Changing Gears: How the Internet Allows You to Start New Careers

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Moving your business to the web or creating a new one there requires something old and something new.

Dubai is in a far corner of the world to set up shop for a business that allows Americans to track their representatives back home.

When you stop and think about it, it’s an equally large feat building an international search engine optimization company after you decide selling scented candles wasn’t showcasing your entire skillset.

Those are just two of the examples of the kinds of things that people who are switching gears and starting new careers online are doing every day.

The Internet isn’t just all about gaming and updating your followers on social media for these forward thinkers; entrepreneurs all across the United States and the world have seen the benefits of panhandling in cyberspace for the online gold that’s waiting there.

They’re making money and satisfying dreams by taking their visions global and many of them have locked the door to a brick-and-mortar store to do it.

Related Article:The Best Careers for Introverts

A Trend That’s Growing

So the question is, how and why do they do it? First, some numbers that point to the fact those who are moving toward cyberspace to make money belong to a trend that’s growing.

Released last month by the United States Census Bureau, E-Stats 2014: Measuring The Electronic Economy takes an interesting snapshot of all the major sector sales numbers including wholesale trade, manufacturing, and selected service industries. According to these government number crunchers, E-commerce accounted for $3,584.0 billion in 2014, and that’s up 8.1% from the previous year. Statista reports that E-commerce is expected to reach 554.81 billion U.S. in sales this year.

When you consider these same experts say the gross domestic product (GDP) of the USA for 2016 is projected at $18,558.13 billion, it’s easy to see why people like Dana Buchawiecki saw cyberspace as a great platform to start a new business.

Tracks Congress

4US.com is a website that tracks and compares users’ votes with their representatives in Congress. The notion is the brainchild of CEO and Founder Buchawiecki, who’s dissatisfaction with his position at FEMA during Hurricane Katrina prompted him to build a website to track congress. He started the business after leaving the United States for a position in Dubai. Buchawiecki underlined his motivations for starting the enterprise which allows users to track their representatives’ activities and the status of bills.

“The command and control system that was in place for Hurricane Katrina lit the fuse for something bigger,” he said. “It was 2005 in the United States and it took weeks to get things going.”

Quite often, the people who make a go of it online are looking for an outlet for a wider vision or bolder enterprise. Still, they need to put a hodgepodge together of the things that made more traditional businesses work and what clicks online.

Related Article: Old Dog, New Tricks: Is It Too Late for a Career Change?

Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach

Making sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach means understanding you still need to have a target market to appeal to. Just because finding the right SEO/Internet marketing company will help you to cast the net wide in cyberspace doesn’t mean you want to.

Knowing where to direct your marketing efforts by finding schools of interested buyers online is done with social media and analytics these days, but you’re still trying to accomplish the same goals those radio and newspaper ads strove for. Finding the folks who will buy what you’ve got to sell is still job one.  

  • Tracking using analytics doesn’t need to be complicated but the reports will help to define the folks who are looking at your site and buying your products. Clicking on the links for the Traffic Report, Keyword Analysis Report, and several others can help flesh out your target market.
  • Surveying any paying clients you have works wonders too. Asking them who they are and what problem your product helps them to address fills in some blanks. 

When you remember that everyone has access to the same technology as you do, you’ll see some of the differences between the old and new ways of doing business aren’t just about hiring online marketers that can flush out your target market.  

Whereas having a solid safe and alarm system back in the day let you sleep soundly at night, the modern version of bars on the windows are good cybersecurity practices. If you think keeping your data safe and secure should take a back seat to other more flashy parts of putting together an online empire like building a website and social media presence, consider:

  • Deloitte’s CFO Insights just struck an ominous chord by publishing the Seven hidden costs of cyber attacks. Loss of revenue and customer relationships are mentioned prominently and those are the very lynchpins of small businesses.
  • Even the big names in security are aware of how prominent cyber security issues need to be. The FBI has a whole section of their website detailing what they’re doing to combat this evolving threat. In fact, there’s even a Cyber Division at FBI headquarters.

However, no lowly criminal can throw a real entrepreneur off the scent of commercial success.  John King is the CEO at Placement SEO and, like a lot of other folks who have taken the road less traveled, he started his career surrounded by four walls working in marketing in a brick-and-mortar store called Bare Necessities.

As someone who’s brought his ability to learn and adapt quickly to the online world, King understands the importance of battening down the hatches with good cybersecurity practices. Beyond making sure everyone uses the most recent in antivirus software and spyware that’s constantly updated, he knows how important it is to make sure all internet connections are properly encrypted with the proper firewalls. All good practices you should follow too if you’re looking to launch in cyberspace.

Related Article:Season of Change: Guide to Successfully Changing Your Career in 2016

Pencil and Paper

A Wi-Fi network is as common as a pencil and paper once were for getting things done today, but these modern tools need to have password protected access to their routers. All of these modern day Henry Fords like King and Buchawiecki understand that at least in some ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s why , while King strongly suggests multifactor authentication that requires more than a password as another piece of a good cybersecurity package, he knows how to foster real wealth online in other ways too.  

“I’m a believer that it's important to hire employees smarter than yourself so that you have a continuous stream of new opportunities,” says the SEO guru whose career course has veered abruptly from those early days working to market scented Yankee Candles. 

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