Credit: http://www.bizphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/online-business2.jpgThe Internet provides a ridiculous amount of opportunity for entrepreneurs and has many advantages as opposed to opening up a traditional brick and mortar business.
Much Wider Audience. The Internet allows a business owner to reach much more people. Traditionally, with a physical business, the business owner was limited to the people in that town and whatever visitors might be passing through. With the Internet, the business owner automatically has access to millions of potential customers.
Success in a Remote Areas. With the Internet the a person can run a successful operation out of the comfort of their own home…in a small town. Again, traditionally in small town, good luck in becoming a millionaire from your local mom and pop diner. But, with the Internet, you can potentially run a very profitable online business out in the sticks.
Mobile and Global. The Internet allows a business to be both mobile and global. With a traditional brick and mortar business, if you want a vacation, you can't just pick it up and take it with you to Hawaii. You either have to be there all the time to oversee operations or hire someone to fill in for you while you take a breather. With an online business, the business is completely mobile and the business owner has the freedom of taking it with him or her wherever they go. Also, with the big "Cloud Movement" going on, most applications and resources are able to be accessed remotely from any computer that has an Internet connection. So, you don't have to worry about filling up your hard drive space or something accidentally happening to your computer. If all of your important files and programs used for your business are stored "in the cloud", all you'll need if your laptop gets lost or destroyed is to get another computer and you'll be back in business. All your files are stored safely in the cloud and you can quickly recover. (Carbonite is an example of a service that offers a simple, secure and unlimited online backup for a low annual price).
Zero Inventory. An online business allows business to not have to store any inventory or products. With a physical business, you normally have a physical product that you are selling to a customer. Well, with an online business, you can still sell physical products, but you don't necessarily have to have the products on hand. You can do what's called dropshipping, which is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
Very low startup (if any). Traditionally a person wanting to start a physical business might have to take out a loan. But, for people like me who are super serial entrepreneurs, the Internet provides very low startup, which allows the person to try many different things at once. Also, if something fails, you're not out tons and tons of money and sitting on a big fat loan you're obligated to pay back.
Hopefully this provides a good and brief overview of just a few of the advantages of starting up an online stream of income as opposed to a traditional brick and mortar establishment. I would suggest trying and online income stream first before attempting to open up a physical business, because it's a way to learn a lot and with much less to lose. There are so many tools and sites out there that offer basically a free startup, depending on what you're interesting in going into business doing. I will most likely be doing a few articles in the future that feature some ways to get started online for free. As, for now, I hope that this article pumps those people up that have a creative vision and are entrepreneurial-minded to get started.
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