We can all understand the appeal of working with our loved ones – most of us anyway – but until recently it hasn’t been viable. Traditionally, starting a business is expensive. A couple needed to work the rat race until they could save enough to rent an office space or a store. They needed to hire specialists to help with understand how to attract customers and manage their business. And hiring employees was a slow and arduous task.
Yet, recent trends all over the world have noted that start-up businesses are becoming increasingly common, with a rise in family-run or couple-owned businesses. The age of the internet and innovations in mobile technology have made it easier to not only access information more readily, but to work remotely and competitively. As a result, it has never been easier for couples to start that successful family business they have been yearning for.
So if you have been thinking of a family business, here are four reasons you should start one now:
1. Cheaper start-up costs
The age of the internet has brought with it an alternative to renting office or store space, costing insurance, and hiring security. Instead of paying inflated prices a prime location for your store, you can host a website online – an online store, if you will – for the price of a DVD each month.
Furthermore, as more and more web host companies compete to gain market share, deals and discounts are virtually constant for couples considering buying hosting space. With the internet providing so much choice, and making it so easy to advertise (more on these later), even the more dominant companies, like Bluehost, in the market need to consistently offer cheap prices to remain relevant market leaders.
Even the office tools you need to run your business are readily available, be it e-mail services, file-sharing, or accountancy software. Most companies even provide limited use of their software for free, so that you can utilize their services without cost, giving your business time to grow and establish a regular income. As website building tools become simpler, it is becoming faster, easier and cheaper to provide services to customers.
2 . Markets are international
What use is a website without any customers? Well, fortunately, with the era of the internet has come the age of online shopping and social media. More and more of us are encouraged to go online, be it for food, news or entertainment. This culture is set to continue as we rely more and more on digitization, and is one of the primary reasons so many couples now run businesses either fully or partially online.
The age of mobile technology not only allows customers to access services online, but has allowed for remote working, as well. It’s no longer necessary for many digital workers to be in the same building, or even the same country, to be able to complete their jobs. Consequently, this has resulted in increasing numbers of freelancers offering their services on human-cloud websites, like Fiverr. Competition is high and it is a buyer’s market, making it cheaper and faster to find temporary employees to help with key business skills, without having to worry about the cost of hiring a full-time employee (providing benefits, insurance, etc.).
3. Technology allows you to compete with established names
The hardest thing about competing against competition that have been around longer, especially when your business is new, is being noticed. Large companies invest enormous sums of money to ensure their brand is the first you think of when desiring a service or product that they sell. They are also able to use their wealth to buy prime real estate to advertise to their target audience.
Fortunately, with the rise of social media, the advertising space has shifted from billboards and shopping centres to our laptops and social media. Facebooks Ads and Google AdWords are two of the methods which allow new businesses to advertise alongside larger competitors, are intuitive to set up, and are relatively inexpensive.
As advertising becomes cheaper and easier, and physical stores become increasingly obsolete, search engine optimization (SEO) has become the primary means of getting traffic to your website. Building your website the right way, using keywords regularly, and linking to related content are the best ways to climb the search results – and doing so will have your business popping up alongside your competition, ready to compete in a way that previous generations couldn’t even imagine.
4 . Highly profitable
Family and couple-run businesses are popular not only because of how viable the current market and technology are making them, but because they provide such great return. By keeping physical real estate to a minimum, hiring freelancers or temporary employees at peak periods, and using free resources on the internet, family businesses are able to keep their gross expenditure to a minimum. Meanwhile, by focusing on utilizing SEO expertise to promote their business online, couples can compete with long-established businesses for a high percentage of market share. Ultimately, this means family business owners are rated as some of the most profitable.
Of course, this profitability is extended beyond the financial when you consider the benefits starting a business with a partner or family can bring. Not only can you to pursue your dream, and with someone you love and trust, no less, but it brings with it all the benefits of owning a business: choosing your own hours, realising an entrepreneurial passion, and working to a schedule that suits your own. The ultimate benefit is that when things get tough – as they inevitably will with any self-employed venture – you have the person closest to you to help remind you why you want to continue.
This trend of couple-owned start-ups looks set to continue for some time, but with every passing year, more and more businesses are saturating the market. With the cheap and easy methods on offer, money is no excuse not to pursue your dream. So, don’t wait any longer! Start the business you and your partner have always wanted!