Online Business or internet business is any type of commercial activity or company which involves sharing information over the internet. It is the most popular form of business today and provides a medium to interact with prospective clients as well as to make an income from. Online commerce or e-commerce is simply the exchange of services and/or products between individuals, companies and other groups and is the fastest growing sector of our global economy. This article will look at some of the existing laws governing online business and how they may affect you as an entrepreneur. The laws may vary slightly from country to country, however the Internet still remains fairly anonymous and there has not been any significant amount of legislation which directly affects businesses online.
There are many laws and regulations surrounding online business and many online businesses have emerged on the internet making it harder for smaller businesses to survive and flourish. Some of these regulations and laws are part of their functionality and others are designed to protect consumers and online businesses alike. The laws that govern online business provide protection to consumers and online businesses and help ensure that both thrive. When operating an online business you need to consider the laws that surround you and your business model to protect yourself and to maximize your profits. Some examples of laws and regulations covering online businesses are:
There is a general principle that governs all business models and online businesses fall under this principle. According to this principle, online businesses should compete with other businesses in a neutral environment, meaning they should offer similar or identical goods and services to other businesses in the same business area. The idea behind this principle is to allow each business owner to profit from their own business model i.e they can earn more money from selling their goods and services on the Internet, however, this profit cannot exceed the cost of starting and maintaining the business (e.g. overhead cost).
An online business model is designed so that everyday people can use the Internet to make money. The way to make money with an online business model is to sell products and service to people around the world for a fixed price. When a consumer or client in the UK decides to buy a product and service from you, they will pay you cash. You can then use your cash to invest in other aspects of your online business model, thereby allowing you to earn more money each day.
Some of the most popular online business ideas are eBay, Etsy, MySpace, Gumtree and Lifestyle. All these businesses have at one time been successful, but eBay, Etsy, MySpace and Gumtree have recently fallen out of favour and have lost several of their online business customers. eBay has allowed customers to list and sell their unwanted and unused goods online for a fixed price, whilst MySpace and Gumtree allow users to create and promote their own profile pages which feature photos, audio and text. Lifestyle has also recently launched a specialised ecommerce shop that allows customers to buy handmade goods from a range of top quality designers directly from the website.
Another idea that has proved popular online is affiliate marketing. This involves promoting someone else’s online business using your own website. For example, if you are interested in selling handmade goods through your website, you could write reviews about the different handmade goods available and place them on your website, alongside the links to the websites of the sellers themselves. You would choose a particular seller, and as a part of your marketing strategy, place their link in your reviews, which should be written in such a way as to generate the maximum amount of traffic to the seller’s website. Each visitor you send to the seller through your reviews will be a potential customer.
SEO is another aspect of online business model that has proved very popular among many website owners. SEO, or search engine optimisation, includes everything from keyword research, to website designing, to online marketing. For online businesses, it can be particularly effective to use seo, as it is relatively cheap compared to traditional marketing techniques, such as TV adverts and branded merchandise, and the results are immediate.
Digital marketing, such as ebooks and information products, is also proving popular with online businesses. With a global economy that continues to experience problems, businesses are looking for ways to reach a global audience. Online businesses that sell information products such as books and information courses have realised that it is relatively easy to reach markets through the internet – just by setting up an internet store, and offering people information that they can download to their laptops. The advantage of digital marketing, compared to conventional marketing techniques, is that it has a much lower fixed cost, and the returns tend to be high.