine which kind of TLD will attract more price.

Once you have acquired the domain name(s) that you want to resell, you must now decide on a strategy to resell them. Here are some tips which will help you formulate a good plan.

  • There are many sites on the Internet that offer a variety of services which can help owners determine the prices they can expect for the domain names that they want to sell in the marketplace. Some sites may offer to front for the owners to act as go-betweens for a certain fee. These sites may also offer appraisal services, which will help you evaluate the value of your domain name.
  • You can also sell the domain name on your own. Start by altering the WHOIS entry to include a ‘For Sale’ in the details.
  • You might also consider adding a price option (which may or may not include the word ‘negotiable’) in these details instead of a standard ‘Make Offer’ statement. This will help the potential buyer understand your asking price before he/she contacts you.
  • Ensure that the contact details you provide in the WHOIS are relevant and up-to-date. Potential buyers must find it easy to get in touch with you when they want to purchase the domain you are selling. If you change your telephone number or business email ID, make sure you make these changes in the WHOIS directory as well.
  • Eventually you will be on your way to create a portfolio of sorts for the domain names that you own. The idea is similar to holding a stock portfolio. Some domains might find buyers right away, while some domains will take time to find buyers. You must be patient and persevere. Just like any other business, this one has its risk factors too.
  • Be very proactive with all your potential customers. Keep a business-like tone with all your potential customers. Reply to all their mails even if the initial offer they make is not what you are looking for. This is because some potential buyers will contact you with a low price in order to approach the table from the point of view of negotiating for the best price.
  • Negotiation is always the key to a successful sale―whatever you may be selling. Domain name selling is no exception. Depending on the value of the name, determine a price below which you will not sell. This helps you negotiate effectively with potential buyers.
  • Another idea is to market the domains for sale aggressively and properly. You can include a list of the names in your email signature line, or make a website or blog where you post the domain links.
  • You can and should also post these names in forums, message boards, search engines, and directories. This is somewhat akin to Internet marketing―the idea is to reach out to potential customers where they are likely to see your listing and contact you.
  • Last but not the least, when you do find a buyer, take care to provide good after-sales service. Help or assist him with the domain transfer process. This always creates a good impression in the customer’s mind. He/She won’t mind coming back again to deal with you if you have left a good impression.

Domain name reselling has thus become a lucrative business for many who are able to judge future trends on the Internet well.

Internet Marketing Business Plan

Internet marketing refers to online advertisement efforts that employ web-based tools, such as emails and dedicated websites, to market and increase the sales of their clients. Over the past decade, the number of Internet users has grown exponentially, and it has today became a very lucrative place for advertisement and marketing. Needless to say, Internet marketing is a requirement for any business or service provider these days.

There are several websites out there presently that provide this service. If you would like to venture into the field of Internet marketing and start your own online marketing business, you need to have a solid plan to begin with. This is one of the most fundamental of its aspects, and is essential for increasing the chances of success of your business. Presented below is a generic business plan for Internet marketing, which you can use to get started in this field.

How to Set Up an Internet Marketing Business

Getting Started
First and foremost, it is imperative for anyone desirous to start this business to have a good idea about several marketing strategies. It is vital to stay up-to-date with the latest case studies, take overs, and other similar activities. They may not all be Internet related, but they are, nonetheless, required to gain an understanding of the market and its components.

Marketing Yourself
Once you have built a good enough marketing knowledge base, you need to market yourself in order to get clients. You need to use online marketing strategies which would be applicable for small businesses and would help promote your website as well. Google AdSense and Google AdWords would work very well for these.

Using Online Tools and Techniques
Next, you need to learn how to set up referrals on Google AdSense and Google AdWords accounts (for potential clients). Before you start working on a project, you should search online (Google) for related and relevant websites and blogs. This can assist virtual participation and increase online visibility. Further, this can allow linking and back-linking as well. Do make sure, however, that the company which has retained you has provided you with the rights to participate virtually on their behalf.

Important Business Tips
1) Start Slow: Many new Internet marketers can be seen working on 10 – 15 projects simultaneously, ultimately ending up completing none of them. Thus, it is advisable to start slow with a limited number or projects and clients, whom you can do justice to. Make sure to finish one project before moving on to the next.

