Business Online Advantages and Disadvantages |

Increasingly, more people own or are growing their businesses online with varying degrees of success. It is important for internet entrepreneurs to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of doing business online as this knowledge will empower them to make the right decisions and implement the correct strategies if they do go ahead and start a business on the internet. Below are the main advantages and disadvantages of running an online business.   AdvantagesStart-up costs are relatively cheaper than bricks and mortar businesses. Some business-in-a-box programs cost as little as $400, some even cheaper. If you are setting up your own website with your business plan you may only need to pay for a domain name and web hosting which would cost you less than $100. Even for the most expensive opportunities, they are still way cheaper than other businesses. The top scale start up costs for internet business could be $20k, which might seem expensive but when compared with businesses like the MacDonald’s franchise which cost over a quarter of a million dollars, then it puts things into better perspective.   Operational costs and administrative expenses are also relatively lower than other businesses with little or no staff required. Many internet entrepreneurs work from home which means that expenses like lighting and heating and office expenses which would normally be incurred in an office block, are saved.   Running a business online gives great flexibility. This is because the business can be run from anywhere. An entrepreneur could be on the beach on holiday with her family and still be running her business normally. This flexibility helps the entrepreneur does as she pleases with her time. She may decide to work between 12 midnight and 6 am if that is her most productive hours.   Online businesses can reap the rewards of free and cheap advertising, through videos, article marketing and social marketing. Even with more expensive advertising options like pay per click, due to the number of Internet users, to potential to grow your business is very high especially if you can effectively drive traffic to your website.  

DisadvantagesCompetition is high as increasingly people are becoming switched on to the advantages of running an online business and also more technology savvy and are growing their businesses. The number of people starting a business online is increasing at high levels and they are all competing for traffic which makes it harder to break through.   The Internet is a very dynamic marketplace. Consumer tastes vary widely and change frequently. Therefore, by focusing on one business idea or income stream, the entrepreneur risks being left behind by new products and services as consumers chase the next best product or service.   Even when the entrepreneur has a winning business model, competitors can easily copy it and therefore impact negatively on profits.   Getting to grips with technology to sustain competitive advantage can be a limiting factor especially if the entrepreneur depends on himself and hires no staff. This disadvantage can be overcome by either outsourcing or employing staff full time or on contract basis.   It may take time for the business to get off the ground as the entrepreneur builds his online presence and if the business is not run properly cash flow problems may hinder the success of the business. It is important that the marketing and other costs are very carefully budgeted for over a period to take into account the possibility that profits may take a while to materialise.   Running an online business is empowering and can be profitable. A lot of these businesses fail because entrepreneurs are not mindful of the advantages and disadvantages and have not planned accordingly. While it is relatively easier and cheaper to start and grow an online business than a traditional bricks and mortar business, that advantage can also be an advantage as competitors enjoy the same benefits. 

How to Market Your Pet Sitting Business Online |

Don’t underestimate the value of advertising your pet sitting business online. Advertising in directories, using pay-per-click and Squidoo and Hubpages can increase your website’s traffic and sales conversion rates. Advertising in DirectoriesLook for directories that cater to your business’ location and your target demographic. For example, if your business is located in California and your target demographic is older women dog owners, consider submitting your business into directories that appeal to California residents, dog owners and women. It’s even better if you find a directory devoted to dog-owning women in California.Some Tips:
Don’t exchange a directory submission for a link on your pet sitting business website to the directory or another website. This may bring down your website’s search engine rank.
Be prepared to pay for directory submission. While free directories exist and are capable of delivering results, many require payment.
Stay away from directories that promise too much. Some directories may claim to boost the status of your website by using sneaky ways to make your pet sitting business website more visible. Your best results will come from real people who find your website on the directory and click on the website out of real interest.
Directories that look like they spam their contents usually do. Protect your pet sitting business’ credibility and search engine rank by avoiding these types of directories.
Using PPC

Pay-per-click advertising, or sponsored links, can help you see sales conversions. PPC advertising pops up when potential customers enter keywords into search engines while looking for websites. While some of those keywords will yield links to indexed results, other results usually come up next to those results and be separated. These sponsored links can be cost-effective advertising for your pet sitting business because you’re only charged a few cents for every click on the link. Investing in PPC advertising is easy. Simply register with PPC programs with popular search engines. Google offers two good ones called AdWords and AdSense. When choosing keywords to include in your PPC advertisements, make sure you do some research to ensure that they’re common words that are likely to be entered in search engines.  Be sure to set daily spend limits and test and refine your PPC advertising to ensure that you don’t spend too much.

How to Use Squidoo and Hub PagesSquidoo and Hubpages are great advertising tools if you know how to work them. These sites let you set up mini sites about specific topics and make the site set up very easy. They’re search-engine friendly and can result in more traffic, backlinks and publicity for your pet sitting business – and that’s just for starters. Register accounts with both these websites and establish yourself as an “expert” in the areas of pet care and pet sitting. Provide information to readers that they can’t get anywhere else. Give them insight into the business of pet sitting, issues that customers may have to deal with when looking for a pet sitter and leaving their animals in the care of someone else. Give links that lead back to your pet sitting business website and watch the new customer inquiries stream in!