Conducting business on the Internet can offer entrepreneurs a variety of advantages over other methods, such as not having the overhead associated with operating a brick-and-mortar store and eliminating the need to drive great distances to make sales calls. It can also provide the flexibility of doing business at your convenience. Despite the advantages, however, there are also some problems that can arise when doing business online.
Lack of Computer Expertise
A business owner needs to possess more than a basic knowledge of the Internet to do business online. Necessary skills include knowing how to set up a website for business purposes and how to market your business online. If you don’t possess these skills, you will likely need to employ the services of an Internet marketing company to help you get started.
Difficulty Developing Relationships
While doing business on the Internet can open up markets all over the world, it can be more difficult to develop ongoing business relationships. If you’re located in the United States, chances are you won’t have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a customer in Japan or Australia. While technology such as video conferencing allows you to see individuals via computer screen, it still lacks the personal touch of meeting someone in person.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Even if you take precautions such as setting up a secure payment page for customer purchases, you still may be susceptible to unscrupulous individuals who hack your system and steal your customers’ private information. This can be used to drain your customers’ bank accounts or steal their identities. You may not be able to do business with prospects who don’t trust making purchases online.
Issues With Copyrights
Due to the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, issues such as copyright infringement are difficult to control. The Internet spans the globe in a number of different countries, so developing a set of uniform copyright laws is virtually impossible. If you’ve developed a successful Internet business, you may have a difficult time preventing someone from copying your business model and using it for their own benefit.
Limitations of Business Types
Some types of businesses may not be suited for the Internet, particularly if their products involve the use of the senses. For example, if the unique selling point of your product is its pleasant aroma, you can have difficulty conveying this online. And there are individuals who will always be more comfortable making a major purchase such as an automobile after seeing the product in person first.
Author : Saranraj