One of the biggest considerations to make when starting a new business is whether you should have a physical premises or not. You could be forgiven for thinking that the physical shop is in decline and soon, everything will be online. The high street is in decline, that is true, but it isn’t dead yet. While online stores are popular, there are still benefits to having an old fashioned shop front. It all depends on the nature of your business really, so if you are trying to decide how to run your new business, here are a few tips.
One of the main differences between opening a physical and an online business, is the start-up cost. When you’re opening a store, you need to pay rent and utilities on the building. If you have the funding, you could have a company like armstrong metal buildings, construct you your own brand new premises. After that, you’ll need to get it decorated and hire staff to work in the shop. If you are online, you can do the majority of the work yourself in the beginning so your costs will be low. You may not have to pay rent, but you do still need to pay for web hosting and your domain name. You do have the option of selling your goods through a third party website but if you want to be taken seriously, you really need your own site.
Customers are willing to pay more on average for items that they can touch in a shop. If your business is selling high end products like designer clothes, furniture and cars, then having a proper shop-front is a must. However, the extra money that you can command when you have a shopfront, is negated by the extra running costs a lot of the time. You should also think about the amount of products that you sell. If you only stock a few select products, then a traditional shop front is better. But if you stock a wider range of products, that would not fit inside a shop, then use an online store.
Competition is an issue for any new business, and it should factor into your decision about opening an online, or a physical shopfront. If you open online, there is so much more immediate competition out there. There is also less chance of you getting passing trade like you would in a physical shop. Passers by may be attracted by window displays and come inside, whereas if you are online, you will need to pay for advertising to draw people in.
The key to beating the competition is marketing well, and building a good customer base. The amount of potential customers available to you is severely diminished if you have a physical shopfront. By opening online you can widen your scope by a long way. It also makes changing your marketing strategy a lot easier. Changing a physical premises mean changing signs and billboards, which is very costly. Changing your online marketing will be much quicker, easier and cheaper.
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