Archive for September 21st, 2014

Mind Your Own eBusiness

Mind Your Own eBusiness

| 21/09/2014 | 17 Comments

The new line of the 21st century now is “there’s no business, like eBusiness” – or at least I like to think so. But, unfortunately the Cayman Islands are still having some difficulty catching up with this global trend and there is certainly not enough opportunities in place locally to educate people on the benefits of starting or expanding a business online.

Sure, having a nice website is one thing, but I am not talking about a website, I am talking about a BUSINESS. There is a huge difference.

With the unemployment rate in the Cayman Islands ever growing, many individuals are now exploring self-employment opportunities for the security of not being fired or laid off, and many are overlooking the amazing advantages of eBusiness.

It doesn’t take a lot of brainwork to see why so many business owners choose or seek the opportunity to operate wholly or partially online, but for anyone questioning such a decision, here are some clear factors:

  • Cost-savings – operating a business or retail outlet online can save many thousands of dollars by way of not requiring rent, utilities, employees, equipment, property maintenance and insurance, janitorial services and so forth
  • Improved client service through greater flexibility – owners ofonline businesses have a lot more flexibility with time and where they operate for all the obvious reasons
  • Global reach – the internet is everywhere, and depending on the business model, a business can reach international customers instantaneously
  • Work from home – this is one of the big reasons individuals choose online business, it allows more time for self and family
  • Increased Productivity – by spending less time and money on running business you will be able to invest more on growing your business and efficiently run and manage your projects.

These are just 5 of the top reasons entrepreneurs are lured in the eCommerce direction, so why is Cayman taking so long to step up to the innovative plate of eCommerce? Is it lack of public education? Definitely not, the local consumers and customers are very familiar with the convenience of businesses who maintain a strong online presence, in fact those are the businesses we remember most; but for some reason many local businesses are still operating the “old-fashioned” way and are expecting to reach “new-fashioned” customers.

Customers and potential customers these days are accustomed to having everything within reach of the internet, love information, love comparing products and services, and tend to navigate towards the businesses that provide the convenience of quickly answering all their potential questions from easy to explore websites versus having to call or stop to find an email address and send the email (after having to draft one of course). 

We cannot blame the businesses for this of course (at least most of the time), because simply put – the opportunities for expanding to eCommerce in Cayman have been vastly limited by lack of proper resources.

For example, the process for obtaining payments online has been barred by the high cost of third party overseas payment processors or tedious bank processes for getting local processing, many business owners have been disappointed by the difficulties of developing and maintaining an ecommerce website, and hiring a web development team to keep any online inventory up-to-date outweighed the benefits for many of Cayman’s local retailers who would love to give their customers the ability to access their stores 24/7 via internet, and let’s not even start one the cost of running the delivery or hiring a courier to deliver any potential orders.

But, with the whole world now recognizing the importance and significance of expanding businesses and services online to the demanding, tech-saavy customers waiting patiently for them to catch up with the time, I would suggest that our islands and their business owners begin exploring, demanding and taking advantage of the eCommerce market arena sooner than later.  

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