Can you imagine life without the Internet today?
Think of all the ways the Internet made our lives easier!
You can shop online, you can order railway tickets online, you can find a plumber online, you can start your own online business etc.
Of course each coin has two sides, so there are also some drawbacks to the Internet. Despite that, the Internet is still one of the greatest inventions of our times.
In a matter of very few years, the Internet consolidated itself as a very powerful platform that has changed forever the way we do business, and the way we communicate.
The development of the Internet opened a whole sea of possibilities before people.
Never before was it so easy to access any kind of information you want. You literally have everything within your arm’s reach, or rather your fingers’ reach.
You want to know what a new Jaguar model looks like? Just Google it!
You want to know some historical facts? Just Google it!
You want to know what’s the temperature like in Sydney now? No problem, just Google it!
But what about doing business on the Internet? Is it really possible? Will you make virtual money or real money?
Well, if you haven’t spent the last ten or so years under the rock, you already know that making money online is real. As the title of this article suggests, I’d like to focus right now on whether it makes sense to start your own business online!
I’m not denying that my answer to this question is YES. I’ve already started my online business and I know this is the way to go.
It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Seriously!
But is it something for you? From my own experience I know that you have to be very self-motivated.
When you run your own online business there is no boss standing over your shoulder and monitoring your progress and maybe motivating you that you should do something.
Here the buck stops with you!
So, maybe You Shouldn’t Start an Online Business
First let’s address the one issue that we must all face. Not every business opportunity is a good one.
If you’re a writer, then you write – you don’t start a painting business, right?
An online business opportunity is a great chance to carve out your own niche, but it isn’t right for everyone.
So let’s take a look at who shouldn’t start an online business before looking at why you should think about it.
As with any business opportunity, you must have a massive time commitment to your business, especially in the start-up phases of it, in order for it to succeed.
This means you’ll likely need to make sacrifices. Instead of watching football on Sundays, you might be online working.
You might have to work nights and weekends when your family is home. You might find yourself working 80-100 hours each week.
If you don’t know that you can make that kind of commitment, then starting an online business is something you shouldn’t do.
It takes time to build this kind of business. This time investment is usually measured in years instead of months.
You must also have a passion for your online business if you are going to have a shot at long-term success.
If you’re going to be putting in 100 hours per week, then you’ll quickly burn-out if this is something you don’t love with all your heart.
Many people find that they are in love with the idea of working from home with an online business, but don’t love the practicality that is required to run this type of business.
Yet if you do have the passion and can commit to the time sacrifices you’ll need to make, then you should start your own online business.
It could be the best decision you make this year and pay you a lifetime of dividends.
11 Reasons Why You Should Start an Online Business Today
If you’re on the fence about starting your own internet business, then here are some of the reasons why going all-in on this opportunity is a great decision.
#1. You are working for something real
There are numerous articles on the Internet today about why you should start an online business.
You’ll find reasons like “you don’t have to commute to work” or “you can set your own hours.”
These articles were clearly written by someone who has not actually started an online business.
You are going to be driving more places because when you need supplies, it falls on you to get them.
When your clients say that they need something by a certain time, you have to meet that deadline or risk not having another client come your way.
The internet is a 24/7 machine that keeps running. When your business is online, it is available 24/7.
You become a global business even if all you have is a corner desk and an uncomfortable office chair.
What you do get is this: the ability to work for something that has meaning to you. Something that is real.
You’re not working hard for a supervisor or a company or for shareholders. You’re working for yourself. You set the rules. You create something that is real.
#2. You can work from virtually anywhere
This isn’t always an advantage since it means you can work while you’re on vacation.
Yet if you have started an online business, you can access your company wherever there is an Internet connection.
You can work at the local coffee shop, at a tropical resort in a hotel room, or in the middle of a corn field with a satellite Internet connection if that’s your thing.
This means the world becomes your office.
Want to work at the beach? Do it – but protect your computer from sand.
Want to work on your front porch? Do it.
Want to work in front of the TV because your favorite team is playing a mid-week afternoon game? Do it.
In this one sense, you control the rules.
You get to work wherever you want to work. Just make sure the quality of your work doesn’t suffer because you’re eating nachos, drinking a glass of wine, watching a movie, and trying to work simultaneously.
#3. It’s cheap to get started
Before the Internet, you would have to consider spending thousands of dollars just to get your brand created, your targeted demographics identified, and your initial message created.