2) Keep it Simple: While making your website attractive by using a lot of colorful images, animations, and effects may help it get noticed, it will also increase its loading time. It is better, therefore, to keep it simple and elegant. One idea that works is to view your website from a potential visitor’s perceptive, and make it such that it is easily navigable and allows the user to quickly find what he is looking for.

3) Strategize Wisely: Before taking projects, you need to study the different online marketing tools and techniques and come with a strategic plan of action. It is important to take note of expert advice, and also use tried and tested methods. At the same time, however, you should also try to come up with an innovative marketing strategy that will work for your purpose.

4) Generate Traffic: Most marketers feel that once they have a good website, the traffic will automatically come. However, unless you make a proactive effort towards attracting traffic, this is not going to happen. For this, you will need to use one marketing strategy at a time, until you see the traffic flow.

5) Stick to the Plan: Even though the initial phases of your marketing plan do not generate traffic, it may happen that the final stages do. Hence, once you have begun implementing a plan, you should stick to it until all its phases are completed.

Ethical Aspects
Business ethics are the secret to running a successful business. Make sure that you deliver to your clients what you have promised. This will make them stick with you for a long time, and will even lead to word-of-mouth publicity.

A lot of organizations these days prefer to market and advertise via the web, simply because that is where the whole world is now. Nonetheless, some businesses will not profit from the Internet as much as they would otherwise. In case of such businesses, you could assist them with online earning options, rather than marketing. This would help you further expand your customer base.

You can use the business plan described above to run your own Internet marketing business. Remember that, for being successful in any venture, be it online or offline, one needs to put in a lot of time and effort. Also, you would surely get there faster if you come up with innovative business ideas. So, go ahead and start working hard on that creative marketing plan of yours, and surely success will follow.

Green Marketing Ideas

unduhanGreen marketing is not a new concept, but many of us are not aware of it. Green marketing is nothing but the process of selling products or services that are environment friendly. In this kind of marketing, a manufacturer will highlight the environmental benefits associated with a product or a service to motivate the consumer to buy the same.

Manufacturers may alter or modify their product in terms of its production process and packaging, etc. Apart from this, green marketing also calls for eco-friendly advertising and marketing strategies. These marketing ideas will help the products or services get recognized as environment friendly, that may lead to increased profits. This article shares some of the popular and successful green marketing ideas that you can use for your business.

These marketing ideas are subject to the industry and stream you are working with. Considering the nature of your services or/and products, you may choose from the appropriate ideas given below:

Advertising on Electronic Media: There are many environmental benefits associated with advertising on electronic media that can boost your green business. No paper is wasted as advertisements are flashed on TV or internet. Online marketing tips saves automatic exhaust that may be caused otherwise.

Work From Home: Having all the staff members come to office every day adds to various kinds pollutions. Instead design a system where in your employees can work from home, by which they do not have to commute long distance between home and office, as a result of which pollution of air will be less. This will also help you ease out the stress on the management of the company and save a lot of money as well.

Eco-friendly Packaging: This is one of the best ideas for product manufacturers. You can change the packaging style of your products by making them more environment friendly. For example, you can change the plastic cover in to a bag or a carton that is made of a biodegradable material.

Green Schemes for Customers: You can come with many ‘green’ schemes and offers for your customers. For example, you can gift a grocery bag to the customers so that they don’t have to carry the grocery in the plastic bags. For an effective and free advertising, print the name of your company with a catchy ‘no plastic’ message on the bag.

Green Incentives for Customers: It is again one of the ideas that many companies are using successfully. You can offer various eco-friendly incentives to the customers, by which their purchase would contribute to the well-being of the planet. For example, if they buy your service, then one percent of each sale would go to an NGO that is dedicated to the environment. This way your customers can receive what they want and still experience the ‘joy of giving’.

CO2 Server: All of us use Internet and computers for working and business. This too causes too much of E-waste and contributes to pollution. To cut down on such pollution you can resort to CO2 servers that are one of the great marketing ideas. Such eco-friendly green web hosts, offset some percentage of their energy usage with natural power such as wind power etc.

Transportation: If your business involves or relies on transportation then you can make the transportation more environment friendly, by switching to ‘green vehicle’ or using ‘green fuel’ for your vehicle etc. This too will help in reducing the air pollution.

