Been thinking about setting up your own online business for a while? Wondering if you should concentrate on your local area first and set up a store in the high street rather than online? It’s a decision thousands of new businesses are making across the world every day and one that is often built on romantic notions of what a store should be, and what a high street should be, rather than on hard-nosed business principles. If you are going into business and are thinking about a real-world store rather than online, ask yourself what your reasons for going into business are? And whether you really think you will make more money as a local community shop, or an online shop? This article will look at the decision you are making and suggest four advantages to online businesses that might help you to make the leap online:
Lower Costs to Start Up:
Most of the time an online business will be a great deal cheaper to get going than a high street business, unless you are looking at investing in some heavy web design and hosting. Firstly, you wont need to be spending a lot of money on a bricks and mortar shop and secondly you wont have any business rates or buildings insurance expenses. In addition there wont be any high cost refits or repairs and the only things you will likely have to spend money on are design, SEO and e-commerce. Even advertising, in the form of Adwords, is a great deal cheaper than advertising in print.
You’ll Always Be Open:
Imagine how wonderful it would be if you could switch on your computer in the morning and find a large selection of new orders for you to process. A business in the real world can only operate within set hours, whereas online businesses will operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can take care of themselves and any new orders while you sleep.
Businesses Online Scale Well:
A major advantage of starting businesses online is that you can scale them upwards according to your schedule at that point in your life. In other words, if you don’t have the time or money to fully commit your time to the new online site then you can do it part time and start to build it up slowly. When the site finally starts bringing in a decent income you can move to full-time and adjust the site accordingly, scaling it up to its full potential.
You’ll Be Fighting On a Level Playing Field:
Possibly the most advantageous feature of the world wide web when it comes to business is that you will be on a more level playing field than businesses in the real world. Open a shop in the high street and you will most likely be swamped out by the major retailers. On the other hand, if you set up a better service or sell a better product on the web then you can stake your claim to be the leader in your niche, and build a market leading business.
If you need any more proof that online is where it’s at, take a look at the number of shops closing down in the high street and the number of businesses moving online. When it comes to deciding the right type of business to start there really is only one place to go – get online!
Esther is a small business blogger based in Chicago. She writes about all areas affecting small business from entrepreneurship to tax relief and from invoicing to accounts receivable financing. Click here for more details.