Let’s get real for a moment. Do you ever feel like your 9-5 job is crushing your soul?
Do you secretly crave the freedom and independence that comes with being your own boss?
Well, you’re not alone. In fact, in the post-pandemic world, many women have started turning to online businesses as a way to break free from the monotony of the traditional workplace.
But before you quit your day job and jump headfirst into entrepreneurship, there are some pros and cons of starting an online business that you need to consider.
Don’t worry, I’m not here to rain on your parade. I understand how you feel, and I’ve got your back.
I’ve been there myself.
Pros and Cons of Starting an Online Business
I know that you might be thinking, “Starting an online business sounds great, but is it really worth the risk?”
You might be worried about the uncertainty, lack of stability, and the responsibility that comes with being your own boss. Trust me, I get it.
But hear me out, because starting an online business also comes with some major perks, like unlimited earning potential, flexibility, and control over your work environment.
Plus, you get to make a positive impact on the world.
So, if you’re ready to take the plunge and become your own boss, let’s dive in together. I’ll walk you through the pros and cons of starting an online business and help you decide if it’s the right move for you.
5 Reasons Why Starting an Online Business Is Your Ticket to Freedom
Starting an online business can be a game-changer for anyone looking to create a new source of income or change their career path.
Here are 5 of my favourite benefits to starting an online business.
- Unlimited Earning Potential
One of the most attractive aspects of starting an online business is the potential for unlimited earnings.
There are no glass ceilings, and nobody else is putting a cap on what you can earn.
The internet has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for entrepreneurs.
Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, online businesses have the potential to reach a global audience, which means more customers and more revenue.
Take Amazon, for example. Jeff Bezos started the company in his garage as an online bookstore, and it has now become the world’s largest online retailer.
Amazon’s revenue for 2021 was over $469 billion.
Another example is Shopify, a platform that allows people to create their own online stores.
In 2022, Shopify’s revenue was over $5.6 billion.
What’s more important about both platforms is that their success is built on the success of small online business owners like you and me.
- Flexibility and Freedom
Being your own boss can give you the flexibility and freedom to work when and where you want.
Online businesses can be run from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
This means you can work from home, a coffee shop, or even while traveling the world.
Online business owners also have the freedom to set their own schedules.
You can work during the hours that are best for you, whether that’s early in the morning, late at night, or somewhere in between.
This kind of flexibility allows you to achieve a better work-life balance, which can lead to increased happiness and productivity.
For instance I love to work really early in the morning between 6 – 9 and then again in the evening between 4-9pm.
The complete opposite to a 9-5 or 8-6 where you have to be switched on and working during those hours.
- Personal and Professional Growth
Starting an online business can be a transformative experience that pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you grow as a person and a professional..
As an online business owner, you will face many challenges that will push you outside of your comfort zone.
These challenges can help you develop new skills, such as marketing, copywriting, and customer service.
Starting an online business can also help you overcome your fears and self-doubt.
You’ll learn to take risks and be more confident in your abilities. These experiences can translate to other areas of your life, making you a more well-rounded and resilient person.
- Control Over Your Work Environment
Being your own boss gives you control over your work environment.
You can design your workspace to suit your preferences and increase productivity.
You can choose the tools and equipment you use, the lighting, the temperature, and the overall atmosphere.
Having control over your work environment can increase your happiness and job satisfaction.
This is especially true if, like me, you’re the one in the office who’s always cold and you’re constantly battling colleagues over the temperature of the air conditioning.
- Ability to Make a Positive Impact
Starting an online business can give you the ability to make a positive impact on the world.
Many online businesses are founded on a mission to make the world a better place.
For example, TOMS Shoes was founded with the mission to provide shoes to children in need.
Warby Parker was founded with the mission to provide affordable eyewear to people in need.
Even if your business is not founded on a social mission, you can still make a positive impact by providing a valuable product or service to your customers.
By solving their problems or making their lives easier, you are making a positive impact on their lives.
Cons of Starting an Online Business
You now know the perks of starting an online business. The idea of being your own boss, creating a schedule that suits your lifestyle, and having unlimited earning potential is tempting.
However, it’s essential to also look at the cons before jumping in headfirst.
Cause this is the stuff that will stop you in your tracks from being successful.
Let’s explore some of the cons of starting an online business and provide practical tips for overcoming them.
- Isolation and Loneliness
One of the biggest cons of starting an online business is the potential for isolation and loneliness.
Now, if you’re a total introvert like me, this might not be a problem. I personally could be very happy not speaking to a soul for days.
However, if you’re an extrovert, this could be a big problem, and even introverts need human connection.
A lack of human interaction can lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression.
So, to overcome this, consider joining online communities, virtual co-working or in person co-working spaces.
These can provide opportunities to connect with other online business owners and share ideas.
Additionally, you can schedule regular virtual meetings with fellow entrepreneurs to discuss business challenges and successes.
- Risk of Failure
Another downside to starting an online business is the risk of failure.
Like any business, there is no guarantee of success, and many online businesses fail.
However, failure isn’t a bad thing.
It always offers a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to grow and improve.
To mitigate the risk of failure, it’s important to conduct thorough research and planning before launching your business.
Learn from the failures of others and take steps to avoid common mistakes.
Also, be prepared to pivot if your original idea isn’t working.
But the most important thing you need to do, is embrace failure.
When I opened my first online business in 2007, it was because I heard the statistic that 9 out of 10 businesses fail.
