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Thinking about starting a successful online business this year? Whether it’s to escape the clock-in, clock-out mentality or to become location-independent, there are so many benefits of online business that we are going to explore together today.

My name is Sam. I’m a former practicing pharmacist & Realtor, but I have operated my own online business since 2021, allowing me to escape the grind and spend more time on the things that matter to me most.

While it’s not all roses (see the disadvantages of online business here), I’ve found that the digital business far outweighs the negatives.

1. Time Freedom

Image of a woman with her hands in the air on the edge of fjord, symbolizing freedom.

This is undoubtedly one of the top reasons why so many people are interested in becoming online business owners in the first place.

Detaching direct time to direct money.

A traditional job requires you to be there a set number of hours per week at specific times. Even when you have the perfect schedule, you are trading in your time for a set dollar amount. And while it may come with benefits, 401ks, and maybe a high salary, that time is no longer yours.

You’re selling your time, skills, and qualifications to somebody else for a price.

These “Golden Handcuffs” dictate….

  • What hours you need to be doing what and where.
  • When you can eat your lunch.
  • When or if you can take that vacation with your family.
  • What holidays you can have off to celebrate with your family.
  • If you can leave early to pick up your sick kid from school.

To be honest, as a pharmacist, I never really understood the lack of time freedom I had until I left the profession. Because I was working in a profession that I loved and achieving meaningful work, it never really hit me how much of my personal life I was sacrificing until I had children.

Time is our most valuable asset. And we have no idea how much or how little of it we have.

Then, when I started building my family, I realized that no amount of money or benefits would ever be worth missing a single moment because you can never get that time back.

And for you, this reason doesn’t have to be raising a family. It could be….

  • Extensive travel within your home country or abroad.
  • Pursuing hobbies or things that bring you joy.
  • Time to focus on your health and wellness.
  • More time spent with friends and family.

Now, I don’t want to over-glorify operating an online business because you still need work. Unless you’re super lucky, we all still have bills to pay, and those hobbies don’t pay for themselves (usually). And sometimes, you end up putting in more hours than a traditional job.

But if you’re looking to achieve a higher level of work-life integration, online business models, in my opinion, are the way to go.

2. Location Independence

Image of a digital nomad working on his computer at a cafe in Paris with the Eiffel Tower behind him.

If flexible time management isn’t your number one priority, then I’m wiling to bet that location independence is.

Never in the history of the world have we been able to work or connect globally the way we’ve been able to in the past twenty years. And while there are many downsides to this, the upside is that you can work from most corners of the world (as long as there’s good internet connection anyways).

You can operate every single aspect of your business online:

And location independence doesn’t mean you need to travel the world as a digital nomad (although this sounds amazing). There are tons of reasons why people want to be location-independent, even if they’re not planning on relocating to Italy…

  • Take MORE vacations. Because you can work anywhere, you can take a week “off” by just doing the bare minimum for a week for a few hours in the morning and then enjoying the rest of your day. You can also travel on off or shoulder seasons, which saves money, usually sparing up more money for more trips.
  • Travel home for family. I live in Phoenix, and it is HOT in the summer. So why keep the family stuck inside miserable? We jump on a flight and stay with our family either in the Midwest or back East for a month in the summer. I still work, but my kids can get their energy out and spend quality time with their cousins.
  • Living abroad. With the cost of inflation and a ridiculous housing market, you can choose to live somewhere else in the world while still enjoying the money-making opportunities of home.

3. You Can Start an Online Business With Very Little Upfront Costs

Image of a person drawing a rocketship with a piece of chalk, representing startups.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statistic- 90% of startups fail.

Yet we’re sold “the dream” that you can become a successful entrepreneur who owns a million-dollar company and that you’ll be driving that Porsche after some hard work, grit, and perseverance.

That’s usually NOT the case. So the question becomes, not if you want to try to become a business owner and that you have the high-income skills to make it a success.

The real question is, what risks are you willing to take?

For me, I’m not taking out an SBA loan and putting my house up as collateral. Risking my family’s security is a solid no.

But what are the risks of starting an online business? Honestly, much less than any other business you could start out there.

You realistically need to invest a few thousand dollars to get everything up and running for the greatest odds of making it (I recommend BGE if you’re starting a content business).

At the end of the day, this is not a huge loss when online businesses don’t succeed compared to the hundreds of thousands you could lose on a brick-and-mortar business.

4. Higher Profit Margins & Low Operating Costs

A picture of a male cheering as he sits at his desk cheering at graphs.

As a daughter of an entrepreneur (pizza shop), I’ve been part of the hard work that goes into managing physical stores.

With utilities, employee costs, costs of goods sold, the list goes on and on and on. A physical storefront is a recipe for high costs.

