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JoJaffa starts an Internet Business

You can make a lot of money or lose a lot of money starting an Internet Business. Which is it to be?

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Why....start an Internet Business?
Getting started
How do I get started?
Kit and caboodle
Recommended reading
Spoil yourself
Holidays and Vacations
Getting more out of....starting an Internet business
I've got the basics, what next?

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Why....start an Internet Business?

Has the bubble burst? is losing a lot of money, has gone bust. Corporate websites now cost US$150,000 plus to set up and a lot more to run and maintain. Investment into the Internet is massive and everything is constantly changing.

And you want to start an Internet business? Yeah, of course you do.

Then read on... or jump straight to Getting Started.

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For world wide advice on the internet go for Make your site sell!

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Available for on-line download.

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The Internet is the most exciting and happening place to be. The thrill is massive and of course, may be it has the potential to enable you to get rich or at least own you own business, be your own boss and take control of your life.

Well, I know how you feel - because I felt exactly the same way.

The Internet is the modern equivalent to the goldrush. Lots of people are selling up and going for broke. Lots of these people will also break down on the way, lose everything and make a real hash of it. But it is still the fastest growing industry and will make many unknown people multi-millionaires.

So what's the secret? First off, you are not a Walmart, a Barclays bank or a Virgin Atlantic. You can't and shouldn't compete with these sorts of sites.

Secondly, there is a growing band of savvy e-warriors that are carving out a market niche for them selves. Their costs are minimal but the time investment is substantial and not to be underestimated.

They are creating sites that sell stuff and build customer relationships. That's it. That's the secret. Build a site that meets an unmet customer demand and build an on-going relationship with your customers. Easy isn't it? Well, yes and no. It's easy, but it's not simple. (Let's come back to this later).

Most importantly, does it excite you to be a part of the adventure and discovery of this new medium? The wonderful thing is that no one can tell you what will work or what won't work. So you can do your own thing - but be prepared to be judged by the market.

The big advantage of the Internet is that you can get started for next to nothing. So you can afford to make lots of mistakes. Be prepared to make mistakes - lots of stuff you try won't work - some will work. Your success depends on your ability to build on what works and remove or re-invent what doesn't work.

Top Internet start up companies are telling their small band of staff that they need to re-invent themselves every six months. So expect to be constantly developing your site.

So what sells on the Internet?

  • Software
  • Books and CDs
  • Information
These are the three key sellers. Commodity type products. But expect this to change. For the first two you probably want to team up with a software builder or an existing bookshop/ retailer. These may or may not already be on the Internet. Your job is to identify the unrealised potential and then realise it. Good examples are sites that run virtual bookshops with Amazon or the Internet Bookshop

The third category is a product that you can create yourself or enlist others to write for you. Corel Rudl's sites provide good examples such as his site Car secrets. The next big thing is predicted to be e-books. Check this out for help and advice on how to write an e-book for profit and make your knowledge sell.

Tell us what got you interested in starting an Internet business.

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Getting started

The key to success is to decide whether this excites you or not. You can't start with a fully developed business idea - you need to start with the desire to make it work. If being in charge and being involved in the Internet revolution keeps you awake at night, then go ahead. Jump in. What do you have to lose? Perhaps a little money (a few hundred US Dollars), and your time.

Most importantly give yourself enough time to make loads of mistakes so that you learn as fast as possible. After all that's always been the philosophy of Richard Branson - read the best account of his business success below. As you make your mistakes you'll slowly build a viable business model. I've given myself a year, and I recommend you do the same.
The age range of successful people varies from 21 year old college graduates to senior business people. Mothers at home with children are also building successful Internet Businesses, and the Internet offers many opportunities for less able entrepreneurs. Internet helper picture courtesy JoJaffa

There really isn't anyone who can't build an Internet business - if they have the desire and aptitude to do it.

If you're new to the Internet or to business in general, don't worry, you can be at the cutting edge within 6 months if you make use of the resources available to you.

Putting together a web business requires a wide range of skills and strengths. It is likely that you will not be highly proficient at all of them. So how do you do it?

You don't need lots of money to build a web business. Basically, you need a website, to write some copy, create a site and create a revenue stream. It is possible to do all four without spending any money at all. Web space is available for free, you can download a website editor for free and you can create links to other pages that will generate revenue. However, being realistic, even if you put your time in for free it is likely that you will incur some costs along the way.

I want to build an Internet Business

Okay, so you want to do it. Here's what you need:

  • The desire to do it
  • 500 hundred US Dollars
  • That's it!
Start by looking at successful sites and produce a list of those that you admire. Then copy the good ideas and avoid the bad ideas and develop new ideas of your own. Most of what is happening on the Internet is a mix of the many good ideas knocking about on the Internet. You can also start with an excellent course and by reading the latest books and by checking out the hottest Internet business sites.

