In this digital age, companies of all shapes and sizes are starting to sell online, and even more are being built using HTML code and algorithms, rather than brick and mortar. But for some, it can tough to break out of that “traditional” business mentality.
Whether you are considering putting your “brick and mortar” business online, or trying to figure out what form your business venture should take, here are just a handful of the many great reasons why it’s wise to start and run your company online these days.
1. Your Company Image
Although product quality and customer service are also vital components of a successful business, how your company looks to potential buyers has a significant role in whether a venture sinks or sails. Without an online presence whatsoever, or with a poorly designed site, your business is at a serious disadvantage and clients will wonder if you are a legitimate company.
2. 24/7 Availability
With most offline-only businesses, it is impossible (and uneconomical) to provide their customers with 24-hour service. However, one of the key benefits of e-commerce is that your clients can read about your product or service and place orders anytime, day or night. Simply by doing business online, you can instantly triple or quadruple the amount of time you are “open for business” and earning profit.
3. Low Start-Up Costs
Choosing to start your business online means you will have low startup costs, since you don’t have to worry about constructing a building, renting an office or hiring staff. Even if you hire a professional to design your website, it will typically cost much less money and time compared to building an offline business from the ground up. As soon as you incorporate online and build a website, you can be off and running.
4. Live Anywhere
Come on, admit it. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to live wherever you wanted, while still running your business? The freedom that online enterprise provides is easily one of the best benefits of doing business online. All an online business requires is that you be somewhere with a solid internet connection, which you can find most places these days—stretched out in front of your comfy couch, the local Starbucks, Bermuda, you name it.
5. Target Global Market
Lastly, brick and mortar businesses are limited to a select group of potential customers in the area, whereas online companies can literally have thousands of people visiting your online store at one time from all over the world. Of course, like an offline business, online companies have to be found first before a customer can spend money. This is where search engine marketing comes into play—a powerful way to optimize the visibility of your website.
Go more in-depth about online vs. offline businesses by checking out this Yahoo Small Business Advisor article.