The Internet opened a door of opportunities to a new economy and it has changed our perception of the traditional way of doing business. Just a few years ago, traditional brick-and-mortar companies were dominating the retail industry. Now, immense companies such as Alibaba and Amazon have successfully conquered the online retail market. Nonetheless, to be successful in the online business industry, you don’t have to run a massive corporation like these. Many small businesses have managed to seize their share of profit from online markets. In fact, the latest trends show that the growth of e-commerce market in the upcoming years will come from small to medium size businesses.
E-commerce is growing rapidly and more business owners are now taking advantage of this opportunity to grow their business online. However, not many entrepreneurs are aware of the benefits that online business can bring to their operations. Here are 5 advantages of doing business online.
Cheaper start-up cost
For new business owners, overhead costs can be overwhelming and it may impact your financial health negatively. However, high start-up and overhead costs only occur if you are planning to open a brick-and-mortar business. Online businesses, on the other hand, only require you to purchase a domain name and hosting packages. You may incur extra cost to hire a professional web designer to design an elegant and professional-looking website for your business. Alexander Reichmann, iTestCash, pointed out “It also saves us money on taxes and rent that we would have to pay for a storefront.” Thus, online businesses are comparatively cheaper than brick-or-mortar businesses in term of start-up cost and overhead expenses.
Low Marketing Cost
The internet is a cost-effective tool. There are numerous online platforms you can utilize to market your product such as online advertising and social media. Online advertising is relatively affordable and it allows you to track your communication value. This means you can identify which advertising message is working and which isn’t. One way to advertise your product online is through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media is known to be a very powerful tool to increase product awareness because customers tend to spend a significant amount of time surfing there. Regarding ads, Andrew Legrand, SperaLawGroup, mentioned that a great “advantage of doing business online is the business’ ability to target its audience with online advertising and converting that audience into paying customers. This means that marketing efforts can be more efficient with regards to time and money, and the business’ customer base is expanded beyond the local audience.”
Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses where someone has to be present in the store at all times, online businesses allow you to run your company from anywhere, anytime. Thus, online businesses give you that work-life balance. Brady Keller, Atlantic.Net, added “[the] benefit of an online store is that you can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since your retail store is virtual, you can potentially be making money while you sleep.” Hence, the flexibility of online businesses can be translated into flexible location and time of doing business.
One of the significant impacts of the internet is globalization. Online businesses can facilitate the demand from global consumers by allowing business owner like yourself to sell your product internationally without setting up the physical vendor in that region. Najeeullah Babar, Interloper Inc., said: “It expands your reach from local to national and international no matter how small a company you are.” Another unique advantage of online business is that you can set your website in different languages to accommodate people from different locations. Therefore, online businesses allow you to capture a wide range of customers globally.
Easier and faster financial transaction
Online payment services such as PayPal and Stripe allows you to receive a transaction from customer directly to your bank. This will save you a lot of time in term of the transaction process. For your global customers, they can make payment conveniently in their own currencies because online payment services will automatically convert their currency to the currency that you will receive. You can also utilize free accounting software like SlickPie that offers all these payment gateways with multicurrency features to help you to manage your day-to-day business transaction, sending invoices and tracking your financial performance.
In a nutshell, an online business can offer you cheaper, easier and faster business environment. Online business is suitable for those who are seeking to start a new business but having a tight budget. Start-up and overhead costs are relatively low and you can start implementing zero-marketing strategies through online advertising and social media from day one. Furthermore, transaction process between your business and customer can be done in a matter of seconds and you have the flexibility of doing your business in terms of time and location.