With the advancement of technology and a great resource such as the internet at our fingertips, it is easier than ever to start a business. And with the millennial generation having grown up with technology an increasing number of your (potential) customers are heading online to purchase , research or find that particular product or service they need. So If you are in business in this day and age and do not have an online presence you are missing out on a huge source of growth and income. Here are a few advantages of starting an online Business, or if you have a traditional bricks and mortar business, advantages to developing an online presence.
With no office space or shopfront required an online business offers great mobility. All you need is an internet connection, your laptop, and a product to sell or service to offer, therefore, an online business can be as mobile as you are. Whether managed from home, in coffee shops or whilst travelling, starting an online business is perfect for someone on the move. With more and more places offering free wifi and your business being manageable wherever you have an internet connection, this is a huge benefit as it frees up large amounts of cash flow that would normally be eaten up by rent and office equipment. Also, as this model grants you the option of working from home, or in a location convenient to you , you are able to save a considerable amount of time on your daily commute, which allows for more time dedicated to growing your business.
“The more we use the internet, the more we use it for our direct personal or financial benefit.”– Christophe Jouan, ceo, Future Foundation
2-Flexibility of Time
As many businesses and in particular online businesses, are often started part-time, this model allows one to fit their emerging business around their already busy routine. You have the freedom to choose when to work, compare to many brick and mortar business , where you work typically from a 9-5 period or something similar. Rather, with an online business your can work when you are at your most productive, be it early in the morning , at night when the house is quiet , or at any other period. Thus, you are allowed the luxury of being able to schedule things according to when suits you, a luxury that many others don’t enjoy.
3-Low start-up Costs
Aside from the actual product or service you are offering, the costs associated with building an online presence are minimal. To buy a domain and host it can cost as little as 3-4 $ a month depending on the provider you choose. And as far as actually building the website, as opposed to years in the past when one would have to pay a programmer or coder exorbitant amounts to build the initial website, and then again to rectify any ongoing problems, now through programs such as WordPress, anyone with limited IT experience can build a drag and drop website for next to nothing. There are a number or resources outlining exactly how to go about this as well as step by step youtube tutorials.
4-Low advertising cost
Due to the variety of social media outlets available it is easier and more cost effective than ever to reach or advertise directly to your demographic and redirect traffic to your website. Facebook , Twitter , Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn may be currently the most widely used but depending on your product/service and demographics tailor your social media presence to what your potential customers would most regularly use. It is simple to create most accounts and relatively quick to provide regular activity, simply duplicate your high quality (key point) content across whichever channels you choose to utilise. Then all that is left is to make your website social media friendly by adding widgets and “share buttons”. Before companies would pay advertising firms, media outlets and a number of other sources huge amounts of money just to get in front of their potential customer’s faces.
“The future of advertising is the internet”- Bill Gates.
Now with social media, there is a cost-effective and easily implementable way to build a huge following online, garnering interest in your product/service and thus redirecting potential customers to your website.
So if you have an online business idea, are an expert in a niche field and would like to develop a secondary income stream, or have an existing business but would like to reach more customers online, now is a better time than ever to start. As outlined above the start-up capital required and overheads are limited and you have the added huge benefits of flexibility and mobility. The biggest investment are time, motivation and the discipline to continuously work on building an online presence.
“Almost overnight, the Internet’s gone from a technical wonder to a business must.”– Bill Schrader, businessman