Myth 4 Its FREE to Do Business Online Oh how I wish that were true

If the statement was changed to, "It doesn't cost MUCH to do business online', then it would be completely accurate.

Compared with building a store or leasing office space in downtown New York, Internet business start-up and maintenance costs are incredibly low. Once setup is complete, the only ongoing costs you'll have are your Internet connection, continuing education, and advertising costs.

• Myth #5: It's TOO LATE to Start an Internet Business - I often hear the following questions from skeptics, 'Isn't it too late to start an Internet business?' and 'Hasn't it already been done'?

The impatient part of me wants to answer, "Yup, it's too late. Anyone with thoughts of starting an Internet business should just pack up, go home and forget it. Try again later once all the current netpreneurs have retired."

You won't hear me complain about having less competition!

The truth is, however, that almost never too late to start anything.

Think about it. Has every song been sung? Have all the books been written? There are millions of restaurants, clothing stores and gift shops in the world. Is it too late to open another?

What you need to figure out is whether there is a market for your product. And where markets are concerned, there is no place like the Internet.

Take a look at some facts and figures:

Computer Industry Almanac assesses the 2004 Worldwide Internet Population at 934 million, and projects 1.35 billion by 2007.

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reported that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2004, not adjusted for seasonal, holiday, or trading-day differences, was $15.7 billion, an increase of 23.1 percent from the second quarter of 2003.

The second quarter 2004 e-commerce estimate increased 0.9 percent from the first quarter of 2004 while total retail sales increased 10.1 percent from the prior quarter.

E-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2004 accounted for 1.7 percent of total sales, while in the second quarter of 2003 e-commerce sales were 1.5 percent of total sales.

Forester Research predicts that US eCommerce sales will break the $300-billion mark by 2010. The forecast shows that US online sales will grow from $144 billion in 2004 to more than $316 billion in 2010, reflecting a 14% compound annual growth rate -- 12% of all US retail sales. The three largest categories in 2010 will be travel ($119 billion), home products ($43 billion), and apparel ($28 billion).

Although many people are still reluctant to give their credit card numbers online, more and more people will be clicking 'Buy it Now!' buttons as Internet shopping becomes commonplace.

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