Apart from this, you can think of recycling and waste management for your business process. These were some of the ideas that you can use for your business. Most of these ideas will not only help you reduce the carbon footprint, but they are also very profitable for the business. Many of the above ideas help you reduce the cost of your service or product that ultimately results in more profit. So try some of these ideas and be one of the successful green entrepreneur.

Tips for Internet Marketing Consultants

Internet marketing in the layman’s language is defined as the publicity of goods and services on the Internet. However easy and simple it may sound, the fact of the matter is to do this job efficiently one needs proper consulting. Internet marketing consulting is at its peak, with the growing awareness of the Internet benefits among the people, as everyone wants to claim their share.

To quote Brian Tracy, “Your ability to negotiate, communicate, influence, and persuade others to do things is absolutely indispensable to everything you accomplish in life. The most effective men and women in every area are those who can quite competently organize the cooperation and assistance of other people toward the accomplishment of important goals and objectives.”

Internet Marketing Consulting

Internet marketing consulting is the art of using the expertise or knowledge of ‘know how’ in an efficient way to reap maximum benefits. First, one should know how the Internet works to connect people globally. Identifying the market is the next step, which is based on extensive research. Then the consultants should come up with a foolproof marketing plan, that should also provide complete information on how to start, operate, grow, and manage the Internet marketing business. The job should be based on a business model that has been tried and tested.

Useful Tips

  • Getting your name out there can help land bigger and better opportunities, after all, you are in the marketing business.
  • Resources available with the client is the basic area of consideration.
  • The goal of the client, whether he wants to be rich or famous, or wants to help society at large, is a key factor that has to be considered before taking any decision.
  • The time and energy that the client is willing to spend towards the goal is also very important.
  • Be realistic and refrain from unachievable goals, and very importantly, do not make false promises.
  • Keep up with the advances made in technology, be innovative, but at the same time make the plan simple. A long plan full of unnecessary information is not required.
  • Be honest, this is one thing which can promise you success.
  • Maintain the privacy of your client.
  • Keeping your existing online marketing strategy free of charge sure goes a long way in getting in new clients.
    According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, “The market is currently valued at around a staggering $13.5 billion, returning an overall annual growth rate of around 26.8%”.

It is a well-known fact now that the Internet marketing consulting business can be an extremely profitable occupation. There are many Internet businesses, consultants, and trainers that earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. So, when you are ready to start making money online, don’t be afraid that there are so many people who are already making good money for themselves. Just start choosing your clients carefully because if you get an unreasonable client then you don’t always have the luxury of doing exactly what is needed according to the plan. Clients can be irritating at times, and you two might not gel well, but if you choose the client after considering all the factors then you will never regret the choice of work you took. Always remember the famous quote by Nelson Mandela, that the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Read on to see what Jawdat Moussa―Director (Creative Computer Technology) had to say about Apex Internet Marketing Consultants, a leading consulting firm. This excerpt reflects the scope of the business: “Creative Computer Technology has been providing IT solutions and support to small and medium businesses for many years and have now expanded our business to include Internet Marketing solutions. Since joining Apex Pacific Network Partner program and acquiring the true techniques of search engine optimization and pay-per-click management, I have been able to confidently provide these services to my clients. In only a couple of months of taking on this training, I have been able to acquire 2 clients and start earning recurring revenue. The training and support from Apex consultants has helped me build my expertise in this industry. I am now working towards establishing this side of my business so that I too can grow into a profitable internet marketing firm.”

Word of advice is Internet marketing strategy is definitely not child’s play, but at the same time nothing is impossible. It is good to have ambition and drive, but only systematic planning, research, and 100% dedication can take you there. Good Luck!

Fastest Growing Online Businesses

There are various opportunities on the Internet to make decent money, but owing to immense competition, it is not an easy task, so to speak. Remember, there are opportunities, but entering the market at the right time is important for anyone to succeed. Any domain or specific market idea, once captured on the Internet, can be used to one’s advantage to build revenue.

Social Networking
While it is understandable that Facebook is the God of social networking, opportunities in this world are inexhaustible. Some say social networking websites will saturate within a few years, which right now seems a distant possibility. So, can anyone try to make something better than Facebook? Well, possibly, it may come within a few months or years. If not Facebook, ideas revolving around the same concept can be molded and made better to attract users.

