Before we get into the meat of this article, let's briefly explain what we mean by online businesses and traditional ones. With the latter, we're on about any type of brick-and-mortar business that meets with clients or serves customers in a physical manner. Either they come to your store or they meet with you in an office.
With the former, we're on about any business that only operates in the online realm. All of your operations are carried out over the internet; you provide services digitally, sell goods via an online store, etc.
After understanding the difference between the two, what are the benefits of online businesses over traditional ones? Many arguments and points can be raised, but these three points seem to be a cut above the rest:
More customer potential
When you work online, the potential to find customers is virtually limitless. Let's say you're based in the US, you can feasibly find customers from all over the country, shipping goods to them or providing services. With a traditional business, your options are limited to where you're located. If you have a store in one city, the only customers you will find are those that come to that city. Online businesses have a wider scope, meaning there's more potential to find more customers and make more sales.
Fewer operating costs
Conceivably, you could start an online business from your home with basically nothing other than a computer and some skills. Perhaps you're a qualified accountant and want to provide services to businesses and individuals. All you'd need is your PC, some accounting software, and a bit of marketing knowledge. This might mean outsourcing a marketing agency, but those are basically all the costs you need. With a traditional business, you instantly need to pay for things like rent, small business insurance, employees, and so on. Regardless of what online business you have, the operating costs tend to always be much lower.
Better for the environment
Online businesses are also far better for the environment than many traditional ones. This is because of many different factors, such as:
- You don't need to travel to and from work, so fewer carbon emissions are created by commuting
- You generate less paper waste as everything is digital
- You will have less general waste as you don't have any supplies other than what you might sell
All in all, online businesses can be much greener, which is beneficial on two fronts. Obviously, you help the environment, which is the main factor here. But, you can also demonstrate how green your business is, improving your brand image and public perception.
Does this mean everyone should throw aside traditional businesses and venture into the online world? Not necessarily! We could just as easily create an article on the benefits of traditional businesses over online ones. If you're interested in seeing this, perhaps we will create one in the future! The point of this post isn't to scare you into changing business ideas, but more to educate you on the possible advantages of going online. For any new entrepreneurs out there, this could convince you that an online business makes more sense for your particular idea.
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