Whether you’re a bricks and mortar business owner wondering about the possibilities of putting your company up online or you’re a budding entrepreneur weighing up the pros and cons of doing business online, read on to find out more about the major opportunities and benefits that doing business online brings…
High levels of scalability
Most business owners want to grow their companies and there is no denying it’s far easier to do this when your business is based mainly online, Why? Well, for one thing, you can reach far more people with an online presence than an offline operation. Not only that, but it’s far easier to skill net-based infrastructure than it is physical, and cheaper too. So, if you have big dreams for your business, being online in a major way is absolutely vital.
A huge amount of freedom
When your whole business is online you have a huge amount of freedom. You aren’t tied down to a head office, nor thanks to technology like Zoom and Skype, do you have to attend physical meetings, which means you’re free to travel the world while still running your business. Skeptical that you can successfully run a business while gallivanting around the globe? Take a look at this Northeastern University guide to running a business while traveling and you’ll see just how possible it really is. In fact, depending on the kind of business you operate online, you could spend most of your time on a beach in Maui and still be successful!
Typically, an online business will have fewer overheads than a brick and mortar company by the very fact that you don’t have to pay for expensive office space and all that comes with that. You can also cut down on inventory using drop-shipping agreements, lower employee costs by hiring freelancers, and use software and automation to increase efficiency, amongst other things. All of these measures will not only lower your overheads but quite possibly increase your margins too.
Because you have fewer overhead expenses, setting up an online business typically comes with a lower level of risk, which means it could be easier to secure the finance you require as an online entrepreneur, and that you won’t have to worry so much about losing vast amounts of money — especially if you take a bootstrapping approach to build your online business; something that is very much possible if you’re willing to work hard.
Okay, so there’s no guarantee that anyone business is going to do well globally, but when your business is based online, it gives you easy access to the global market, which means you’ll stand a far better chance of making your brand known around the world. Not only that, but an online business can be in operation 24/7 which means you can meet the needs of clients all over the world, which again, makes it more likely that you can make your mark in new territories.
Marketing is simpler and less expensive
It can be really tough to market your bricks and mortar business to customers, especially if you have a really small budget to work with. When your business is online, this is less of an issue because you can do a lot of your marketing, such as SEO and social media engagement for free — you’ll just need to read a few books or websites to get the information you need — and even if you do have to pay, it can be a lot cheaper to hire a digital marketing company than a traditional one.
As well as it being cheaper, online businesses can typically benefit from more advanced marketing tools such as eBooks, blogs and video channels, email campaigns and white papers, which can pack a real punch for a small investment, and whose results are more easily measurable so you don’t end up wasting your budget on failed marketing campaigns long-term.
It’s easier to weather more storms
As we’re seeing now with the coronavirus situation, it’s far easier for online businesses to get through tough situations than bricks and mortar companies that require lots of physical interaction. Storms, pandemics, forest fires — they are always going to crop up from time to time, but if your business is based online, they are far less likely to cause major issues for your company or hit your bottom line quite as hard as they otherwise, potentially, could.
Online is more adaptable
What we’re seeing with the coronavirus pandemic is also that online businesses can offer greater levels of adaptability. For example, personal trainers that would once have worked offline are now streaming live classes online to keep the money coming in. This is something that is only going to get more common over time and a really good reason to invest in online business sooner rather than later.
Networking is simpler
We all know that networking is vital to the success of any business in the long-term, and there is no denying that the internet has made networking even easier than it ever was before.
When you run an online business, you have a website that customers and clients can easily reach you on as well as social media channels that you can reach more people through. If you use these to your advantage by posting regularly, asking questions, and getting involved in the community, you can build strong, lasting links that you can easily leverage to boost brand loyalty and make more sales.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when running an online business, and having a solid Social Media Playbook is essential.
A lot of businesses require you to be actively working to make money, but when you run an online business, you can make sales even when you and your employees are off the clock — a major advantage to consider.
Investing in an online business is no longer the future — it’s the present — and there are, as you can see, so many advantages to doing so that you would be foolish not to consider it if you’re serious about becoming the best entrepreneur you can be.