In today’s Business Entrepreneur Development Strategy, we’ll be comparing and contrasting the differences of both online and offline businesses.
In the days of old, one had very limited option when it comes to starting a business. There was usually one route to go and that was your traditional old brick and mortar type of business or what is known as an offline business in today’s term. With technological advances, times have changed. One can now have a virtual business or what is better known as an online business.
Having had the privilege to experience both side of the coin of owning both an offline and online business, I can easily provide you with both the pros and cons of each one.
Let me just say that you can find success in both arenas of your choice. However, there are certain factors to take into consideration when choosing a business model to work with. Whether you chose offline or online the most important factor is deciding on what product or service you are to provide for your customers. I know it sounds obvious but you be surprised. Often times people pick things that they think will sell instead of what they are passionate about. It’s always a good idea to believe in what you are selling.
So before you go to strike it rich as an entrepreneur and start your own business, lets take a look at some of the differences of choosing between an offline business and an online business.
Offline businesses – they usually requires you to have a much higher start-up cost. Depending on what kind of budget you have, you will have to consider your overhead such as insurance, utilities, and rent. Location is also another major factor that needs attention to. A good high traffic location will usually cost more in rent since it involves real estate. After all, you want to have your business easily accessible to the public.
Having an offline business usually means having a commute for both owners and customers. You simply can not bring the store to your customer. If it’s a physical product you are offering and not a service, there’s also inventory to be considered as well. You will most likely need to staff your business unless you plan to do everything yourself, which in a lot of cases is not feasible.
So far having an offline business seems like a lot of money and work involved; and it is but there are rewards as well. There’s real human interaction with having a brick and mortar business. You simply can’t download a cheeseburger or a haircut. As you create a loyal customer base, your business becomes more profitable. You and your business become a pillar to the community in which it serves and that can be priceless.
Online businesses – they usually have a relatively low start-up costs. The usual high overhead of rent, utilities, and insurance that is associated with an offline business is replaced with a domain name, internet connection, and web design. In some cases you don’t even need your own website if you are an affiliate marketer.
We talked about having a high traffic location in an offline business; the same principle will apply in your online business only you don’t have a physical address to drive traffic to. Your domain name will be the new home of where you’ll want to drive traffic to. No business will sustain itself without having visitors or better yet customers, so traffic is very important. Both you and your customers no longer have a commute to get to your place of business. It’s as close as where your computer is located.
Depending on the products and services you are offering in your online business, inventory can be a thing of the past. I personally don’t want to deal with physical products and having to hassle with shipping but if you decide that is something for you than drop shippers can help you in that department so you don’t have to worry about keeping inventory. I much prefer informational products that can be instantly downloaded once it is purchased.
Since you don’t have a physical store to maintain, inventory being optional, you can pretty much run the show by yourself. However if you are not knowledgeable in building websites or being a little tech savvy you can easily outsource the work for little cost if you shop around.
Wow! So far there seems to be so much more advantages to operating a business online versus offline, why would anyone chose the latter? Good question! Have you ever heard of the saying “mind your business”? All businesses needs looking after, you simply can’t run a business on auto pilot. So depending on what personality type you may be, you may find it difficult to be on the computer all day long improving your website, checking emails, researching, fixing technical glitches and driving traffic to your business. There’s no real face to face human interaction involvement in an online business unless you chose to incorporate some of the offline aspects of doing business into it as well.
There’s no right or wrong choice in one’s preference of doing business. My goal is to show you the differences between both offline and online businesses so that you can weigh your options and make a more informed decision. You may even consider incorporating the two so you can have the best of both worlds as many successful business entrepreneur have developed in their strategy.