Whether you are an experienced business man making his first foray into online business or someone just out of school or college with a great idea, you need to understand how online business is different from conventional models and why it is such a great opportunity. We have all been to a supermarket and know about big manufacturing companies, but those rules do not apply on the internet.
• Your start up costs is very low. Your company can consist of you, sitting at home working on your dining table. As long as you have a good computer and a reliable internet connection, you are good to go. Wooden boxes can be used for filing and storage and with a cushion on top, for extra seating.
• No one is going to see your “office” so you don’t have to worry too much about appearances – you are not opening a boutique! What matters is your website. This is your store, your office and your reception area. Never compromise on the quality of your website. It is how people will get their first impression on your business. If you have doubts about your ability to design and set it up yourself, pay for a professional. Make sure it is easy to understand, navigate and use.
• Your website has no geographical limitations. Anyone anywhere can view it. Sure you may want to start small, but your potential market reach is unlimited. You can cover the whole country while sitting at home. Imagine the cost of you had to set up local offices!
• Unlike any other form of business, being online lets one person run a 24/7 operation. Your website is working for you even when you are sleeping.
• This means that you can, within reasonable limits, chose your own work hours. While work discipline is important, if you are a night person, there’s nothing to stop you from working when the rest of the world is sleeping.
• You can change or modify your business at anytime, with the click of a mouse and entering new data on you site. There’s no company to reorganize.
• Advertising is free and easy. There are tons of free advertising avenues and free links you can use. Remember the first thing you have to do is to spread awareness of your website.
• You can send all you promotional material, newsletters and brochures over the internet with no printing or postage costs. Depending on your internet access plan, you may have to pay a marginal amount extra by way of internet charges. Check out Ringgle.com, we have some pretty impressive features as part of their web hosting plan. Particularly the feature of sending newsletters, which not all web hosting companies have.
• If you ever have to shift your house or move to another town, your business travels with you. If fact, you can work anywhere that you can use your computer and access the internet.
• All the support software you need for things like bulk mailing, accounting, sales and inventory management are easily available. If you are on a tight budget, you can find free basic software that will keep you going until you can afford more sophisticated stuff.
Just remember that while an online business offers huge benefits and potential, it is still a business with all the associated business risks. Don’t get carried away with all the hype. Focus on the hard realities.