This article is dedicated to all those brave souls who are starting on their own, an online venture in todays’ challenging world of strict regulatory restrictions. This article will share you with ideas on how you can earn money online in this complicated and overwhelming regulatory environment.
I like to start with Money Laundering Concept. Hold On, you may be thinking; What, Why. But hear me out, this is one of the most important matters if you are starting out your online business. For those, who have only heard the term money laundering and terrorist financing. Here is a crash course for you. Money laundering is the process of hiding the source of illegal money to convert into legal money while Terrorist Financing is sending money to terrorists so that they can carry out terrorist activities. Nowadays, in the international sector, there is serious concern about these issues. Therefore, in order to counter them, organizations that deal with monetary transactions have two tools available to them:
- Know Your Customer:
It simply means to collect as much information from the customer possible so that an organization can know about his/her nature of business and predict his/her transaction pattern.
2. Transaction Monitoring
Here, you monitor the customer transaction to verify whether your prediction about customer transaction match with actual customer transaction. If it does not match, the organization will raise suspicious reports and file it to the Financial Intelligence Unit of their respective countries.
Now, this brings us to the major challenges faced by the online business who are just recently being incorporated. Let us say, you have found a perfect niche market, you have also set up your commercial site which has a quite good customer response, you have also created a product that has market feasibility. So far all good, now its time to sell your product to your customers from around the world. You find an online platform from where you can sell your goods like Shopify, sendOwl or any of your choice. The registration is quite easy in these virtual marketplaces, you can instantly put your product for the sale. But, now when it comes to select the payment gateway like PayPal, Stripe, which you need to handle money transactions from your customer. You get stuck.
Major Problems Posed by Payment Gateways:
- Problem in KYC
These payment gateways operate internationally who deals with customers from all around the world. This means that these gateways have to deal with the customer who is non-face to face meaning they never get to see the customer in person. So they have to rely on documents given by the customer for verification. Here is another problem, how can these gateways verify these documents as different countries have different laws and provisions for registering business and providing identification to individuals. Further, most of these documents are in the local language, also type and number of documents differ from one country to another. Since there is not an internationally accepted standard set of documents for KYC of individuals, payment gateways have adopted this solution. They provide facilities to customers and businesses belonging to certain countries who have good anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing practices. So if you belong to those countries who are not listed by these payment gateways then this article for you.
- ONE IMPORTANT THING TO LOOKOUT:
This happened to me, some payment gateway does not tell you right away about money laundering regulations. They say that you are authorized to do transactions. Now, when your hard-earned money comes to these gateways, they will ask you for further documents. Now, even after you submitted your document, they will keep asking for further validation. It seems like nothing is good for them. Ultimately your money is stuck, you can see the balance but you cannot use it.
- Virtual Bank Account
Have you heard about Payoneer, it provides you virtual bank account usually located in the USA from where you can receive and send money. They also provided you with an international master card. Sounds Good, Right, but here is the catch. You can use these types of financial services so long as you work as a freelancer or consultant, where you get payments from your contractors but if you are using this to receive payment for the selling goods through payment gateways then you have to think twice. To start, they will not give you an international master card to withdraw money, further, you need to have accumulated certain balance in the account in order to make a wire transfer.
Next, what comes is from my personal experience. I have divided these articles for two types of people; 1. Ones who are involved in blogging 2. Ones who want to sell their products through e-commerce sites.
You guys are in luck because you don’t have to face difficult situations like other guys which I am going to explain letter, but you may be facing same difficulties if you are thinking of selling goods online in the future. Here is how you can earn money online if you don’t already know:
- Google Adsense:
Everybody knows about this, but mind you it is really tough to get approval from Google Adsense as they are really picky when it comes to selecting publishers for posting their add. Also, you need to adhere to their rules always, otherwise, your account might get suspended for a prolonged period. Fear not, I will share you some tips that might be helpful for you.
a) Select your niche market. Write about the things that you are passionate about and you know other peoples want to read about it. Some niche markets are already saturated like online games since Adsense have already so many websites related to online games they may not be interested to add more. So, select your niche market carefully. If you are still confused about where to start your online business, then let me suggest to you the following books. The following books are highly sought books on startup. These books also share you tips, trick and experience of various entrepreneurs that will benefit you when you are starting on your own.
