Entrepreneurs are a rare breed of individuals who are constantly exploring new business opportunities, whether they’re their own ideas or being pitched ones.
The majority of opportunities, no matter how good they might sound, end up being a complete money-sucking nightmare due to expensive overhead, slow scalability and low margins.
Online businesses, however, can be very appealing because they don’t have the traditional hurdles that most new ventures face. Here are four reasons why online businesses are the best investment entrepreneurs can make.
1. Offers incredible scalability
Not every online business is going to morph into a huge success with rapid exponential growth. Many entrepreneurs start an online business thinking customers are automatically going to find them and sales will pour in because they have a small footprint on the Internet.
They think a few tweets and some Facebook posts are all it will take to snowball an online business into a virtual ATM machine.
Scaling any business is not easy, whether its brick-and-mortar or an online business, but an online business has advantages. For instance, a brick-and-mortar retail store has a defined audience, typically a radius from the business location. An online business isn’t restricted and can market to a worldwide audience.
Once a successful marketing and advertising strategy is identified, an online business can simply open up its target and increase budget to grow very fast.
2. Provides limitless freedom
Online businesses offer freedom. Modern technology, laptops, tablets, business apps and VoIP communication systems are just some of the tools that allow businesses to be operated from any location.
Next time you’re in a coffee shop take a look around – someone is working on their online business while sipping coffee. Not being tied to a particular location or desk from nine to five can be very empowering.
Some entrepreneurs don’t know how to balance the freedom and fail miserably, while others use the freedom as motivation to work even harder. True entrepreneurs respect the freedom and understand that the hard work is well worth the ability to spend more time with their families and get other things done from nine to five.
3. Low overhead and high margins
An online business will often allow you to eliminate some of the huge costs associated with an offline business like pricey office or retail space and long-term lease commitments, and you can also eliminate tying up your money in stocking inventory.
A drop-shipping agreement with the manufacturer or a manufacture-to-order arrangement can greatly reduce your financial-risk and will allow you to maintain more consistent margins with less upfront cost.
Imagine you sold hats in five colour variations. In a physical location you’d need to keep all of the variations in stock because you don’t know which hat people are coming to buy.
If the yellow hats don’t sell you are forced to discount them and take a loss. Selling the same hats via drop-shipping would mean you won’t be left holding unsold merchandise that you’ve already paid for.
4. Access to a worldwide market
The beautiful thing about an online business is the ability to run it 24/7 without geographical boundaries or specific hours of operation – and online business can produce revenue even while you sleep.
With a well thought-out social media plan, search-engine optimisation and paid media strategies, an online business can thrive. You have access to the entire world right at your fingertips. The luxury of being able to target specific provinces, regions and countries gives an upper hand to online-based businesses.