As human beings, we spend around one third of our lives at work. That’s over 50% of your waking time is in some form of employment! If that is the case, then it is understandable why a large number of individuals start up their own businesses. If you are going to dedicate half of your day to being at work, you may as well own your own business. In that way, you get to regain greater control over your waking hours. Starting up and owning a business has become more popular in recent years and with the following top 10 perks, it is easy to see why.
1. The world at your fingertips
Since the rise of the Internet, it has become possible for your products and services to be seen the world over. It does not matter if you are a small to medium enterprise because with the right Internet knowledge and skills, you can have global reach.
2. Cost effective websites
It is no longer necessary to have a storefront presence on High Street and let’s face it. With the high cost of business such as rates, building insurance, renting or purchasing office premises and the like, who wouldn’t want to avoid all that if they could? Conversely, the cost of reaching out to the online shopper is minimal. Buying a domain name, building, running and hosting a professional-looking website all comes up to just a fraction of the cost when compared to brick and mortar overheads.
3. Trading 24/7
If you are operating an e-commerce site, then it does not matter if your customers are in Japan, Europe or America because your company carries on making you money even while you are asleep. Customers can surf the web and view your services and products at their own convenience because an online business is never closed. Even better, it does not mean that you have to be on call 24/7 if you make technology work for you.
4. Data gathering on potential customers
If someone checked out your business in the past, perhaps by picking up a leaflet or brochure about the goods or services that you offer, you would not know very much about them or know how to target their requirements in an effective way. With today’s technology however, every time someone lands on your homepage, you can start to gather valuable marketing information about what they look for, how they shop, and when they start to browse what is on offer. You can even get their email address (if they provide it) so you can contact them directly with special offers that can turn a browser into a customer.
Imagine being able to walk into your home office in the morning and start work immediately. Forget about the daily commute, crawling traffic, time wasted by sitting in the car or the cost of parking and petrol when you have an online business. Online businesses can be run from anywhere provided you have good Internet access and work starts with a touch of a button. Plus you don’t have to suit up unless you really want to or have a business meeting. Even then, meetings can be conducted from the comfort of your armchair with with Skype for business or Facetime.
6. Inexpensive marketing
Glossy brochures, leaflets and handouts don’t come cheap but you can have a very professional marketing presence online by using the Internet. Linking in the brand by creating a website that is identifiable with the product or service you are offering is very easy. Retaining the same style, font, logo and design with other parts of social media such as your Facebook and Twitter page all helps to build your brand keeping your customers up to date and informed. It does not come with a large price tag. Even making short videos to post on YouTube or Vimeo does not have to cost the earth and can instantly be uploaded/linked to your webpage.
7. Continuous dialogue with customers
Online businesses can use social media to build brand loyalty and get instantaneous responses to new products and updated services. You don’t have to wait to find out what consumers like or dislike about what you have on offer. It helps you to plan new product lines or come up with reward schemes for promoting other services.
8. Customer convenience
If you are in competition with another business that is offering exactly the same service or product, having an online business gives you the leading edge. More and more consumers are shopping online – using mobile devices to buy goods and services, plan their social life and holidays, and compare prices and products before they purchase. If you own an online business, you have to ensure that you make it easy for customers to buy from you rather than your competitor.
Rather than clients and customers driving to your place of work, they can browse whenever and from wherever they want to without leaving home. If all your ordering, payment and marketing are online, there is less use of paper so you are doing your bit to conserve the planet’s resources.
10. Secure payment portals with instant access to funds
Last but not least, if consumers are paying online, then they are using online payment methods, which means the business owner gets the money straightaway. There is no waiting around for invoices to be paid, for example, which can hold up cash flow in a more traditional business.