Booming interest in the Internet is creating dozens of hot business opportunities. One of the strongest arenas lies in teaching clients the ins and outs of using Web sites, search engines, online marketing, newsgroups and other aspects of the Internet.
Some Internet trainers work onsite at corporations and nonprofit organizations, while others go house-to-house introducing homebased business owners and private individuals to cyberspace.
Ron Gielgun, author of 121 Internet Businesses You Can Start From Home and OneBusiness, Two Approaches (Actium Publishing, $19.95 each, 718-382-2129), thinks the Internet seminar business is a good long-term opportunity. "Seminars will definitely do quite well, especially [seminars about] the Internet because it's such a popular topic and it's going to remain popular for a long time," he says.
One entrepreneur capitalizing on Internet opportunities is Randolph Hock, 53, author of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines (Information Today, $29.95, 609-654-6266) and owner of Online Strategies in Vienna, Virginia. Hock started his Internet consulting service after working for a few years in the online information industry. He launched his own firm after discovering the strong demand for Internet training seminars. He now conducts day-long courses for corporations, nonprofit associations, government agencies and library systems.
Hock charges $1,500 to $3,000 per seminar, depending on the amount of preparation required to address the group's unique interests. Through the University of Maryland's continuing education program, Hock also teaches classes on using the Web. Referrals remain his strongest strategy for getting new customers, and he continually gets repeat business from previous satisfied clients.