The economic picture in the UK and the rest of Europe is grim and there is very little sign of this changing any time soon. One of the most difficult consequences of this is unemployment, which has just reached 2.685 million in Britain, which is the highest since 1996.
Fortunately there are some positive notes to this sad story. It has emerged that many people in the UK who have lost their jobs have decided to take matters in their own hands and start new businesses.
The one place which offers a lot of opportunities to fresh entrepreneurs is the Internet. With online retailers having just experienced the best Christmas period on record, it is little wonder that an e-commerce business is currently seen as an attractive possibility by many.
This flurry of start-ups has even been noticed by the government, with the prime minister offering new enterprises loans and weekly allowances. It is hoped that this scheme will help create some 40,000 new ventures over the next two years.
Starting an e-commerce business has never been easier. Setting up a website or a shopping cart has become much more accessible to all and there are many platforms out there which allow you to create an online store without the help of a web designer.
The same goes for making a new website transactional, with many payment service providers offering new online businesses merchant services and all other the tools needed to start accepting online payments.
The one thing any fresh entrepreneur should do to vastly increase their chances of success is create a detailed and realistic business plan. A mistake many people make when starting their first ever company is having many ideas and not being thorough in planning how these can be implemented. It also helps to keep things simple in the beginning and introduce additional ideas once you are up and running.
Getting funding can sometimes be tricky if you have no trading history, which is again where the internet appeals. The cost of getting an e-commerce business off the ground can often be so small, that there may be no need for bank loans or investor funding.
So if you have an idea for an online business then there is really very little to stop you from getting started right now.
Eva works for PayPoint.net - Web Merchant Account Provider
Follow Eva Grzybek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/paypointdotnet