Guest Post by: Clair Schwan
Amid all of the excitement about work from home opportunities, I think it’s wise to keep an eye on one of the best opportunities – an online business of your own. After all, it’s a business that you own, you start, you manage, and you enjoy the benefits of – almost exclusively. I don’t wish to denigrate other opportunities on the web, I merely want to highlight some of the benefits of starting your own online business because there are some distinct advantages many people overlook.
So, you’re not much of a writer, you don’t consider yourself to be an expert in any particular field, and creating a website seems like a daunting task. At one time or another, I felt the same way, but three years ago I started my own online businesses anyway. Today, I write four websites and two blogs. That seems like quite an investment on the Internet for someone who previously had no experience. It is, and I want to tell you why.
The most important reason I favor starting an online business is the simple fact that you own the business. That means you work for yourself. Experience shows that the best years of my working life have been those during which I was self-employed. That means, I’m still right in the middle of my best working years. To be sure, owning and operating your own business is hard work. I’ll not suggest anything to the contrary. Nevertheless, it’s also very satisfying and can be a good source of steady and considerable income.
Another important reason to have an online business is simply that Internet based business represent a “ground level” enterprises in a marketplace that is very young. When you consider that the first website was launched in 1991, that makes the Internet a very young marketplace. So young, in fact, that it’s constantly changing. If you think that a 20 year old market is too old to get on board “at ground level,” then you would also have to agree that starting a car company back in the 1920′s was a foolish undertaking, yet recent history shows new car company start-ups that have made impressive marketplace in-roads roughly 100 years after the car market came to be.
In the ever-changing marketplace of the Internet, jumping onboard 20 years after its establishment isn’t too late at all. In fact, it’s only relatively recently that tools and resources have become available and sufficiently widespread to allow the average individual to be a successful competitor out there with those who have been in the marketplace for a long time. Back many years ago, the cost of programmers and special assistance to create a website made the “price of entry” just too much for most. Today, it’s easily affordable and much less technically challenging.
Another advantage of having your own online business is that it tends to grow larger each year if you’re approaching it wisely and managing it in an effective manner. Sure, the overwhelming majority of websites fail. That’s because many don’t understand how to conduct a business online – or any business for that matter. As you might guess, there is a solution to every problem. Whether its tools, coaching, examples or a mentor, solutions are identifiable for every challenge. It’s up to the online entrepreneur to find them and make the best use of them.
Yet one more tremendous advantage of having an online business is that your enterprise can be set up so it provides passive income. In other words, you don’t have to meet with customers, bag up their purchases, or be at the store to open it in the morning and close it down in the evening. Your business can work automatically, even while you’re on vacation. Revenue is automatically deposited in your bank account. Not all activities associated with an online business are passive, but most of them can be set up that way. Of course there’s lots of work involved to get the business up and running, and you’ll need to stay on top of marketplace changes, but largely your income can be passive.
Perhaps most important of all, an online business allows you an opportunity to play among larger competitors and succeed. Let’s say that you invest $500 to get a website up and running. The “big box” store might invest $50,000 to get their website up and running. You each have a website. You each have an online business. You each have a spot in the marketplace. In many respects the Internet levels the playing field. The advantage you have is that “onezees” in the marketplace can be much more flexible and responsive, whereas a big box store is likely be as impersonal and unresponsive as a mannequin in a big box window display.
It should go without saying that the marketplace for an online business is worldwide. Often that fact escapes us until we stop and think about it for a while. No matter what your product or service is, you can capture market share locally as well as globally. Now, how big a business can that few hundred dollar investment buy you? Well, it’s a worldwide enterprise, right from the start.
The last point I want to make about an online business is that it’s an asset just like many others that you may have. However, instead of having to sell your physical enterprise, you can sell your virtual enterprise or simply assign ownership to your heirs. Think about the fantastic opportunity that this provides for you and your family. Imagine that you create a business and you build it to be quite successful. Over the years it becomes more and more successful as your ideas catch on, your products and services see greater demand, and the marketplace grows around your offering. With just a little effort, the entire enterprise can be sold to another. It can be managed by another to provide you with income for life. Or, it could be taken over by your heirs. There is no handoff of employees, inventory or other entanglements. It’s merely a matter of someone else “learning the ropes” and carrying on with your personal approach to business.
My intention is not to downplay other online opportunities, but highlight my personal preference for creating something that I own and manage. The growth and success of any such enterprise is all on my shoulders, but that’s where it should be. I believe that I have the intelligence, initiative and ingenuity to make it all happen, and I’ll bet that many of you hold the same belief about yourself. I haven’t been particularly pleased with outcomes associated with letting others manage the business that I’m involved in, and I’ll bet that many of you share the same level of disappointment. On online business provides us all an opportunity to make an ideal situation for ourselves. In any event, we’re the only ones to blame – whether we choose to start our own online enterprise or simply stick with whatever it is we’re doing now.
Clair Schwan is a successful entrepreneur who has been a “onezee” for more than 12 years. He has run his own successful consulting firm, and now hosts a range of a online enterprises designed to help others be more successful in their business and personal lives. He hosts www.Self-Reliance-Works.com with a team of others who believe in a self-directed life, and he also hosts www.Sensible-Small-Business-Ideas.com to help encourage others to create their own enterprise and thereby reap the rewards of their own initiative.
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