Starting a business is a serious decision. You need to decide not only what products to sell or what services to offer, but also whether you will be a brick-and-mortar business, go fully online, or do something in between. in this blog post, we have compiled 6 benefits of having solely an online business and a few online business models you can do if this type of business is appealing to you. Keep reading to learn more!
What is considered a solely online business
Since a lot of companies nowadays have web pages and online stores, it is important to make a distinction between a solely online business and a business that has an online presence.
For a solely online business, everything is done online and digitally. All a person needs to have is a computer (or tablet, or mobile phone) and an internet connection. If a business is solely online, it doesn’t have any physical elements, for example, an office, warehouse, inventory, workshop, etc.
However, if a company is not solely an online business, it will have an office, a warehouse, an inventory, a workshop, or even a physical store. The online presence is an addition to their business, not the only way how the business is done.
1. Working anywhere in the world
If your business is solely on your computer, it is easy to move around, travel, and experience different places. Since you don’t need a designated office space or, for example, a workshop, you can go wherever you want and still keep your business running. That is definitely one of the upsides of having a solely online business.
The option to work anywhere in the world is a big player in creating the lifestyle of a digital nomad. People who want to travel the World and feel the freedom to change places as often as they want, now have the option to keep working and getting an income. And they don’t need to sacrifice their dreams and desires to do that.
2. Business is open 24/7
Another benefit of having a solely online business, is that the business is open 24/7. Since your webpage is up on the internet non-stop, people can visit it whenever they want to. It is a business that never sleeps and is always open. That, however, means that there are tons of possibilities to gain profit not only while you are working, but also while you are sleeping.
To keep the business running at all times, one option is to hire a virtual assistant from a different time zone, who can answer client questions and prepare orders while you are not working. And since you are not going to an office, there is no need for you to gather a team around a specific place.
Another option is to find good automation tools, for example, chatbots. That way a robot can try to answer the most pressing client questions and if it can’t, leave it for you to reply in the morning.
And even if you don’t use any of the above, people can still make purchases during night hours, and you can process them in the morning.
3. Low costs
The fact that an online business usually requires very low investments is one of the top factors why people choose to go solely online. A lot of the low costs are related to not having any physical items – once you have a physical space or products to take care of, it takes a lot of time, energy, and money. Without it, you are not only free to move around but also can cut your expenses greatly.
To start and keep up solely an online business you don’t need to invest a lot of money upfront. Below are listed a few reasons why!
4. You won’t have an inventory
That means you don’t need to rent a storage unit where to keep your items and you don’t have to buy the products upfront. This is one of the biggest costs for businesses that work with physical items – they need to have an inventory of items they sell at their shop. However, there is a hack on how to still have an online store with physical items but run a business solely online. We mention it later in this blog post!
5. You won’t need an office
Since your business is solely online, you can choose to not have an office. Of course, if you want to, you can, but it is not obligatory.
6. You can get by with just a few employees
When you first start an online business, you can easily go without any employees at all. However, once your business starts to grow, you might need a helping hand. But you can still run a good business with just a few employees compared to physical businesses, for example, you don’t need an office administrator, janitor, etc. And you can easily hire people half-time which cuts the salary costs in half as well.
7. Global market
Global market means more people. More people means more sales. The math here is simple. Since you are already online, it is just logical that you expand your business to the global market. If that sounds scary, you don’t have to start globally at first, start with one region. But definitely keep in mind the option to have a global clientele.
Don’t worry about language barriers. Start with English and then if you have the means and your business is growing, translate your page into other popular languages, for example, Spanish, French, German, etc. Definitely check your Google Analytics for this to choose the best languages to translate your page to.
When working online, there are a lot of tools available for automation. You can use chatbots to start a chat with a customer. You can use a wide range of scheduling services, starting from scheduling e-mails and ending with scheduling social media posts. You can even work out an option where once you have a payment received, an item from your shop is sent out to your customer automatically. And even if at the moment there is not an automation option you need, it is quite possible that there will be one in the future.
9. Only precise, digital advertising
Digital advertising is nowadays available to online businesses as well as brick-and-mortar businesses. However, if you run solely an online business, digital advertising is all you need. You don’t even have to waste your time deciding whether to do online marketing (digital ads) or classic marketing (for example, ads in papers or on billboards). All you need to do is to explore the world of digital advertising. And there is a lot to uncover!
Here are some benefits of digital advertising that millions of entrepreneurs are taking advantage of right now:
- Precise targeting. Compared to old-school methods, digital advertising offers to target a very precise audience. You can select an audience based on age, gender, interests, etc. That way you can find a group of people who might be interested in your business much more easily.
- Low costs. The price for online ads differ based on the platform you use (for example, there will be different pricing for Google Search ads, Google Display Ads, Etsy Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc) but overall the ad price/customer acquisition ratio is more profitable compared to classical marketing.
- Retargeting. Another great option digital ads can do is to retarget people. It means if someone has visited your webpage but didn’t purchase anything, you can target them with a specific ad that might include a coupon or other special offer. But even without a special offer, you can target them to remind about your business.
Business ideas you can do solely online
Now that you have learned about the different benefits of having a solely online business, you might be intrigued to start yourself one. Here are a few ideas for businesses that can be done online!
1. Virtual assistant
There are a lot of people and companies looking for virtual assistants. Virtual assistants can do a variety of jobs, including webpage administration, social media, e-mails, and research. Virtual assistant position can be half-time or full-time, and you can easily work with different clients. And once you get a hang of it, you can even create your own virtual assistant company – train assistants, and find them the perfect spot.
2. Teaching online
If you are an expert in your field – you can teach it online. You can host webinars, create online study programs, and offer master classes. You can do that on a self-hosted webpage or use a platform that has everything built-in for online teaching. You can also create courses for Udemy, Coursera, or other online learning platforms.
This might seem specific, but being a translator is a perfect profession to do online. If you know a language at a high level or you are willing to learn, explore this option! There are also courses and programs where you can learn to be a translator. Once you have learned the craft, travel the World and translate to earn money! You can also open your translation services business if that is something you might enjoy.
4. Print on demand dropshipping
This is a perfect option if you have always dreamed of owning a physical store but never get to do it. Print on demand dropshipping means that you own an e-commerce store where you sell printed items, for example, t-shirts, canvas, etc. You don’t have to have an inventory, because you work with a print on demand partner (for example, us – Printseekers.com) who have the inventory.
Once you get an order in your shop, you pass it on to you print on demand supplier and they take care of the physical side of the business. All you need to have is a computer, webpage and great design ideas.
If you want to learn more about print on demand, click here!
There are many benefits of running a solely online business starting from reduced maintenance costs to an easily reachable global market. It is something you can do on the go and from any place in the World as long as there is the internet. It is definitely a business model of the 21st century – fully digital, fully online, and fully customizable to your needs and wants.