The internet and emerging technologies have redefined the possibilities of entrepreneurship in unprecedented ways. Practically anyone now build and scale a business globally right from home using digital tools, levelling the playing field for aspiring founders. With the ease of starting companies online combined with shifting consumer behaviour, the future of small businesses is inevitably moving towards robust ecommerce brands with an online presence.

Lowered barriers to entry

Linkedin’s best businesses to start most businesses offline entailed either large capital outlays renting physical premises, buying inventory, hiring employees, etc., or relying on scarce venture funding before generating any revenues. The pre-internet model also required reliance on localized foot traffic and printed ads for customer acquisition and retention. Building a business often necessitated big upfront spending for uncertain future returns.

Conversely, starting online businesses now leverages the frictionless nature and billions-strong reach of internet platforms to bootstrap business fundamentals out of thin air and a few hundred dollars. Shared cloud infrastructure handles digital storage, computing, bandwidth, and software. Online ad platforms generate attention virtually. Ecommerce tools enable managing inventory-free stores with global order fulfilment managed by warehouses. Pay-as-you-go progression reduces risk and waste spectacularly.

Ease of setting up shop digitally

Beyond cutting overhead costs exponentially, starting an online enterprise no longer requires specialized technical training when utilizing available ecommerce SaaS platforms. Intuitive website builders and app marketplaces empower anyone to put together marketing abilities with trend insight to thrive. One is selling products, content, or coaching services globally via credit cards and virtual accounts set up from your laptop within days. Online business ecosystems make creating commercial ventures effortless compared to heavy prerequisites a generation ago.

Accelerated growth potential

Launching traditional offline businesses entailed slow growth to success given analogy marketing and sales reach to local customers merely around physical locations. Expanding regionally or nationally required gradually opening additional brick-and-mortar outlets at great cost over decades thus limiting company size. Rare were brands gaining global recognition in years rather than generations before the internet’s viral nature.

But ecommerce brands scaling 6-, 7- and even 8-figure revenues within months of launching online directly tap into billions of digital natives ready to buy 24/7 globally. Close creator-to-buyer connections foster loyalty more easily through social channels and email marketing automation. Businesses like the international coaching agency Superhuman Coach reverse the typical entrepreneurial growth curve using webinars and membership site income to raise millions fast. Digital businesses rise to global dominance years faster than their offline counterparts.

Easier transition from side to full-time

The past standard for proceeding into entrepreneurship was taking the daunting all-or-nothing leap from full-time employment into running your own business resulting in being broke and devastated if the latter stalled. Today’s configurable online models allow you to quickly build enterprises on the side before leaving your job. You validate proof of concepts only by investing 15-20 side hours per week before committing fully when tangible customer revenues manifest at a scale sufficient to make your risk acceptable.

Billion-dollar online education company Udemy began while founder Eren Bali continued working in his tech job while running initial teaching experiments as a passion project. Only after online course sales took off thanks to the internet’s viral nature did Eren shift over to full-time.