Most people want to set up their own business. And in today’s world where almost everything is all about virtual, it is easy to start one up as more and more entrepreneurs are using the online medium to do business and make money. One does not need a degree in business or accounting to start an online venture. As a matter of fact, many of these virtual entrepreneurs are stay-at-home moms or even college students who want to earn extra income.
But before you fire up your computer and start that dream business you have kept for so long from others, let’s look at both the advantages and downsides of being a virtual entrepreneur.
First, let’s consider the advantages of doing business virtually:
A. Less – Cost to Maintain a Business
Like any home-based business or operation, that means less overhead expenses. Meaning you are putting more of your income to yourself as you don’t have to worry about paying additional rent or electricity because everything is done online. This also means that you could slash your product’s price or services fee that would be competitive in the market as well as appealing to your clients.
B. Take Advantage of Free Resources
There are a lot of resources to market and advertise your business. And most of them are for free! Some use social media like Facebook and Instagram as their platform. You just create a Facebook page of your company and post the products you sell and share them to the public. Or you can use eBay, Amazon and other similar sites to propagate your product. Also, apps like Dropbox helps with the administrative side of your business. Really, cyberspace can be an entrepreneur’s dream world and best friend.
C. Sell About Anything and Everything! (Almost)
There is almost no limit what you can offer online. You can sell e-books, internet sites, pastries and baby items. Or you can offer services like virtual office assistance, programming are doing workshops.
D. Do What You Love Most
Yes, with the ease that is brought by the internet, you can do what you love without worry about additional expenses and with wider target clients (as they live around the world – as long as they have internet access). Plus you can do it while you’re at home or even in a coffee shop or while vacationing on a beachside.
Of course in reality, there are hitches when you’re trying to work virtually:
A. Too Many Competition
Your virtual business may be just one of the hundreds being offered online (unless of course you are offering a unique item or services, like making a pizza portrait of US presidents). Just check how many online stores that sells similar products. This poses a challenge to business-minded people on how to stand out from the rest.
B. Spending Too Much Time Online
Finding clients is hard work and may consume a lot of your time, especially if you’re a startup company. You’ll soon realize that you had spent hours trying to peddle online your DIY e-book on bathroom plumbing.
C. You May Find Clients Not Sharing Your Enthusiasm
Some people are still weary doing business online, fearing that they’ll be duped. Sadly, their fears or valid; there are thousands of scammers preying on online shoppers. And millions are lost to these villains. Plus, if you make a mistake with your business, many clients would make no hesitation broadcasting it online, thus ruining your reputation.
Being a virtual entrepreneur has its perks and downs. But one’s success in this business is no different with those who had chosen the traditional path. Doing business virtually may give you additional choices and power but there is still no shortcut for success in it except for working hard, being honest and building relationship of trust with your clients, as other successful entrepreneurs had done.