Should my business be online, offline or both?
Should your business be online, offline or both? Let’s look at the options.
What industry is your business in?
Not all businesses work online, and not all companies need a high street presence. It’s essential to be clear about the type of business you have and how your customers will access your products or services.
For example, a business that requires you to be physically present in a specific geographic location on a regular basis may not be suitable as a purely online business.
However, there will be some companies that have retail or office premises as well as an online presence that complements their business model. Often providing an additional source of income through an e-commerce store.
Are you ready for 24/7 availability?
If you decide to sell goods online, then customers will expect to be able to purchase and order those products at all times.
This means investing in technology that facilitates this. However, this cost may still be considerably less than paying for long term premises such as high street retail space.
If you run a shop, for example, you will have set hours and days that you are open. The downside to this is that a physical presence is required to be at the premises. Leading to potentially higher staff costs. Or if you, as the business owner, man the space, then when you are on holiday you are not making an income.
Building trust and authority
You may have heard the saying ‘people do business with people’. It’s much easier to build a relationship with customers who you see in the flesh. They can immediately see the quality of your offering and start to trust you with their custom.
However, if you have a solely online business, you will need to work harder to build authority and trust. This will be done by creating valuable online content and providing outstanding customer service, which is reflected in your client reviews.
Set up costs
It can be argued that it is cheaper to set up a solely online business. This is because you won’t have the overheads of workspace or additional staff.
However, if you sell products online, you will need to package and ship those products, take payment, send delivery updates etc. All of this is a cost that an offline business won’t necessarily have.
This is why it’s imperative to know which business model is going to be right for your company. Once you have this, you can then look at ways to maximise your profit from there.
Are you a brick and click business?
These are businesses that thrive from having both an online store and an offline presence. Giving your customers the ultimate choice of accessing your products in their preferred way.
However, it is essential to maintain profitability in both spaces. If you find that nearly all your sales are coming from online, then you may wish to consider whether continuing to have a high street shop, for example, is eating into your profits.
Get professional support
If you’re not sure how to set up your business, or you would like to improve your online or offline presence in the market place, then we can help.
We can provide strategies and guidance on how to utilise technology to grow your business and improve your bottom line.
Not sure how to use social media to your advantage? We can provide training and support that aligns with your marketing strategy to improve your engagement on all social media platforms.
Want to know more about how we can help? We offer a free 30-minute consultation, with no obligation to sign up to anything, with one of our experienced Business Consultants. Call us on 01424 776 214. Alternatively, you can also email us at email@example.com.
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- How to decide between flexible or dedicated workspaces
- How to set up a business from scratch
- How to create a business plan
MRA specialise in business solutions and are Life Centred Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.