Overview Of Business Model
The information brokerage business is extremely popular these days, and need for the service will only increase as the value of information becomes more critical. The Internet is information, so if you have a talent for researching and accessing public and some private records, databases, and other forms of data warehousing, this is the business for you.
What types of information are clients looking for? Information requests can take many forms. Lawyers may be looking for specific information to strengthen their case. Corporations need market research to support their marketing plans. Businesses may be looking for competitive analysis or information.
How does it work? Clients request information on a certain subject, and you do the research, provide the client with your findings, and get paid for your effort. This operation has fantastic international potential but also has serious legal issues surrounding it, so make sure to have a firm grasp of your liability before embarking on this venture. There is good news: Information brokering can help a lot of people, so your job can be very rewarding and it’s easy to get referrals.
To successfully operate this business, you will need expertise in researching and accessing public, and in some cases private, information over the Internet and through traditional sources such as libraries, microfiche archives, and so on. To update your Web site, you will need basic Web publishing skills. Your communication skills should be concise and descriptive.
Cost To Start This Business
The cost to start this business will include the design, development, and hosting of your Web site as well as a computer, appropriate software, and a printer. The approximate start-up cost ranges between $3,000 and $7,500.
Number Of Employees Needed
One experienced and competent individual with superior online researching skills and resources can start this business single-handedly.
The international potential for this business is unlimited. There is no telling where a client may reside. If you have access to the information they seek, it’s most likely that you can e-mail it to them, and this makes the borders of your business purely virtual and governed solely by language.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
The information brokerage business sometimes infringes on the privacy of others, and whenever this happens there are legal ramifications. Before entering the business, you should research your liability and risk factor.
Sometimes in this business you will be under tight deadlines. Ensure that you have additional resources you can call upon to provide a professional service.
The pricing should be clearly outlined on your site for various services that are defined by the nature of information the client is searching for. The costs should be competitive and reflective of the amount of time it takes to conduct each search.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Develop a comprehensive link strategy. It is important to be linked from as many business service Web sites as possible, as well as related directories, business service cybermalls, Web rings, and meta-indexes.
- Develop extensive registration in all of the major search engines with focus on the information brokerage business and on sites where those searching for private or inaccessible information would most likely go. You can also develop a pay-per-click strategy with the popular search engines.
- Organizing a reciprocal linking arrangement with private investigators, public records organizations, libraries, and security sites will make your business apparent to your target demographic.
- Participating in market research and other business services-related mail lists and newsgroups may be an effective way to reach your target market online.
Extra income can come from conducting extensive searches and aiding private investigators and security specialists by doing online research that they cannot conduct. You may also advertise and recommend the services of private investigators, genealogists, and security specialists.