So I thought I better get started with creating businesses so I can get those 9 out of the way fast and get to the successful one.
So you could say I embraced the idea of failure and didn’t let it stop me, I started expecting to have some failures along the way.
- No Guaranteed Income
Unlike traditional employment, starting an online business does not guarantee income.
In the early stages, income may be sporadic, and it can be challenging to manage finances.
This is why you should start your business as a side hustle and only quit your day job when you are getting a consistent income that replaces your current income.
- Responsibility for Everything
When you’re an online business owner, you’re responsible for everything from marketing to accounting to customer service.
This can be overwhelming and lead to burnout.
To manage this responsibility, consider outsourcing tasks that are outside your skillset or hiring freelancers to handle specific tasks.
Additionally, prioritize your workload by focusing on high-impact tasks and delegating lower-priority tasks to others.
It is also important to create systems, processes, and workflows for everything you do, so you can automate what you can as quickly as you can.
- Uncertainty and Lack of Stability
Starting an online business can be uncertain and lack stability.
Income may be unpredictable, and the business landscape can change rapidly.
To create stability, create a savings plan and budget for the unexpected.
You should also focus on creating multiple streams of income in your business so you are never just dependent on one.
Additionally, keep up with industry trends and be prepared to pivot your business strategy as needed.
Real-life Examples of Successful Online Businesses Started by Women
So you now know that starting an online business can be a great way for you to achieve financial independence and flexibility.
With the rapid growth of e-commerce and many online business models like e-learning, there are now countless opportunities for women to start and grow their own businesses online.
Here are some real-life examples of successful online businesses started by women, and the strategies and tactics that helped them achieve success:
Emily Weiss founded Glossier, a beauty and skincare company, in 2014.
She started the company after running a successful beauty blog, Into the Gloss.
Glossier has become a household name in the beauty industry, known for its minimalist aesthetic and use of social media to engage with customers.
Weiss has credited Glossier’s success to a customer-centric approach, prioritizing feedback and engagement from customers.
Glossier also invests heavily in social media, creating a strong community and influencer network to help spread the word about their products.
Sophia Amoruso started Nasty Gal, an online fashion retailer, in 2006. She began by selling vintage clothing on eBay and later expanded into a full-scale e-commerce business.
Nasty Gal grew quickly, with sales reaching $100 million in 2012.
Amoruso has attributed Nasty Gal’s success to a strong brand identity, with a focus on empowering young women.
She also stresses the importance of staying true to your vision and being willing to take risks in order to succeed.
Whitney Wolfe Herd founded Bumble, a dating app, in 2014. Bumble stands out in the crowded dating app market by putting women in control, requiring women to make the first move.
Bumble has seen tremendous growth since its launch, with over 100 million users worldwide.
Herd has emphasized the importance of creating a strong company culture and focusing on the needs of users in order to succeed.
Expert Tips for Starting and Growing an Online Business
Starting and growing an online business can be a challenging and rewarding experience.
Here are some expert tips and advice for women looking to start their own online business:
Identify a Need
One of the keys to starting a successful online business is to identify a need in the market.
Look for gaps or inefficiencies in existing products or services, and think about how you can offer something new and valuable.
Focus on Your Customers
Customer satisfaction should be a top priority for any online business. Listen to customer feedback and use it to improve your products or services.
Build a strong relationship with your customers through social media and other channels.
Build a Strong Brand
A strong brand can help differentiate your business from competitors and attract loyal customers.
Develop a clear brand identity and use it consistently across all your marketing materials and online presence.
Invest in Your Team
As your business grows, it’s important to invest in your team and build a strong company culture, even if you’re just hiring freelancers or a VA.
Hire talented employees who share your vision and values, and provide opportunities for professional development and growth.
Starting an online business can be challenging, but there are many practical resources available to help you succeed.
- Online courses: Websites such as Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare offer courses on a wide range of topics, including marketing, social media, and e-commerce.
You can also access our training on Step Up Boss Up Academy.
- Social media management tools: Platforms like Metricool and Tailwind can help you manage your social media accounts more efficiently.
- Email marketing software: Services like GetResponse, Aweber and Birdsend allow you to automate email campaigns and track their effectiveness.
- Website builders: Tools like Squarespace and WordPress enable you to create a professional website without needing to know how to code.
- Accounting software: Programs like QuickBooks, FreeAgent, and FreshBooks help you manage your finances and keep track of income and expenses.
- Virtual assistants & Freelancers: Services such as Upwork and Fiverr allow you to outsource tasks to freelancers, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
By taking advantage of these practical resources and others like them, you can gain valuable insights and strategies for growing your online business, while also saving time and increasing efficiency.
The Power of Being Your Own Boss: Making Your Dreams a Reality
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when contemplating starting an online business.
You may be thinking, “Am I really cut out for this?” or “What if I fail?”
These feelings are completely valid, but don’t let them hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Remember, starting an online business offers numerous benefits, such as the freedom to work from anywhere, the ability to control your income, and the satisfaction of building something of your own.
You have the power to create a life on your terms.
You may encounter obstacles and challenges along the way, but that’s part of the journey.
Use the tips and resources provided in this article to help you overcome any hurdles that may arise.
Believe in yourself and your abilities. You have what it takes to be your own boss and create a successful online business.
Embrace the uncertainty and take the leap. You won’t regret it.
So what are you waiting for? Start your online business today and watch as your dreams become a reality. You’ve got this!
Now, download our free checklist below to get started.