The Pros And Cons Of Running An Online Business

Running an online business has its advantages and disadvantages, as does any kind of business. Let’s review what an online business is before we start looking into the pros and cons of an online business. In layman’s terms, an online business is a business that significantly relies on the Internet as the key platform to conduct business. This could be a website where internet users can purchase products or order services. It could also be a platform where customers can download content like eBooks or music. So, with that in mind, let’s look into some of the benefits and challenges.

Via Pexels

Some Key Benefits Of An Online Business

Significant Increase In Market Accessibility

The first and most obvious benefit is the size of the market you have access to. As a result of the high level of technology used all over the world, businesses now have the ability to market their products and services directly to multitudes of customers with the click of a button. Anything you need as a consumer can be found online and ordered within a couple of minutes. Businesses in the past were often confined to the customers that came through the door or customers who could reach them by phone to place orders. This means the business had a set market limited by geography and conventional marketing. Today, almost anyone in the world can buy your goods or services if they wish to, and they manage to find you online. For example, compare a bookmaker from 1920 taking bets on sporting events with a modern online sports betting company. The difference is vast. The benefits of running an online sports betting business are clear for all to see; with access to millions of potential betters all across the globe, the profits are through the roof. 

Less Start Up Capital Required

The modern business landscape is making entry into markets a bit easier. The old adage ‘it takes money to make money’ is finally losing its grip on modern entrepreneurs. With the potential to start an online business, prospective business owners don’t need to have deep pockets like in the past. Many modern businesses don’t pay rent and other overheads as their business processes are all taking place online. While there are still challenges with this way of doing things, the marketplace has become more accessible to the average Joe who doesn’t have a massive budget to set up shop.

Easy Integration Of Product Visibility With Marketing Tools

In the past, marketing efforts were mostly used to increase brand awareness and highlight unique selling points of products in a competitive advertising market. Today, it’s a whole new thing. Businesses can market products directly to customers through various new technologies, like cookies on a website. This helps businesses understand the buyer persona of their customers and their needs. With that knowledge, they can digitally advertise to the specific customer profile they want to target and make a sale within minutes. And this all happens without one customer walking through the front door. Think of the last time you saw an ad on Facebook or Instagram and thought, wow, that is exactly what I’ve been looking for over the past couple of days.

Disadvantages Of An Online Business

Although there are numerous benefits to running an online business, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered before starting one.

Building Trust Can Be Tricky

One major disadvantage is that customers may have difficulty trusting your business due to security concerns. As more and more people shop online, the amount of fraud and theft has grown considerably. Customers may be reluctant to share personal information when using an unfamiliar website or buying goods from a business they don’t recognize. Additionally, there can often be language barriers if you are dealing with customers from other countries. You will need to make sure that your customer service team is well-equipped to handle inquiries from around the world in multiple languages.

Delivering The Goods Can Be A Hassle

One of the bigger challenges online businesses have faced over the past decade is the ‘logistics’ issue. In the past, customers would walk through the front door and leave with a neatly branded bag and the goods they bought. Today, your customer might be 300 miles away, living on a remote farm. Many third-party shipping companies have managed to build extensive shipping networks all over the world, making online business owners’ lives easier. Shipping isn’t the hassle it used to be, but it still does need to work to be seamless. 

Online Businesses Deal With Massive Levels Of Competition

This is perhaps the biggest challenge any online business faces today. Just as you have the advantage of marketing globally, others with often bigger budgets do too.The modern business environment has forced many people to play in niche areas where competition is low or to deliver world-class customer service, to build loyalty with customers to gain some market sustainability. 

Starting and running an online business is often seen as a very easy thing to do; however, as mentioned in the challenges section above, it isn’t a walk in the park. You will need to work hard to ensure you have a solid business plan, market well to customers and deliver goods and services with a smile. It has been done many times in the past and can still be done today. 


Top Tips To Make Customers Feel More Valued

Image – Pixabay CC0 License

Happy customers are the heartbeat of any successful business. Several different elements will contribute to their overall happiness and engagement. Still, feeling valued sits atop the list. Therefore, your company must take the necessary steps to achieve this goal.

The right strategy will impress new and long-term clients alike. In turn, you should see increased conversions and customer loyalty levels. The following advice will point you in the right direction.

1| Run loyalty schemes 

It is shown that 80% of your revenue may come from just 20% of your client base. Sadly, millions of SMEs fall into the trap of only giving special offers to new clients. While it may bring new leads, it can leave existing clients feeling disheartened and unappreciated. A loyalty membership program is the ideal solution for overcoming this problem.

You can also consider offering customers special deals on excess stock. Or consider giving them a chance to order new products before the public.

2| Give out some freebies

Freebies can work as your greatest marketing materials. Each time a customer uses the item, it will remind them of the brand. Moreover, it makes them associate your company with a better quality of life. Services like Cap America will enable you to find affordable items that are completely customized for your brand. It’s far cheaper than expensive ad campaigns.

As well as strengthening the bond you share with the direct consumer, it can spread brand awareness. After all, people will pay attention to the logo on the products.

3| Move into content creation

Whether it’s starting a YouTube channel or a podcast is up to you. Either way, providing content to your users gives them something for free. In turn, this means that their relationship with the brand brings greater value for money. Moreover, ideas like explainer videos show that you actively care about helping them get more out of your products.

