Want to start an online venture???
Are you thinking of starting an online venture? Online venture means anything from a web-shop to any idea that can make some revenue for you. If your system is not so complex then it’s comparatively easy to set up than other businesses. Another advantage is you get global audience for your website. Anyone from any part of the world can reach you. Once the start-up headaches are over then it’s a passive income source.
Usually software development is a bit of expensive and takes time from the idea to execution. This might pull you back from getting started with it. But there are many open source softwares available which could be very well used for your needs with lesser development costs. The only cost is for making a good design and getting it implemented by a developer. Even lower rates can be achieved through outsourcing. A good offshore team could be able give you cheap but effective solutions.
What kind of business?
Now it’s time to think about your business. Think of your resources, budget and possibilities.
Blogging, Forums and Affiliate marketing – Blogging is the easiest way to start something online. You can manage it yourself without a team. It’s good to register your own domain and start something there than using the free platforms. There are many softwares available for blogging. The best one would be WordPress (http://wordpress.org/). It’s good for SEO; they say that google love to crawl wordpress http://www.tastyplacement.com/is-wordpress-good-for-seo). It has many plug-ins available and it’s quite easy to get a theme or develop one for wordpress. It can be used as your CMS as well.
Now, are you interested/good in a specific topic and want to start a forum with the discussions associated with it? There is another open source application ‘phpbb’ (http://www.phpbb.com/). This makes it easy to get started with a forum.
All these blogs and forums help you earn money through affiliate marketing. When you refer someone to a product/service you get a certain commission. There are many companies who offer affiliate programs.
E-commerce, Web-shops/shopping cart – A web-shop would be the hardest one to get started. If you are running a retail store or if you have any products to sell, then you can really think of a web-shop. Fortunately we have many open source e-commerce softwares available which will cut down the development costs. Means, your store is ready within a short time span. Do everything to make it reach people.
The best e-commerce application would be Magento (http://www.magentocommerce.com/) which is a full featured and advanced shopping cart software. It has a good administration panel where you can easily manage the settings. Once you choose Magento think of the design. There are free themes available for Magento. You can buy a paid theme or can make a theme with the help of a designer / developer who has experience with Magento.
There are other areas like online classifieds (many of them are already there in the market). I came across one open source software for this too. The OsClass (http://osclass.org/) . You can also try to make custom software to run an online business idea. It could be a service like trip booking, where you get commissions or users pay for your service. Building such softwares require good planning and execution. You should be clear with your thoughts from A-Z, which should be communicated well to the developers with proper documentation.
Above all a great business idea is the key to success. See the opportunities and market that you see for your idea. Do some research and get some statistics. Sounds promising?? Go with it!