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The digital revolution continues to mushroom

Written by Joshua Antoniou on Wednesday, 13 January 2021. Posted in Technology

More and more businesses are becoming totally reliant on the internet, and it’s not difficult to see why.

The digital revolution continues to mushroom

More and more businesses are becoming totally reliant on the internet, and it’s not difficult to see why.

The advantages of running an internet business far outweigh the disadvantages. That goes without saying and is a statement not even worth disputing. This modern way of doing business is on the increase and it’s a trend that’s only going in one direction. The onset of Covid has certainly increased the number of companies switching their business – or at least large chunks of it – to a digital format.

The year 2020, which has been traumatic, sad and tragic in equal doses, has meant the death knell to many established companies. Some have fallen by the wayside completely, thus ending many decades of successful trading. A number of these will have been tipped over an edge they were probably perilously close to anyway, even before the arrival of the virus. A few others will have swayed from a state of ‘just managing’ to one of ‘foreboding doom,’ while some will have found their ‘once comfortable’ position within the market, become ‘a lot less palatable’ over the past nine months.

And for every loser, there is usually a winner, and in 2020 this has generally meant companies who have been able to shift their operations, or sizeable segments of it, online – where possible. The past year has certainly been kinder to businesses whose interface with customers can occur via the internet, as opposed to those who require footfall, such as restaurants and petrol stations. When shops and retail outlets were forced to close their front doors to customers during Spring, it was those giant internet-based companies such as Amazon who picked up the pieces. Depending on the nature of the business, it was these companies which filled the vacuum by taking orders online and then dispatching goods from massive warehouses around the globe.

However, the majority of business owners are not seeking to create and run a company the size of Amazon. Most are simply happy to be one of the many successful SMEs around the country. So for those wanting to purchase an already-established business, or perhaps a franchise, here are three of the benefits:

Lower overheads:

This is clearly a big advantage of running an operation online. If you don’t need to meet your customers face-to-face, then you may be able to base yourself at home. You may need to rent a small warehouse or storage facility on an industrial estate, but this is usually a lot cheaper than taking on the considerably higher costs of a property in some town centre high street. And if your service is to supply analysed data or researched information, then you can probably carry out all of your work at home, keeping overheads to a minimum. This would mean only a small amount of start-up capital is needed, and therefore an attractive proposition for would-be entrepreneurs.

Remote opportunity:

If your customers connect with you online, then you can manage your business from anywhere in the country – or perhaps at any location in the world. From the comfort of your own home you can run an online shop, deal with suppliers and can easily receive feedback from your customers – wherever you are based.

Work-life balance:

If you are based at home, then you tend to enjoy a better work-life balance. There’s limited travelling and commuting – perhaps even none – whether by car, train or plane. And if you do have to ‘work late’, you are still saved the hassle from travelling home after a long day.

And the downside:

There are disadvantages, and this may largely depend on the personality of the person running the business. They may have to spend many long hours on their own, with little interaction with other people – other than via social media. With a franchise, at least, there is support on the other end of a phone. Depending on the business you choose, you may have to be on duty 24/7 – and ready to deal with an emergency situation or to clear a back log of orders.

If the administrative part of the business is carried out from home, and you need a separate facility – such as a warehouse to dispatch goods – you will not be on site to deal with any serious operational or personal problems that may occur. This could involve the dissatisfaction of employees to possible pilfering of goods. In such a case, appoint a trusted and loyal warehouse manager to carry out these duties for you.

On balance:

Developing a business online and particularly becoming an internet franchise, has many more pluses than minuses. Anyone lacking in technical knowledge would benefit from a franchise model, which offers a tried and trusted format, as well as on-going support. You could find such a business in the world of recruitment or property investment, to name just two, and which would not require storage facilities. One thing is clear, the options are endless and there have been studies to show that over the next two decades, the number of internet businesses in the UK will be five times greater than it is now. That’s a clear indication about the direction of life and work in the not-too-distant future.

About the Author

Joshua Antoniou

Joshua Antoniou

Joshua Antoniou is now Global Account Executive having started at Dynamis in the Customer Service department. He also writes for BusinessesForSale.com & FranchiseSales.com.

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