Are you looking to start a business? Are you intending to venture into a different area altogether from your current job scope or daily life? Or are you intent on making money online or giving the “guy next door became an internet millionaire” rumor some serious digging? Whichever the case, there are some very strong reasons and practical comparisons to give some serious thought as to where your business should be based; offline or online.
Read on to find out why you getting your online presence might be a better choice just before signing your check for that new shop space;
Reason 1: Startup Costs
Let’s face it. It is pretty darn expensive to get your offline business running. From where I come from, it will cost at least US$15,000 to get a decent shop space developed and running. After which, your systems, inventory, staff and operational processes have to be put in place. You then have to have the store marketed and publicized before you even see the first dime come in.
For an online business, you need;
a) A domain name – as little as $10 US a year.
b) Hosting Space – as little as $200 US a year.
c) No inventory needed, if you are selling digital products or reseller products.
d) Lots of marketing and creative exposure efforts(you gotta do your networking in real life anyway, just the same a la web)
e) Some Marketing budget – as little as $50 a day. (covered more in Reason 2)
Sure you can do your Math, figure out the costs!
Reason 2: Marketing Costs
Ok, we are not talking about getting your store up there in New York Times or the Herald Tribune. If you already have a shop space at Times Square or at The Harrods, well you wouldn’t really be reading this article! In the offline advertisement mediums, you would easily spend a few hundreds per print based on circulation(or eyeballs as some “new school” advert houses will call it). The worst part is, you will not even know how many people were actually interested in your ad, which ad really did catch their interest, and did they go on to check your website or call your hotline and so on. You have zero statistics and conversion analysis available to ascertain what you are doing is effective or not.
In the online marketing arena, you can;
a) Set daily budget limits for your spending, as little as $5 a day. Of course, the more you spend, the more exposure and quality traffic you get.
b) You know who is who and who came from where. Down to almost every single visitor, you can track where they have come from, their country, their referral page and the number of hits your website has and so on. The best part is with just a few options, you can even have their contact details collected and use them for follow-up, for free!
c) Set up Auto Responders and E-Mail campaigns to automate marketing follow ups, build up rapport and convince the shopper of why they should spend with you, all automated without you moving a finger.
If you have done marketing before and burnt a hole in your pocket(including those lucky ones who got to burn off their bosses) and not gotten a single penny in return, you know how sweet this sounds, I mean sweet!
Reason 3: No Day Off, No Problem!
Right, your retail brick and mortar store has been a big hit. Everyone from Osama Bin Laden to Michael Jackson can’t wait to drop by your store to get that miracle product you are selling. You have been working 24×7 for the last 6 months. Hey, you need a break! But you can’t and you don’t dare take a day off your store as you are a control freak and never know what might go wrong. Been there? Sounds familiar?
With your online business, there are no day offs! Take it easy, that wasn’t meant for you, but for your online business. You see, you can set your online business running in autopilot mode and it can be churning money for you, whatever you are doing, wherever you might be. In fact, there are many online business owners who make money while they sleep and only have changes to their store once in a while How cool is it to return from your Friday night whatever-that-makes-you-really-happy session and switch on your computer to see that a handful of sales have come in. Cool, isn’t it?
If I haven’t got you thinking, wait till I share more with you inPart 2.- Why You Should Start Your Online Business vs Offline Business
Till the next sequel,
Take care and God Bless