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What is Internet business?

Updated on July 22, 2017

A quick definition

An online business sometimes referred to as e-business or electronic business. Internet business is a type of business that all of its activity happens online All of its transaction, communication, marketing etc. happen all over the Internet.

A business owner who runs his or her business online is running an online business. Running one can be sold just like anything, physical products, electronic products or service.

Almost anyone with a computer and the Internet and a little bit of knowledge on computer and business can start an online business. Sometimes if you have a unique product or idea that is hard to sell or market offline can be easy in online. Selling unique idea on the internet is sometimes easy is because you can test it out if it works or does not. You know if people want your product or they hate it. An online business is like any other traditional business. A traditional business you have employees, you can also have employees in an online business. In a traditional business you can have product or service, in an online business you can also have one, you get the point. What I'm trying to say is the only difference between online and a traditional business is that online business is the name itself, online.

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Types of online business

An online business can have many types of structures and how they look at. They differ on how they look online and how they work. How they make money and how they sell their products.


A web site form of online business can be the most basic form of business online. Have you seen facebook, twitter, Tumblr, Google, 9gag, Yahoo, Bing, Quora, Pinterest and many other more websites out there? They are all businesses, they can be anything.

Online shops or Marketplace

This type of form is also a website. The only difference is it you can either own the website or own one. When you don't own the website or you don't want to own a website because of technical stuff, you can still sell online with websites like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba, there many more marketplace out there that I can ever mention but this three is the most popular ones. When you want to own a website you can build a website that specifically sells stuff, it is called online shops. When you have a product to sell and you want to build a brand around it, building an online shop is the best way. Or if you don't have a product and you just want to resell you can still build an online shop.


A blog can be an online business also. Blogs can be a business if you monetize it. but if use blog just for your hobby or your personal interests then it's not a business. As you know there are many blogs out there that started out as a hobby then grew a large audience and find out that they can monetize their blogs, so they build a business around it.

Social Media Accounts

Social media accounts can be also a form of online business. A social media account can be an online business if they are making money from their accounts. One of the reasons why social media accounts can be a business is because they can have a large following that they can influence their followers into buying something. They can partner with other businesses and they can market the business product with their affiliate links. They can be sometimes called social media influencers.

Advantage of an Internet business

There can be a lot of things you have to know before starting an internet or online business. There can be also a lot of benefits into starting one.

- Save costs in rent and staffing

Having an Internet business can be cheap. Not that cheap but cheaper than any tradition businesses out there, you don't have to pay monthly rents, electricity, and water. But you do have to pay hosting and domain name, But hosting can be as cheap as $3 per month so it is cheaper than paying monthly commercial space rents.

Staffing can also be cheaper because, with an Internet business, you can automate everything, from the customer service to every transaction that will happen to your business, even paying something can be automated. With that benefit, you don't need staffs that do the dirty works, you can instead let the computer do that for you. Then you can hire staff that works on the most important stuff.

- Greater flexibility

What I mean by that is you can be flexible and efficient when you are running an Internet or online business. You can do split testing to your marketing plans to see what works, you can test what your website will look and see if the one you are using converts more or if not you can change and modify. You can easily adapt to the changes around the world because you are online. In a traditional business, you can't do that because everything is physical, and physical changes can be sometimes hard.

You can be efficient by your product delivery. Because you can automate everything customer service and product delivery can be fast and reliable. If something does not work or malfunction you can easily fix the problem.

- You are 24/7

When you run an Internet business you are 24/7. You don't sleep. I don't mean that you as an owner don't sleep, your business is the one who doesn't sleep. Because your business is online anyone who is still awake can access your website anytime. Also, anyone world wide can access your stuff, you can be an international business if you are online based.

Disadvantage of an Internet business

There can be also drawbacks when you have an online business. As any other thing out there, anything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage.

-Technical knowledge is required

Having an Internet business can be hard if you are just starting out. More so if you don't know the technical stuff. Sure you can hire someone that knows how things work, but as an owner, you need to know everything about your business.

- Computer Expenses

Internet business can be also expensive because of the hardware and software that you are going to use. Computer and internet connection fee is not free. You need to have a decent computer so you need to buy a fairly good one. You are also going to need some type of software required to run your business so you are going to need that also.

- Online Scams

Scams are scattered everywhere. Almost everywhere you go there are scams. Just like in a traditional business, Internet business is also at risk of scams. There are a lot of hackers and con artists in the world of internet, that's why you want to have a sort of technical skills and knowledge for you to be able to take precautionary steps for the safety of your business.

Watch this video on starting an online business

Online or offline?

Having an Internet business can be a good idea and sometimes a bad idea. You first need to know what is the nature of your business. If you think the type of business you have is good for online that go and do online. But if you think that your business can grow offline, then having a traditional business can be a better idea. Also, there is some business that uses both online and offline. They are hybrids that can do both.

What you have to know is having an Internet business can be amazing, running one can also be hard. It depends on you, what are your strengths?


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