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Digital or Physical Business: Which One Is Right for You?

When you are researching business ideas, the question often comes up whether you should start a physical or digital business. Most people think that a physical business is more legitimate somehow. However, when you learn that a digital business is just as legitimate and profitable as a physical business, with lower barriers to entry, you may decide that a digital business is just the ticket you need to become a business owner.

Let’s look at some questions that you should ask to figure out what is right for you.

How Much Money Do I Have to Invest?
For a business with physical products or a physical location, it’s more than likely you’re going to need upwards of $100K to even get started. If you’re interested in a specific business, do the research to find out what it would take. But, if you don’t have money in the bank that you can afford to lose, then a physical business may not be the best idea for you.

How Much Time Can I Spend on My Business?
If you need to work a normal full-time job while you’re starting your business because you don’t have savings to live on, then it’s possible that the best choice for you is a digital business. This is because you can start it in your spare time with nothing more than a computer and internet connection.

For example, if you only have an hour a day to spend on a business, how can you best spend that hour? With a digital business you can wait until your kids go to bed, then get online and work on it for just an hour a night and eventually you will see results from your work.

What Skills Do I Have Right Now That Translate to a Business?
It sounds wonderful to start a food truck or a restaurant but what is the reality of that? Have you ever worked in a restaurant as a manager? If not, your learning curve will be extremely large. Even if you’re currently a chef at a restaurant, making money as an owner is a lot harder than you may think – although of course, it is possible.

If you’ve managed to sock away enough money to live for a couple of years on savings, you may make it work. But what if you instead took those skills and used them to start a digital business? You could start a YouTube channel cooking your favorite meals, teaching others to do it and make just as much money faster with no investment other than time.

Do I Have Technical Skills or Can I Hire People to Help Me?
If you don’t know how to create a website, run social media, or get online, you may have a higher learning curve with a digital business than if you did have those skills. But likewise, you’ll have to learn technology for a physical business – such as a point of sale system, how to pay your taxes online, and so forth.

No matter which you choose, there are technical skills you’re going to need to learn. In both cases, you’ll need to hire people to help but with a digital business, you can often find people to help you less expensively than if they had to come to your shop.

Am I Self-Motivated?
Whether you have a brick and mortar business or a digital business, you will need to be self-motivated. But since a digital business seems intangible, it may be more difficult to trust it to pay off whereas with a physical business you’ll be going there daily and have no choice but to do the tasks necessary to make it work.

It can be hard to work day after day on a digital business and not see a physical manifestation of your work. But, if you research other digital businesses, you may discover they’re much more profitable and realistic depending upon your circumstances.

Starting either a physical or digital business takes work; there is no doubt about that. For either type of business, you need dedication and perseverance to meet your goals. But a digital business can be just as successful as a physical business with much less risk financially, since you can start it while you still have your normal job and there is less monetary investment to get started. Both will take time to see a profit, but both are possible if you do the work necessary to reach success.

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