What is Cyberpreneurship and Why is it Important for Entrepreneurs
by Patrick PetersonPublished on August 30, 2020
The digital age helped revolutionize the business landscape, giving rise to virtual businesses that operate purely online. The primary drivers in this new front are Cyberpreneurs – entrepreneurs who leverage the speed and power of the internet to do business. What is Cyberpreneurship, and why does it matter in today’s economic landscape? This article aims to provide valuable insights into this new terminology and what it takes to thrive in the digital business world.
What is Cyberpreneurship?
Cyberpreneurship is the love-child of the digital age and savvy entrepreneurs who recognized early on that the internet would be the juggernaut that it is today. The term is a play on two words: cyber and entrepreneurship. “Cyber” is the culture of computers, virtual reality, and information technology, while “entrepreneurship” is the process of discovering innovative ideas to consolidate resources. With Cyberneurship, you have the merging of established economic systems digitized to exist in cyberspace – think your favorite mom & pop bakery selling their delicious cookies online.
The Cyberneurship industry has experienced massive growth in the past decade, existing in every corner of the internet. You have digital information sources such as online news, blogs, articles, and videos. There’s also the billion-dollar e-commerce industry, cybersecurity solutions, and OTT (over-the-top) content platforms such as Netflix and Spotify.
What Does a Cyberpreneur Do?
Cyberpreneurs are professionals who leverage information technology to provide digitized access to their products or services over the internet. They come up with novel ideas to offer products and services to consumers via the internet, removing the hassle of going to a physical store to do business. Cyberpreneurs understand that the world is all digital now, and they use this knowledge to come up with companies that could only exist online.
For instance, some businesses deliver underwear, socks, or a basket full of goodies for your dog in exchange for a monthly subscription. Or, look no further than Netflix or Spotify. Digital enterprises such as these won’t be able to exist anywhere else except on the internet. Since their platform exists online, Cyberpreneurs can conduct entire transactions – product deliveries, service deliverables, and income generation – all in the digital domain.
Top Cyberpreneurs include e-commerce retailers and freelancers such as IT professionals, writers, bloggers, programmers, SEO experts, social media consultants, audio-video technicians, web designers, and graphic artists, to name a few. If you have the skills, it takes minimal effort and resources to start your own online business and become a bonafide Cyberpreneur.
What Are the Advantages of Cyberpreneurship Over Traditional Businesses?
Businesses that exist solely online have plenty of advantages over traditional brick and mortar ones. If you plan to become a Cyberpreneur, here are some of the things you can look forward to.
● Efficient Customer Engagement
Businesses can engage people via chat, social media, email, blogs, and videos. There are more avenues to talk to the customer (contests or raffles in social media) and more chances to win them over because they will have to sign up and provide their details. Even if transactions aren’t face-to-face, you can still personalize it because you already have a name.
● Cheaper Start-Up Investment
Since the bulk of the business happens online, you won’t need a big or expensive office and hordes of employees. All you need is a domain, a professional email address, a merchant account, and an e-commerce website. Are you selling actual products? A small space for storage and packaging is all you need.
● Flexible Operations
You have the option of setting your hours because an online business is 24/7. You or your staff may not be available at certain times of the day, but your website will.
● Efficient Logistics
Business logistics have never been as streamlined and efficient as it is today, and that’s all thanks to the internet. You can take orders and ship products while resolving customer complaints in real-time. There are also inventory tracking apps that let you keep track of your stock even when you’re not in the office.
Cybersecurity Considerations for Cyberpreneurs
While the fluidity and limitless applications of cyberspace have enabled Cyberpreneurship to flourish, it is also an ever-evolving playground for threat actors. Like Cyberpreneurs, cybercriminals leverage the power of the internet, too, but for illegal activities designed to disrupt and exploit the vulnerabilities that exist in an online business ecosystem. All digital systems use binary system encoding, which is why you have email, ebooks, and e-commerce.
Malware is also encoded using the same system, which is why the malicious side of cyberspace exists. Cybercriminal activities that affect online businesses include phishing emails, fraud, supply chain scams, corporate espionage, financial data theft, identity theft, denial of service attacks (DoS), and malware distribution, among others. A whopping 76% of U.S. businesses reported an attack in 2019, and 60% of SMB’s fold six months after a data breach.
Businesses that do not have a robust cybersecurity protocol in place run the risk of a security breach and becoming another statistic. Existing online means that you must have a defensive strategy for online threats in the digital space, such as using an identity monitoring service to check for compromised accounts and cybersecurity programs that protect networked systems. One area where Cyberpreneurship can save the day is when freelance IT security professionals offer their services to help other online businesses mitigate the threat of a cyberattack.
Cyberpreneurship has opened doors for plenty of professionals, with little to no investment on their part to start their online business. The virtual world is the next frontier, and those willing to break free of the traditional 9-to-5 corporate jungle setup can make a name for themselves by taking advantage of the vast and open world of the internet. However, cyberspace isn’t perfect and has its flaws like cybercriminals and malware, just like the real world has criminals and terrorists. Therefore, Cyberpreneurs have to ensure they use cutting edge cybersecurity to protect and safeguard their online businesses so they can minimize the risk of a cyberattack.