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  1. #1
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    Starting an Online Business ....

    I wonder how many people have or are interested in starting an online business? Please share your opinions and experiences

  2. #2
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    I have one.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I have one.
    you have an opinion or a webstore? <3

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by markj2k4 View Post
    you have an opinion or a webstore? <3
    Out of respect for MTBR's TOS, I choose not to talk about it, because I don't pay for advertising. It is bike related, though.

    It's more of a labor of love than anything (like a hobby), and I really don't make much from it. Affords me to buy a bike part here and there, but that's it. I still have to work a regular job.
    Last edited by Dion; 05-17-2012 at 06:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    I have one bike related and one non-profit.

    Really, the web is just an extension of business... a way to reach more customers and automation function. Going into each, I thought I had my bases covered and had solid business plans. What I failed to realize was that business plans are living documents... gotta roll with the envirnoment and change freely. Once I got over that hump, it's been much easier.

    Internet customers seem to think they have a lot of direct control over your business, or how you should do business. It's a customer service issue that needs a gentle touch... small biz does not have to tools of big biz, so expectations vary. Probably my biggest headache right there.

    Biggest benefit, non-profit you are directly impacting people in the way you want to. The Internet then becomes more of an informational, marketing tool which is then extended into a social network of like-minded people.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  6. #6
    Plays with tools
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    I setup my business to avoid the internet. It's become a dog fight of price, not something I want to be involved in.

  7. #7
    REALLY?
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    I textured 3D models online and made a few bucks at it. Basically, I painted some the clothes, skins, scenery, etc for those charaters you use to play in your online video games.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  8. #8
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    I help manage an online store which does okay considering we don't advertise. Mostly it's word of mouth in a small niche market. It helps to have a unique product that no one else is really making. It's a small part of our business, there's no way it would pay all the bills.

    Dealing with our customers on the phone is the low point of my day though. A lot of them are retired and want to talk all day with you about weather, crack jokes, etc. Occasionally I'll get some angry old curmudgeon who wants to take his frustration out on me because they forgot their log in info or couldn't figure out the ordering process and assume the site is broken.

    Or they feel like they need to tell you what you are doing wrong with product features, site usability, etc. and how they have the solution to your problem. But always, always you gotta be nice and be patient with them. Usually I can smooth things over and everyone's happy.

    Really there's not that many callers. We're starting to get a lot of repeat business so that's good. The cool thing is, when we introduce a new product and send out a mass e-mail to subscribers, we get orders within minutes, usually. That's pretty amazing...

  9. #9
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    Can you be more specific about what kind of business you're talking about? I run a content website for a whole other kind of hobby. Original articles, news, reviews, podcasts, etc. It's fun, but it's hard to make much money doing it.

    But I assume you're talking about selling stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Quint View Post
    Can you be more specific about what kind of business you're talking about? I run a content website for a whole other kind of hobby. Original articles, news, reviews, podcasts, etc. It's fun, but it's hard to make much money doing it.

    But I assume you're talking about selling stuff.
    How are you monetizing your content site?

  11. #11
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    For a while, it was a combination of both web and podcast advertising, licensing fees (we had a video show that was syndicated by a video content aggregator), Amazon Associates money, and a sort of NPR like donation system for our audience. Then we got bought by another company, who basically subsidize us. It's not a very standard path honestly, and it's a little beg, borrow, and steal. We worked for 5 years before anyone even looked at it, and another couple before we quit our day jobs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Quint View Post
    For a while, it was a combination of both web and podcast advertising, licensing fees (we had a video show that was syndicated by a video content aggregator), Amazon Associates money, and a sort of NPR like donation system for our audience. Then we got bought by another company, who basically subsidize us. It's not a very standard path honestly, and it's a little beg, borrow, and steal. We worked for 5 years before anyone even looked at it, and another couple before we quit our day jobs.
    That sounds awesome. Have you tried Adsense?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by simian4455 View Post
    That sounds awesome. Have you tried Adsense?
    We've used a variety of ad servers. They pay a lot less than direct advertisers, but then you have to have someone committed to doing ad sales, the most awful job on earth, if you're a creative person.

    Content is not usually the best way to make a living unless you're so passionate about it that you don't care. Sort of like bike racing, as I understand it. Either way, priorities tend to shift a little bit when you've got a kid and bills and you get a bit older. But I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

  14. #14
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    Are you hiring. I can send a resume along with some cool pictures of me riding my bike.

  15. #15
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    I am considering Starting a business, though not necessarily an online one. Online sales may be a component. I am only in the early stages of considering it among other options.

  16. #16
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    I occasionally sell handbuilt wheels, 95% 700c. Its very much a spare time project, and really brings more beer and fun money than actual income. At best, I was importing a few thousand dollars worth of product at a time, buying local spokes and nipples and moving a buncha wheels a week, ~$100-150 an hour profit. All sold online, through forums, ebay, a few on CL (CL has been the worst), word of mouth etc.

    If you catch a niche market with demand that takes some unique skill, its easy.. my demand exceeded my supply so much I had to shut down my site. If you're trying to do the same online business that everyone else is or can do, its hard.

  17. #17
    Give it a crank
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    If it's just for fun, you can start whatever you want online as you please. But if it's for profit, it's gonna need to be or have something unique.

  18. #18
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    Being a picture framer I have used our web site for the last 15 years to promote, sell our products and services from. Back then there wasn't too many picture framers here in NZ using computers for their business let alone using the internet so was able to grab framing.co.nz domain name which I now have parked on my business web site.
    youtube / strava. Back on a bike after 25years

  19. #19
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    I've got an online business. I use Paypal and Google adwords. These two options may or may not be the best of their type but, crucially for a lazy sod like me, they require almost no work to set up and maintain.

  20. #20
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    As someone that makes a living building websites and web applications of various flavors, I'm approached at least once a month by someone who has the a "great idea" or "business model". Yet, doesn't have any money for website development but rather "just wants a business partner" (Me).

    Don't be one of those people. Remember that little thing called dotbomb? The web is still a vast arena of opportunity and stronger then many economical niches, but it's not the magical pot of gold that some think it is.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuffink View Post
    I've got an online business. I use Paypal and Google adwords. These two options may or may not be the best of their type but, crucially for a lazy sod like me, they require almost no work to set up and maintain.
    This sounds pretty good. Care to share more of your business model?

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