September 22, 2014

The Online Entrepreneur – Products They Need and Who Provides Them

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One of the trends that many big companies have been slow to recognize — but smaller nimbler companies have jumped on — is the market of Internet entrepreneurs. Internet entrepreneurs means businesses that are online-only or have an online business model, or where a substantial portion of the business involves online operations.

Such businesses have unique needs that are very different from their more-traditional, brick and mortar cousins. Online businesses tend to be heavy users of online software applications. They conduct a higher percentage of their business processes and transactions online — they may invoice online, buy products primarily online, pay bills and invoices online, and prefer to be paid online as well.

They are naturally more savvy when it comes to social networking, because after all, that’s where they get most of their business from. Many are freelancers and often hire other freelancers or small businesses, instead of hiring employees.

Blogtrepreneur has come up with a list of 101 useful resources for online entrepreneurs. This list is useful in 3 respects:

(1) Obviously it is a helpful list of services for online entrepreneurs — you’re bound to find a few useful resources.

(2) The list is revealing in how this segment of online entrepreneurs work and operate their businesses. It’s very telling in what’s important to them and what products they need. A list like this is a form of “word of mouth.”

(3) The majority of the products and services on the list are by smaller companies (with obvious exceptions like Google and PayPal). Smaller entities have been fastest to catch on to what this market segment needs, often because it is what THEY themselves needed and so they created a solution to meet their own needs.

11 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

11 Reactions

  1. Thanks for the link. Great observation about the smaller companies, I think you’re dead on.

  2. Steven Snell: Great compilation of interesting sources! Keep up the good work!

  3. Steven, nice job! I really like your list and others will too. Anita

  4. What a thorough list of very useful resources. He has everything neatly organized into seperate sections with links to everything he mentions. For someone like me, this is extremely helpful. Thank you for bringing this to us Anita. And Steven, thank you for making this list.

  5. Smaller companies have been quick to catch on. They are living the same issues day in and day out. The online entrepreneur is going to be a much larger market in the future.

  6. I have to agree with Amanda above in that not only is a great compilation, but I like the way it’s broken down as well. Exactly the type of thing that many find useful because it’s easy to understand.

    “. . often because it is what THEY themselves needed and so they created a solution to meet their own needs.”

    Necessity IS the mother of invention, isn’t it?

  7. Thanks for yet another reason why I LOVE this site! I’ve used and am using some of the tools in several categories like Quickbooks Online, paypal for collecting payment and a variety of other resources that I found on Small Business Trends – thanks!

  8. vOfficeware is another great tool!!

    My friend, Kunal, who is now working for the Department of Defense in DC (as a computer scientist) has recently launched a web based program geared towards assisting entrepreneurs in streamlining their business processes. His goal is to make it simple for small business owners to efficiently run their business with little overhead.

    The websites are:

    http://www.vOfficeware.com
    http://www.voInvoice.com
    http://www.voPaper.com

    All of these sites are intuitive business solutions. Invoicing, expense tracking, and document management can be done securely over the web. The mundane business processes become streamlined and the systems have built in capabilities to export to a more conventional format like Excel or PDF.

    Check them out!!!

  9. What I love about being an online entrepreneur is the flexibility that it allows me to have. My online store allows me to work flexible hours so that I can stay at home with my daughter and help pay the bills.

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