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5 Questions To Ask Before Starting Your Own Online Business

When you start your own online business you have the potential to reach customers from all over the world, around the clock, every day of the year. But the internet is a competitive environment and there are a several questions that you need to ask yourself before you jump in.

1. Why Do You Want To Start Your Own Online Business In The First Place?

You may want to start your own online business purely for the income that you hope it will generate. But the internet is not a way to get rich quick. It will involve work, time and resources before you see any return. Keep in mind that a business only becomes successful on account of its customers and if you don’t offer your customers any value, they won’t buy from you.

2. What Type Of Business Will You Start?

There are various business alternatives when you start your own online business. For example, you may choose to create your own products or you may prefer to sell other peoples’ products who will pay you commissions on your sales. You might sell tangible products that are delivered to the customer’s door or digital products that a customer can immediately download to their computer.

3. Who Are Your Target Audience?

You need to be aware of your target audience. Focusing in on a target audience is something that you can dig into even deeper by developing a particular specialized niche or sub-niche. In doing this, you will be sure that you have targeted on a particular need for a specific customer.

4. Do You Have An Action Plan?

Establishing objectives and measuring them is crucial when starting your own online business. Put a plan into action, but give yourself flexibility to develop on that original plan. Be certain that you know if there is sufficient demand for the product or service you are offering or will be just another internet business offering the same old thing?

5. How Much Time And Money Are You Prepared To Spend?

Ask yourself how much time and money you are prepared to commit to your new online business. You can’t expect to spend minimal time and money and get a huge return. Even though the costs of starting your own online business are less than starting a traditional ‘offline’ business, you will need to set aside a budget for important software and your marketing and advertising.

African Business Entrepreneurship: Available Opportunities For Trade And Investments

Introduction (The Culture of African Business)

Business culture is a set of non-material competences a company or individual has for resisting variability forced on it by changes in the broad market. In contrast to this, is a company’s success in coming up with new ways of reinforcing its culture in the face of perpetual change. African Business Culture therefore, is the tendency to build responses to market variability and its pressures blaming it on the lack of respect for cultural nuances of a company or individual’s immediate market. This sentiment at all levels has held African businesses and industries back.

What African Entrepreneurs Lack

African entrepreneurs lack proper business skills and greedy financiers have made it worse by granting unrealistic credit terms to gullible businessmen. Africa also lacks the requisite infrastructures, services and government administrations that can support a modern day business market. In Nigeria almost every person you meet on the street has some business ideas but lack the know-how to transform such ideas to a vibrant and going-concern. This is because formal services as those of Accountants, Lawyers, Human-Resource professionals as well as informal interventional services such as government programs for incubation of technology and business skills are largely lacking.

The Business Opportunities in Africa

There are five (5) major types of business opportunities in Africa. These are:

1. Agriculture: ranking first among the business opportunities available to investors and entrepreneurs in Africa, the continent is home to 60% of the world’s total uncultivated arable land. As the world’s population is now above 7 billion, there must be a systematic approach for producing enough food to feed all. The challenge in this case has to do with poor infrastructure and trade barriers and several African governments are making substantial and useful efforts to solve these problems. Agriculture, therefore, has the potential to support other industries such as manufacturing, products marketing, fertilizer production, pesticides and seeds production, food processing and grains refining.

2. Infrastructure: this sector is second in importance only to agriculture. Though successive African governments have made efforts to improve infrastructure, a huge deficit in this sector still looms thereby creating bottlenecks in the smooth running of trade, import and export activities. The World Bank in 2008 estimated that Africa needed eighty billion dollars ($80 billion) annually to cover infrastructure needs. This kind of financing does not come cheap and it provides an opportunity for private investors to partner with governments in the improvement of the under-performing infrastructures such as power supply, water resources, railway networks, roads and airport facilities.

3. Tourism: Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania have become some of the world’s favourite spots for tourism. Some sources anticipated over 50 million tourist arrivals for Africa in 2012 and with such a number being expected to rise naturally, hotels, resorts, airline businesses, train services, taxis, water transport and beach activities are expected to boom. There are also possibilities of foreign investors partnering with governments – to improve inland waterways or national parks.

4. Mining and Solid Minerals: deposits of mineral resources exist in several African countries in huge quantities. These mineral resources, which have remained largely unexploited due to poor mining capabilities and infrastructural facilities, are the essential components of a business sector that shows promise to support foreign direct investments. A country like Nigeria with a great variety of mineral resources has remained technically incapable due to poor financial management and planning. Interested business entrepreneurs have a chance to tap immensely into this sector.

5. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

It is also estimated that Africa’s consumer spending in 2012 was over one trillion dollars ($1 trillion). With a population that is arguably the fastest growing in the world, a middle class of over three hundred million (300million) people, the FMCG sector promises to be very profitable. Foods, beverages, home and personal care products provide ample opportunity for manufacturers and retailers as their demands continue to soar. Investors who dominate this market at the first instance are likely to remain the main players for a long time.

Conclusion

As Africa on the one hand is now witnessing more conflicts and on the other experiencing good governance, the continent is set for a slow but steady path to development and growth. Several reports showed that Africa managed to grow during the world’s recession of 2009 by 2%. It continued in 2010 by 4.5% and in 2011 by 5%. In 2012, it was presumed to be at least 6%. All other continents of the world apart from Asia had a negative growth during the 2009 recession. This is an eye opener to trade and investment opportunities in Africa now that the entire world has more than ever become a global village thriving on the higher values of interdependence of nations rather than independence. There is no doubt that remarkable strides will be made in African Business Entrepreneurship in the coming years as long as governments of African nations continue to make sincere efforts to ensure the continent remains investor friendly and an investment fair-playing ground for all serious minded businessmen.

Define Yourself As a MLM Business

Noise, noise and even more noise and it is ever increasing. Everyone wants to be heard and loved and that is fine. However, in the business world this is competition and ever so more for an MLM business owner. Personality is the key and as you have figured out by now, a good personality is sought after the most, before experience and skills. This principle applies to the online world of business. What two elements are first consumed by a potential prospect? The website and the content on the page itself. These two elements will set the tone and personality of the business.

“movie Magic,” or “just Lucky” are types of MLM business operations

Perhaps you have come across “movie magic,” websites that sparkle with the finesse and style. These sites have personality and carries the owners voice or something similar forward to its visitors. The site speaks a lot more than ones that are “branded,” in a generic way. They have an attitude that attracts consumers like honey does for flies. Your MLM business can have this “magical” feeling to it as well. The core for this style stems from the strategy and a few points within the tactical elements.

Have you ever come across websites that feel bulky and out of shape? These are the “just lucky” types of websites that are lucky to attract visitors and even luckier to convert them. They seem to lack life and pleasure. They are not set up to start conversations and keep visitors engaged for long. They hit it and quit it after a close encounter, this style is not very fun at all. Many of them get backlisted by search engines and eventually get overhauled. The problem may lie in the lack of direction that the manger has for the business. Perhaps the owner is relatively new to the internet sphere or perhaps have been hyped by B2B businesses selling specific niches that may not have any relevancy at all.

Don’t caught in the hype of other businesses

The biggest problem is the hype that agencies and other specialty firms market all the time. It will and can affect your MLM business. Some of the “magic potions,” offered by them may or may not help with an individual problem. These particular messages are just messages that glimmer and shimmer. If you can focus on bringing your personality through your website first, then you can look into finding other solutions to help convert or engage consumers. When a website fails to converse, it fails to convert prospect. A website without personality is not one worth visiting. Not to say that your website will be super successful automatically, but it can help you close down most issues that arises with running a home business.