Thinking of getting into an online business? Great! I cannot recommend it enough. I have been a full-time work-at-home dad for five years now. Establishing my business on the Internet enabled me to provide for my family and be present in their lives at the same time. But while I wish every father to have their own online business, the truth is, it is not for everyone.
Online business is generally a good idea. It has low overhead costs, enables you to work anywhere, and exposes your business to a much larger audience. But it may not be for you if you like working with people face-to-face, or prefer a more stable income. Running an online business can be lonely and unpredictable.
Is online business for you? In this article, we will take a look at when an online business is a good idea, and when it is not. Read on to get insights into whether an online business is for you. Please note, however, that these are based on my own research and experiences as an online entrepreneur. The purpose of this article is for information only and by no means intends to give professional advice.
Is an online business a good idea?
- If you are comfortable putting yourself out there. Credibility is an essential part of online business success. No one generally buys from someone they do not trust — no matter how great the product is. This is especially true on the internet where it is effortless to hide behind an avatar or a persona. Online shoppers are extra cautious, and they can easily smell if something is not right.
Online business is a good idea if you do not mind putting yourself out there. As internet entrepreneurs we expect people to give us their money and attention without seeing us face-to-face. It’s only fair to show transparency about ourselves by uploading real pictures and writing a short background about who we are. Best if you can set up a profile page, a blog, or an online business card. See also: How To Make An Online Business Card? (5 Steps)
- If you have low start-up capital. One of the most compelling reasons to get into an online business is its low start-up cost. With some research and a few trial-and-error, you can even start an online business using 100% free tools and services. I can’t think of other ways to establish a legitimate business on a meager budget today besides venturing over the Internet.
I was actually broke when I decided to focus all my efforts online in 2017. Through prayer, study, and hard work, I thank God that my online business grew to something that can provide for my family’s needs. So yeah, an online business is a good idea when you have low starting capital.
Check out this post if you want to see the paths I took to make money on the Internet full time : How Much Do Stay At Home Dads Make? — My Actual Numbers
- If you are willing to play the long game. I hate to break it to you. But contrary to popular belief, online business is not a get-rich-quick strategy, or an easy way to make money. Many times business “gurus” overhype the potential of online businesses, so they can sell their courses. They promise things like freedom and big money in less than three months. Do not bite into it. Online businesses are real business that requires a large amount of time and dedication to develop.
On average, online businesses such as blogging and e-commerce may take, at least, 24 months to be profitable. Starting an online business is a good idea if you don’t mind playing the long game.
- If you value freedom over prestige. I am not sure if this is true as a whole or is only exclusive to the culture where I live in. But there seems to be a stigma toward being an internet entrepreneur. Many see online businesses as bogus businesses. That those people who engage in them are either lazy or not skilled enough to create real businesses or get decent jobs.
It took me a while before I was able to embrace titles like “online seller” or “blogger” because they just do not sound prestigious. I even get the don’t-you-have-an-actual-job look from my in-laws whenever they visit our place because they always see me at home with the kids. Numerous times they have sent me links and asked me to consider getting jobs abroad. I admit I feel offended at times. But as long as I can provide for my family, I don’t think I need to explain myself.
If you are cool about working without getting any awards and recognition, then an online business is something you should greatly consider. See also: Is Being A Stay-At-Home Dad Bad?
Advantages of an online business
- Low start-up and overhead costs.
- You can work from anywhere you want.
- You will have a larger audience.
- Online businesses can serve customers 24/7.
- Low risk and easier to pivot to another business in case it didn’t work.
- Growing support for online entrepreneurs.
- An increasing number of people who shop and do business online.
- They are generally quick and easy to start.
- You can run multiple online businesses at the same time.
- You can hire and work with people remotely.
- See also: 4 Reasons Why It Is Worth It To Start An Online Business
When an online business is a bad idea
- When you plan to be a jack-of-all-trades. A jack-of-all-trades is a person who can do many things but is not an expert in what he or she is doing. On another note, a jack-of-all-trades can also refer to someone who carries a large selection of products — but mostly, if not all, are just common goods.
The Internet is a noisy place. Your business can easily get drowned by the noise if you do not offer anything exceptional. It is far better to promote one great product than a lot of ordinary ones. This is often called niche marketing. If you consider yourself a jack of all trades, you might find it difficult to find your footing online.
- When you love working with people face-to-face. Operating an online business means you will be working behind a computer ninety percent of the time. And the usual way to get in touch with other human beings is through email, chats, or video calls. You may find it lonely to run an online business if you have an extroverted personality who loves working with people face-to-face.
- When you do not have the patience to learn about technology. Simply put, if you do not like technology, you shouldn’t start an online business. Doing business on the Internet can be more challenging than most people think. Not only are there tons of things to learn, but there is also a probability that what we have learned today may already be obsolete next year. Technology is constantly changing. And it requires a certain amount of passion from our end to keep up and make our business thrive in the online space.
- When you prefer a stable income. Getting into an online business is a risk. While it is a good kind of risk, it is still a risk at the end of the day. What this means is online businesses are not guaranteed. If you are a person who is comfortable earning a stable income each month, being in a business, in general, is not a good idea for you.
What are the disadvantages of online business?
- The learning curve can be overwhelming.
- Increasing competition.
- Cost may pile up if you are not careful.
- Security issues.
- Delay in customer support.
- An online business is a non-tangible asset.
- Your business can be easily copied.
- Difficulty adapting to the fast and constant change in the technological environment.
- Your success may be at the mercy of other internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
- Running an online business may lead to loneliness.
Online business is an excellent vehicle toward a more flexible family life. As much as we like to recommend it to everyone, the reality is that not all will find having a web-based business fitting to their talents, personality, and circumstances. It has its fair share of pros and cons that influence whether getting into an online business is a good idea for an individual or not.
- Chromebooks — The laptop I use to run my online businesses.
- Income School — The school that taught me how to create an online business through blogging.
- Spread Simple — The platform I used to build my online store.
- Bluehost — The web host I used to start my blogging business.
- Dotcal — Create your free booking page here. You can use the code TheLearningDadBlog50 to get 50% off for 6 months if you ever plan to go pro.