Once you've made the decision to go for it, you need to decide three further things, who can help you or train you, when to do it and where to do it.

Who can help me or train me?There are some excellent books that are a great place to start. Check out JoJaffa's book store for recommendations.

To really make money on the web you need to know how tomake your site sell. Above all else, this site has had more bearing on JoJaffa's success than any other. So check it out - it's suprisingly good value.

Who else can help me?

No one single person can create an effective website on his or her own. Your success will be largely dependent on your ability to involve others in your project. Some will work for free; others want a percentage of profit or a part of the company.

Alternatively you may prefer to join an existing project which is a great way to learn for free. Check out freelance site for professionals.

When do I do it?Massive growth in European market (starting with English and German language sites) will take place between Jan 1st 2000 and Dec 2002.

The Internet in the US is already in the massive growth phase. The next countries to join the US will be UK and Germany. Their Internet business is predicted to hit top speed from January 1st 2000. France and Italy will follow about 1 to 2 years behind. Other North European countries are expected to roughly join the UK and German markets.

The more you do now, the faster your business will grow. Put it another way, at the moment the Internet is hot news - you can get loads of FREE publicity. In a year's time, you'll have to pay for the same publicity with adverts.

Where do I do it?You don't need to live in Silicon Valley to be successful. If your site is based on new technology you might want to base yourself at a Top University science park (such as Cambridge or Oxford). If it is content related you might need to be near a media centre (such as London). If neither is important you might want to be based somewhere cheaper with a good local skill base - such as parts of Wales or Scotland.

It probably doesn't matter too much where you are. Just make sure you can get together with your team in a central place.

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Getting more out of....starting an Internet business

Subscribe to JoJaffa's free Take Charge newsletter where internet experts spill the beans on how to build a successful Internet business.

Buy a laptop and run your business from the beach. Seriously, it's true. Subscribe to Allan Gardyne's great newsletter at Associate Programs and you'll receive newsletters from New Zealand, Bankok and Hawaii - in fact from where ever Allan is hanging out.

If you build you business well and build it for flexibility, then you'll build yourself an amazing freedom and lifestyle.
Internet helper picture courtesy JoJaffa

In fact, if you approach building your business because you want freedom and lifestyle, rather than a desire to be mega rich, you might find that the experience will be a lot happier - and you may even be more successful.

For more on this check out Stephen Covey's book 'The 7 Habits of Highly effective people' in the bookshop section.

If you're looking to become a master of the search engines then start with the best beginners report on the net by Christina Daly at0101webmarketing. JoJaffa uses this advice constantly (and the free updates are worth the cost of the report alone).

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Kit and caboodle

Need a good book, video or more advice? JoJaffa has picked out the best for you. For each book/ video just click on the amazon link find out the price and get more information.

If you can suggest any good books about starting an Internet business, let us know.

Recommended Reading

Books : Web Word Wizardry
by Rachel McAlpine
Content is king. The content of your web site is the most important single factor in determining your website's success. So, how do you create great content? In the on-line world, you have two key audiences, your readers and the search engines. But the search engines don't read - they scan your code and your readers don't read either, instead they scan the words. That's why we need to write differently and that's why we need expert help. Rachel McAlpine's book is clear and easy to understand. It will enable you to write for the web. Best of all, when you've finished this book, you'll find a chapter dedicated to action points and checklists to make your content sing. It's more than a book - it's a manual - and one that you'll want to refer to again and again. Don't lend out your copy.

More info from none

Books : Designing Web Usability
by Jakob Nielsen
Nielsen is the guru of keeping websites easy to use. This is not a book about how to write HTML, but discusses the construction of various websites and how their navigation helps and hinders (more often hinders) the surfer.

The extensive use of before and after screen shots and annotated comments make this an insightful and revealing book. You'd be surprised how big name sites are shown up as ineffective. Fortunately, armed with this knowledge you can do much to avoid the obvious mistakes. This book should be on the desk of every web designer and site builder. Don't buy it for it's cover art!

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Book : Make Your Site Sell
by Ken Evoy
Read this book for the clearest and probably cheapest introduction to building your web based business. As Ken says, what's the point is build the best website in cyberspace if no one knows you're there. Well, here's how you make sure they know you.