If you’re lucky, brick-and-mortar stores may offer you anywhere from 10-40% profit margins. Meaning, that 60-90% of your business profits GO TO EXPENSES.

That’s a LOT of work to keep such a nominal amount of the proceeds.

Fortunately, many online businesses can see 50-95%+ on their profit margins. However, keep in mind that’s for more digital product/content based models. E-commerce can fall into the slippery slope of low profit margins as well.

Your money is usually spent in these areas:

  • Digital marketing: This includes online advertising, PPC ads, and other social media tactics to increase customer engagement.
  • Website Management: Whether you’re running an online store like Amazon/Etsy/Shopify or a content business like I do, there will be some monthly fees for websites and hosting services.
  • Your Tech Stack: This is often digital planners, project management tools, productivity tools, etc.

You can check out an online business checklist to get an idea of the operating costs if you’re in the early phases of starting an online business.

5. You’re Open 24/7

Image of a 24/7 sign.

If you’re currently thinking about selling a physical or digital product, then being open 24/7 is a game changer.

Online business owners can set up shop and sell their products while they’re sleeping. This is a huge convenience not just for you, but for your customers.

No more dealing with the constraints of opening and closing business hours.

6. Global Audience

Image of a word with digital markers to show global connection.

Remember when small business owners could only sell locally to the people nearby? Now your customer base is the entire world (or anywhere you’re willing to ship to).

Your reach to the world is only limited by your digital marketing strategies.

7. Increased Productivity

Image of a virtual conference call taking place.

This was a perk I didn’t realize until I began my own online business, but when you work for yourself, you tend to be a LOT more productive.

Ever sit at your corporate desk at work trying to make the time pass? I’ve done this SO many times, and one day, I was sitting there thinking what an absolute WASTE this is.

And it wasn’t due to a lack of poor work ethic or laziness.

Most people can only handle four-hours of deep work or intense concentration per day.

I get it- we can’t be 100% productive all the time (although these productivity quotes may help). And not every profession has the luxury of getting their tasks for the day handed to them all upfront.

But wow, when you run an internet business, this business model allows you to have a pretty clear idea each day about what needs to get done.

So, I truly only do my “difficult” work about 4-5 hours a day. Then I may do an hour of admin work, but I end my day after six hours. It’s consistency on the things that matter that drives the needle forward.

8. Automation Automation Automation

Infographic of an entrepreneur automating his business.

Online businesses equals automation.

  • Email Campaigns? Create them, then automate them.
  • Social Media Marketing? Spend one day creating and filming all of your content, then put it on an auto-scheduler for the week or month.
  • Online transactions? All automated.

I don’t have to manually complete every task, but can spend more time setting up systems in place to do it for me.

9. Managing a Team Remotely

Image of a boss managing her team remotely.

This is by far more productive and effective than managing employees in-house. And it’s a win-win.

Depending on how large or little your team is, you can effectively manage an online team in much less time.

  • You can cut down on the meetings. This is typically a highly wasteful use of time to begin with.
  • Avoid distractions, from the office gossip to the impromptu walk-ins.
  • Track and manage work through project management systems. This way, you know how your business is operating at all times.
  • You can pivot the work you need done from a time-based to project-based. I pay my employees to get a project done, not by how much time they take to do it. This allows them the motivation and flexibility to get it done.

10. Scalability That’s Up To You

A golden scale.

Anyone and everyone I talk to always love to point out how much you can scale an online store.

You have a world of potential customers, online shopping is as easy as a few clicks, and you can build a target audience who can become lifelong spenders.

But I would say the biggest advantage is that you can limit your reach and scalability as well. Hear me out:

  • Life is about time well spent. There’s a plateau to how much money made can increase happiness. Know what your personal goals are and how much energy you’re willing to trade to get there.
  • After a few years of hard initial work, you can leverage your time better. Scale the money coming in, but with less of your own personal time (outsource the work!).

11. Time Intention

Image of hands holding up their favorite hobbies like music, photography, and baking.

There are so many business ideas that can be done online, but I have found many entrepreneurs become the most successful when they’re building a business from something they love to do.

You’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do each day. And with an online business, you can be very intentional with time.

If you’ve never read the top five regrets people have on their deathbed, this one has always stuck out to me:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

You can really create the life and business that’s only limited to your imagination online.

Final Thoughts

Starting an online business is not for everyone. It requires a lot of creativity, out-of-the box thinking, and quite honestly- a LOT of self-motivation (or something like a productivity app like Motion that keeps me on track when I want to be lazy).

But you have more freedom to design the life that you want for yourself. I hope your journey is a positive one, and be sure to check out the many resources I’ve created to help you achieve your goals.

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