Not until a few years back, employment usually took precedence over entrepreneurship as people’s choice to earn their living. Entrepreneurship was traditionally pursued by the ones who either had this in their bloodlineor who were forced to pursue it as a Hobson’s choice due to unavoidable circumstances. Instances ofentrepreneurship by choice were quite scarce. Numerous factors come into play that caused this trend. Fixederiodic compensation with no fear of inflow fluctuations; fixed working time; pre-defined set of tasks; stereotypical tendency of generations to follow the job hunting cycle subsequent to education completion andbalance between job supply and demand in the market are some prominent factors that resulted into prevailing job-dominant earning cultures across the globe.
The last of the aforementioned factors has underwent such a major twist over the recent times that a notable shift towards entrepreneurship has been observed. Globally, job markets have reached their saturation level as, on average, the ratio of job creation to university/institute pass-outs per annum has severely dwindled. This factor coupled with the maturity of e-commerce and ease in internet access has urged people to jump into entrepreneurship globally.
Revolution Through E-Commerce Model:
Traditionally, significant amount of investment needed to procure assets and build inventories for business was a major impediment in choosing entrepreneurship. ‘Brick-and-Mortar’ was the dominant business model. Moreover, cumbersome legal documentation process involved in the physical model was quite tiresome. Ecommerce, fortunately, came up with remarkable solutions and efficient alternatives. The mode of online buying and selling has significantly eased out the investment part and has unusually relaxed the documentation phase. Presently, e-commerce is suggested as a good place to start for any potential entrepreneur or a person who plans to shift from employment to entrepreneurship.
But how has e-commerce revolutionized the entrepreneurial mindsets? How has it made business models more and more efficient and dynamic and has necessitated all current and potential entrepreneurs to get acquainted with all novel e-commerce models to ensure long term survival?
Investment Cost Saving:
Firstly, since e-commerce based models are seldom based on ‘Brick-and-Mortar’ business structures, initial capital requirement diminishes significantly. Some models, however, prefer to have some physical existence to support their online operations which, though, does not escalate the cost that much. Likewise, many businesses today follow e-commerce based drop-shipping model that does not require piling up of inventories and results in working capital cost savings provided that the supply chain is efficient enough to make this model workable.
Operational Cost Efficiency:
Element of operational cost efficiency of e-commerce is exceptional. Being paper-free can help reduce administration costs. Travelling costs can be diminished through online meetings. Office-free mode can enable avoiding periodic office rent. Several services for your business can be outsourced through freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc. without needing to pay fixed periodic salaries along with perks and benefits to permanent staff. So, permanent periodic payroll cost can be controlled through freelance contractual model.
Entire world becomes your marketplace when you decide to operate your business online and geographical limits are eliminated. Outreach expands from local market to global market. Moreover, ease in internet access and excessive use of smart phones has also contributed towards the shift in consumers’ buying trends. Today, customers are becoming more prone to purchasing online and avoiding the hassle of visiting marketplaces physically.
Significance Due to COVID:
Moreover, in face of the recent pandemic outburst of COVID, importance of e-commerce has quadrupled. Businesses are now forced to shift to e-commerce. Adapting businesses to e-commerce mode is now considered a vital step to ensure long-term business survival. Business experts and consultants via webinars and econferences are stressing globally that if you are an existing entrepreneur and you haven’t created any product suite online, you are missing the boat. This is what the “new normal” is. Moreover, the pandemic situation has necessitated working from home which is only possible for you as an entrepreneur if your business operations are either completely or partly online-based and can be controlled remotely. Again, thanks to easy internet access and increased utilization of wireless gadgets, tablets and smart phones; it is quite possible now!
The significance of e-commerce in entrepreneurship is prominent from the fact that majority of the world’s ten richest persons run their businesses through e-commerce model. The world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, has attained this position through his e-commerce based biggest giant, Amazon.com.
One must, however, acknowledge that where e-commerce has paved a smooth way for entrepreneurs, it has also introduced some challenges. Ease of doing business through e-commerce has reduced barriers to entry and has enhanced the competition. Survival tools have to be intelligently designed now to outperform the competitors. Optimum pricing and provision of unique or value-added products and services are the necessary tactics to ensure your presence as a successful businessperson.
Novel Marketing Strategies:
Marketing strategies have also evolved and underwent several replacements to support e-commerce. Being strongly accustomed to contemporary marketing strategies is a must for any entrepreneur, especially socialmedia marketing. Through social media, an entrepreneur can reach local as well as global market with far less cost and hassle. Numerous platforms are available to entrepreneurs for marketing their businesses including Facebook, Google Ads, Youtube, Instagram, etc. It’s not only cheaper but enables precise outreach to targeted customers by customizing the marketing deals. A huge database of customers along with their behavioral patterns is saved with such platforms that enables entrepreneurs to smartly market their products and services to the right customers.
Novel Financing Strategies:
Likewise, getting accustomed with novel financing strategies is also important for entrepreneurs. A popular example is crowd funding in which an entrepreneur can fund its startup by raising money from large population over the internet after displaying, for instance, a prototype of its potential product/service.
The digital age in which we are living, becoming an entrepreneur isn’t that challenging as it used to be before. E-commerce has given a whole new shape to the way of conducting businesses and has provided entrepreneurs with the ability to reach the global market while sitting on their couch. E-commerce can definitely help entrepreneurs in commencing their ventures with a highly efficient models and a reduced investment plan but since every business model has its own pros and cons, even e-commerce based business models can make you suffer if it is initiated with lack of necessary acumen, groundwork and requisite diligence.