7 Reasons Why an Online Business is the PERFECT Business for Introverts
I recently realized that much of my 1970’s childhood upbringing both enhanced my natural tendency toward introversion and prepared me to own a virtual online business. I grew up out in the country, about 10 miles out of town. My friends lived 10 miles from town in other directions (about 20 miles from me), and my parents, having raised my siblings and me with a Depression-era mentality, didn’t believe it was necessary to chauffeur us from place-to-place like parents do today. In fact, other than getting to school each day on the school bus, we were limited to one trip to town per week on Saturdays. There were no after-school trips or activities unless we could find alternate transportation back home, which was difficult, at best. Is it any wonder I could relate so well to “The Waltons” or to “Little House on the Prairie”? LOL
There was also no vast array of cable television channels, DVD movies, or video game entertainment options available to us. We got reception for only 2 television channels on a good day, so we had to become adept at entertaining ourselves (or we’d be put to work doing household chores if we complained that we were bored). I had only my cousins or siblings to hang out with, and if we were mad at each other, then I was on my own. Hanging out by myself became my norm, as did responsibility for structuring my time. This was the genesis of my ability to work by myself at home.
This lifestyle meant that I could only talk to my friends during the time we were in school together. Fortunately, we did have a phone, even though it was on a party line, as private lines weren’t available in the country at that point. We essentially shared the line with 3 other families, 2 of which were our relatives. Despite the challenge of navigating a 4-party line system, I still managed to spend 2-3 hours each night (and more on weekends or during the summer) on the phone with my friends, since we’d do homework together and talk about what had happened during the day. This gave birth to my ability to collaborate virtually across distances using the telephone.
And, because our shopping was limited to White’s Auto (my aunt and uncle’s store that also carried toys, appliances, and household goods) and Gibson’s Department Store, we ordered many things from catalogs. In fact, my Christmas list was almost always exclusively chosen out of the Sears and Roebuck Wish Book, or perhaps from something I saw in the S&H Greenstamps catalog. I spent many a summer afternoon pasting Green Stamps into Green Stamps books (these stamps were given based on the dollar amount of your purchase at the grocery store). This gave birth to my ability to locate and purchase goods and resources remotely.
Because of our isolation, we eagerly awaited mail delivery each day, as that brought interesting material to read. I was allowed to subscribe to a number of magazines, which I read from cover-to-cover. Because making long-distance calls wasn’t allowed, I often kept in touch with out-of-towns friends and relatives through frequent letter writing. This was the birth of virtual information gathering and sharing for me.
So, given this upbringing, it’s no wonder that the whole idea of creating a virtual online business wasn’t a new concept to me. I’d been doing this all of my life, except that advances in technology now make the process MUCH easier than when I was a kid. Add to that my natural inclination toward introversion, and it was a match made in heaven.
Introverts often take a beating in traditional employment, as by-and-large they are an outnumbered minority. Since extroversion is the more common personality trait, those who don’t live their lives under those ways of being often don’t fit into what society deems as “the norm.” In many cases, entrepreneurship is the way that introverts choose to make a living, as they can set their own rules, and the structure of an online business offers some key advantages for introverts.
If you are naturally an introvert, here are 7 reasons why an online business may be ideal for you:
1. Home-based. You can run your business from the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to get dressed if you don’t want, nor talk to anyone all day. Best of all, you completely eliminate any and all involvement in office politics and office gossip.
2. Clients come to you. If you engage in proper traffic-generating strategies and spend some time on search engine optimization for your web site, you can get 100% of clients online without having to go look for them. I haven’t actively sought out clients in years.
3. Virtual networking. An online business requires no 1:1, face-to-face networking, as many clients find you through Internet searches. However, with the advent of social networking, you can even engage in this virtually, as well, if you wish.
4. Telephone marketing. No longer do you need to travel to a meeting to speak to your target market. Instead, you can speak to groups via a teleconference bridge line or webinar service and convey the same information with much less hassle.
5. Virtual client conferences. All client contacts can be handled on the phone rather than meeting them face-to-face for coffee. This may be a big leap for your clients to make, depending on your business and your target market, for you may have to train them to understand that you can be as effective by phone as you can in person.
6. Little selling required. Introverts generally hate the selling process. Rather than having to engage prospects in a sales conversation, you can set up your web site to disqualify prospects. Thus, only those “perfect” clients enter your marketing funnel, many of whom are already primed to hire you by the time you speak with them.
7. Connect through information sharing. Introverts are naturally reticent about tooting their own horn. So, instead, you can demonstrate your expertise by sharing what you know in articles and blog posts that you’ve written. Knowledge marketing makes is very easy for introverts to connect with their target market.
If you’re an introvert and you desire to be self-employed but wonder how you’ll ever be able to generate enough sales to make a living, take heart. You can create an online business and use your natural introvert tendencies to make it a profitable business.
7 Types Of Economic Moats To Help You Make Money?
There are many factors you should consider when choosing those best-of-breed businesses that have great growth potential and are capable of generating substantial profits for you over the years. So, how important is it that a company has a well-established economic moat? The short answer: crucial.
An economic moat refers to the notion that the business has some durable competitive advantage, not unlike a moat that protects a castle from attack. The wider the moat the easier it is to fend off attackers.
Finding a business with a wide moat is key to finding a successful business to own; the wider the moat, the more predictable its future 20 years down the road. Having a competitive edge, allows for a company to have a degree of predictability.
As an investor, you are looking for not only sustainable growth rates but also consistent growth in cash flow, equity and sales over a 5 to 7-year period of time. With increasing cash flow, profitability for both the business and you the shareholder arises.
With increasing cash flow, a best-of-breed business can whether the ups and downs of the economic business cycle paying off debt when needed or investing capital for expanding into new markets.
Wide moat companies are also protected from inflation since their “monopolistic position” enables them to raise prices at will.
Here are seven types of economic moats to look for in a potential business:
Brand – a product or service you’re willing to pay more for because you know and trust it. Companies like Disney and Nike have good brand moats.
Secret – a patent, copyright or trade secret that makes competition difficult or illegal. Examples of these companies are 3M, Pfizer and Apple.
Toll – having exclusive control of a market through government approval or licensing thus being able to charge a “toll” for accessing that product or service. Such businesses as PG & E, a utility company and Time Warner a media business fit the mold.
Switching – being too much trouble to switch to another provider due to the high monetary and time costs. Microsoft and H & R Block are two good examples.
Low Price – products priced so low no one can compete because they enjoy massive economies of scale due to a huge market share. Both Home Depot and Wal-Mart are examples of businesses that have used pricing to establish an economic advantage.
Network Effect – the ability to quickly dominate a network of end-users by being first in the market. EBay was the first online auction business to dominate the North American market.
Unique Corporate Culture – a way of doing business that would be difficult to duplicate in another business environment. Southwest Airlines benefited from this type of economic moat in the early years.
You need not find a company with multiple moats to consider it to be a potential investment candidate. It should have one moat that seems hardest to cross and one that is sustainable long-term. Once again, the establishment of a viable economic moat shows up in the fundamentals. Companies with consistently high growth rates of over 10% per year in sales, equity and free cash over many years are the ideal candidates.