16 Reasons To Start an Online Business
The opportunities for online self-employment and online business (e-commerce) have seen exponential growth and continue to do so, due predominantly to increased social media and mobile technology usage.
The Internet is therefore increasingly becoming a viable option for global work solutions through freelancing and to create and build a future in online entrepreneurship.
The very low cost of implementation, job flexibility, ease of set-up and marketing, compounded with the global clientele reach, in comparison to a brick and mortar business or regular 9 – 5 job, is incomparable.
Advantages Of Online Business (E-commerce)
1. Global Internet growth
An analysis of a report from Internet World Stats, on Internet Growth Statistics for the period 2000 to 2014 shows that growth isn’t stagnated nor slowly increasing, but instead is doubling every 5 years.
The same report determines that as of September 2016, World Population’s with internet access is 50.1% (that’s 3.7 billion people!).
“We find ourselves in the midst of the greatest information and communications revolution in human history. More than 40% of the world’s population has access to the internet, with new users coming online every day. Among the poorest 20 percent of households, nearly 7 out of 10 have a mobile phone. The poorest households are more likely to have access to mobile phones than to toilets or clean water.
We must take advantage of this rapid technological change to make the world more prosperous and inclusive.” – Jim Young Kim, President, The World Bank Group: Forward, The World Development Report 2016, Digital Dividends.
This clear indication of rapid internet growth and usage, creates avenues and opportunities for fulfilling demand among a growing online clientele.
2. Growth of E-Commerce
Regardless of which neck of the globe one lives, e-commerce (sale of goods and services via the internet) provides ease of access, affordability, variety, upfront customer reviews, and convenience.
A report from U.S Department of Commerce for 2016 (U.S- Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales) evidently proves e-commerce is consistently increasing within the United States with an overall 15% increase within the last year.
In recent months the shopping landscape has been evolving, with retail giants J.C.Penny, Macy’s, Sears and Payless having to file for bankruptcy or close hundreds of retail outlets, due to increasing e-commerce.
The World Bank Report 2016, Digital Dividends, acknowledges the significance and impact of digital advances on the global economy-
“The benefits of digital technologies filter throughout the economy (Figure O.9). For businesses, the internet promotes inclusion of firms in the world economy by expanding trade, raises the productivity of capital, and intensifies competition in the marketplace, which in turn induces innovation. It brings opportunities to households by creating jobs, leverages human capital, and produces consumer surplus….”p.g 11
“The internet makes labor markets more efficient by connecting a larger pool of individuals and firms at lower cost.”
3. Global clientele
This advantage cannot be emphasized sufficiently. The internet,
social media and advertising reach all corners of the globe.
The limitations here being language barriers and internet
accessibility, but the potential market size can still be in the millions.
To put into perspective – Global Internet Usage by Geographic Regions for period 2000-2016 shows growth percentage of 1000 – 8000 % for Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.
The World Bank highlights the rapid growth and availability of digital technology:
Digital Dividends Report 2016, pg5 states “The internet and related technologies have reached developing countries much faster than previous technological innovations… More households in developing countries own a mobile phone than have access to electricity or improved sanitation (figure O.4, panel a).”
4. Potential for high profits
Factors affecting any business’ profits such as low sales, location, competition, economy, advertising cost, overheads and the list continues, each analyzed, can be proven to have less or no impact on online sales.
Firstly, the profit margins though variable according to the type of business and the market size, still can yield high profits due to low overheads, global reach and 24hr business hours.
Secondly, due to the global reach, factors such as location, low sales, and economy are less or not impacted. For example: If the local market of your country was facing recession, your traditional business would shut down or you lose your job. But if you have an online business, you market to stable economies.
Thirdly, earnings are primarily USD currency, unless otherwise requested or products are specifically sold in another currency.
Online business is a low investment, high profit opportunity.
5. Simple to achieve
It may still be a misconception that starting any form of online business is difficult, and requires programming knowledge: this is furthest from the truth.
To state it simply, once you can operate a smartphone or Microsoft Word, you can create a website.
The advancement of technology has made previously complicated programming now as simple as typing in Word or using drag & drop methods.