More info from Make Your Site Sell

Books : Make Your Knowledge Sell
by Monique Harris and Ken Evoy
Information publishing is set to become the big earner for the little people on the web. The authors state that 'there is a book in everyone. Each of us lives a life of unique circumstances and experiences that results in building a body of knowledge.' Crucially, that knowledge has value and can be packaged and sold to others. But how would you go about something like this? Publishing is an intricate business off line - but online the hassles can be automated away. How? Well that's the beauty of this e-book. Harris and Evoy have compiled the most complete guide on generating an idea, creating an book, packaging it, selling it and distributing it. Great book, brilliantly executed and designed for the novice and expert alike.

More info from Sitesell

Book : Striking it rich
by Jaclyn Easton
This book provides an insight into 23 of the most successful Web ventures. The companies selected cover four types of Web-retailing: a physical store that created a Web component; a catalogue moved onto the Web; a business that has only existed online; an online business that reversed into bricks and motar.

It's just the big boys making money on the web!?! Not at all. Easton's book is the best tonic for the small guys starting out on a zero budget but with the determination and desire to make it happen. Shows that it can be done and richly illustrates how it Capture the opportunity with the line "Be the first, be the best, or be different." Get to see how sites like iPrint, Horsenet, The Knot and Ask the Builder achieve success despite the differences in their site. Very specific data on site creation, costs,

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Book : Business the Richard Branson Way
by Des Dearlove
Discover the secrets of Richard Bransons success. Dearlove's book is a positive and powerful expose of the secrets behind the success.

Amazon UKin association with...

Book : Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach, Russell Munson
This is a story of going further than you ever thought possible, of achieve things you hardly even dared to dream. It is part a story of adventure, freedom and flight as well as a simple and inspirational book. Beautifully illustrated, this work is a parable for achievement.

An incredible book - it changed my life. Read this book and learn to be limitless. I was given this book as a student and thought it was just a childs story. But when I was finally persuaded to read it I discovered that I couldn't put it down and have read it regularly ever since. It's about how

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Book : Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey
A holistic, integrated and principle-centred approach for becoming powerful and effective in your personal and professional life. According to Steven R. Covey, to live with security and wisdom, and to have the power to take advantages of the opportunities that come your way depend on your ability to develop these 7 habits.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Magazine : Internet-Magazine
A serious magazine, with a fun side too. A great place to begin orientating yourself around the ever changing web. Each issue is packed with useful news, tips and advice as well as an over view of the latest sites in cyberspace. Required reading for anyone serious about the web.

More info from Internet Magazine Online

Let's assume you already have a computer with Internet access. You only need the following:

  • A domain name (now only $35 for a dot com address at total nic). Or you can get this for nothing by taking a sub domain eg. www.freeserve/, but it is not recommended.
  • A web host (from US$ 100 per year) (again, if you join Freeserve or BT this is free but not ideal). If you're serious about your site consider one of the top performing hosts like virtual internet
  • Search engine promotion software (US$149) (you can try to do this work your self but unless you know what you are doing you should use the software. If you are experienced you'll already be using this software anyway). For a free trial head for the award winning search engine software from Web Position Gold
  • Books and Magazines(US$50). Staying current with the Internet is crucial so subscribe to these magazines and read these books as a minimum.
That's a start from US$370, or 250 or 300 Euros.

For other things you might need
Check out our breakdown of stuff you might need with cost estimates

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Spoil yourself

One of the most valuable things about working for yourself is that you get to set your own agenda. It takes a little getting used to at first - but you're not accountable to anyone (except your self) so go ahead, give yourself some lee way. It might just be that you start work at 10 am, or that you have a regular spot at the local capuccino bar, or may be you just need something a little bigger. Perhaps your motivated to get up in the morning and make your business happen because you've got something really exciting to look forward to. So here's 5 things you could do - set them as a reward when you achieve one of you business goals

  • Hire a jaguar sports car for the weekend
  • Take a break with your partner at a luxury hotel (even drive there in your hired sports car)
  • Take your partner to Venice (unless you already live in Venice, that is. In which case take your partner to London)
  • Take your partner to the best restaurant in town
  • Take a holiday of a lifetime

Here's a neat thing - get your site into Inktomi's database right away at Inktomi Search/Submit

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Open Outcry

Why not ask JoJaffa a question about setting up an internet business?

  • You could see your internet story published
  • or you could share your advice and experience
  • How about suggesting a great internet business site we should link to?

Got a question? Get an answer!

Post a message to the internet_business discussion board.

You might just

  • have a general question about starting an Internet business?
  • want to make a comment
  • want to share tips and advice with fellow JoJaffa-ers?

... Then why not use our starting an Internet business chat board

Maybe someone has already asked that burning question you're longing to find the answer to ...

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