Google Adsense
Google Adword and Google AdSense, the concepts of search engine giant Google, are no less remarkable business tools than social networking websites. By understanding effective ways of monetizing money through advertising online, one can make very good income. There are numerous tips and tricks to make money by using Google AdSense. By letting firms advertise on your website or blogs, you can get to earn some decent money.

Blogging
If your blog can generate traffic and your writing is able to attract an audience, you will be able to earn a lot by Google AdSense concept. Many of my friends who have been blogging for the last five years are using Google AdSense to earn some good money on the Internet.

Home Based Business Opportunities
The concepts of multilevel marketing (MLM) has been introduced in the market for quite some time now and it is regarded as one of the most effective ways of making money online. Internet home business is popular owing to the ease in accessing it and the number of possibilities to earn significant money. In home based business, selling and buying products of a firm and thereby becoming a team member of the MLM business, helps in making money.

Search Engine Optimization
The growth in search engine optimization industry has been phenomenal in the last couple of years. Website owners are using this technical tool to attract huge web traffic and multiply their earning potential. In fact, almost every website is now hiring skilled SEOs to help their website increase web traffic. SEO has increased competition in the Internet industry and the better optimized a web page is, more are the chances of its success in generating web traffic. And more the web traffic, better are the earning opportunities.

Content Writing
As an aware user, people all across the globe search for information on various topics. This has given boost to the business of online content writing. While freelancing and ghost writing were already in existence, nowadays, there are many popular websites that hire writers to publish quality articles. It is in fact, one of the best online businesses in the Internet market these days. These websites generate revenue by combining all the fundamentals of SEO, Google AdSense, and improving their content on the Internet.

The Internet is no doubt a platform for some of the fastest growing businesses. So, take some time to understand the Internet market, seek expert opinion of SEOs and those who have been in this industry. Gradually, you may be able to come up with an idea that can help you earn a decent income. Do remember that experience matters in this field.

Tips to Set Up an Online Bookstore

powells-booksIf you are planning to start the next Amazon.com for books, you should conduct a thorough business viability research and have a business plan in place, which will help you plan your business strategies. Today, Internet-savvy readers prefer to ditch the queue and time involved in getting to a bookstore. Instead, they shop for books at the click of a button from the very comfort of their homes. Apart from actual books, many people today own devices like iPads, tablets, Kindle, e-book readers, mobile phones, etc., which read e-books in various formats. However, paper books have a huge fan following. Hence, e-books will not replace their popularity among the readers. So, if you are planning to set up your own online bookstore, which offers electronic as well as paper books, it can turn out to be a very lucrative venture. However, you should know how to conduct the business properly in order to make it successful. Here are few tips that will aid you in this regard.

Website to Sell Books

You have an option of either paying for your domain name and starting your own website, or having an account on websites like eBay and Amazon that host accounts of booksellers. While going for well-known websites like eBay and Amazon is cost-effective, they may not deliver books all over the world. However, you will certainly save on a lot of cost if you opt for this option.

If you plan to develop your own website, remember the following:

✦ Have a trendy domain name based on your business name.
✦ Have it search engine optimized.
✦ Give it an interactive and user-friendly interface.
✦ List it on various directories.

Tip: If you are a small business, opt for selling books through other websites, and then go on to have your own website.

Details on the Web Page

Your web page should make a positive impact on the user. He should get all the information about the book that he is looking for. The web page of a book should have the following details:

✦ Title
✦ Author
✦ International Standard
✦ Book Number (ISBN)
✦ Hardcover/paperback/e-book/audio book
✦ Edition
✦ Publisher
✦ Price before and after discount

Apart from the details mentioned above, you can include editorial reviews, publishing date, reader ratings, about author section, etc. Give an overview or description of the books. Ensure that it is exciting enough to hold the attention of the reader and effective enough to prompt the reader to buy it. Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in it. You will also have to include a ‘Buy it’ or ‘Add to cart button’.

Tip: Apart from this, the web page should also tell if the books are available in your stock and can be shipped in a certain number of days.

Types of Books

You will have to decide whether you will offer paper books or e-books. You also have an option of selling audio books. However, you will have to make them available in various formats. Also, you will have to take a call whether to go for new books, secondhand books, or both. You will have to plan which category of books you will offer. You can choose from a wide list of genre like textbooks, suspense, love stories, bestsellers, self-help, fantasy, mythology, horror, fiction, science fiction, etc. It is advisable that you choose a few categories in the beginning and add more as your business expands.

