Before you start judging my statement and think that I do not practise what I preach about starting an online business, let me clarify my title. That’s actually my parents’ initial response when I started internet marketing online with Calvin. They think that an online business is too risky.
Then the thought arises – what exactly is so risky about starting an online business?
2. I do not have an inventory of physical goods and services (that is if I am promoting and selling e-products)
3. I have 24/7 control of my business so long as I am connected to the internet.
4. I have millions of customers that are waiting from every single corner of the world for the opportunity to come by my website.
5. I can have flexible working hours.
I have been helping my dad at his shop (he owns an offline business) these past few days because he is currently short handed. I enjoy going to his shop because it is the place where I spent a lot of my childhood days at. His shop is a toy shop. Don’t think in terms of Toys R Us or Kiddy Palace kind of toy shop. His is a regular and cosy little toy shop that has existed for 2 decades (since the later 1980s).
His offline business is not doing too good because of the increasing commercial competition that exists almost everywhere. Cheaper goods can be obtained from countries like Thailand and China, and it’s really a matter of who has the product with the best price and located where consumers are. My dad’s shop sadly, isn’t at a very good location – far from the crowds and far from where all consumers are.
He opens his shop everyday except sundays at 11.30 am and closes by around 8pm. It’s a tough cycle that he repeats everyday without fail – rain or shine. The expenses of running the shop basically include electricity and water bills, the payment for the goods, shop space rental and I believe that it adds up to about SGD 2,000.
Now comparing his offline business and my online business, do you notice the stark contrast? In terms of the no. of consumers, the capital/costs per month and the need for a shop space to store the goods. For my online business, my shop is my website and my consumers are my web visitors. Given that the offline business is situated in Singapore away from the global consumers, the idea of location (whether offline or online) can heavily affect the opportunities for people to buy something from me.
Now, it’s something that I hope you, my blog reader will continue pondering over if you’re still thinking whether you should start up an online business or even just a blog for a start. There’s really not much to lose in starting an online business and the idea that it is too risky is certainly not supported. If you’re looking for ideas to start, you might want to check this out!