Today you don’t have to spend a dime if you know a little something about the Internet.
Freelance websites are everywhere today and you can join them for free.
Just put up your job, write a description, and let the orders come in when your page goes live.
You can even get your own domain and begin hosting it for about $25 on some plans so you don’t have to worry about commissions, chargebacks, and other freelance issues.
Many sites, like Wealthy Affiliate, even give you a try it before you buy it opportunity – and you can even get started for free there as well and stay free if you wish.
So what about your hardware costs?
You can buy a high quality Chromebook today brand new for less than $150. Any computer with a LAN connection or WiFi capabilities can get you connected – even a Tandy 386 can get you online and working today if necessary.
And if you don’t have the Internet, but you do have a cell phone with a data plan, you might be able to tether your phone to your computer or tablet and get started with your online business opportunity.
#4. You can create a passive income resource
There are so many different business opportunities that can be taken online that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
One of the best ways to get started is to look at generating what is known as “passive income.”
This is income that you receive without needing to perform ongoing work.
If you create a blog that only requires minimal updates after your initial content upload and it can generate $200 per month in advertising revenue, then that’s $200 in passive income.
You can be in the retail or service industry and create passive income resources as well.
A writer could put together a How-To Guide on SEO Writing for Rookies, sell it online with an automatic payment processor and download link, and then just watch the cash begin to roll in.
Affiliates can represent retail products to earn a commission on the final sale without worrying about shipping, insurance, or even customer service if something happens to the product.
What can you do with a passive income? If it gets large enough, you can spend less time online and more time with what matters most to you.
#5. You can telecommute
Maybe your idea of an online business is more like an independent contractor. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Medical transcriptionists, paralegals, and even university professors can all work online without a formal employment contract.
They get hired as an independent contractor and telecommute their work to the person or company that has hired them.
This allows you to start your own online business with some financial security in place.
You’ll have to work more like you would for a traditional employer, but your commute will be from your bedroom to your home office.
Work in your pajamas if you wish, as long as you don’t need to take a video conference call, that is.
#6. There are no age limitations
This might be the best part of starting an online business: almost anyone can do it.
Now there might be certain local issues that prevent teens under the age of 18 from getting started without parental help, but that’s really the only restriction.
Whether you’re 18 or 108, it doesn’t matter what your socioeconomic background is, what your ethnicity is, or even what your physical health happens to be.
Anyone can start an Internet business. Just make sure you get a business license if your jurisdiction requires it.
For those who are living in Alaska or Washington State and reading this, you especially must look at local laws to determine if you need a license in place for your online business.
#7. Workplace politics are greatly reduced
“Yay! I don’t have to deal with politics at work any more!”
In some form, this statement is said by just about everyone who starts an online business. For the most part, it is even true.
When you’re working by yourself, then you set the rules. You dictate what work you choose to take. You direct the course of your income.
You don’t get to eliminate politics completely from your existence. You’ll still have visitor and client politics that must be handled… by you since there isn’t anyone else around.
What are visitor politics? Let’s say you write what you consider to be an awesome blog post… about why others should start an online business.
You outline several key points that make perfect sense. You wrap it up, publish it, and the first comment you receive is something like this:
“I’ve never read an article filled with such useless garbage in my life.”
What do you do next?
If you delete the comment, then you might alienate visitors because you’re not allowing free speech.
If you ignore it, visitors might get the wrong impression of your blog. If you answer the comment, you might offend the person more.
That is visitor politics.
Client politics might mean being asked to do something that you don’t think is the right course of action to take.
Clients have their own internal politics that can bleed into your online business as well and cause you a headache when two people each give you a different set of directions.
Still… compared to the daily politics of the average office, you’ll still likely find yourself saying “Yay!” at the end of the day.
#8. You can put a safety net underneath your income
It’s been estimated that between 25-50% of jobs that exist right now could be replaced by the robotic industry by the year 2025.
Even if your job isn’t replaced, it might get outsourced to some place in the world that requires less money than you’re making right now.
As technology evolves, your employer might even consider your position to be redundant.
Starting an online business gives you some protection against outsourcing and replacement.
After all, you get to drive your business in the direction you’d like it to go.
You don’t have to work full-time when you start an online business… at least at first.
You can write two blog posts per week and have an online business.
The scalability of the modern online business is incredible because you can go as big or as little as you want pretty much whenever you want.
#9. You eliminate the “some days”
So here it is: starting an online business isn’t easy.