Additionally, videos and tutorials whether free or paid from successful online entrepreneurs or business organizations, provide step-by-step guides in your chosen business model.
6. Low Start-up cost
Comparable to starting a brick and mortar business, online business is extremely low cost
since overheads such as; property (rental or mortgage), inventory (purchase, stocking, and delivery), vehicles and salary for staff are low or non-existent.
Your store is your website, for which the basic cost of hosting is as low as USD $6 monthly.
Total monthly cost per business model averaging USD $100.
In comparison to a regular office job, monthly expenses such as commute, meals, and
uniform in addition to the hassle and logistics are equivalent to online business start-up cost.
You set your work schedule. Whether you desire your online business to become full-time or part-time it’s all your decision. The option may also be to focus on the business only on specific days.
8. Work from anywhere
You can work from home, cafe, anywhere. Similarly to having a global reach, you also can operate your business from any corner of the globe, once internet connectivity is reliable.
9. Services Reasonably Sourced
A great aspect of an online business is the availability of professional services at significantly lower cost. If one or several aspects of the business aren’t your specialties, you can obtain professional services through Freelancers. Additionally, these services may be offered which may not be readily available in a local market.
Examples of services are; book and article writing, logo designs, web-site maintenance, videos, diagrams etc.
Added to this is the option of hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) whose responsibility it is to manage part or all aspects of your business (e.g social media, or blog posts).
Additionally, you can hire people to do less skilled aspects of the job to free yourself to pursue more profitable opportunities or give you more freedom.
10. Facilitates most fields of Expertise /Passion
If unfamiliar with online business models, the setting up, launching and scaling up of an online business can be learned through step-by-step guidance or tutorials.
Depending on your choice of niche however, either expert advice can be outsourced or you can ensure your niche is one you are qualified in or have gained sufficient experience to provide information to others.
For example, you may decide to sell products related to Survival/ Outdoor Activities.
This may not be a familiar field, but with some reading and research, you can become acquainted sufficiently enough to market associated products.
Additionally, even if you are qualified in a specific area, you aren’t limited to begin your online business in your field of studies.
11. Open 24/7
Your business has no closing periods or days.
This increases your customer base
and selling power!
12. Low cost to Scale Up
Unlike a brick and mortar business, scaling up your business, does not require a larger facility, more staff or vehicles.
The cost to facilitate an increase in customer base, will depend on your type of business but will require upgrades such as web hosting and email facilities, averaging no more than USD $100 monthly.
13. Coaching & Training Programs
The availability of step-by-step, In-depth training and coaching from already successful online entrepreneurs and Facebook Community Support groups facilitates ease of launching and building your online business if required.
14. Evolving Tools & Software
There are frequently updated or new software and guidelines in technology and operating an online business. These work to the benefit of all users, and so keeping abreast is beneficial and aids in improving efficiency.
15. Facilitates family-life, work & travel
An important aspect at some stage of life that everyone desires, is job flexibility for especially young families, or simply a personal desire to be free to travel the world but still earn an income.
Additionally, another job can be maintained if so desired especially in the early stages as you launch and grow your online business.
These factors can be easily accomplished by an online business, hence it’s frequently termed ‘The Freedom Lifestyle’.
16. Affordable Marketing Strategies
Content on your blog or website which is informative and accurate, social media and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) techniques are your advertising tools which are both simple to master, cost-effective and attainable.
Advertising via Facebook, for example, USD $10 can potentially reach up to one thousand users, likewise, Google Adwords can cost approximately USD $40.
AN OPTION TO SUIT YOUR PREFERENCES
Find Your Online Business Model
Make Money From Freelancing
The number of opportunities for self-employment in the area of freelancing is increasing and certain to grow over the next decade, in tangent with Internet and online business growth.
To facility global demand, websites geared towards the provision of a platform for freelancers, and a secure environment for clients is available. The two largest of these are Fiverr, Freelancer and Upwork.
Some fields of Freelancing with each consisting of sub-categories are; Writing & Translation, Programming & Technology, Design and Graphics, Sales & Marketing and Video Editing and Production.