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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Internet Business


Prior to the advent of the Internet technology in the 1990s business was reality-based.  Transactions were mainly conducted within a physical space. In the case of tangible goods, product features were sometimes examined and evaluated on the spot before a purchase decision was made.  The possibilities of physical interaction between the sellers and the potential as well as existing buyers were high, especially in the case of personal selling.  In this business, marketing and advertising were mainly through one-way monologue communications, in most cases through such media as telephone, fax or television.  Geographical coverage, in terms of marketing and advertising message, was limited.  

However, following the emergence of the Internet and related technologies, the aforementioned features have altered considerably, and new options and alternatives have emerged.  For example, a web developer in Nigeria could sell his services to an individual or group of individuals in the United States of America (without physical contact), through Internet-enabled technologies. Similarly, a student in any of the Nigerian Universities, say, Novena University, Ogume, could purchase an electronic journal (e-journal), and have it delivered through information-based channels (within the virtual space).  In the same vein, a traveler in Lagos State, Nigeria, could book a hotel reservation in a hotel in Abuja, within the virtual realm.  Similarly, the emergence of companies like Google, e-Bay, Kontera Chitika , Infolinks, and Amazon,  were only made possible by advances in technology. These are but a few examples.  

The emphasis here is that the Internet and its associated technologies have impacted our society tremendously, such that today, businesses and organisations operate in two worlds - a physical space and a virtual space.
The virtual landscape offers endless opportunities for the entrepreneur. In the words of Schuyler, a visit to the world-wide-web, on an exploration of web-based entrepreneurial resources shows catch phrases that include:  "TIRED OF WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE?," "START YOUR OWN INTERNET BUSINESS," "STRIKE IT RIGHT ON THE NET!" AS WELL AS "RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME."  All these developments offer the aspiring and burgeoning entrepreneurs exciting entrepreneurial opportunities. 

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