Does having an online business really work?
This is one of the most common questions I have to answer on Twitter and Facebook. Since I decided to leave my 9 hours per day job and dedicate myself to be a full-time online marketer, many of my friends have asked me if I was out of mind because “that’s just for dreamers and rich people”. For this reason, I decided to write a post in which I can explain what are the benefits of starting an online business.
In this first article, I want to start with the foundations of what is an online business and what are the fundamental components of any business on the Internet.
Table of Contents:
- What is the reality of the Internet?
What is the reality of the Internet?
There are many people out there who often look at Internet influencers such as successful bloggers like Pat Flynn, Neil Patel, etc, and looking at these big guys makes them think that starting an online business will be the immediate solution to all their problems.
That is just a wrong conception of what starting an online business means, and this is indeed one of the reasons why many people who are just starting an online business usually give up before they even see their first mature fruits. And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is no money at blogging, selling eBooks or performing any profitable online activity, you can just go ahead and check out Neil Patel’s blog or you can also check Pat Flynn’s income report and Harsh Agrawal income report.
This is not something that can be achieved easily in a couple of months, it’s a matter of working hard and being able to achieve one piece of success after the other in order to obtain something sustainable that you can make a living out of it. In 2015 Neil Patel took a challenge in which he would demonstrate that anyone can start an online business and ramp it up from $0 to $100,000 in one year.
Did you know that the Internet has created more millionaires than any other medium in less than 40 years?
The majority of people still don’t understand why. It is not because it is easy or because there is a secret technique that you don’t know, but it’s because of the advantages offered by the online world. And in order to understand better what they are, I’ll explain that to you with an example.
Let’s just imagine that you wanted to open a bookstore. What differences would it make if you start an online bookstore to sell eBooks or just start a physical bookstore that sells books on paper?. Now I’ll not give you the answer to that question, I’ll let you answer it yourself.
I will now give you 5 reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid to start an online business today
1.- Millions of Potential Customers Worldwide
The number of potential customers that you may have with a physical library is simply limited by its location. Obviously, you wished you could open your bookstore in Times Square, where there are tens of thousands of people every day walking by, rather than a residential neighborhood. In the first case, the actual exposure to potential customers is much higher. There are more people who pass by there, there will be more people who feel attracted by an article showcase and end up making a purchase.
However, in both cases the number of customers is limited. No one will go from one city to another just to buy a book that can be found at the same price three blocks from their house, no one will wait for three days for that book to arrive by mail when they can get it immediately and also save shipping costs.
An online bookstore, in contrast, has no limits. Anyone anywhere in the world can visit it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with their iPad, in pajamas and from the couch of their home while sipping a cup of coffee. In addition to that, as the ebook is a digital product, you can buy one and be reading it just one minute later.
The global reach of the Internet business is a great opportunity, especially for people in countries with a low cost of living. If you work in Bolivia or in Thailand and sell your products in countries like Switzerland or Australia you can live very well with only a few sales.
2.- Online Businesses Have Low Costs
Having a physical business is expensive, and as better located is more expensive is. In addition to the price of a physical space, you must add possible work like furniture and other expenses such as electricity, water, and others. This is a huge investment and it also represents a great risk in case that the business doesn’t grow quickly.
In the case of an online bookstore, the only “physical space” you’ll need is just a domain name and a hosting plan in order to host the web page that you can get for about us$100 a year. I don’t think you can find a rent like that. It is true that if you don’t know about web design you will probably need to pay someone to build the site for you, but you can also learn how to do build your own website, it’s not so difficult and it will get even cheaper.
These low costs allow anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection to start an online business without too much trouble and also allows you to jump without fear because if you fail you will not lose a bunch of cash.
3.- You Can Automate Your Processes
In order to take care of the physical bookstore, you definitely need people, employees. These employees are the ones who sell books, charge the customers, receive calls and talk to providers, among many other things, I mean, you need to manage a physical library. That means that either you need do all the work or hire employees who can do it for you. The problem of employees is that they are not”automatable” and they need someone to teach them how to do the job, they get sick, make mistakes.
Unfortunately, whether you like it or not, your time and energy are limited, and you will not be able to take care of everything. If you start an online business and it grows, sooner or later you will have to hire staff and take care of many tasks you will not be able to perform.
An online bookstore needs several computer systems that are responsible for different aspects of the business: Hosting the website, processing orders, managing payments, store eBooks… Hiring computers is better than hiring human because computers are able to perform many tasks at the same time, work 24 hours without getting tired, do exactly what they say, are inexpensive and do not complain.
Creating such a system is precisely what allows you to separate your time in your business, everything runs automatically and thus get the famous passive income.
4.- An Online Business is Agiler
In the majority of countries, opening a physical business is a slow process. You need to find a physical place, get it equipped, get the appropriate licenses, seek initial inventory… and many other tasks to take care of. No matter how much you try to speed up the process, from the moment you take the decision to start your small business until you open its doors you will need to wait several months.
On the Internet, You, fortunately, don’t have this problem. You can have your website running 24 hours a day, and in many cases, you don’t have to pay a fee for autonomous until you are billing hundreds of dollars per month on a consistent basis.
When it comes to promoting your business is exactly the same. Thanks to advertising such as Google AdSense or Facebook Ads platforms, in a couple of hours you can get your target audience viewing your ads and visiting your online business, you can measure its effectiveness and modify the ads in real time, something that you won’t be able to do with Yellow Pages or any other offline advertiser.
5.- An Online Business is Scalable
Scalability is just the result of all the above features. It is the biggest advantage of having an online business and the reason why so many people have become a millionaire thanks to the Internet. I am not there yet, but I am on my way… 😉
An online business does not have limitations. Once the system is working, a virtual bookstore can sell 1,000, 10,000, or 1,000,000 eBooks a day to customers all over the world and without problems. The challenge, of course, is to find so many people wanting to buy books and visit your website, but technically there is no limitation.
Are you ready to start your first online business? I want to know what your thoughts are, please leave your comments!!