Starting an Online Business in a Down Economy

Starting an Online Business in a Down Economy
By Melissa Campanelli
September 22, 2008

We all know we're in less-than-stellar economic times. While there's no official "recession," every person you know is probably watching his daily spending and cutting back wherever possible.

Since money is tight, is it really a good time to start an online business? You bet.

To begin with, internet startups have low overhead and startup costs--as low as $3,000, thanks in part to inexpensive, yet robust e-commerce software and services on the market. What's more, the business can be set up in a home office and attended to at nights and on weekends, allowing new entrepreneurs to keep their day jobs. In addition, many budding entrepreneurs can set up their online businesses in less than one week.

Another reason an internet startup could be lucrative even in a down economy is that online shopping is growing. In the first quarter of 2008, revenues generated by online-based businesses (and the online aspects of traditional retail businesses) were $32.4 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That tally is up 13.4 percent from results for the third quarter of 2007.

In general, e-commerce is the bright spot in the retail world today.

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Melissa Campanelli is a leading expert in small business e-commerce and author of the books Design and Launch an Online Boutique in a Week, Open an Online Business in 10 Days and Start Your Own e-Business.

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