You have probably heard about a friend of a friend or co-worker’s second cousin who has made it big in the world of online business. Or maybe you have read about a young girl fresh out of college who is successfully running her own Amazon store and making big bucks despite having a degree completely unrelated to business.
Now, if you are interested in business and particularly online business, you are bound to know that many types of online business/ marketing sectors has flourished over the past few years. While some are more known, many are not quite in the spotlight yet but nevertheless are making big money.
For example,from the perspective of private consumers around the world, the most renowned form of e-commerce falls under the business to consumer category which is more commonly abbreviated as B2C. Online retail or online retail is a part of this category.
You may also know that B2B marketing in the online space refers to the marketing cycle of a business marketing to other businesses and naturally implies buying in bulk. An example of this can be seen in most cases of the products marketed in Alibaba as sold in bundles and lots.
The brand named Amazon is certainly an example we are all familiar with as an e-retailer giant which is one of the most formidable and well known online retailers with a profit of $1.86 billion in net income in the fourth quarter of last year itself.
During last year, approximately 1.66 billion people from all over the globe have taken part in purchasing goods online. Moreover, in that same year, worldwide e-commerce sales added up to be 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars and projections and predictions display an estimated rise of 4.48 trillion dollars by the year 2021.
If we take into account of regional sales, in the Asia Pacific in 2016, e-retail sales have accounted for 12.1 percent of the total retail sales In Asia Pacific, see: e-retail sales accounted for 12.1 percent of retail sales.
The statistics clearly show that so many people these days belonging to a wide swing of demographics are willingly participating in the online business and e-commerce communities. Such participation trend has been on a steady rise for both business owners as well as consumers.
The barrier to entry is rather low and it is quite easy to quickly turn a small home business into a profitable online business enterprise. A decent number of people from all over the world are entering the online industry as the days pass, and can seem obvious as to why you too should consider starting your own online business!
Become Your Own Boss
First and foremost, when you own an online business, you truly are the one in charge. You would clearly become your own boss. There are no bureaucratic processes preventing you from taking decisions and actions which you may deem fit for your business. There are no binding timelines and you are free to do things at your pace. You don’t have to worry about office politics, work hard on projects you don’t care about or spend time with co-workers you don’t like.
Moreover, when you become the boss, you’re also most likely to work harder to achieve your financial goals. Your business will unfold and operate at a pace you are comfortable with.
Now at a first glance, it can seem intimidating to start such an initiative, especially if you are new to the online business scene.
However, if you have at least some decent amount of funds available and work on educating yourself properly about the various levels of online business, there’s nothing holding you back from starting a small online based business for yourself. With hard work and self-confidence, you can certainly achieve financial freedom.
Free from the opinions of others, you can find successful people in many types of online business across the world irrespective of gender, race, colour or creed.
Put Your Energy Into Your Own Project
Most of the times, we are assigned projects at our jobs that we have to force ourselves to work on. Our time, energy and creativity are all wasted working on someone else’s projects. At the end of the day, this can become unrewarding and we may end up losing interest in work altogether. Thus our motivation and productivity eventually takes a nose dive.
Instead, imagine how much progress you could make if you were pouring the same amount of time and energy into your own online business. Imagine how much more satisfying and rewarding it would feel if you were working hard to earn a profit for yourself instead of just a paycheck.
You would certainly feel a lot more accomplished if you spend time building up to something for yourself. It’s one of the strongest reasons why small business owners don’t give up during the tough times and why more and more younger employees are choosing to take the entrepreneur route.
The growth and failure of your business will depend entirely on your own efforts and the level of commitment. You truly have complete control of your business.
The Internet of Today Is a Gold Mine
In this day and age, we’re at a peak of technological advancement. With machine learning and artificial intelligence technology improving by leaps and bound while more and more smart home devices penetrating our homes, it is safe to say that the Internet has weaved itself into our daily lives more than we realize.
Thus using the internet to start your own online business can only be the best decision in a world where there are more smartphones than toothbrushes.
It is now easier than ever to make a profit online and the wisest move would be to make the best use of the so many online business options available to you, as you start out.
However, making money on the internet is only possible if you do your research well and take the time to educate yourself properly. The best way to do that is through proper and selective mentor-ship and coaching, which is readily available through the Internet. Geographical distances should never stop you from learning online business/marketing.
Also before jumping into any type of business, it is always prudent to be well informed on your topic of interest. It is absolutely essential to make researching a part of your work habit as it will certainly affect your financial future.
Even if starting an online business sounds like a lot of work, the best thing about the internet is that it can teach you with an abundance of information available online. Join relevant communities to learn and connect with like minded peers.
