It’s amazing how business opportunities have sprung up online these days. As the Internet expands and technology evolves, everything seems to be an opportunity. The more the Internet penetrates societies and homes, the more the marketplace expands.
If you are reading this post now and you don’t have a business online, you’ve just got to think and try to figure out what you can do to serve the online community and be paid for it. Before we get into the reasons you should start an online business, let’s briefly discuss some reasons why doing business on the Internet is still so difficult for some people.
Why business online is still hard for some people
Lack of Internet infrastructures
For most businesses in developed countries, this may not be an issue. But billions of people on earth still don’t have what it takes to start an online business. According to Statista, India, China, Pakistan, and most African countries are on the list of countries with the most people lacking Internet connection.
The use of computers
To run a business online, some computer knowledge is a requirement. Not being able to use a computer is a reason some people haven’t started a business on the Internet.
While businesses can employ workers with computer skills, the lack of basic computer knowledge is still a reason some entrepreneurs are yet to embrace the Internet as a business expansion environment.
Type of business
Some entrepreneurs who run local businesses are of the opinion that their activities or services do not need the Internet. While this is common with small businesses in under-developed countries, I think they are wrong. Bringing your business online gives you access to customers who are not local, so it is a very important move if you want to expand your business and increase sales.
A big challenge to Internet-based business is the transfer of funds. This is a common problem in many developing countries where financial institutions are manipulated. Credit card facilities, PayPal, and other electronic money transfer tools lack the necessary support in these countries.
Where payment processing platforms are poorly developed, Internet business penetration is slow.
Delivery and aftersales
Business online cuts across three main product types:
- Physical products
- Electronic or digital products
For electronic products and services, there may not be any major challenge in delivery. The reason is that these have to do with the transfer of digits on the Internet backbone.
However, dealing with physical products requires the actual movement of these items from one geo-location to another. At this point, this is off the Internet. The lack of these delivery facilities has slowed down the penetration of Internet business in some areas.
Now, those were some of the reasons Internet business is slow or completely absent in some regions. Let’s now look at some major reasons to start your own business online.
Reasons you should start your business
1. The ideas are unlimited
While some of the points I raised above may be weighing on you, it should be noted that Internet business ideas are never-ending.
One of the main things that stop people from kick-starting a business online is the lack of profitable business ideas. The Internet being a global village, opens up a wide range of business ideas. An entrepreneur living in a remote area somewhere in Asia or Africa can still comfortably serve the Internet community in developed countries by developing a digital business.
If your local coffee shop business cannot attract customers from across national boundaries, setting up a training course or writing an eBook on how to set up or how to start a coffee shop business will certainly fetch income from all over the world.
2. Building online is easy
One of the beauties of running an online business is how easy it is to set it up. Gone are the days of struggling with computer programming languages to come up with a single web page. In today’s world, locating a simple online store builder may be all you need to get your business going.
All you may need to do is click, fill forms, drag and drop, upload product images and configure some payment methods, and your online business will be set up. Once you have a clear business plan, going online is quick and easy. The ease of starting a business online should be one of the reasons you should start yours this year.
3. Less capital
Starting a business online is not only easy. It’s relatively cheap. You can actually successfully run a business online without the high cost. Some businesses can be run completely for free. However, once your income levels grow, you may need to upgrade to premium resources.
In the early days, registering a domain name and hosting a website wasn’t for the average entrepreneur. The complexity of Internet resources had a huge impact on price. Creating simple presentation websites was far above the budget of many businesses. Running a database-driven transactional website was a no-go area for many.
The good news today is that this is no longer an issue at all. With less than $500, any business can own a domain name, web hosting, and a money-making website within a few hours.
4. No heavy offline investments
It’s possible to run a very successful online business from a one-room office site. Content marketers, affiliate marketers, dropshippers, resellers, and many related online businesses have no need for large office space. But these activities can generate huge incomes for their owners.
As a content marketer and blogger, I have successfully run my online business for over half a decade from the comfort of my home. This means a lot in terms of saving on some office maintenance fees, movement between office and home, etc.
5. COVID-19 imposed measures
Social distancing and lockdown are fast becoming norms. Online businesses have seen a significant rise in the past year because of these COVID-19 stoppage measures.
To avoid constantly moving and interacting with unknown people, start an online business where you stay at home and generate income.
How to promote your online business
Starting a business online is one thing. Promoting the business is another thing. Let me quickly help you with some ideas on how to promote your online business.
A) Paid promotion method
There are promotion methods that require monetary expenses. While I will not go into details on these points, here are briefly some of these methods.
- Online paid ads: One of the ways to get quick results is to run paid ads for your online business. There are several types – Social Pay Per Click (on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), Search Pay Per Click (on Google, Yahoo, etc.), banner placements, etc.
- Paid content marketing: This has to do with hiring content creators, sponsoring content on popular websites, etc.
B) Free methods
It’s possible to run a successful online business without spending on promotion. While this has proven to work, it could also lead to slowness.
Generally, you will have to turn to free Content Marketing, where you focus on creating content, sharing on social media, optimizing for search engines, helping people in forums, and participating actively on content-sharing sites to gain more exposure.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be very tricky at this point. Doing it alone for free may end up driving you crazy. That’s why for the most part, entrepreneurs end up spending large sums on SEO.
You can start and run a successful online business despite these challenges. It’s all about making the decision and moving on.
I hope this post has given you some useful ideas.