Online Business Ideas May Have Disadvantages

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I can certainly appreciate the allure of making a living on the internet with one’s own business.  It’s not lost on me that the  idea  of creating one’s own schedule, having no one to answer to, and working in sweat pants and a t-shirt while sipping a homemade frappuccino is very attractive to a great many people.  But these fantasies gloss over the harsh reality that if you pursue any of today’s common online  business   ideas  you should expect to work just as hard, if not harder, than the typical “real-world”  business  owner.  You should also anticipate that you’ll have to deal with problems that are inherent to working on the net.

For one thing, it’s my opinion that gaining consumer trust is more difficult for an online business than for a typical real-world business.  Take, for example, the case of a deck-building company that is family owned and operated.  The owner of that business has the advantage of going to potential customers’ homes for face-to-face estimates that build trust and help to grease the wheels toward a successful sale.  If the meeting isn’t enough he can even direct these people to go look at decks that he’s built for others in the neighborhood.  These are samples that can be seen and touched with one’s own eyes and hands.

Contrast this with an online company that sells handmade furniture, for example.  There’s no opportunity for face-to-face meetings with potential customers.  Often an email or phone call will suffice but there’s nothing quite like meeting someone in person to help gain their confidence.  Likewise, there’s no opportunity for these people to see and touch a real sample of your furniture.  Granted, they’ll have pictures on your website to look at and maybe even a video or two but this just doesn’t compare to the real thing.  No matter how much you try to build trust with online shoppers there will still be that nagging worry in their mind that when your product shows up on their doorstep it will disappoint.  This means that converting online shoppers into actual buyers is a much more costly and time-consuming prospect than for real-world businesses.

Another disadvantage to running an online business is that you’re at the mercy of a number of different online services and products.  You might be sitting in front of your computer monitor just working and selling product when all of a sudden the company that hosts your ecommerce store is hacked and your site ends up being offline for hours or even days.  In this kind of scenario there’s not much you can do except sit on your hands and wait, all the while losing money because your site, the lifeblood of your business, has been reduced to an empty screen.

Compare this with the deck-building company which experiences a circular saw malfunction.  Obviously they don’t have to sit around and wait for somebody else to come along and fix their saw.  Instead they simply drive over to Home Depot and buy a new one.  One hour later they’re back to working and making money.  They are in greater control of their business and their ability to manage unexpected hiccups.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t pursue that great online  business   idea  you’ve been pondering.  In some ways an internet-based business offers distinct advantages over a more traditional venture, but it’s not the end-all, be-all that some might have you believe.  Running a digital business will require hard work and persistence, but if you can go into it with open eyes and an honest acknowledgment of the challenges then you stand a better chance of ultimate success.


Source by Jeffrey Hester

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