Tip: Offering bestsellers and textbooks can be risky. This is because bestsellers are available too easily on the Internet, and textbooks have seasonal sale and run the risk of getting outdated too fast.

Ordering Books

You can have tie-ups with various distributors for supplying new books. Conduct a market study to understand partnering with which distributor will be profitable for you.

Look for indicators like:
✦ Profit margin
✦ Cost
✦ Delivery
✦ Availability of books

As far as sourcing old and new books is concerned, you can get them from:
✦ Used book stores
✦ Garage sale
✦ Library sales
✦ Thrift shops
✦ Wholesalers
✦ Family and Friends

You can also source books from:
✦ Ingram Content Group
✦ Baker & Taylor

Source e-books from online shops like:
✦ Amazon
✦ Kobo Books
✦ Barnes & Noble

Tip: Make an agreement with the distributors to get a better bargain on the prices of books.

Storing Books

Try to order the books keeping the demand in mind. If a new book has caught a reader’s fancy, unless you offer competitive prices, people will not be interested to buy it as it will be easily available everywhere. Go for collectors’ items, autographed first editions, award-winning books, as well as those that are rare to find, high on demand, and help fetch a good price. You can hire a climate-controlled warehouse to keep the books or wrap them properly to store in your garage space. Giving a contract to drop shippers can save your storage costs. Don’t buy too much stock as people often want an updated version of the book.

Tip: Make use of a good inventory management software program in order to update and maintain the stock from time to time.

Shipping Books

You will have to decide which parts of the world will your business cater to. Initially, try to gain a reputation of timely delivery nationally before venturing out in the international market. You can use U.S. Postal Service’s media mail to ship your books. It will be affordable for you as in most cases, books will be heavier, and this will incur high courier charges. However, it may be time-consuming and require additional efforts on your part. At least in the initial days of the business, it is recommended that you send your shipments through the media mail.

However, if a customer wants overnight delivery or urgent mail, you can avail the help of courier providers like:

✦ FedEx
✦ UPS

Tip: If you are going to send books through a private player on a regular basis, negotiate the rates for a better bargain.

Various Schemes

Offer various schemes like bargains, bids, offers, discounts, etc., which will encourage people to buy your books. Offer gift coupons, codes, and certificates for buying your books. Allow people to write book reviews and reward the best ones every month. Give discounts to regular customers and have referral discounts. Arrange to have contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, etc.

Tip: Having a post-holiday clearance book sale will help you clear the book stocks.

Payment

Price your books wisely. Take the cost of your investment, add your profit to it, and then quote the cost of a book. Give competitive quotes as many online users compare prices of books on various websites before placing the order. However, don’t go too low on the prices such that you will incur loss on the transaction. Add the cost of transport, packaging, and delivery service to the books. Once you expand your business, you can offer free shipping. Every book will be priced based on how unique it is, its availability, and special features.

Tip: Whether hardcover or a paperback version, don’t sell a new book at the price of its secondhand version.

Promote Your Business

As most of your audience will be online, try to focus your promotion efforts in that direction. Pay for online ad banners and ads. Get listed on websites that offer a database of services like yours. This will be more helpful for your business. Needless to say, exploit social media thoroughly for the advantage of your business. Ask your family members and friends to promote your social media pages. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, Pinterest, etc., to reach out to your target market. You can send your business cards with the books. You can also put up posters at cafés, grocery stores, library, etc.

Tip: Pay for Facebook ads to reach out to the bibliophiles.

Now that you know how to set up an online bookstore, these come next:

» Partner with suppliers, distributors, writers, etc., for promotion of books.

» Include various lists like bestsellers, popular, award winners, etc.

» Keep yourself abreast with the trends in the online book market.

» Know what is selling and incorporate the strategy in your business.

» Study what is working for your competitors and what is not.

» Keep innovating to stay ahead of the competition.

Once your business is established, think about various ways of expanding it. You may introduce other categories of products along with books like stationery, bookmarks, coffee mugs, etc. Try to start a chain of retail stores so that people will identify and recall your online store once they read the store name. This can help rake up your profit.