Note: I kindly request you to always buy original books so that you are compensating the author for his/her effort.
b) Avoid using the title of the post like the top ten, great tips, how-to and so on. Adsense will flag your content as “Scraped Content”.
c) Always write unique content, don’t copy-paste from others without giving credit. This is unethical practice.
d)Always, always and always write post by keeping your target audiences in mind. After all, if you cannot connect with your audiences, how can you generate web page traffic for getting approval from the AdSense.
e) There is not exact number, how many post should you have before you get approval from google adsense. Generally, many publishers would say around 30. However, I had only about 5-6 post when I got my approval. So from my experience, I believe that if you have post that belongs to particular niche and it is being ranked by google search engine, that is, if you post comes at first page while searching any terms relating to that particular niche. Then, you will get google adsense approval. So don’t sweat on creating lot of post but focus on writing few post in such a way that, it will be helpful for lot of people, they want to read thereby share it a lot.
- Affiliate Marketing:
I suggest you to opt for this earlier because it pays more than Google Adsense. In affiliate marketing, you are recommending products that you have used and you believe that it will be helpful to others also. Therefore, you should be true and recommend only that the products that you have used yourself. Don’t recommend the product for the sake of high commission. Always remember, in blogging, all that matters is your reputation, so you should avoid doing anything that will tarnish your credibility.
- Paid Marketing:
If you have already found any advertisers who are willing to pay for space on your website or blog, then you are very lucky, you can expect a steady income for longer period of time.
These are earning options that I can think of if you know about other venues, then please mention in the comment section so that others can also be benefitted from it.
2. Setting up E-Commerce Business:
I have to honest here, my knowledge for this is limited to the context of Nepal since I belong from this country. So, what I am going to describe in the following section may not be similar to your context, nevertheless, it will definitely broaden your perspective. OK, the following are the things you need to consider before setting your online business.
A. Target Customers:
Are your customers from your own country or international. if your customers are local then you don’t have to worry about foreign exchange regulations and you can easily sell your products.
B. Foreign Exchange Regulations
If your customers are from all around the world, then you might need to do a little bit of homework. See depending upon country, either there can be tight or relax foreign exchange provisions. In the case of Nepal, the Central Bank of Nepal has tight lease on foreign exchange, only a handful of institutions can deal with foreign exchange and most of them are financial institutions like banks, money changers and so on. However, if you are setting up an online site, you need to take a license that says that you are allowed to deal in foreign currencies. To opt for this license, you need to have a registered business as no individual can deal with foreign currency.
C. What’s Next:
Now you have a registered business, an online site and a forex license, its time to start selling your products. As I explained earlier, you need payment gateways and if you belong to countries similar to Nepal, you can kiss these international payment gateways goodbye. But the good news some banks provide you with electronic payment gateway, like Nabil Bank in Nepal, so that you are able to accept international card payment and sell your goods online to your international customers.
D. Bank Transfer:
If all else fails, that is, god forbids, if you are not able to able to secure foreign exchange license, then only option is asking your customer to pay via wire transfer for the products. Mind you, this is a very expensive option as banks usually have certain thresholds for transferring money as well as charges for wire transfers and your customer may not be encouraged to opt for this option. Therefore, it again depends upon the strength of your product. If people want it anyhow, they will be willing to pay any price to get it. So it depends on your marketing skills and quality of your product.
This is all that I have to share with you my knowledge regarding starting up an online business. This article might be helpful for those, who already have an idea about what kind of business, they want to start. But if you are the new blood, who is thinking of how to get started and want a push-up. I suggest you do a bit of research to find your stepping stone. Hey, We all have started in a similar way. So what’s a better way to start research than watch on documentaries and movies. I suggest you to watch the following documentaries and movie to get you heart pump up.
That’s all, and I hope you have found this article useful. If so then, please spread the word so that others might also be benefitted from this.