Most things are not as straightforward as they may seem. Who knows, deciding whether your business should be based online or offline might just be topping that list!
In all seriousness, it is one of the most difficult decisions a business owner is going to have to take and perhaps the most important one as well. While it might sound daunting for you, believe that there are many entrepreneurs who are in similar shoes.
As you read along, check through the pros and cons online vs offline business, weigh your options carefully, then you will be on the verge of making the best choice for your business.
This simply means you having your business at a physical location- it's basically the traditional way of doing things. Now let's see the opportunities and miss of conducting your business this way!
- Trust: Definitely, customers get to feel more comfortable shopping at physical supermarkets, they have the liberty of inspecting the merchandise they want to buy before paying, checking if it's the right fits of quality. While your store might sometimes just be a gallery for selfie or sightseeing.
Regardless of how usual these activities may seem, they simply go beyond by building the confidence in your business, making customers always wanting to come back again.
- Impulse buying: This is actually more common than many people admit. There are many customers who just buy things unplanned, not because they love to do so but because they see them available- this which will definitely be adding a few if not more bucks to your pocket.
- Ability to interact with a particular customer base: Setting up an offline business makes it possible to concentrate on local area. Just as a Casino house owner can easily identify the need of Baccarat, Blackjack or Roulette players or live game adjustments - then you get easily identify all errors in your business but definitely not a nitpicker!
- Cost: This is notably the most disadvantaging part of having a business offline. It is far too expensive to start up- take the cost of having an office or store at the rate of $15-$40 per square foot, then add the cost of furniture and other equipment that you can surely not do without.
- Incorrect location: Setting up your business in the wrong place might adversely affect the profits made in the long run. Unfortunately, you might be having a direct competitor set up next door, meaning you'll have to do more work advertising, trying to keep the foot traffic into your store.
- Thefts: While everywhere is not as safe as New Zealand or Iceland. You'll always have to spend significant amount of money securing your business from being burgled. There is also the added risks of shop-lifters who can disguise as genuine customers.
While offline business may be seem to be more popular, online businesses are certainly growing at a rapid rate. There are many factors that have contributed to the immense rate at which the online businesses have continued to grow.
- Inexpensive to start up: An online business is relatively very cheap to set up from as low as $25 you can get your website up and running. While setting up an online casino can cost up $1 million, you will agree that building an offline one will cost at least 10 times that amount.
- Wide reaching: One of the major advantages of putting up your business online is the ability to reach more people than possible in your immediate environment. You can infinitely widen your customer base and increase the sales that you make.
- Flexibility: This is another huge positive to the concept of online businesses. It is open virtually 24/7 every day of the year including public holidays and festive periods. Customers can shop anytime of the day while you as well can work from home.
- Lack of trust: It is easier to feel more comfortable buying at a 'local store' than shopping online in a superstore online. It is very difficult to please people online which might lead to bad reviews and consequently discourage future customers.
- Larger marketing: After setting up a business online, there is going to be the need for a lot of marketing, building numerous web ads as you bid turning your business into a global brand and this never come on the cheap.
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Well that question is certainly up to you. While many businesses operate offline or online, there are many others that use both. Using both strengthens your business brand and cancels out whatsoever opportunity your business stands to miss.