As a outsider or beginner to online business the internet can be a bewildering place. Where do you start? Have you missed the boat? What specialist knowledge do I need? Who can you trust? Will it be worth it? There are many questions you may have and these may have stopped you from taking the plunge, but it shouldn’t. Here are five reasons to start your online business right now.
REASON 1: It is really easy!
You just have to decide how much time and effort you want to put into it. If you lack the confidence and/or time then hiring a website designer is probably your best bet. If you are happy to have a go then a using a website builder like 1and1 or six might be your best bet. Not only have the tools for website creation and e-commerce solutions have gotten a lot better over time. From selling platforms to marketing automation and SEO tools, even small startup businesses can get up and running without breaking the bank.
The most challenging aspect of getting set up is your product/service, but if you are passionate about a specific line of products or services then that’s going to drive you to do the work you need to do to build a successful business.
REASON 2: It is where people are shopping and Increasingly so!
Projections from eMarketer show rapid worldwide online business growth through to 2018. This year (2015) is expected to peak at nearly £1trillion and by the end of 2018, almost £2trillion. There has been no recession in online business. Throughout the downturn in 2008 to the present day online business has continued double digit growth year on year. 80% of the web population has made a purchase online and that percentage is only going to grow.
In choosing a business model, it’s always important to examine trends and to move into growth markets whenever possible. The stats back up the notion that the online business model is a good choice for entrepreneurs that are looking to start a new company, or those that are interested in diversifying and expanding.
If you want to get your business online, there has scarcely been a better time. The opportunities are growing by the day.
REASON 3: It takes time to build up a trusted online presence so start now.
The key to having a successful online business is to establish trust and credibility with leads and customers. From developing an attractive and easily navigable website to creating content that helps your customers, there are many different aspects to earning their trust, but if you commit to constant improvement, in time, you’ll build a loyal following. It isn’t too much of a stretch to say that trust is one of the most important aspects of running an ecommerce business. People clearly trust e-tailers more than they did in the past, but security and privacy concerns are still foremost in many people’s minds.
REASON 4: You can sell more to customers down the line.
Practically every ecommerce business finds that reduced friction is extremely important for making more sales (Making it simple to buy your services online). Abandoned shopping carts are a prevalent problem, and you have to have a willingness to tweak and optimize your funnel to ensure maximum conversion. Capturing customer emails and creating effective mailing lists can help turn customers into repeat customers and business advocates via social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Content marketing is another effective way to sell down the line. You can create relevant, value-adding content pieces for your readers, capture them as email subscribers, and then let them know about sales, discounts and promotions as you run them.
REASON 5: Earn as you sleep.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, location is of primary importance. It can make a huge difference in terms of visibility and sales. Opening times are also key. Something you do not have to worry about with a website! In ecommerce, you can set up a storefront at your own domain name and sell your products globally, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You don’t need multiple storefronts to be seen across the entire world.
This seems obvious enough, but the implications are more far-reaching than you might even know. The trend of “pop-up” shops are on the rise, as some merchants are choosing to meet their customers in-person with little more than a tablet, a card reader and a few sample products in hand. This means proactive ecommerce merchants can build awareness for their businesses at fayres, train stations and high visibility street corners – without violating any regulations or laws, of course.
Ecommerce has a certain “passive” appeal to it, and while it is certainly possible to earn while you sleep, business owners should be looking to maximising the potential of current technology at every turn to expand their businesses.
Most entrepreneurs have other business ideas they would one day love to explore. Once you’ve built up a successful ecommerce business, selling it may provide you with the capital you need to move onto greener pastures.
There are many great reasons to start an online business. If you’re interested in being your own boss and selling products you are passionate about, it’s something worth considering. If you want to speed up the process, hire a good website designer with knowledge of online marketing or you could buy an established online business instead.
See my article on choosing the best hosting provider HERE. My overall choices for the best hosting providers are –
Best Budget UK Based Shared Hosting Provider
Best Overall Hosting Support & Platform Shared & VPS Hosting
Best Cloud, VPS & Dedicated Server Hosting Provider
*A relatively new type of hosting, ‘Cloud Hosting’ has emerged in recent years. I will write another article on this subject and or amend this article when I have firmed up my thoughts on this development.