With the deployment of the internet and the rise of new technologies and social networks, new professions have emerged. Online entrepreneurship represents a panel of future professions.
This status allows one to earn money through the internet and is aimed at all those who wish to develop their own online business.
This generalist term unites several professions. By becoming an online entrepreneur, you can open up new horizons, manage your time independently, gain financial independence, and work from anywhere!
Are you tempted by the adventure? We tell you all about working as an online entrepreneur!
What is an online entrepreneur?
The online entrepreneur is a fairly recent form of entrepreneurship, which emerged thanks to the internet and whose growth accelerated considerably during the health crisis.
While brutal and very restrictive measures were imposed on workers, telecommuting became popular, which highlighted the advantages of being an online entrepreneur.
Definition and characteristics
An online entrepreneur isn’t a profession in the strict sense of the word. It’s a general term that refers to all business creators whose main activity is essentially on the internet.
Because the economic model of work has recently metamorphosed and digitized, the online entrepreneur status is more relevant than ever. It’s then a matter of finding the right idea to set up an online career and become a web worker.
Required qualities and skills
To succeed in working almost exclusively on the internet, certain skills and qualities are essential:
- Have extensive availability
Like any business owner, online entrepreneurs must be able to devote a large part of their time to their budding activity in order for it to be profitable.
Being your own boss, it’s up to you to set your own schedules and rules. And, like any self-respecting boss, expect to work overtime! However, don't be afraid to take breaks when you feel the need to and know how to set limits for yourself!
- It’s best to be passionate
As said before, becoming an online entrepreneur requires time and a real investment. It’s therefore helpful if you love your professional activity.
Without this, it’ll be very difficult to find the motivation to develop your business.
Only passion can allow you to create and present quality content to internet users. And this is an essential aspect to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Be creative
Since it’s important to be different from the others, the creation of your online business will have to rely on a solid dose of creativity.
Working on the internet is currently very popular, and the number of websites being created every day is colossal! You need to come up with great online business ideas to stand out and catch the attention of consumers.
- Be sociable
Finally, although working on the internet implies cutting yourself off from your colleagues on a daily basis, this doesn’t mean that you have to live in complete isolation. An entrepreneurial project can never be set up alone, and it’s always useful to surround yourself with trusted partners.
So take every opportunity to meet new people, and don't hesitate to spend time with all the sources of optimism around you. You’ll need them!
Suppliers, buyers, partners, media, or prospects... All these contacts are essential to your success!
Advantages and disadvantages
Of course, like any professional status, working as an online entrepreneur has some advantages, but also some disadvantages.
Let's start by looking at the positive side of things: working as an online entrepreneur allows you to be free, both geographically and in terms of time and decisions. By becoming an online entrepreneur, all decisions belong to you. It’s therefore up to you to adapt your work rhythm to your life.
It also means that you no longer have a boss and aren’t accountable to anyone but yourself and your buyers. Finally, you should know that many online entrepreneurship jobs require little initial investment in terms of money. Most of the time, a simple computer and a good internet connection are enough to get started!
However, nothing is ever all sunshine and unicorns, and the online entrepreneur status also has some drawbacks. If you thought you were going to spend all your time on the beach with your laptop and your cocktail, think again!
This activity requires time and a real investment. Moreover, like any entrepreneur, you’ll inevitably face some crises and failures. You’ll have to be motivated to bounce back.
The key steps to becoming an online entrepreneur
Train in the web professions
Of course, to become an online entrepreneur, it’s necessary to have some computer knowledge and to be trained in the main professions found on the internet.
On the internet, there are many sites to train for web jobs.
For example, if you want to start an ecommerce business, you should know that the WiziShop solution includes complete training in the form of videos that cover all aspects of online sales, training offered in your subscription!
Create your online store - 15-day free trial
Find your business idea
To stand out from your competitors, you’ll have to create a real launchpad for your project.
To do this, start by identifying your know-how, the needs of your potential buyers, and what you are passionate about... This will give you the basis for your future online business.
Do a market study
To know if your project is viable, it’s necessary to do a market study. This step is essential for you, but also for your partners. Without a solid market study, don't even dream of conquering the hearts of potential financial partners!
