How I Run A Business Entirely On My Laptop And Phone…

Hi folks,

Long time no blog =D

I know, I know.. I have been super lazy and not blogging lately at all. Before you judge me and decide to hate me forever, please let me explain. I’m a student goes to uni and runs 2 businesses. And being a student means you have assignments to conquer.

Being a last year student means you have to conquer even harder tasks…( Actually, I lied, all I seem to do is watch How I met your mother… but that’s another story =D) Not to mention running my time-consuming biz.

Hence, no time for blogging…

But now I’m on holiday now ( for 2 weeks. Hooray for holidays!) and I have heaps of time in my hands. =D

In my attempt to advertise Cool Geek, I contacted heaps of journalists to get them to feature myself and my biz, I was fortunate enough to be offered to write a small column for Australia’s biggest business magazine: Smarter Business Ideas.

Needless to say how excited I feel being offered this role by Jonno- web editor of the mag. He feels that there is a lack of voice from the younger generation as most of the writers are of the older ones, so he asked if I could contribute once in a while. There will be no pay but the exposure is HUGE. Come on,  500,000  people is not a small number, considering Australia only has 22 million people =D.

Anyways, Here is my first short column… =D Enjoy guys!

I love doing business over the Internet. It’s great!

The idea of being able to make money selling goods and services in just a few clicks away is exhilarating. Having a smartphone with access to the Internet and you are literally set to run your own business. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Let’s take our latest project as an example. We run our online specs venture-Cool Geek entirely on a MacBook and an iPhone. Unlike brick and mortar businesses, with this model of click and mortal, we don’t worry about paying a huge amount of capital for rent (to be specific, we pay Shopify a monthly fee of under $50 in comparison to paying $20,000 a month for a 100m2 store in Westfield).

We don’t worry about keeping our employees happy because our shop assistants live in India, so they work for us while we are asleep, we don’ have specific trading hours because we simply open 24/7. We outsource everything and pay a fraction of the cost by comparing services available anywhere on the planet within seconds, without even leaving our desks.

Every day, we check our PayPal account to see that all transactions are recorded and new funds await our collection. According to recent statics, e-commerce sales have risen from $42 bn in 2002 to $197 bn in 2011. This means more and more start-ups are being brought to live by us- young people.

This era of e-everything makes it seem like starting a company and making more money than our parents is now so easy for us- Gen Y generation. However, the Internet and all the hypes of social media might seem like an impressive advantage, it is a different story when put into perspective. We have to face the reality that the Internet has lowered the entry barrier so significantly; the flow of ideas is traveling so fast that monopoly cannot exist on the Internet. What this means is whatever you do online, there are already people doing it…

While good business ideas are great, having a good idea simply doesn’t secure success in your start-up journey. Execution is the key. Everyone can have the same great idea, but the one who actually creatively execute that idea and follow through with it is the winner.

Looking at the case of Caine- a 9- year-old boy who built his own arcade business at the back of his dad’s used auto parts store, his story about his ingenuity and commitment in his own business has made him the young entrepreneur of the week. How many of us thought of making money from owning an arcade? Several. How many have actually built one and never given up when not a single customer show? Caine is the only one that I know of by far, and he’s only 9.

You may ask:” Well, how is this example related to running an e-business?” It is related in every way…If you look at the bottom of the film’s YouTube description, you’ll see these lines “Help Caine’s Scholarship Fund” with a link to a WordPress blog of the film. On the side of the blog, there is a PayPal widget that says: “Caine’s Arcade Scholarship Fund: Chip in $1 or more to help Caine go to college. Imagine what this kid could build with an Engineering degree!”

The incredible thing is on the Internet citizens do respond to this message and have contributed $117,000 for Caine towards his college degree.

Sometimes, harnessing the power from both online and offline world is the smartest strategy any young entrepreneur can use.