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How to make money from e-business

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Business and Finance

document.write(window.opener.document.frmPreview.s.value); Online business is most suited for producers and manufacturers. They can sell their products directly to their customers. Most important, online trading helps them eliminate middlemen to whom they shell out quite a few dollars in terms of commissions. They also save on delivery costs. The manufacturers can pass all these savings to their customers, who get to buy products at a price that is much less than the market price.

E-commerce sites not only increase business but also enhance visibility. They become an interaction point for manufacturers to receive feedback from their customers. This is why most manufacturers like to have a web presence. They not only generate a useful stream of income, but also come closer to their customers.

Online business also suits those who sell services like legal consultancy, tutoring, travel services, etc. The revenue generation in this case may be limited because services are not products to be stored and shipped on demand; they are a relationship-based trade.

However, any service enjoys two big advantages on the net. The first is reach. You are able to reach more number of people, and if you have a team of people you can work 24/7.  The second is costs. It is much more economical to run a website than a physical office. However, to be successful you need to initiate a contact, establish credibility and prove the value of your service.

You can also sell goods manufactured by others, very much like physical retailers but with greater reach and less overhead costs. Since your costs are low you can charge less or run schemes that make the purchase of goods more attractive from your online store.

You can even make money by directing customers to the manufacturers site. This form of marketing which is known as affiliate marketing is especially popular on the web. It is a no-risk and no cost partnership and helps you make much needed dollars that you can then use to make your e-business grow.

If, however, you have slightly deep pockets you can start your own affiliate program. This means you encourage owners of other websites to route traffic to your website. In return, you pay them a small commission. You can even give them a percentage on sale of a product to encourage them more. As new affiliates join you and you train your existing affiliates your sales go up  and so too your profits.

Another indirect source of revenue that opens up for you is advertising. Once your website earns credibility and has a large target market, advertisers may like to buy space on your website. This is another useful source of revenue that you may reinvest in your core e-business which is selling products or services.