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There's no denying the appeal in being your own boss, and calling your own shots. There's also no denying the appeal in investing in something you love whether it be clothes, video games, or makeup. The possibilities on the things you could market are endless, and adding the internet to the equation just makes things seem a little more achievable.
It sounds simple enough when you put it at that, but it is so much more than making and selling. As a young entrepreneur, it takes more effort than one would think especially if you're trying to make a living out of it. This includes late night hours, hundreds of pictures and countless editing, making sure an item is suitable and presentable, all by myself. And when we put it in this context, now it seems a bit more daunting and impossible.
So what sets certain businesses apart from others? Why do some excel, and some flop almost as quickly as they started? Is there some sort of algorithm these businesses aren't telling us?
1. Pros of Starting an Online Business
The whole point of the internet is to put yourself out there, and network together. This is what makes online business so achievable. You don't have to go and buy some fancy location and spend thousands of dollars. You can start a great business from the comfort of your own home!
We don't have to rely on newspapers, billboards, or word of mouth to get our business discovered. Having internet and using social media on a frequent basis gives you the opportunity to grow your network and business. Investing not only in the things you sell, but also ads, increases your chances of people discovering your work, and people willing to sponsor you.
Websites and apps like Poshmark, Etsy, and Letgo are popular for people starting boutiques, and getting rid of things they no longer need. You can even sell things on Instagram and Facebook simply by posting it, or putting it in the marketplace via Facebook. Amazon, and Ebay allow you to sell things used, new, or created through their site.
People make hundreds of dollars a week selling clothes or furniture they don't need, selling slime, and so much more.
There doesn't even have to be business hours, at least not for buying. You also have the ability to conduct business not just through laptop, but through your phone; you can manage your business anywhere!
2. Cons of Starting an Online Business
There's so much good that comes out of marketing online, what could possibly be bad about it? Everyone always talks about how great marketing your business is online, it's what sucked so many others in and got the best of them.
While it is as simple as a click of a button to put an item up for sale, or to promote your business, it isn't as simple to start your own business and maintain it.
Depending on your business, it will depend on where the cost goes. Sure, you don't have to spend money on a building, but what if you're trying to start a boutique for clothes or jewelry?
Buying fabric can be cheap at times, and you can find jewelry kits for good prices, but later on it starts adding up. And what about shipping? Do you want to spend money making your packaging look nice, or just shove it in a box and ship it?
People can generally tell how much effort is put into products, customer service, and businesses. Online stores like sammydress.com are known for cheap prices, and their poorly made clothes. They're also known for their late shipping time, and misrepresentation of items.
Since networking is the main purpose of the internet, you can bet that people will leave reviews about your business and how their transaction went.
Aside from cost is the hard work. Online businesses are still businesses, and it takes hard work.
On sites like Poshmark, you can scroll through and see hundreds of items being put up for sale, but that's just it—most of them just say "For Sale." Why is that? Is the buyer untrustworthy? Perhaps.
It sounds strange to say, but people like looking at pretty things, and this includes your pictures. If you're selling a shirt and you put that shirt on a dirty floor, then take one picture with a caption just saying, "brand new," and the shirt is obviously not brand new, people generally won't buy it. Why buy from someone who doesn't take care of their items, or make an effort to accurately describe it, when there are tons of other's to choose from?
This means that you have to take various pictures of one item, make sure it's presentable, and then take the time to accurately describe it.
This is what sets successful businesses apart from those who aren't, and it isn't just the money you're willing to fork out, it's the effort.
Should I start an online business?
Each business is unique in it's own way, and there are many platforms to use to get your business out there. Anyone is capable of starting a business whether you're selling things, or even your skills.
Should you start an online business? There's many pros and cons, and it can seems daunting and stressful. Without hard work, your business won't thrive and will ultimately fail. However, with the right mindset, willingness and perseverance, your business has the possibility of flourishing into what you hope it could be.