You’re certainly not limited to simply opening a website promoting your brick and mortar business or generating ads on Facebook. There are many other things to invest your time in such as specialized forums, various social media, apps, blogs, software, web tools, e-commerce, etc.
There is a lot of gold to be found in the deep pits of the Internet, you just have to know where and how to dig. It’s a shame that most people only learns the bare minimum and don’t continue the process in the long run.
Barriers to Entry are Very Low
Say you want to start a clothing store showcasing vintage clothes from a certain decade. There are two ways to set foot in the business.
You could take the traditional route and start a brick and mortar business –rent a building, hire salespeople and spend thousands of dollars on initial renovations and utilities to maintain your store.
There’s also a ton of paperwork to get through – red tape as the economists call it. You have to pay for delivery, talk to a zillion people, look through hundreds of insurance options and so on. There is also the limitation of operating hours.
With brick and mortar stores, apart from spending on establishing the physical business, there is a huge cost on advertising and events to send foot traffic to the business. You can’t just open a clothing store and expect people to show up on their own.
On the other hand, if you invest in an e-commerce website instead, you can forego the expenses for lease/rent of the store, renovations, vehicles, insurance, fire code compliance, utilities, etc. You don’t have to worry about decorating your storefront to make it eye-catching or hiring salespeople and train them to service the customers.
Instead, the money could be used to rent a more cost-effective inventory warehouse. The products can be shipped to your customers within a few days and if you are smart with your decisions, you can find a shipping company which suits your financial needs to match the needs of your customers.
The barriers to entry in the online business industry are very low. All you need to start up a site is a domain name and a reputable hosting service. There are, of course, certain costs such as outsourcing to a designer, content writers, and web developers to make your website look polished, but even that is a lot lower than the cost of starting a brick and mortar business. Even for brick and mortar businesses, online presence these days is a must. Do keep in mind that much of these costs are an one time investment and not monthly recurring costs.
The biggest advantage of online retails is that customers can select products within a few minutes. They can look through pictures of your online collections to quickly choose a product no matter how far away they may be.
Online stores are also easier to advertise. Through sharing your various product links to your target audience(s), they can view the products at their leisure and in turn share the same product details to their friends and family all at the click of a button.
You can easily advertise your online business in social media and forums and even to create apps to support your site. Promotion becomes a lot more cost effective and would deliver a tremendous ROI which would propel your business to grow at a much faster rate as opposed to the traditional brick and mortar model.
Customers can visit your site and place orders from anywhere and anytime. Your store operates 24×7 and never closes.
Similarly, you could oversee the orders being processed from anywhere just by using your laptop or smartphone. It will only take a few clicks for any customer to interact with your automated processes to arrange any fulfillment requirements, such as to arrange delivery of any physical goods to even the other side of the country.
How About Online Marketing?
Another exciting fact is that even if you do not have your own products to sell online, there is the option for you to market products and services of others. You can join certain sites/platforms for absolutely free to do this while certain options may be a paid service.
Such type of online marketing is also commonly known as affiliate marketing.
Some popular platforms to work with are Shareasale, Admitad, JVZoo, Commission Junction, ClickBank, etc. You can select products from a niche that may appeal to you and market them through paid or free advertising means.
You can also avail a range of marketing tools such as email autoresponders, funnels, webinars, affiliate link tracking, etc. from their respective providers in order to strengthen your marketing campaigns and create better conversion rates.
Another popular way to do online marketing is through creating your own BLOGs. It’s not at all as complex as it may sound at first. All you need is a domain name and a good hosting service to get started.
I prefer to use WordPress as my blogging platform for its versatility, super useful plug-ins and zillions of free themes to choose from. If you choose to explore this option further, you can find my detailed BLOG on this topic here.
There are also other affiliate marketing programs which coaches you step by step to become a highly profitable marketer. These programs will offer many aspects of coaching and mentoring which is otherwise not included with other types of platforms mentioned above.
You can also pick up a free e-book on my recommended program, which I have personally authored and in turn have helped hundreds of people just like you to achieve their financial freedom.
You Have a Lot More Flexibility
Even though this factor depends largely on which type of online business you choose, you are likely to have more flexibility in your schedule when you run an online business as compared to any traditional businesses. Having the luxury of time freedom is one of the key promises of any successful online business.
Since you are your own boss, you can choose what time of the day you want to work or how many hours of work you want to get done every week. You can even choose your own holidays and don’t have to worry about sick leaves since you’re possibly working from home anyway.
However, just because you have more control over your time doesn’t mean you should use this time to lay back and relax. Even though you have more flexibility and the opportunity to be comfortable, you should always invest in yourself by learning more ways to boost your business.
The big advantage that comes with working from home at your own pace is that you can work at the hours when you’re the most productive. Research has shown that is more useful to work in the hours when you feel more energized and productive than working more hours per day.
