Are you debating if you should start an online business? There’s lots of information out there regarding the logistical pros and cons, but honestly, not everyone’s personality is suited for it. Let’s determine if you’re the kind of person who can handle running an online business.
Can you handle minimal interaction?
Unless you have a little hub of employees with you or someone is home consistently (like your kids), running an online business entails a lot of alone time. If you’re the kind of person who needs face-to-face interaction, then working from home may not be the best fit for you. It can be lonely, even if you are in constant communication with people digitally.
That’s also a lot of pressure. Keith Gilbert, founder and owner of ClearClick Software, notes, “You’ve got to have a fairly independent spirit to run your own business. You’re the one responsible for making your business successful. It’s all on you.” This could also be a positive thing, too, because you’re the boss and the decisions are yours.
However, if you enjoy peace and quiet, and being able to use your own kitchen when you want to, an online business might be exactly what you need. There’s no commute, no one to answer to, and no one with annoying office habits. Working in your pyjamas is a reality here.
Do you need a structured environment?
Not everyone is equipped for a structureless work environment. Some folks need the beginning-to-end shift in order to get things done. Other people with more self-doubt sometimes like to have supervision. Making your own schedule can be amazing, but if you lack discipline and get distracted easily (many companies monitor their employees’ internet usage, but at home, no one is telling you not to watch Netflix), it’s challenging to get much accomplished.
Is your personal credit in good shape?
If the nature of your online business still requires some investment from outside parties, you need to remember that you are not separate from your business. Creditrepair.com warns that if your credit is not in the “good” category (660-780, with great credit being even higher), it can be difficult to establish business credit at the start. Lexington Law also says, “when you have a great personal credit score, you show business lenders that you’ve got what it takes to responsibly manage your company.”
By the way, if you’re not exactly in the best credit shape, or if your credit suffers once you’re up and running, you can consider a balance transfer credit card. This helps move all your debt into one space so that you are only keeping track of one payment rather than several, and you can find lower interest rates.
Can you handle the stress?
Lots of jobs have stress involved, regardless if you’re a “higher-up” or not. Running an online business has a different kind of stress, however, and it can extend past your working hours.
For instance, the market is competitive. Lots of other companies are going online nowadays, so you’re going to have to find a loyal niche customer pool if you want to avoid being swamped by people also running online businesses in similar fields.
Are you a technical person? The idea of working with nothing but a computer may seem straightforward and appealing, but are you equipped to handle technical difficulties? Without an IT department nearby, you might have to do a lot of fixing things you don’t fully understand yourself.
Keith Gilbert also mentions that “there’s a lot of ‘red tape’ to deal with if you’re running your own business, even if it’s a small business.” Both on and offline companies have to deal with business licenses and all the hassle that comes with them. You will also most likely be subject to “self-employment tax,” and no one is going to take your taxes out of your paycheck for you. Are you prepared to handle that?
Do you know how to personalise?
Because this business is yours, you have to brand it and give it your personal stamp. Lots of people believe they can do this, but when it comes down to it, they are at a loss when it comes to developing their own unique fingerprint on the Internet that separates them from the rest of the business landscape.
Are you prepared to market your business, to find your niche audience? If so, great. Personalized businesses are what customers are looking for because everyone loves to be reminded that an actual human being is on the other side (even if it’s online. Hint: here are some unique “about us” page templates that can help you establish your business’s personality).
Do you have what it takes to run an online business? If you already have your own, what are some of the personal and professional demands you have encountered?