Is Starting An Online Business The Right Decision For You?

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Starting a business – especially an online one has never been easier and more accessible than it is today.

In the past, starting a business was a huge big deal, and that’s not to say it’s not a big deal today, but it was just so out of reach for most people. Even 15-20 years ago, if you wanted to start a business you would have to have a really unique idea, or at least a very specific angle on an existing idea.

That was the easy part, you’d then have to invest a lot of money to get your venture off the ground and oftentimes this involved either having your own savings that you’d use or approaching the bank for a small business loan, and a lot of these were declined.

Fast forward to the present day, and anyone who knows how to switch on a computer can start an online business, there’s an endless amount of paid and free support for aspiring entrepreneurs to help them get started, as well the opportunity to work with clients from all over the world without even having to spend money on advertising to actually reach them – with social media, the world has become much smaller, and that’s a great thing for those looking to create a life on their own terms.

However, as the saying goes – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Starting a business may be easier and more within reach, but it’s still hard work, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, so with this in mind, we wanted to give you a variety of points to consider for yourself if you’ve been thinking of starting an online business so that you don’t waste time or even money on something that you later realize was a mistake.

We want to help you make the right decision, so here are some things to consider when it comes to starting an online business.

We’re going to look at some of the wrong reasons people get into working for themselves.

The reason we’re doing this is because we know that social media can really show things in an unrealistic way and often people who are marketing things like courses to help others start an online business will flip these points around and manipulate people’s pain points to lure them into thinking that starting a business will solve all of their problems and make them millionaires when that really isn’t how it works.

We want to give you the full picture so that you have a realistic idea of what business entails and allow you to not make a mistake.

You may NOT want to start a business if these are your motivators:

You Hate Your Current Job:

Let’s be honest here, everyone has a moment of not loving their job, because life isn’t going to be perfect all the time, and no one is saying you should put up with a bad job and be miserable, but if this is your only motivation for starting a business, then your heart probably won’t be in it as much as is needed to keep going during tough times.

Many people who have started their business will often cite hating their job as a reason, but you can be guaranteed that if they’re enjoying a good level of success, then this is not the only reason.

You Hate Your Boss Even More:

Again, your boss may not be your favorite person in the world. In fact, they may be downright horrible, but using hatred for anything as a reason to start a business really isn’t bringing the best mindset or energy to your new venture.

You Only See The Dollar Signs:

Of course you need to make money, and you should always set good financial goals – especially for your business. Unless you’re running a charity, then you should never apologize for needing and wanting your business to be financially successful, but if money is your primary motivation, then your business is as good as doomed.

Not only will you find you have very little passion for your business, but you’ll fail to feel fulfilled, and as much as you may be surprised to realize it, people will actually see right through it, so you won’t really be as financially successful as you had initially hoped, anyway.

Even if you’re not completely focused on the money side of things, doing your homework before starting a business is definitely something you should be doing anyway so that you can estimate what the potential of that business is. Reading books on sales, marketing, attending webinars, and even getting your hands on some guides, such as Estimating Market Size: The Complete Guide For Startups And Small Businesses can really help you avoid a lot of the mistakes that new business owners make.

You Think Starting A Business Means You Won’t Have To Work:

Again, social media and the rise of self-proclaimed online business gurus shares a big part of the blame here for making the running of an online business look so flawless and easy, and whilst it’s true that you will have more freedom when you’re the boss, in order for your business to actually be successful you’re going to need to put in the work to make it happen. If your reasons for wanting to start a business is not wanting to do any work, then you may have to reconsider.

You Don’t Want To Work At Certain Times:

Yes, it’s true that in most cases when you have an online business, you have more flexibility and freedom over your schedule, but this is simply a perk and shouldn’t be a main reason for starting a business of any kind. The thing to realize is, when you’re the boss, you’re always the boss, so although you get to take time off if you want provided you have systems in place to cover you, you also have to step up when things go wrong, and sometimes things don’t always go to plan and you’ll have to to work at unusual times even if you don’t want to. Building a successful and sustainable business means taking the good with the bad and understanding that it won’t all be smooth sailing.

You Think It Will Be Easy:

Although people online can make it look easy, and just because it’s easy to start a business, that doesn’t mean that the day-to-day running of the business itself is easy. It’s also helpful to remember that social media rarely shows the challenges, problems and downsides of things, so it’s not the best place to be looking if you want a realistic idea of what running a business is all about.

Certainly, you should never start something just because you think it will be easy, because business is far from it, as is the case with most things that are worth doing.

You Don’t Like Authority:

Whilst none of us particularly enjoy being told what to do, if you’re only starting a business because you don’t want to answer to anyone, then this is only going to lead to bad things.

You Only Care About Having Fun:

Your business absolutely should be fun – otherwise there’s really no point, because it should be something you love to do each day and that you have a complete passion for, but if you’re only interested in having fun and are using that as your reasoning for wanting to start a business, then it’s not a great idea.

