Whether you’re selling your knowledge or products crafted by your own hands, there are online platforms to help you reach an audience of customers and make sales. Here is my top ten:
Business services If you’re an IT contractor, graphic designer, business coach or expert translator, these sites might help you:
- Peopleperhour.com – more than 45,000 freelancers use this site to source work and new clients. As the freelance, you respond to job opportunities, pitch for work and receive payment, all via www.peopleperhour.com
- Business Smiths – companies needing anything from business plans to web design head to www.businesssmiths.co.uk to find experts who can help.
- Wooshii – a new kid on the block, this site has been created for creatives who produce video and rich media. Companies upload their projects to www.wooshii.com and Wooshii-registered creatives respond with their best offer.
- Lingo24.com – for linguists, Lingo24.com can become your business development tool as work is sourced on your behalf. Clients include multinational companies and government bodies and Lingo24.com services these clients with a workforce of thousands of freelance translators spread across the globe.
Personal services If health, beauty and wellbeing is more your thing, here’s where to head:
- Return to Glory – London’s largest home massage and mobile beauty company, the site is a displaying ground for beauticians and health experts who deliver treatments in the client’s own home. Visit www.returntoglory.co.uk
- Wahanda – welcome to the world of therapists, stylists, practitioners and trainers. They gather at wahanda.com as customers come looking, ready to order their services.
Handmade crafts There is a growing number of sites for the artisan and handmade community. Here are just three of them:
- Etsy – the mother of all craft sites. Since the company launched in June 2005, more than 250,000 sellers from around the world have opened up Etsy shops.
- Notonthehighstreet.com - this site offers personalised gifts and other delights you won’t find on the high street. At the end of 2009, the company reported 1,500 craft designers using the site with sales of £6.4m. Visit www.notonthehighstreet.com
- Alibaba.com – through this site you can make your niche manufacturing dreams come true by sourcing production in China and then selling the finished item. Visit www.alibaba.com
Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation, the home business website, and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’. Her next book, ‘Working 5 to 9 – how to start a business in your spare time’, will be published in May 2010.