The Internet, The New Frontier Of Modern Business

If you were not quite aware, the world has been witnessing a global recession since 2008, just when we think it is improving we hear of the sudden collapse of countries like Greece and Spain. There are a lot of factors that caused the global recession and much of it is down to bad banking practices based on greed but it has to be said, not every business that has closed down recently is down to the economic crisis.

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Picture courtesy of TheTimes.co.uk

Over the last few years large high street chains have closed down forcing thousands of people out of work. But contrary to belief this is not down to the global crisis, it is down to the changing world and the change in the retail industry. No longer do we need to go down to the town centre to rent out a film or buy a CD by your favourite band.

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Picture courtesy of The Guardian.co.uk

No we can easily buy these things online from anywhere in the world, in fact CDs and DVDs are now slowly being phased out and replaced with MP3s and MP4s that are downloaded instantaneously. In fact films and TV are now being streamed live directly to our computers and smart phones. It doesn’t stop there, even clothing, books, birthday cards, and food can be bought online.

I wasn’t just referring to a full grocery shop worth of food that you can order from your local supermarket and have delivered, no I was meaning the food you enjoy from your favourite local take away can now be ordered online and delivered to your door.

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The internet has changed the way we buy the things we like, of course the online world will not replace every kind of business or industry, for example Amazon might sell all of its products online but they have big distribution centres and they will need building, the products need packing by staff into boxes that were manufactured in factories.

There will always be offline industries, the houses we live in still need building but on the whole, the internet and the new technologies that is being developed since its creation are changing the world we live in and it will never be the same again.

Mankind is at a point similar to the old industrial revolution, at the turn of the 19th Century people were afraid of the future as new machinery like the loom were replacing weavers. This machinery made thousands of people unemployed; people were not living the life of leisure as the industrial revolution expected.

Only a few became wealthy and lived better lives as the machinery helped increase profits and decrease the overheads of running a business. But, as new machinery is created new jobs are also created.

During the industrial revolution bigger and better ships and transport networks were created meaning products could be sold to more people further afield. This meant more loom operators, delivery people, and ship builders were needed also railway lines and canals were being built so navvies and builders were employed in large numbers.

We are seeing a very similar change in the society we live in today. If you are feeling low believing that we are living in times of high unemployment and insecurity think again. It could be far worse, how many people have smart phones, high definition TVs and all manner of computing equipment like tablets and iPads? Most of us do and they need making, someone somewhere is being employed to make these things which were not available 10 years ago.

Yes you can argue that much of the electrical gadgets we enjoy are made overseas but even so, there are businesses in the western world dedicated to creating apps and software for these machines. There are shops that employ people to sell them and of course these shops have online stores that need people.

The advancements in technology do mean that a machine can do the job of several people so yes people will be made unemployed because of some machines but then again, these machines need building, designing, delivering and managing so jobs are created.

Companies that were offline now are online and that means they are hiring people to manage websites, create website content and manage social media profiles so again more new jobs have been created.

The great thing about the internet is that it has opened up the doors of the world for the average person to create a business from the comfort of their home using staff in countries like India and the Philippines to do most of the work. Only today I was going through 51 applications to a small job that I posted on oDesk.com. There were applicants from the U.K., India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Jamaica, Kenya, U.S.A. and Lithuania.

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These people can work for me from their own homes in countries that I probably never visit, they can do web design, writing work, app building and many more and when the job is done it can be emailed to me or simply dropped into a shared folder like Dropbox.com or Google Drive. This means I can access files from any computer and smart phone from anywhere in the world as can the people I give permission to. These shared folders make sharing projects a lot easier than emailing work to each other.

So what can the average Joe Public do to make money online? Well to be honest there are a lot of things, way too many to list, there is so much opportunity online and when you consider how little a website can cost to host it makes you wonder why more people do not have one.

A website can cost as little as £60 a year to host if you use a WordPress theme that is free. If you invested in a premium theme and your whole cost for the year was £100 you have 365 days to make that back, and it is possible. You put £100 in a bank and leave it for a year you will not earn much in interest.

Invest £100 and build a website, add content and create T-shirts using a site like CafePress.com as an example, then use free networks like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter you can drive traffic to your site where people can buy your T-Shirts.

If you had a website based around a hobby that you love, a website that cost little to set up where you paid someone to create content for the site as well as doing some yourself then your site has a healthy chance of being found. You are then in a great position to generate money from  advertising revenue where people pay you to show their adverts, to generate money from promoting affiliate products via email lists or reviews on your site.

An online business for the average person with a day job is a great way to generate a second income from little investment. It is far better than putting money into a bank. This is a changing world, the internet is the new frontier for business, people can access the internet from mobile phones and small hand held tablets anywhere. Isn’t it time to take your slice of the action?