The digital age has led to the evolution of small businesses. The days of having to use the bulk of your funds on renting a space or investing in a physical location are long gone. And with the rise of virtual businesses that sell products or services that don’t require face-to-face contact with customers, brick and mortar is now an option and no longer the necessity it once was.
However, while a virtual business does relieve you of many of the demands of maintaining a physical store, starting a virtual business does have its disadvantages. And before you jump right into it, it would be wise to weigh the pros and cons first.
Easy Set Up
There’s little capital required to starting a virtual business. There are plenty of ecommerce solutions out there that will allow you to quickly create an account and set up an online store to sell your products. And you can wait until your business is booming and turns profitable before you decide to invest on a website. Also, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are free to use, provided you don’t use them for paid ads. For now, they’re great for promoting your business and engaging with prospects.
Flexibility and Mobility
One of the biggest perks of being your own boss is that you’re not confined within the traditional 9 to 5 structure. This flexibility and freedom are felt even more when you run a virtual business because you can literally bring work with you everywhere you go. Mobile devices such as your smartphone, laptop, and tablet can go with you anywhere. You can still run errands while having remote access to your virtual store, allowing you never to miss a sale or an inquiry.
Go Global Faster
Your virtual presence means you can go global faster. Being online means having the ability to reach and service clients worldwide. By finding the right global partners, you can ship to any customer in the world. And before you know it, your brand will be known internationally.
What about being an entrepreneur excites you most? Is it meeting customers? Do you get a rush from bustling around a busy shop to attend to queries of shop visitors? If that’s the case, that’s something you won’t enjoy when you run your business remotely. Customer engagement will be limited to emails and instant messaging via apps or social media. This sense of isolation can upset people who thrive on human interaction.
Working from home is not for everybody. While it has its perks, it’s not advisable for people who get distracted easily. Some telecommuters argue that they’re much more productive working from home as they don’t get caught up in office gossip and impromptu meetings. However, some people may find working from home a little too stress-free and comfortable and give in too easily to a bed that calls to them, a pet that wants to be played with, or their child that demands their attention.
A spike in sales can be a great thing, but did you know that this can be a cause for your website to crash? When your site is down, whether it’s due to technical server problems or a virus, you need to be prepared to continue running your business until your site is operational again.
While it feels like the web has allowed just about anyone to become a business owner, not everyone will be successful. Being an entrepreneur takes more than a desire to make money.
So while setting up a virtual business on an e-commerce platform is easy enough, remember to be smart in your approach. Do your research. Understand the legalities and registration requirements involved in running a business. And most importantly, have a detailed business plan.
Until next time,