Also from the Web
Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes
Not all small business owners and professionals have the time, ability or inclination to build, maintain and regularly update a website. But at the same time many would still like to have some sort of presence on the web. Therein lies the opportunity for internet-savvy entrepreneurs: Develop, maintain and market a community-based website, featuring local news and information, as well as participating businesses and professionals. Each business that joins would receive one or more web pages within the site to advertise, promote and even sell their products and services, along with a web address extension, private e-mail, and a host of additional web and commerce features. Think of it as a bricks-and-mortar mall, but in virtual space. You can charge each participating business a monthly fee membership that includes fixed services, and additional fees for premium services such as content updating and web tools specific to that business. Promote the community web site locally with fliers, print advertisements in newspapers and with the use of advertising specialties. Offer clients a noncompetition clause to entice them to join. This means one car dealer, one roofer, one clothing retailer, one chiropractor and so on. Community websites are truly a win-win-win situation. Participating businesses win by getting a fully functioning and regularly updated site for a fraction of what it would cost individually. Community residents win by getting news and information specific to their area, along with convenient online access to products and services offered by community businesses. And you win by building a successful and profitable business.