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Smartphone startups launching your small business in the palm of your hand

For most of us, our smartphone is an essential part of our daily lives. We use it to communicate, to entertain and to organize. Imagine if you could also run a business from it. Here are some ideas on how you can do just that.

Do your research

Step one is finding the right business for you. Do you want to match people with products in an online reselling operation? Would you like to work as a travel agent, event planner or consultant? Do a search to see what competition you have in your region. If you find a gap that needs to be filled in an area of personal interest, you might have just created your own niche market. You can buy products online and resell them through Amazon and eBay. Or offer your time to do the work for clients too busy to plan their own weddings. The infinite network of potential online connections offers great opportunities to generate income. Become an expert in your area of interest, read up on others offering similar services and see what you can do to make your business even better. Read the blogs of like-minded entrepreneurs and share trade secrets on how to make the most of online business opportunities.

Brand your business

Once you have decided what products and/or services you would like to offer online, you need to brand your business and create an online presence and social media following. You don’t have to spend any money in order to do this. There are free online logo makers, WordPress sites and business pages on Facebook that you can use to full advantage to market your business. Make sure you use keywords to boost your Search Engine Optimization and brand yourself the go-to person for your area of expertise in your region. For example, if you offer your familiarity with the attractions and venues of your city as a tour guide, you would use the name of your city in your online accounts, user names and web address. Make sure you are choosing a unique name for your brand so it doesn’t get confused with a similar company among the zillions available online.

Become a mobile entrepreneur

As long as you have a WiFi connection, you can conduct business online. With access to your email and various online auction platforms, you can make a profit as a reseller of antiques, rare books, clothing, sporting equipment…even car parts. The idea is to put available items in the hands of the people who really want them – and the possibilities are endless. If you are offering an online consulting service, you need to incorporate SEO keywords in your promotional text that will show up in client searches. People might be searching for advice on how to plan a family vacation, buy a used car, find a new home or enlist childcare services. You can offer your time and research expertise to connect them with the things and experiences they are looking for. Once you have completed a sale or business transaction, request a testimonial from your client. Word-of-mouth goes a long way toward the promotion of your business and posting the testimonials online will boost your search engine optimization as well.

Use your social media savvy

Are you constantly updating your Facebook page and posting photos on Instagram? Use your fluency in social media to your advantage. Market your online expertise to local businesses that may not be so familiar with the language of the Web. In particular, traditional businesses that are new to the online world would benefit from Internet marketing services. You can act as their representative on Snapchat, Vine, and Twitter, tweeting on their behalf. You don’t have to be a subject matter expert to promote a business.

The Internet is constantly changing and developing. Those who remain up to date with current online applications can unleash an unlimited earning potential as an agent for goods and services. Whether you are matching people with products or offering your time as a researcher for those less comfortable with the Web, everything you need is online. You can even use free apps to process sales, manage your books, project earnings and conduct comparative market analyses. In a world where many businesses are moving away from bricks-and-mortar format to conduct operations online, you will be one step ahead of the game. You don’t even need an office; just your trusty smartphone.

Madison Hayward and her husband run a small business together and have learned a lot. Madison enjoys helping others with their startups by writing and sharing her insights and experiences on various business websites.

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