Did you know that the Twitch streamer Ninja earns over $500,000 a month by streaming himself playing video games online? That figure doesn’t account for his YouTube revenue or endorsement deals, either, which is mind-boggling to think about.
With that in mind, to say that the internet has a massive effect on business models would be a huge understatement. After all, people like Ninja are making an impressive living using only the web, which wasn’t possible a few decades ago.
But how big has the change to the world of business really been? And what are the various ways in which how people do business has changed due to the existence of the web?
In this article, we’ll breakdown all of those major changes, plus give you some more useful information. That way you can get a better understanding of the kind of real impact that the internet has had on the business world.
Changed How We Find Information
If there’s one thing that the internet did for all of society, it’s that it changed the way that we find new information. After all, what’s a faster way to fact check something than to Google it on your smartphone?
This same philosophy applies to businesses. Business owners have been able to use the internet to locate new information that they can use to improve their businesses. From ideas on how to better serve customers to basic tips that relate to their field of work. The internet has made it easier for people in the business world to learn new things.
Changed How We Hande Day-to-Day Operations
Ask anyone who is old enough to have worked in a world before the internet existed. They’ll be the first people to tell you that everything about day-to-day operations has changed for the better.
“Punching a time card” used to not just be an expression, but something that people actually did in order to get paid. The internet also led to the invention of scheduling programs, which made it easier to manage appointments and stay organized.
On top of that, GPS tracking allows businesses to track vehicles, both for in-house purposes and to keep customers informed. That made it easier for companies to ensure that their drivers were being safe on the roads. It also helped customers know when something was being delivered to their home, improving customer service.
Communication completely changed because of the internet, too, which affected day-to-day operations. People now use internet phones, and even emails, to communicate with customers and clients. Video calls and conferences have also made it easier for people all around the world to connect and chat face-to-face without being in the same room.
Affected What Marketing Strategies to Use
You can still successfully promote a brand or business using things like paper fliers or radio and TV ads. But any smart company is using the internet, and a combination of traditional advertising strategies, to market themselves in today’s world.
One of the earliest online marketing strategies invented was email marketing. Because it can be done in-house, it’s affordable. It’s a great way for businesses to stay in touch with customers and clients without breaking the bank.
In fact, in 2020, it’s still one of the most effective ways to advertise a business.
Over the past decade or so, social media websites have grown in popularity. Because of this, major brands like Wendy have flocked to those sites and used their large audiences to promote products and services. And like email marketing, social media marketing is affordable and can be done in-house, or outsourced, for an affordable price.
Online advertisements, through sites like Google, also help businesses better target online users. These ads are often much cheaper than radio or TV advertisements, and are more customizable too, which is appealing to business owners.
Normalized Remote Work
For years, business owners have been taking their work home with them every night. For better or worse, that has is much easier to do now thanks to the existence of the internet.
If your business is set up well, you can run it from anywhere in the world. This is especially true if you have everything on servers, giving you access to important documents and information at all times.
For employees, this can be a huge plus, as the amount of time they have to spend in the office has been reduced greatly. And for some people, full-time remote work means they can work from home, or anywhere else in the world, which is the ideal lifestyle for many.
Made It Easier to Collaborate
We touched on this earlier, but one major thing that the internet has done for business owners and employees is to improve communication. These new communication methods have done a ton of good in the business world, including making it easier to collaborate with one another.
Again, you can now meet with someone face-to-face, and even show them important documents, without being in the same room together. You can also chat with colleagues using email, or applications like Slack, making team projects that much easier.
Google Docs and Google Sheet’s collaboration feature has allowed for many people to work on a single file at once. That means that the need to pass off a document back and forth to one another, even using email, is no longer necessary.
Put a Spotlight on Customer Reviews
Word-of-mouth advertising has always been one of, if not the most effective types of advertising for business owners. Simply put, people are more likely to trust someone else’s review over an advertisement created by the company mentioned in the ad.
Before the internet, word-of-mouth advertising had to come face-to-face, usually from someone you know. But now in a post-internet world, users can read real reviews from real people online, which is huge for businesses.
This spotlight on customer reviews has allowed businesses who deliver a quality product or service to shine. It’s also made it easier for them to grow, as people searching for a business online usually go with the highest rated option first.
Made It Easier to Invest in Businesses
To start a business, oftentimes a great deal of funding has to happen beforehand so a business can have the money needed to launch. It’s no surprise that thanks to the internet, it’s much easier for businesses to find that funding now, allowing them to have an opportunity to exist.
Websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have helped businesses go from a dream in someone’s head to reality overnight. It’s also made it easier for people to fund businesses, and thus own a share of those businesses, which can be financially beneficial in its own right.
Allowed for Online-Only Businesses
You could argue that the biggest change to business models due to the internet existing is the online-only business model. Now, there are many ways for businesses to exist only on the internet, which of course wasn’t the case a few decades ago.
There are things like blogs and websites, using Google AdSense to monetize traffic, that rake in millions of dollars each year. Speaking of Google AdSense, YouTube users can post video content online, and monetize those videos using AdSense, to make a living, too.
In the world of video content, the streaming platform Twitch has grown in popularity over the past few years. Full-time Twitch streamers earn, on average, around $3,000-$5,000 per month, which is quite impressive.
One of the biggest ways to make money using the online-online business model is with an eCommerce store. This gives creatives the ability to sell anything from homemade goods to clothing without needing a physical store or location to do so.
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How the Internet Changed Business Models Forever
Again, to say that the internet has changed business models forever would be a massive understatement. Everything about the business world has been altered because of the internet.
People now run online-only businesses, which is a testament to how big the web’s influence on business has been. And even the smallest business in the world uses the web to improve day-to-day operations or better promote their brand.
Want to learn more about tech in the business world? Check back with our blog often, as we’re always talking about the latest news and information.