During this step, you’ll also want to check out the businesses with whom you’ll be competing. What do they do well? How could you improve upon their offerings, both in terms of products and services? Determining the answers to these questions will help to better prepare you for the launch of your business.
Moreover, if you decide to leave a permanent position, it’s better to make sure that your business is viable beforehand.
Know your target
Also think about defining your personas. Who are your potential customers? To establish the right marketing strategy and address your prospects in the right way, you absolutely must know them and identify their needs.
In the same way, your speech and visual identity to adopt won’t be the same depending on the age, the social categories, the geographical regions of the people in your target market.
Find your structure and establish your business plan
You need to find your structure (i.e., the place from which you want to practice your profession, your website, and your possible storage space).
You also need to set up your business plan, which means defining all your distribution channels, your marketing strategy, the way you want to present your products, your prices, the legal form of your company, the staff and partners you need, etc.
To limit unforeseen events and to be effective from the start of your web business, it’s best to anticipate everything!
Be on the lookout for the latest internet trends
Finally, although anticipation is the keyword, you shouldn’t rest on your achievements and remain stuck in a totally rigid strategy.
The web is constantly evolving. Consumers' expectations are changing, and competition is constantly increasing for businesses everywhere.
For your business to be sustainable over the long run, you must know how to question yourself at all times and be constantly on the lookout for the latest trends.
Online entrepreneurs: examples of professions
Since the status of web entrepreneur includes several professions, let me give you some examples of jobs to consider on the internet...
E-merchant / dropshipper
An e-merchant is a retailer on the internet, who creates or buys products from a supplier to resell them to individual customers. There are two different statuses in this field:
- Traditional e-merchants buy products and build up a stock. They then present their articles on a commercial site and sell them to their customers.
- Dropshippers don’t have stocks. They offer products for sale, but have them shipped directly from their supplier's warehouses to their buyers. It’s often a much simpler process financially and logistically.
When it comes to selling products on the internet, there’s really no limit to how much money you can make in ecommerce. However, although launching a web store is generally much easier and less expensive than a physical storefront, you’ll still want to consider the various factors that make up the cost to start an online boutique, one of which will be your ecommerce platform.
With so many options on the market today, it’s essential that you pick one that fits your needs and your budget. Note that with WiziShop, you get an all-in-one solution that starts at just $27/month!
Create your online store - 15-day free trial
Blogger / influencer
A blogger is a content producer on the internet who is often specialized in one or more fields. Their objective is to generate a maximum of traffic on their website’s pages while displaying ads. In fact, they benefit from advertising income.
An influencer, on the other hand, is a derivative of the blogger's profession, who is essentially present on social networks. With a strong reputation among their community, they advertise certain products in exchange for a fee.
Digital learning is currently very popular. Many internet users learn certain skills directly online. Year after year, face-to-face training has been replaced by internet courses.
This trend of learning via online courses has skyrocketed since the health crisis. As proof, 11% of training organizations wanted to increase their 100% distance learning provision in 2019.
Today, there are three times as many! The profession of web-based trainer has a bright future ahead of it. If you have a particular skill, take advantage of the internet to share it with as many people as possible by teaching online courses!
Freelance social media manager / community manager
The role of social media managers or community managers is to ensure the reputation of a brand on the internet. They must first define a communication strategy in coordination with the company's marketing department.
Then, they must identify the needs of their targets and the most appropriate distribution channels. Based on these strategic axes, they implement various actions to build customer loyalty, distribute new content to as many people as possible, and optimize the brand's SEO.
Finally, a freelance developer is a person who is totally independent from a company, who works for their own account, and whose role is to develop a web or mobile application, software, or an internet platform.
On a daily basis, they must be able to analyze the needs of customers, write specifications, code and program, ensure the maintenance of their software’s evolutions, and eventually train future users of their applications.
In terms of online entrepreneurship, some professionals go even further with their businesses and aren’t content to work exclusively on the internet from their home, whether they opt to start an online boutique, teach courses, or launch another type of business on the web. They also take advantage of this status to travel and discover the world while earning money. These people are what we call “digital nomads.”
Increasingly numerous, there are now more than 10.9 million digital nomads in the world, compared to 7.6 million in 2019. A third of them are women, and 54% of this community are over 38 years old. So how about working on the internet while revealing your globetrotting soul?