Most Effective Internet Marketing Tools

The promotion of products and services that is carried out over the Internet is known as Internet marketing. Lowered marketing costs and distribution of information to a wider audience are some of the positive changes brought about by Internet marketing. Websites, emails, forums, blogs, and articles are commonly used for Internet advertising and online marketing. Owing to the audio-visual aspects of the Internet media, marketing through the web is more effective. Moreover, web marketing targets a very large audience, thus achieving speedy advertising of products or services. What are the various tools used for web marketing? Which of them are the most effective? Let us find out.

If you are an Internet marketer, it is necessary for you to understand the importance of putting yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers. In fact, any marketer needs to think from the perspective of his/her potential customers in order to devise the best marketing strategy or apply effective marketing tools. In the real sense of the term, thinking from the point of view of the customers is not a marketing tool; it is a marketing tactic. In fact, it is the gist of any kind of marketing and web marketing is no exception.

Keywords: Think of what the Internet users do. They surf the web, browse a number of sites, and bookmark their favorite ones. If you want to increase the number of visitors who bookmark your website, it is important to furnish it with authentic content. Do you know who is the first to read your website content? It is not a human user; it’s a search engine. It is extremely important for a website to rank on leading search engines. Only then can a marketer look forward to increase website traffic, and achieve business growth. And for a website to rank high, its content needs to have the most-searched and frequently sought words and phrases known as keywords. Keyword analysis plays a vital role in helping a website rank.

Pay Per Click Advertising: It is an Internet advertising model wherein an advertiser pays if a user clicks on an Internet advertisement. Search engines, advertising networks, and websites use this advertising model. In this technique, advertisers bid on keywords. When web page content relevant to the bidden keyword is displayed, advertisements related to it are also displayed, thus creating chances that the web page visitors will click on them. Websites charge advertisers on the basis of the number of clicks the advertisements receive. Google AdWords offers pay-per-click advertising wherein advertisers specify the words and phrases that are likely to trigger clicks on their advertisements. Their advertisements are placed in the category of sponsored links on the search results page of Google.

Google AdSense: AdSense is an application run by Google and can be used as an Internet marketing tool by website owners. They can enroll to Google AdSense, whereby they can host text, image or video ads on their websites. The advertisers are charged based on the number of times an advertisement is clicked or on the number of times it appears on the website.

Article Marketing: Articles generated with the application of SEO techniques serve as effective Internet marketing tools. Website owners make use of SEO tips and techniques to find the most-searched topics and to generate keywords. Articles based on frequently searched topics are generated and published on the websites. The articles often consist of back-links to their website, thus achieving more user visits. Article marketing is often used by small businesses, whereby they submit small articles about their products or services on websites in order to publicize their business.

Blogs and Forums: Blogs and forums give the businesses an opportunity to interact with their target customers. Through blogs, they can create awareness about their products and services among the customers. Forums serve as platforms for discussions, whereby marketers can interact with their potential customers.

Emails: Small businesses use email marketing to achieve business promotion. Emails sent for the purpose of enhancing or maintaining customer relationship as well as those sent in view of acquiring new customers fall under the category of email marketing. Emails can be made to carry advertisements and commercial messages, whereby readers are encouraged to opt for a certain product or service. Emails are one of the most effective Internet marketing tools used today.

Social Networks: Existing social networks are popularly used for business promotion. Businesses aim at increasing brand awareness by spreading their message through social networking websites. The process is known as viral marketing. The use of video clips, Flash games, ebooks as also plain text messages on social networking websites is in wide use today.

Tips to Set Up an Online Furniture Store

Tip
While a customer is about to checkout, offer him/her more products, tagging them as “people who bought this also liked”. This technique often works, and lures the customer to shop for more.
Selling furniture online has become a lucrative business as more and more customers are preferring to shop from the comfort of their home. There are many websites which offer competitive prices for the same brands of furniture. If you too want to capitalize on this business, you will have to first complete certain registration and licensing formalities. Ensure that you have a business name that would seem easy for customers to remember. Also, you will have to source initial funds for the business.

These days, resorting to crowd funding for any online business venture is fast gaining in popularity. You will also have to prepare a business plan which will help you take the right decisions. However, in order to be successful in this business, you must know exactly how to initiate it. Hence, if you are planning to open an online furniture store, we will tell you how to go about setting it up.