It can be simple, however, because all you need is some level of time commitment, some energy, and the willpower to keep going.
It takes the issue of “some day” out of the equation. You know the some days…
Some day a publisher will pick up my novel and publish it for me.
Some day I’ll save up enough money so I can retire, take that perfect vacation, or pay off debt.
Some day someone will notice my genius and be willing to pay me for it.
The only problem with the “some days” in life is that there are a lot of people out there who are waiting for the exact same thing to happen to them.
You’re almost better off playing the lottery because at least then you’ll clear a million dollars after taxes if you win.
Many people wait on the “some days” all their life and they never come.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can make your own some day become today.
And sure – it might not look like your dream.
I know of writers who work full-time blogging when they wanted to be authors or journalists.
I know artists who are creating images for role playing games instead of displaying their work in top galleries.
Maybe one day they’ll still get their “some day” and make millions.
In the meantime, these folks started an online business, are earning money right now because of it, and living a happy life.
That can be you too.
All you’ve got to do is stop daydreaming about what might be and start turning your skills and passion into something realistic that can be turned into a business opportunity.
#10. You make money by saving money
So I have this friend who has 4 kids at home.
He and his wife had twins first, then added two more in consecutive years. Yep – 4 kids in 3 years.
That’s a lot of daycare expenses. It came out to be about $4,000 per month, or just less than my friend was making as a crew foreman at the time.
They knew something had to change. How could they cut out the child care expenses but still have the two incomes that they needed to make ends meet?
That’s when my friend started an online business, quit his job, and stayed home with his kids.
The economics were simple. He was making $2,800 in net income per month from his job.
Daycare expenses were $2,500 per month for his 4 kids.
He only had to make up $300 per month to maintain their previous budget when both he and his wife were working out of the home.
Far too many people quit their online business before it gets started because they don’t take a complete look at their budget.
Trying to make $300 per month is a lot easier than trying to make $2,800 per month, right?
It’s important to remember that if you’re cutting expenses, that’s just as good as making money online.
Maybe you don’t get a wallet full of cash, but it does make the economics of transitioning to a full-time business a lot easier to handle.
My friend has spent 4 years with his kids at home full-time.
He has gotten to see their first steps, their first words, and been there for everything.
That wouldn’t have happened for him if he hadn’t started to work online.
If you feel like you’re missing out on your family or you don’t see your friends like you would like, then crunch your numbers.
Look at the economics of starting an online business.
There’s a good chance that you could make it happen right now, still have a bit of a safety net in place, and then be able to enjoy life a whole lot more.
#11. Your earning potential is unlimited
When you are employed by a traditional employer, your earning potential is limited to your current wage.
If you’re salaried at $55k per year, then that’s what you’ll make whether you work 40 hours per week or 70 hours per week.
Even if you earn a PhD in your field and dozens of certifications, you’ll still struggle to even reach the top 10% of income earners in your preferred industry.
Here’s the benefit of starting an online business: if you can figure out how to sell one product to one customer, then you can sell 50 products to 50 customers.
You can sell 10 products to one customer.
You are in control of what your future earning potential happens to be.
So what if you can negotiate a 3% raise on that $55k salary this year?
That literally means you’ll be making $1,650 more. With an online business, you can turn $55k into $100k if you put in enough work and things go right for you.
Of course any business opportunity has risk associated with it.
Yet when you can get started for free and potentially run a completely independent business from your computer for $120 or less per year, the amount of risk to the potential reward you have is ridiculously good.
That’s why everyone should consider starting an online business today. There really is nothing to lose.
There are always going to be reasons why starting an online business doesn’t make sense right now.
For some people, this might not be the right type of opportunity.
An online business does take a lot of sweat equity, especially in its early days, and that can take you away from your family more than your current full-time job.
It’s important to remember what you’re working toward: a future of financial stability where you get to be in control.
There will always be people who talk about how they play video games at lunch, work 4 hours per week, and make millions of dollars every month somehow.
It could happen. Some of those stories might be true. For the rest of us, starting an online business is about taking control of those some day daydreams.
Instead of waiting for an opportunity to come your way, you can seize your opportunity right now.
Find your passion. Get your talents and skills online. Form a business around them. When you do, you’ll find that many rewards could be awaiting you for taking this one small risk today.
I can’t tell you how happy I am because I started an online business. You can experience that happiness too.
Do you know any other reasons why you should start an online business? Let me know in the comments below.