The internet isn’t just a space for sharing memes and watching funny cat videos. There are loads of ways to start a business too. And this isn’t simply the straightforwardness of creating a website through platforms like Squarespace and Wix. The internet has made starting a business a much simpler process than ever before.
The Ease of Bringing New Business Ideas to Life
Back when entrepreneurs didn't have the internet, setting up a business wasn't as easy. Want to sell something? Unless you make them yourself, you'll need to travel, visit merchant markets, buy the goods, then import them to your country. And that’s not all. Since online retail wasn't a thing, you'd need a brick-and-mortar store. Alternatively, direct selling such as door-to-door sales could be an option to grow your customer base.
Thankfully, digitisation has put retail and shopping into the palm of our hands. With just our smartphones, we can access e-commerce platforms like Carousell, Amazon, and Shopee. If need be, go onto Google and study reviews, compare prices and find the best bang for our buck. Newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio? Who even needs them anymore? With TV viewership falling and millennials and Gen Z-ers preferring streaming platforms over traditional TV, mobile ad spending has increased.
And as more people have access to the digital world, the internet has made it easier to build a business empire. But how?
Little to no rental costs
Forget having to spend all your revenue on rent for an outlet or office. With an e-commerce business, you just need to set up a website or social media platform where customers can browse products or services. And you don't need a warehouse if you take advantage of dropshipping, a retail fulfilment service that sends products directly to customers.
Increases market & customer potential
With the internet, instead of being restricted to your town, city, or country, you can potentially sell your product or service to billions across the globe.
While advertising through traditional media can still offer an impressive Return of Investment (ROI), online media platforms allow you to speak directly to customers and target specific audiences for better returns.
Instead of having to physically go into a shop, customers can, within just a few clicks, be on your e-commerce website browsing products. The abundant data available also allows marketers to better study trends and customer demands.
The internet has also created a variety of unique business ideas and new opportunities. From cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to creating game content and even rep management, getting into the entrepreneurial scene is easier than ever before.
Social Media for Modern Businesses
In today’s digital age, social media presence is crucial for business success. With an estimated 4.2 billion users worldwide, spending an average of 2.5 hours on social media daily, these media channels are an effective and affordable method to support business growth and bring in leads. There are also many different platforms that allow us to sell and advertise our products or services:
– Etsy: A platform for people to buy and sell handmade and vintage goods as well as craft supplies.
– Carousell: A consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) website that allows people and businesses to sell both new and second-hand goods.
– Facebook Marketplace: Usually more focused on local communities selling new and used items, but shipping can be arranged in some cases.
– Instagram for business: A very popular way for people and businesses to promote their own products and services
Facebook and Instagram are both great platforms to advertise or sell products, but TikTok and YouTube are equally effective. Making the list of top social media platforms and sites, there are plenty of opportunities on TikTok and YouTube - especially if youths are your target audience.
Influencers & Their Business Empires
Speaking of TikTok and YouTube, one thing is bound to come to mind - influencers. Individuals wielding influence over the purchase decisions of their followers, leveraging on their reach to reach customers is a no-brainer. But did you know that some social media influencers have gone on to rule their own business empire?
Filipino beauty influencer based in Hawaii Bretman Rock got his big break in 2015 when one of his videos about contouring went viral. Thanks to that, he was able to grow his YouTube business massively. He creates makeup tutorials for his YouTube followers and since blowing up has starred in a reality show on MTV, received multiple social media awards, and collaborated with major beauty brands like Wet n Wild, ColourPop, and even became Croc’s brand ambassador.
James Charles, the beauty YouTuber and makeup artist from USA, started uploading makeup tutorials on YouTube in December 2015. Shortly after in 2016, at just the age of 17, he made history by becoming the first male brand ambassador for CoverGirl. Though he has grown a wide fan base, he's recently been subject to public scrutiny over a slew of allegations and accusations.
Zoë Elizabeth Sugg, known more popularly as Zoella, created her YouTube channel in 2009. Her subscriber count now exceeds 10 million, she’s launched a business called Zoella Beauty, and has released a limited-edition homeware collection with Etsy. She’s also signed a book deal with Penguin Books. If you’re wondering how to become a social media influencer, learn from Zoella.
Besides YouTube, Filipino-American Bella Poarch created the most-liked video on TikTok by lip-syncing a song by Millie B. At this stage, some may have suggested this would be the beginning of her influencer status.
She has since collaborated with RIPNDIP, released a debut single, and amassed more than 75 million followers on TikTok. Yet again, we see how much of an impact one video can have on a person’s life.
Drawing Inspiration from Influencers: Starting a Business on Social
Always dreamed of being Insta-famous? Like Bretman Rock or Zoella, you’ll first have to find your niche. Be it beauty or gaming, find a field you’re genuinely interested in.
Then, switch your social media account to a business account and create a bio with a profile picture that attracts attention. Be consistent with content creation, connect with your followers, and most importantly, be relevant.
Finally, take the next step and build your business empire by letting the world know that you are open to collaborations. Be it brands or other influencers, any attention is good attention.
Utilising Social Influencers for Brand Awareness
If you already run a business, there’s one thing to learn from social media influencers – how to be relevant and relatable. If there's one thing influencers excel at, it's how to stay relevant with the times and gain trust. These #Relatable influencers find a niche to gain a following.
A huge chunk of social media advertising is done by tapping into a social influencer network. By finding a social influencer who has a substantial following and paying them to promote your product or service on their channels, the benefits of leveraging the influencer network include increased social media exposure, site traffic, a loyal following, and relatability.
There are a few ways for you to take your business to new heights through influencers on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. For example, you might:
– Beauty channels on YouTube and TikTok: Send your products to beauty gurus for review.
– Gaming channel on YouTube: Sponsor a gamer and compensate them in proportion to their subscriber count.
– Fitness gurus on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok: Offer sponsorships within the fitness industry and have them promote your products.
In fact, you’ll find the vast majority of big brands like Gucci, Samsung, Chanel, and Coca-Cola partnering with influencer networks across the globe to challenge competitors and boost their brand image. Understanding the value of Instagram influencers and influencers on other social platforms will be the key to your success.
Running a Business Empire Can be Easy
Whether you want to create an e-commerce business empire or would rather use a social media platform like TikTok for business opportunities, or even both, you'll need the right infrastructure. For this, it’s key to think like social media influencers.
1. Keep fans updated: If you’re on the go and need to send or upload something you’ll want to be on an ultra-fast 5G mobile network in Singapore - and with a 5G compatible mobile phone to boot. When you’re home or at the office, you’ll also need the fastest broadband that you can trust will deliver a reliable business or home Wi-Fi connection.
2. Keep in contact with your colleagues: Communication is an important part of running a business. With business solutions like CISCO Webex, Dropbox services and Microsoft 365, collaboration and communication remain undisrupted regardless of work arrangements.
At M1, we are proud to offer the best mobile plans in Singapore such as unlimited data plans and the best home Wi-Fi solutions. Choose between 12 or 24-month broadband deals at affordable price points that will help you kickstart your business from the comfort of your own home. We even offer a whopping 1Gbps GamePRO plan and 2 x 1Gbps fibre broadband plan that drastically reduces latency and offers a dedicated network, so you don’t need to worry when you’re streaming your live gaming sessions to followers. We also have a long list of 5G compatible mobile devices from the biggest brands and business fibre broadband plans that will keep any entrepreneur on their toes.