Small-Business Growth via the Internet

The iridescent glow of computer screens on detached faces and the rhythmic tapping of fingers on minuscule QWERTY keyboards is a common scene wherever you look these days. The Internet has come to absorb and intertwine itself into every notion of daily life and work. PDAs and laptops allow us to be constantly connected, even when we least want to be. Parents text message their children in school, friends call each other between classes, and bosses send emails about the major project deadline at the end of the week.

While many of us can simply press a button to turn off our mobile devices and breathe a sigh of relief for just a moment, for others, life and work is the Internet.

In the past decade, the rapid growth of the Internet has brought about significant transformations in our societies, policies, and economies. Millions of people around the world use it; from taking distance classes and downloading music, to blogging and podcasting on social media sites, the Internet has created a whole new economy.

A study released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that Internet Business has contributed 2.1 percent, or $300 billion, to the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the US. Additionally, since 2002, Internet-based advertising has increased four-fold to more than $20 billion. The Internet economy has employed over 3.1 million Americans, of which 1.2 million have above-average wages in “directly Internet-related jobs that did not exist nearly two decades ago.”

The Internet has substantially reduced many start-up costs facing entrepreneurs. As a result, more entrepreneurs are empowered to take that first dive to start a small business, find customers, and grow. Some other important findings from the study have shown that small businesses are thriving as a result of the Internet economy; it has created many new jobs and more industries are slowly emerging. There are over 20,000 Internet-related small businesses in the US providing various services including software consulting, web design, publishing, and Internet research.

Entrepreneurs and experienced businessmen like Gerhard Kautz have capitalized on this Internet economy. Kautz has been a consultant to various companies in over 40 countries and now runs his own part-time business providing Internet research services.

“Companies around the world depend on information to stay in business and prosper, but finding and evaluating all of it is time consuming and costly,” says Kautz.

“Internet researchers can use their skills to fill this void and even create a business out of it.”

The Internet is not without its own issues though, Kautz cautions.

“There are dangers of misinformation and disinformation that can surface with the overload of information online,” he says. Determining which information sources are reliable is crucial in this digital age.

As the Internet continues to grow exponentially, more and more businesses and professionals will be looking to capitalize on this far-reaching economy. From advertising and B2B marketing, to Internet research and distribution and consulting services, every niche and industry will be looking for ways to further expand and reach out to the millions of people worldwide that are right at their fingertips.

Aboutstart-internet-research-business-large Gerhard Kautz is the author of Start & Run an Internet Research Business

The book, available in our Web store, shows tech-savvy individuals the ins and outs of starting their own Internet research business.

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