You Think It’s Going To Make You Famous:

In recent years there has been quite a disturbing growing trend of people using their online business as a way to make themselves famous – though there’s nothing wrong with creating fame through your business when done for the right reasons, many of these examples simply use it as a way to boost their ego and aren’t actually interested in helping people or using their business for the greater good.

Your business, depending on what industry its in does have the potential to make you famous in some circles, but if that’s your primary reason for getting into business, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Not only will it lead you to a business that’s not enjoyable or fulfilling to you, but it takes a lot of time and energy to build up to that stage, and if you’re not creating authentic and organic fame for the right reasons and are using it for your ego, then people will see right through it and won’t want to work with you, anyway.

Someone Else Is Trying To Get You Onboard With Their Business Idea:

If someone else has a business idea and has approached you for a potential partnership, then this is something you need to think about very hard. There will be so many factors that go into making this decision, and that includes if the person is a family member or friend, and if you trust them to be able to run a business, as well as if they’re putting pressure on you to join them or are letting you decide at your own pace.

Having your own business is a wonderful thing and can lead to great rewards and a very satisfying career, but you need to be sure it’s the right thing for you before jumping in, and not just doing it because you feel like you should.

Tried And Tested Business Practices

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You don’t really have to worry about trying something new out with your business. Chances are it has already been done by someone else, and it has already been tested to the highest standard to make sure it’s going to improve the way a business is ran. But the sad thing is, not a lot of businesses actually try and use them. They stick to what they know, and often what they know might not be the smartest move. So, if you know you haven’t pushed the boat out a bit and experimented with different business practices, here are a few tried and tested ideas for you to give a go.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is easy, simple, and one of the best things a business can do. There’s so many different elements to a business that could be outsourced as well. Some are more important, and will probably benefit your business so much if you actually gave it a go. One of the best is marketing. It’s so hard to understand how marketing actually works for some people. You’ve got the simple techniques such as social media marketing. This is a technique that is pretty easy to master yourself. Then you’ve got techniques such as SEO which is pretty complicated, but there are specialist agencies that you could outsource to to get them to do the work for you. Techniques such as SEO are so effective, so it’s probably best to outsource to get it right.

Relying On Software

Relying on software is something every business should do because there’s just so many different bits of software that can help a business. First, you’ve got ones such as cpq. what is cpq software you ask? It’s software that allows you to track and monitor sales and revenue, something that can be really difficult to do without the aid of such software. For pretty much every department of your business, there is software that can help with it. With accounts, there’s pieces that will allow you to track profits, losses, new customers etc. to see what your overall figures for the year might be without actually knowing. These predictions can save a companies life with things like overspending or overestimating the profit that might be made for the year.

Flexible Company Policies

A lot of companies are so strict, and it can have a real negative effect on the people that work for them. However, there are some companies that are so flexible, and their employee turnover is so low, and the overall satisfaction for working for the company is high. Try and be flexible with things such as annual leave, bonuses etc. You should also consider letting employees allocate their own breaks and their own break times. So long as they’re getting all their work done in the day, letting them have an extra half an hour or so to relax and recharge before finishing the rest of their shift might be beneficial for them and you!

We highly recommend you try a couple of these business practices and see how they help your business!

Can You Use Flexible Working Arrangements to Benefit Your Business?

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For many people, life changes as we get older and so so our needs when it comes to our work life. Yet in many instances, jobs aren’t changing or adapting to the changes that we need in our lives. A lot of it can be down to employer attitudes and the need for a mass shift in the traditional way of working. Being able to get a better work and life balance is going to the thing that helps you to hold onto the employees that you have, as well as an increased work morale and an allowance for more creativity in the workplace.

For a long time, working flexibility has been seen as a perk of the job, not the standard. A lucky thing that moms can do once a week, while the rest of the week they need to be in the office. But the question is, can flexible working benefit everyone in the workplace? Parent or not, most employees are going to welcome flexible working if it means a better work and life balance, surely?

Many employers are still somewhat ‘on the fence’ when it comes to flexible working. With campaigners calling for it more and more, is it just a fad that will shortly die out? When you break it down, it can’t really be a fad. Is it a fad for people to want to have a better quality of life? So if you’re currently on the fence, then it is time to hop off and get on board with flexible working. Where it is possible in job roles, it will be sticking around for a while to come.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of flexible working:

For one thing, it can reduce costs. Studies from companies that have already adopted the stance that work is a resource, rather than a place, have already shown the same, if not more profit than what they have had previously. Office spaces can be downsized, as well as bills be reduced. It means less sick days and people can setup virtual mail with mailbox forwarding when they are on vacation or sick, for example. So things don’t get missed, and people can work when they are abroad, without having to take time out off the business.

It can mean increased productivity as you don’t have to cater for people’s lunch breaks, sick time, or having the morning off for an appointment. If they needed that but are at home, they can get up earlier to do work before their appointment. That doesn’t work the same when it comes to going back and forth from an office. Plus, as a rule, employee satisfaction and happiness is going to be much higher when they have a better work and life balance, so they are likely to work harder, and get more done. And at the end of the day, that will have a positive impact on the business’s bottom line.

Has your business embraced flexible working yet? Be interested to hear what you think.