Business opportunities abound on the Internet — Addy

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KUCHING: Internet business in Sarawak and Sabah is still considered as a new market entry as most people do not realise the impact it may create if its known internationally.

Although it has been there for years, most people are still afraid to walk into the unknown territory, said Addy Kho, the website owner for addykho[dot]com. He has been publishing books on how to maximise the usage of the Internet through e-commerce for several years.

“E-commerce is one of the ‘common’ term in online business. However, the term may refer to more than just buying and selling products online. It also includes the entire process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services,” he told The Borneo Post in an interview.

Addy, who works as an engineer during the day, started his Internet business a decade after the birth of ‘World Wide Web’.

He now owns a few major websites, which were able to generate a handsome income for Addy monthly.

“Doing business online doesn’t come with big investments as compared to running a phsyical shop, unless there is a need to do so.

“It normally costs me less than RM1,000 to set up an online business compared with RM100,000 that one has to pay for a physical shop. It is also easily scalable compared with other physical businesses out there,” he outlined.

“You can, however, keep it simple and I do not see the need to get employees to run it unless it is in very big scale. Therefore you do not have the headache of not performing employees. Everything is very scientific nowadays as research can be done online within hours or minutes,” he added.

He further pointed out that through Internet research, ones would know which products were the most in demand and to be even specific, ones could view the demand of products in each country.

“Search volume for the products comes from the country with high purchasing power such as the US, UK, Europe and Singapore shall carry more weigth than other countries,” he said.

“If the specific product has more than a thousand ‘searches’ every day, then it would be a good time to go in. But you should also ensure that your website is ranked the top 3 of the search result.”

He said the role of search engine optimisation (SEO) played a critical part of the whole process. It is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engine via the natural or unpaid method. In general, the higher a site appeared in the search results list, the more visitors it would receive from the search engine’s users.

“To make sure your page is ranked at least on the first page of the localise search such as ‘google.com.my’ or ‘google.com.sg’, is easier compared with international search, such as google.com. It is important as most people would not proceed to the second or third page of the search results if they find what they want on the first page,” Addy explained.

Addy also pointed out that internet business was in fact very wide. One could make money online not just via e-commerce, but also through providing services online, affiliate marketing, website flipping, adsense, forum marketing, blogging etc.

In terms of affiliate business online, he said health affiliate products were the greatest in demand but it remained competitive as most have gone into this online affiliate business. “You have to go into certain niche to stand out from everyone.

“You will be surprise if you do ‘affiliate marketing’ as the profit margin can even goes up to 70 per cent. Apart from that, lady related products are also doing very well lately, showed to be among the top hit on the search results,” he added.

In Malaysia, he revealed that many people especially the ‘Y’ generations love to shop online as it saved up all the hassle of going down to the road and they could always compare the pricing online. He urged the young gens to start their own business since the opportunity is already there.

“The start up cost is definitely a lot lower and affordable for many. Most people spending few hours in front of their computer everyday browsing or chatting with friends or even strangers. Why not spend some times trying to generate some side incomes online.

“Meanwhile, for any layman who wants to start doing business online, but remain clueless on the current demand of the products, try putting it up over ‘E-Bay’ to see the response. If your products get high demand in the internationally known listing website, then it will be the right time to setup your own website.

“For local businessmen, they should combine their offline business with online branding and marketing before it is too late. One should also be aware that mobile marketing or mobile advertising is catching up now and it is the trend that every business should follow closely,” he concluded.