People still do not understand the full potential of using the internet to enhance or operate a business. They often ask themselves, why start a small business online? The significant point is there are certain advantages compared to only running an offline venture. The main ones being amazingly low start-up costs and the opportunity to connect with billions of buyers around the world.
Affordable For The Average Joe
There are lots of free offers to create your own work from home companies or to learn how to move an existing biz onto the net. However, I would recommend staying away from these folks. The quality and expertise are usually questionable and it will cost you in terms of time and effort. By all means, accept free trials to see what you will be getting but do go for the paid programs.
Now, on the other hand, you could end up paying thousands. It is a very common story these days and there are plenty of unscrupulous marketers around to take your hard-earned money. I would suggest if you are building from scratch by yourself anywhere from $300 to $1500 for the first year should be sufficient and ensure value for your buck.
Offline business owners moving onto the internet may already have the cash flow to invest and in that case, could hire some professionals to set them up. In this case, be expected to pay much more for the services. Do your due diligence first to get a well respected and trustworthy firm. This will save time and you will most likely recover your investment in time.
The essential take away here is you do not have to spend enormous amounts of money. The average Joe can easily start a small business online with a tiny amount of cash. Costs of having a physical store are replaced with a website. Email lists are used instead of direct mailing. Electronic carts fill in for cashiers. Google ad words have a much farther reach than traditional ways of advertising. All reducing operating costs.
It’s A Money Making Machine
An internet business can be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and the beauty of it is you don’t need to be watching it all the time because once established the operation basically runs itself. There will be some monitoring and outsourcing can take care of the rest. It is an efficient, low maintenance cash cow.
This is what many online solpreneurs dream of – waking up in the morning, turning on their computers and gazing lovingly at all the automatically filled orders as their bank account grows. I have seen it over and over again, people from all walks of life working hard for a year and then benefiting from their labors. One gentleman I know started with nothing and within 3 years he retired on half a million dollars. It goes to show anything is possible.
Market Testing Becomes Faster, Cheaper
It goes without saying that markets need to be consistently tested. In the old days, if I wanted to sell baked goods I would need to sell them myself or find a distributor without really knowing if my product was a winner. Most people would start off with a market stall and build as demand rose.
Today we can have a website up and running within a couple of weeks. You can have a low-cost shopping cart, payments handled by PayPal (online payment processing company) and you can control production. Furthermore, online survey companies such as Survey Monkey will assist you to find out exactly what your market wants.
All this makes it so much easier for the little guy to start a business online, test and market his products without paying an arm and a leg or going through lengthy negotiations with a distributor. This is also being improved upon all the time. The latest technique being used by thousands is the Ask Method -surveying an audience to find out exactly what they want before proceeding to commence.
Build It As Large or Small As You Like
Do you just need a few extra dollars to supplement your income? Do you only have several hours a week to devote because of family commitments? Do you want to go at this full-time? All are feasible options because the internet offers the flexibility to scale whatever you do to suit your needs.
It is possible to begin while you are fully employed. This is highly recommended because it does time to reach the profitability stage. Later if you wish, you can quit your permanent job to pursue the biz further. Even though, much less time is needed due to using technological software scaling up will require outsourcing at some stage. This is a positive as you will be able to spend more time doing the things you enjoy with family and friends.
Bring It On Big Boys!
The playing field with major corporations narrows drastically online. There is no way for customers to know if you are a small or large entity. Your website can look just as professional as a corporate site. This means you can compete on even terms (more or less) with the big boys.
You will have access to the same markets and even if you don’t have the same advertising spend there are ways to target your customers at lower costs. Many companies have started with one employee in there home country and increasing there team number to as few as 10 or 15 spread globally. It is entirely possible at a fraction of the cost it would take to do something offline. Truly we can compete with larger businesses.
Are You Ready to Change Your Life?
There is no doubt that starting one’s own business is a challenge. However, the internet does make it possible for anyone with self-determination and ambition to succeed. Entrepreneurial skills and qualities can be learned and developed, respectively. There is very little risk involved because costs are so low.
The difficult part is getting started. You need to join the proper communities and receive accurate advice and up to date information to make informed decisions. You must be surrounded by the right people. Those with similar interests who can assist you in getting to where you need to go.
I belong to an amazing community of entrepreneurs all seeking to make there mark in the online world. Please read my review which follows, if you’d like to learn more about it.
Thanks, For Reading
Are you thinking of starting your own business? What kind of business are you interested in? Do you have any advice or tips to share with our fellow readers? If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below. I’ll be more than happy to respond as soon as possible.