Do you remember a time in which a company could do business outside the boundaries of its city without having a website? Neither do we. The web has been an integral part of the business landscape for so long that it's hard to remember things being any other way. Some businesses have found such success on the web that their brick-and-mortar stores have become redundant.
If you're starting a new business today, though, there's no need to go through the difficult transition from physical storefronts to the web -- your business can exist entirely online. With cloud-based services, you don't even need to own any hardware apart from your own computer.
These are some of the ways in which modern entrepreneurs are earning their money through the cloud.
Service brokering is one of the fastest growing categories in the world of online business. The total value of all Uber bookings grew from under $2 billion in 2013 to $20 billion in 2016. Airbnb expects to earn more than $3 billion in yearly profits by 2020. Uber and Airbnb have been two of the most prominent success stories in online business over the past several years, and all that they do is use cloud-based services to connect buyers with sellers.
The proliferation of smart mobile devices has helped to make Uber and Airbnb successful, but the two services could not have achieved their massive growth without the agility of cloud-based software development. The cloud's ability to process data and handle heavy user traffic also plays a critical role. Each month, the Uber mobile app connects 40 million riders to more than 160,000 drivers.
Service brokering is an industry with plenty of room for innovation. If you can think of a business category that's ready for disruption, your web-based company could become the next Uber or Airbnb.
Blogging and Online Marketing
You're likely already aware of the web's potential to turn genius software developers into billionaires -- but what if you're only looking for a way to earn extra income and support your hobbies? As a blogger, you can potentially earn thousands of dollars per month simply by writing about the topics that interest you.
As a blogger, you can potentially earn thousands of dollars per month simply by writing about the topics that interest you.
Although you can start a blog about virtually any topic, a blog has the best potential to earn money with product-oriented content such as reviews and buyer's guides. If you write about what you know, you'll earn the trust of your readers. You
You can, then, begin to monetize your content. If you join an advertising network such as Google AdSense, you'll earn money when people click advertisements on your website. If you become an affiliate marketer, you'll earn money when people buy products after clicking links within your content.
You can start a blog through any web hosting service. If you use cloud-based hosting, though, it may increase your chance of success. Much of your blog's traffic will come from Google's search results pages, and Google's goal is to give its users the best search results possible.
A fast website provides a great experience to its users, so fast websites often outrank slow websites on Google -- and nothing is faster than cloud-based web hosting.
Do you have physical products or digital goods such as e-books to sell? Does the thought of paying sales fees to a marketplace like eBay, Amazon or Etsy make you shudder? Start a cloud-based e-commerce website, and sell your products directly to consumers.
One of the best ways to ensure your success in e-commerce is to have a product that isn't available anywhere else. A company like Apple, for example, doesn't need to sell its products through Amazon because buyers know that they should go directly to Apple.com for the best prices and customer support.
If you can create a product that isn't available elsewhere -- and give your customers a great buying experience -- your customers will be happy to buy directly from you rather than using a third-party marketplace.
An e-commerce website requires significantly more software support than a blog. To sell products online, you'll need a reliable way to process payments. You'll also need a secure way to store personal data.
Cloud-based e-commerce services offer encryption, intrusion prevention and automatic software updates to ensure that you won't face potential liability issues when handling private customer data.