Content also allows you to showcase your brand personality and cement your place as an authoritative voice. Better still, it is an enjoyable way to diversify your marketing plans.

4| Ask for their opinions

A sense of inclusion can have a telling influence on how a consumer feels about your brand. Tools like Attest enable you to send out feedback forms. When you actively respond to the feedback by implementing some of the suggested changes, people will valued. More importantly, it actively helps you build a business that they will love.

If nothing else, it makes clients feel that they are on the journey with you. This added sense of customer engagement will translate to increased customer lifetime values.

5| Invest in customer care

Most consumers accept that some issues will surface from time to time. Offering quality customer care can turn a negative experience into a positive one, thus increasing their trust in the brand. Conversely, though, a slow and inadequate response could harm your reputation. And once the trust is lost, it’ll be very difficult to regain it.

Whether it’s chatbots and self-service customer care or VoIP phone lines is up to you. Either way, showing a commitment to delivering the best service will not go unnoticed.


6 Things A Small Business Owner Should Know

6 Things A Small Business Owner Should Know


Each year it becomes more and more accessible for individuals to start up their own businesses, with the growing number of resources available, as well as the different opportunities and possibilities that can be used to do it. Almost anyone can start a business if they know how, but starting isn’t the hardest part. It’s now the easiest part, and reaching success with it can be very challenging if you don’t have a decent understanding of what it takes to be a business owner.

Your skills, willingness to learn, willingness to adapt, and opportunism play a key role in the success of your business. Without those, you’re not likely to last more than a few years with your business.

The right person makes a difference

Your business doesn’t just need more hands to have things running correctly, it requires the right people. There’s a huge difference between the right person for the job and someone who is qualified for it. Qualifications don’t mean much at all if the individual holding them isn’t able to fit in with company culture, doesn’t have the necessary drive, and isn’t interested in your business. There’s a lot that goes into finding the right employee, and it can take time to get things right. Keep that in mind when you’re looking to fill your vacancies.

What makes a good leader

If you’re going to own a business, then naturally you’re going to need to be a good leader. At some point, you’ll have people working under you, and if you haven’t got the skills to lead – then you’re going to struggle. Effective communication is most important, as you need to not only understand how to convey your message, but you need to do so in a way your team can understand.

If you’re not approachable, then employees are going to have a difficult time raising any concerns they have about what needs to be done. Being approachable is part of being a good communicator, so make it clear to your employees that you can be reached if needed.

Emotional intelligence is a must if you’re going to handle owning a business. If you find it difficult to control your emotions, it’s not going to be easy for you to keep things professional in the workplace. Not everything is going to go as planned, and sometimes you will be under more pressure than others – it’s in these times that you need to know how to keep a cool head. Plenty of employers lose their temper, and employees often have to suffer for it. Being emotionally intelligent will make it much easier for employees to respect you as a leader.

Providing great customer service

If there’s one thing every small business needs, it’s returning customers. A returning customer is even better than a new customer because you have the opportunity to build up a relationship. The problem is, once you get a new customer, how do you turn them into a returning customer? Well, first things first are providing great customer service. If a customer is unhappy with the service they’ve been given, you’re not likely to see them again.

Again, communication skills can come in handy here, as you’re going to be seeing customers of all kinds. Some will be friendlier than others, and some will be very difficult. Try to make sure you’re patient and understanding with all of your customers if you want to ensure your customers return for another purchase.

Know when to outsource

If you’re a small business owner that’s trying to juggle every responsibility, you’re doing it wrong. It’s not possible to do everything at once, not if you want things done right. Some things, you just can’t afford to risk, which is where outsourcing comes in.

Marketing is incredibly important to the growth of your business, and going through renowned marketing experts is the way forward. Top Marketing Agency Inc. is a great example of a company you can outsource to if you need new strategies for your business.

It’s not just about freeing up your hands throughout the day, but outsourcing can often save you money in the long run. For example, your business needs an accountant – but you don’t want to have to pay to have someone working for your daily. Instead, outsourcing to an accounting agency to have someone visit routinely is far less expensive. 

Being flexible

Your business cannot operate with a goal in mind, but sometimes that goal is challenged by misplaced expectations. Deadlines are sometimes not met, and you’re forced to move the goal bit by bit. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with moving the goal when you learn that it’s not realistic – the real trouble comes with not moving it when you notice the problem. Being flexible with your business is important if you’re going to survive.

Every long-lasting business needs adaptability for survival, whether that means changing up your service routine, changing your product, or even just completely rebranding. Moving the goal isn’t necessarily giving up, it’s finding a new route to success. Don’t be afraid to alter your course if you find that your current one isn’t working for you.

Learn from your competitors

Market research can be time-consuming, especially if you’re trying to do it firsthand. The thing is, you don’t have to. Having competitors can often make things difficult for your business, but there are a lot of advantages that you gain from it, too. For example, you don’t have to make every mistake yourself to learn from it. Pay attention to the changes your competitors make, and use the following results as a guide for your own business.

Did your competitors start selling a new product? Was it successful? That information can be incredibly helpful when it comes to adapting, and you won’t have to spend a penny until you know it works. Of course, you shouldn’t wait around for your competitors to do something – because it pays to be the first to make a change.