Moreover, having a flexible schedule allows you more time to spend doing things you enjoy other than work. You can make more time for your family, your hobbies, traveling, catching up with friends and do all the things your job had held you back from.
The same way that your customers can order from anywhere, you also have the opportunity to work from anywhere you like. You do not have to sit at a desk all day in a dull office environment and could take your laptop and go wherever you feel is comfortable (like the beach) and run your business. You are not tied down to any one location and the frequent change of scenery may be refreshing for your creativity.
Unlimited Income Potential
When you own any online business, your profit and income are not being decided by the number of hours you work per day. Rather it largely depends on how well your have implemented certain processes and automation you have in place to service your site visitors.
Second factor to consider is how much demand is in the marketplace for your products or services. If these two factors are in your favour, it’s simply a matter of driving customers, otherwise known as traffic, to your website through various means of online marketing.
More your business is automated, the more time you will have on your hand. This is a very important fact to consider. Having time at your disposal can mean more practical opportunities to grow your business profits and eventually perhaps to start a second online business.
Your income would by no means be limited or fixed by any of the restrictions or scope of any traditional business. The key asset for online business is your knowledge and apply it to strategize, develop processes, automate customer service points and servicing customer demands.
At start it can be a lot of hard work, however, the work is very specific and targeted. If done properly at the early stages, all your hard work should yield an income flow which would be more or less expected. Naturally, your work load should become much less while profits grow higher over time.
Social Media Can Be Used For Free and Paid Promotions
Social media and search marketing, when used in a proper manner can help you skyrocket sales for your online business. Studies demonstrate that there has been a huge growth in the local, mobile search volumes over the past few years. Google also confirms the fact that more than 50 percent of mobile questions are local.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to learn how to use your social profiles, pages and groups to connect with your potential buyers and provide detailed information and your products and services through these platforms.
There are three major types of content you have in your arsenal when it comes to driving any social media marketing campaigns:
- Written, Video and Images
The following are 6 social marketing tips that can help you improve your sales:
Twitter and Facebook are two of the most visited social media sites with billions of users. By using customer-focused updates on these platforms you can easily connect with your buyers and communicate with them with just a few clicks. Content, timing, and engagement are essential to make the best use of these sites and achieve access to a wide spread of audiences.
The basic things you can do to increase engagement is post quality content on your site and social media on a regular basis. It could be in the form of questions, photos, and/or infographics related to your business. Sometimes you can also post articles and links to other sites to make your page more interesting and relevant.
However, you need to make sure that you aren’t spamming your customers with poorly designed posts which delivers no inherent value to them.
It would be beneficial for you to hire a graphics designer to create animations and infographics for your page. These are easily shareable by your visitors to their pages and groups.
There are also more budget friendly options these days for creating animations and images yourself. Keep in mind that the more professional your page looks, the more willing any potential customers would be to interact with you. When it comes to online businesses, aesthetics play a very crucial role.
Its always a good idea to show off your products with large and professional quality images. It will grab the customers’ attention as they scroll through Facebook or Instagram and to grab their attention. In turn they may share the post or even click through to your website.
Another thing that can be done is to run contests and competitions. That way, there will be more customer engagements. Your posts will be shared between people and automatically be advertised by your existing and potential customers.
If you have the resources for it, you could also use YouTube to your advantage. You could open a YouTube page related to your online business and post videos frequently.
Even if you are camera shy, you can find many marketers these days are posting videos without even showing their faces. Make sure to link the videos in your Facebook and Twitter profiles to make them easier to find.
Moreover, Instagram is another huge social media platform that you can use easily. When it comes to this platform, aesthetics is everything. Try your best to create visually pleasing feed which will captivate the visitors to your page. Here you could also further personalize your feed along with your products and services.
You should also host regular promotions and offers to boost the engagement levels of existing customers and at the same time to attract new ones.
By increasing engagement and advertisement through social media, you can generate an increased flow of revenue and find more customers than you could’ve with regular ads in brick and mortar business.
More on how best to use social media to your marketing advantage can be found here.
In conclusion, starting an online business may be daunting at first but it can also be extremely liberating and adventurous. You can start with very little resources and very quickly earn a lot of profits and exponentially grow in an industry which has risen straight out of the technological era.
Even if you’re doubtful about your success, you should remember that if you never try you’ll never know. So why not take a chance and stake your claim even if for the sake of adventure and excitement. There’s no harm in it if you educate yourself well enough. Maybe the online business world will pleasantly surprise you and you will be one of the success stories your friends and relatives tell their friends about.
Key to success in online business is focus. Being focused from the very start will open many doors for you in this age of the Internet. It may not be an ‘easy’ journey, but certainly an enjoyable and profitable one.
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