Decide Furniture
Since there are numerous types of furniture in the market, you will have to decide the type of furniture you plan to sell. Apart from this, you will also have to decide if you intend to sell used or new furniture. There are online sellers who even auction antique and vintage furniture. Also, there are too many different pieces of furniture like couch, table, chair, shelf, recliners, bar stools, beds, bean bags, etc. While it is recommended that you concentrate on one type of furniture initially, you will still have to order separate pieces. For example, if you want to concentrate on wooden furniture, you will have to order tables, chairs, beds, etc., in multiple numbers.

Understand Market
Before venturing in this business you will have to carry out a thorough market research. Suppose you are going to sell home furniture, then you will have to understand who your target market is, its composition, the furniture items that rake in maximum sales, offers that entice the customers into making a buying decision, peak periods of business, etc. All this will help you get an insight into the furniture business. This will enable you to incorporate those furniture items that have a high demand and are appreciated by customers.

Sourcing Furniture
You will have to source furniture for your online shop. For this, you can either approach the brands directly or even tap wholesale furniture shops. With the growing popularity of e-commerce, large furniture brands will not be averse to offering furniture through your online shop. Also, such branded furniture is usually popular among customers, and you are bound to receive a favorable response for it. On the other hand, approaching wholesale furniture shops will prove to be extremely cost-effective, and you will be able to earn a good margin of profit over the sales.

Storing Furniture
Though you will save a lot of money by setting up a virtual store, you will have to hire a warehouse for storing the furniture. Furniture pieces are usually not small in size, hence, you will have to spend a considerable amount on hiring a large enough warehouse. You can approach wholesale shop owners or furniture brands to allow you to store furniture at their warehouses against a nominal cost. If this is not possible, you can have a direct arrangement with the vendor to dispatch the furniture from their storage to the customers as per the order. This way, you will be able to save on the cost of storing the furniture.

Website Development and Design
You will have to hire a professional website designer to develop your e-commerce website. Hire a person who has undertaken similar jobs in the past or else, it will take a long time before your website actually goes live. Study competitor websites, and understand the elements essential for an online furniture retail website. You will also have to make online catalogs for each product, providing photos of various views, materials used, dimensions, description, etc. You will also have to mention whether the product is available. Apart from that, have filters for color, brand, type, make, material, etc., so that customers will be able to get to the thing they are looking for in a matter of few clicks. You can even create a mobile app for your e-commerce website.

Shopping Cart Software
You will have to buy a shopping cart software for your website. There are many online websites which offer various packages. You can buy one which suits your budget. Many of these software are customization, and you will be able to modify them to suit your business requirement. Since all the transactions will be handled electronically, you will not have to worry about manual errors. Also, it will auto generate an invoice when a customer places an order. Hence, you should not be apprehensive about investing in a good shopping cart software.

Promotion and Advertising
You must undertake various marketing and advertising activities to promote your business. Start pages for your business on various social media websites, and link them back to your business websites. Keep updating information and photos of your products, and new additions to keep the customers hooked to the pages. Invest in paid Facebook ads to reach out to your customers. Undertake Internet marketing and banners. Also, employ traditional means of advertising like print ads in newspapers and magazines, and radio sponsorship. Keep sending out press releases for any new achievement of your business.

Packaging and Dispatching
You will have to hire help for dismantling and packing the furniture pieces for delivery. This will be an added cost, hence, try to price the product accordingly. Also, you will have to tie-up with a good courier company who can deliver the furniture to the desired customer locations. Try to hire the same agency for both domestic and international dispatches. Also, as international shipments will increase your delivery expenses, it is advisable that you carry forward that expense in the form of additional fees.

Business Expansion
After successfully running an online furniture business, you can venture into other allied product lines like stationary, home decor, upholstery, bedding, etc. You can also venture into pet furniture business. Many people are searching for all these things when they move into a new house. People often like it when they find all that they need in a single store, and hence, this idea will definitely fetch good sales. Also, if you can start a chain of actual stores supplementing the online business, people will easily be able to identify with the brand. Prompt response to customer complaints and repairs will also help create trust among customers.
You will also need to…
❖ … get an inventory software.

❖ … upload your delivery, return, and refund policies on the Internet.

❖ … introduce discount offers and schemes for customers.

❖ … offer warranty with the furniture.

❖ … host online auctions/bids to sell products at a good price.
It is vital to remember that online businesses are highly dependent on a positive image and reputation. Hence, ensure that you are not receiving negative reviews, as they can hamper your business. Also, employ SMS and email marketing to inform your existing customers about new products.