The internet is a huge opportunity waiting to be exploited by anyone who has a marketable skill or product. If you already have a job and are loath to give up the security it provides for a pie dream, you can set up an online sideline business. This gives you the freedom to explore an opening that exists without compromising on your current lifestyle. In case of an unemployed mother who chooses to stay at home to care for her children, this can be a life altering prospect. She is able to look after her children while working from home to supplement the family income.

What Can I Sell?

A number of people find this question to be the first stumbling block in their grandiose online plans. If you are a working professional you can use your skills there, or maybe consider turning a hobby that you enjoy into your side business. Everyone has something that they are good at, the skill that family and friends come to ask you to implement on their behalf. Before you say that may be so for others but not for me, think.

When was the last time you helped someone do something that they could not manage on their own? Did you help a friend file his income tax returns? Maybe made a friend a new accessory to wear for a special occasion? Perhaps even cooked a special meal for a birthday or anniversary? All these skills are marketable. This means that there are people online who will be willing to pay you money to do what you do for free for friends and family.

How Do I Find Customers?

This becomes the second point of hesitation for the new business idea. Once you are convinced that you do actually have something of value to sell, it automatically follows that you need to have customers to sell to. Here the internet comes to your rescue. There are all kinds of forums and websites already in existence where you can tap into potential clients. Of course you need to set up your own identity online before that.

In order to do so you need to set up shop on a website, post pictures and descriptions of your products or services, and set up a way to accept credit card payments from customers wanting to buy from you. If what you are selling is commonly available online, you will have greater competition and lesser profit margins. However if you can tap into a niche which has little competition and loyal customers, you can be singing all the way to the bank.  Naturally this is not going to happen overnight and you will have to work at it for a while.

As with any job or business the more you work at it, the better you get at it. Eventually you will be able to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your business opportunity and fine tune it to suit your personal needs. A little preparation, a bit of training and you could be looking at the next big thing online!

Author's Bio: 

Sarika Periwal is an online sales and marketing consultant. Connect with her on Twitter or Google+.