Running an online business can sometimes feel very lonely. There you are sat at your PC trying to market and sell your products and services without anyone to speak to other than the cat. One well known psychological fact is that performance is boosted when we are in social situations – loneliness tends to reduce effectiveness. However, anyone running an online business is not alone. According to statistics collated by TrendWatching there are 50,000 people in the UK who make a significant contribution to their income as a result of online business activities. Ebay reports that 724,000 Americans make all or most of their income directly from selling stuff online. Plus MasterCard suggests that 25% of all businesses are now web based. What these statistics tell us is that online business and Internet marketing are now mainstream – you are certainly not alone. So what does this mean for your business? It means that you don’t have to be lonely; there are people “out there” just like you, with the same issues and concerns, the same worries and the same difficulties. There are also people “out there” who will have solved the problems you currently encounter. So how can you gain access to them? Social networking is one way; join the business social networking group Ecademy, for instance. Or join their Internet Marketing Club. Consider also joining face to face networks, such as Chambers of Trade or, in the UK, NRG Networks. If you want to know more about networking and ensure it helps your online business I suggest you read Andy Lopata’s blog. Or you could buy his excellent book, “And Death Came Third…“. But whatever you do, don’t go thinking you need to struggle with your online business all alone – there’s plenty of like-minded people “out there”.

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