Taking Your Business Online
Having an online business is fantastic, as it allows you to travel and have more freedom than a traditional bricks and mortar business. However, not everyone knows how to begin to move their businesses online. In truth, some businesses (mainly service based businesses such as garages and hair salons) simply cannot be moved online, but there are many businesses that can benefit significantly from giving up their physical location and taking everything on the web.
This article will explore some of the benefits of moving your business online, and how you can begin to make the transition and really start living!
Benefits of an Online Business
An online business has many benefits over a traditional one. The first is that you can save a huge amount of money on rent and other outgoings. In addition to this, since the pandemic forced many businesses to move some of their work online, there is evidence to suggest that remote workers are far more productive and happy in their jobs than office based workers.
One of the biggest benefits is that you can control your business more flexibly (more on this later) which allows you so much more time and freedom to be able to travel, spend time with your family, or indulge in hobbies.
How to Make the Transition
While this list isn’t exhaustive and there will be an adjustment period, we have put together just a few ideas on how you can begin to make the transition from a remote business to an online business.
Get Virtual Business Address:
Your business will still likely receive some physical mail, even if you move online, so the first thing you want to do is to get the best virtual business address you can.
There are companies like physicaladdress.com that specialize in selling an office virtual address for many kinds of businesses at reasonable rates. So, if you’re looking for an address for your sole proprietorship or an LLC virtual address, they can help. They will take in your mail and forward it to a desired location, allowing you complete freedom from an office.
Landline to Mobile Forwarding:
A landline or premium number looks professional and creates an image of credibility with your clients. There are many services that will allow you to purchase a premium number and forward it to a mobile for complete flexibility.
Move your office-based meetings onto Zoom or Google Hangouts. The facilities on these online platforms are fantastic and even have options for ‘breakout’ rooms for any team building tasks that require you to break down into smaller groups.
Reminders are also automatically sent to participants if you choose and therefore you have less chance of people forgetting about your scheduled meetings.
Find a Fulfilment House:
If you have a product-based business, then warehousing, packaging, and standing in line at the post office are now old concepts.
Instead, you can hire a fulfillment house. A fulfillment house will essentially charge you to store your products (although this will still be significantly less than the rent on a warehouse and staffing!) and whenever you get an order, you can simply forward it to them, and they will ship your product direct to your customer.
The benefits of using this service are multiple. The costs are significantly smaller than the traditional route, but in addition, you can work from your laptop (or even your phone) from anywhere in the world!
Amazon is one of the largest fulfillment houses, and you don’t need to sell on Amazon to use their amazing delivery service. However, they can be expensive in comparison to some smaller fulfillment facilities so it’s worth checking out other options.
Hiring freelancers on a per project basis is going to be much more cost effective than hiring staff long term, as you are only paying them for the tasks you require.
On top of this, you can hire people with expertise in one given field. So, instead of trying to hire one person on a long-term contract to cover multiple roles, you can hire multiple people who are experts in their field on a short term/per project basis.
This will result in less paperwork for PAYE, less commitment to staff, saving money and hiring the very best experts possible.
As well as freelancers, you could also look to hire agencies instead of having in house staff. Marketing is usually an area where this would make sense, as marketing agencies often have contacts in terms of link building and digital PR.
Hiring agencies allows you to harness their contacts and expertise of them, and often have month to month contracts so you are able to cancel at any time.
Moving your business online is a great way to save money and give you more flexibility and freedom in your work. While it may take time to move your systems online, once adjusted, it could be the best decision you have ever made.